(SOLD) This is a 1942 Blue Diamond Parker Vacumatic Major fountain pen in Azure Pearl celluloid with a 14k gold, two-tone Fine nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, followed by a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, nib tuning, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth (by hand). I work according to current "best practices" in pen restoration and I do not use aggressive restoration methods, such as removing monograms or regrinding nibs. This is a full-size pen, measuring 5.3" capped and 0.48" in diameter.
The first Parker Vacumatic I ever saw was a Golden Pearl Major. It was in the hands of a wise, experienced collector, who said "Quite honestly, one of the best pens ever made." I believed him, yes. I appreciated the pen's beauty. Yes. However, I could not be persuaded that a sixty-five-year-old pen could write better than a modern pen, and I proceeded to buy a new Parker Frontier. I liked the Frontier, but when I got my first professionally restored Vacumatic, my jaw dropped. This did seem like the pen the wise collector had described to me before.
Parker got everything right in wartime Vacumatic. Despite severe shortages in materials and labor, despite a political and economic crisis, the Janesville company put together a writing instrument that truly deserves to be called "one of the best ever made." The ergonomics, the material, the filling mechanism, the nib, the beauty, and the performance - all first-rate. Perhaps it was a pivotal moment in history, a time when humans reached their potential, for better or worse. I'll leave that up to historians to debate, but, let's not forget, Sheaffer was also at the peak of its prowess in 1942, as were other American companies.
This particular pen is the first-year "plastic" plunger model. The celluloid is so rich, so vibrant. It's breathtaking. Barrel transparency is fantastic, the gold-filled trim in excellent shape, and the nib, oh, the nib. Wow. The nib is special indeed. And, it's two-tone, somewhat rare on the "plastic" plunger model.
The pen writes a confident, generous Fine line (about 0.4 mm on my paper), with the lightest touch. It is literally a pen that writes by itself. If you push harder, the nib can take it and will reward you with increased flow and a hint of line variation. You're going to get a smooth, cushioned ride but without being disconnected from the paper. This is the property of vintage gold nibs that modern nibs cannot match - their ability to provide a sensation of smoothness and softness, but without compromising writing performance. Today, a Pelikan gold nib will also feel smooth and soft, but it has a lot of tipping material and the writing surface creates a barrier that separates you from your writing. It's subtle, sure, but, to me, it's significant. Of course, this type of nib is not for everybody. Some love it, some don't. Only you can decide what's right for you. And, if you write with a dry ink, you might even use the pen as an XF writer.