Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Azure Pearl, F, Semi-Flex

(Sold) This is a 1943 Blue Diamond Parker Vacumatic Major fountain pen in Azure Pearl celluloid, with gold-filled trim, and a 14k gold Fine Semi-Flex nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth. This is a typical specimen of the model, measuring a little over 5" capped and 0.48" in diameter.

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Azure Pearl, F, Semi-Flex

I am often asked for advice regarding vintage fountain pens. One of the most frequently asked questions is what pen do I recommend as a "safe bet," a pen that can easily be considered a top-tier pen, yet one that sells for a lot less than a modern pen with comparable features and performance. Those of you who follow me on Instagram probably know how much I love Sheaffer pens, but, to be honest, it is the wartime Parker Vacumatic Major that makes the best premium vintage pen for beginners and advanced collectors alike.

The Major is a larger pen in Parker's line-up, but it does appear somewhat smaller, compared to most modern luxury pens. Still, it has superb ergonomics, posts extremely well, and feels very comfortable, regardless of your grip. The material is gorgeous, particularly in Azure! The barrel has very nice transparency, which allows you to gauge your remaining ink level with ease. Speaking of ink, the Vacumatic holds a lot of it, up to 1.7 ml (with some variation across models), and comes equipped with one of the most ingenious and reliable filling mechanisms ever made.

With all that being said, the Vacumatic really excels as a writing instrument. It comes with a fantastic 14k gold nib, one that writes at the lightest touch, and when pressed harder, rewards you with a hint of line variation, instantly adding character to your handwriting. It's precise and yet it has excellent performance latitude, laying down a satisfying line in virtually all directions, with luscious long curves and steadfast rapid upstrokes. A fantastic tool with which to take your handwriting to the next level.

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Azure Pearl, F, Semi-Flex, capped

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Azure Pearl, XF Semi-Flex

(On hold) This is a 1946 Blue Diamond Parker Vacumatic Major fountain pen in Azure Pearl celluloid, with gold-filled trim, and a 14k gold XF Semi-Flex nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth. This is a full-size pen, measuring a little over 5" capped and 0.48" in diameter, very typical of this model.

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Azure Pearl, XF Semi-Flex, uncapped

It's very interesting that a lot of new fountain pen enthusiasts are interested in improving their handwriting, and, in particular, in learning (or re-learning) cursive. There's been a lot of discussion lately about the value of learning cursive, and, often, the fountain pen is thought of as the ideal tool with which to learn cursive. I am not sure if the fountain pen is the answer, but I do believe it offers a combination of features that can be extremely helpful in improving one's handwriting.

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Azure Pearl, XF Semi-Flex, nib profile

The Parker Vacumatic I'm offering today is an excellent penmanship improvement tool. It is a full-size pen (though somewhat smaller than most modern luxury pens), perfectly balanced, with a pleasant tactile sensation, a high-capacity filling mechanism, and an XF semi-flexible nib. The nib is tuned to write at the lightest touch, producing a line of about 0.3 mm (on my paper), opening up to about 0.7 mm, with relative ease. However, this nib is not meant to be flexed a lot, but, rather, it's excels at adding a touch of character, a hint of line variation to your handwriting.

The nib comes with ample tipping material, of perfect geometry and alignment, giving you consistency, virtually regardless of the direction or rapidity of your strokes. Admittedly, the nib produces a more graceful line with rapid strokes, but you can also use it effectively for slow, methodical practice.

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Azure Pearl, XF Semi-Flex, capped

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Azure Pearl, XF

(Sold) This is a 1942 Parker Vacumatic Major fountain pen is Azure Pearl celluloid, with gold-filled trim, and a 14k gold XF nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth. The pen measures about 5.1" capped and 0.48" in diameter.

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Azure Pearl, XF, uncapped

The year 1942 was pivotal for the U.S. fountain pen industry. As the country entered the war, the pen companies were faced with significant difficulties, including severe material and labor shortages, and yet, both Parker and Sheaffer, were able not only to withstand the crisis, but also found a way to flourish, bringing us such awesome writing instruments as the Sheaffer Triumph and the Parker Vacumatic.

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Azure Pearl, XF, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment.

The pen I'm offering today was made during the first year of Parker's shift toward the new "plastic" variant of the venerable vacuum filling mechanism, along a few minor design changes. The pen is in fantastic condition, without any flaws or defects, with gorgeous, vibrant celluloid, excellent barrel transparency (the warm tones you see in the photos), and excellent gold-filled trim. Quite simply, a fantastic pen! With the holiday season fast approaching, this would be a superb gift for a family member, a friend, or even yourself. 

The star of the show is the 14k gold nib. It's ground to write an XF line (about 0.3 mm on my paper) that is confident, self-assured, brimming with optimism. It's the kind of line that brings a smile to your face every time you write. You see the ink being deposited on the page in a perfect monoline, with a light touch, and a hint of line variation, if you press harder. A fantastically responsive nib, it will conform to your handwriting style, following your rapid strokes without question or hesitation. The nib has a great ability to dampen paper vibrations, which gives you that most coveted sensation of smoothness, yet without disconnecting you from the page, your writing, and your thoughts. The nib's genius is, partly, in its varying material thickness, to further optimize performance. It was made in a painstaking process, now mostly lost to us, in which writing performance was the absolute priority. If you're a fan of Japanese gold nibs, you're going to love this Vac, quite possibly wanting to add more than one to your collection.

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Azure Pearl, XF, capped

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen Azure Pearl, XF

(Sold) This is a 1944 Blue Diamond Parker Vacumatic Major fountain pen in Azure Pearl celluloid, with gold-filled trim, and a 14k gold XF nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth (by hand). The pen measures about 5.1" capped and 0.48" in diameter.

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen Azure Pearl, XF, uncapped

If you have been in the fountain pen hobby for a few years, you, do doubt, have acquired a few awesome pens, such as a Lamy Safari, TWSBI Diamond 580, Pilot Custom 74, Platinum #3776, etc. Now, you're probably wondering if you should upgrade to a truly spectacular pen, such as an Aurora Optima, Pelikan M800, Montblanc LeGrand, etc. You're probably wanting to experience that superb feel in the hand, that amazing writing experience that takes your breath away, and, of course, you want a pen that's utterly beautiful. So what's stopping you? I think for most of us, it is the price. The cost of owning a spectacular "luxury" fountain pen is prohibitively high. If only you could be sure that the pen will, indeed, knock your socks off, that it will write perfectly out-of-the-box. You've probably read mixed reviews, and you're just not wanting to take the chance. Some people prefer to buy from a nib meister, who tunes each pen before sending it out, but that, typically adds extra cost. May I offer you an alternative, a restored, beautiful Parker Vacumatic that has been tuned, adjusted, thoroughly tested, and is guaranteed to write as well as Parker intended.

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen Azure Pearl, XF, nib close-up

The phrase I wrote comes from a Parker Vacumatic advertisement, and, I hope you agree, it's not difficult to imagine how otherworldly the Vac must have seemed to prospective Parker customers. With such a graceful, handsome, gorgeous design, a superb, partially transparent Azure Pearl celluloid, the high-capacity advanced filling mechanism, and the writing performance to match, this was, and continues to be, an unimaginably amazing writing instrument. And yet, it's real, can be enjoyed today, and is available for a lot less than a modern Italian or German top-tier pen.

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen Azure Pearl, XF, nib profile, showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment

The pen writes a super confident, consistent XF line of about 0.3 mm (on my paper) with a light touch. It writes excellent rapid strokes in virtually all directions without ever feeling toothy or catching the paper. It's incredibly effective as a shock absorbing mechanism, so that your writing experience feels like a cushioned ride in a luxury sedan, yet without being disconnected from the paper. It's a sensation that has to be experienced to understand. It's just such a fantastic writer. And if you decide to push it harder, it will respond with a hint of line variation, giving you that awesome, joyful feeling and adding character to your handwriting.

Cosmetically, the pen is simply beautiful, without any flaws or defects. The material has such depth, such vibrancy, such chatoyancy. It shimmers, as if alive, yet it has retained quite a bit of transparency so it also fulfills a utilitarian purpose,  allowing you to gauge remaining ink level with ease.

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen Azure Pearl, XF, capped

The pen is priced at $189. Please, contact me if you're interested in ordering it. Shipping fees are listed on this page. Thanks!

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Azure Pearl, XF

(Sold) This is a 1945 Blue Diamond Parker Vacumatic Major in Azure Pearl celluloid, with gold-filled trim, and a 14k gold XF nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth (by hand). The pen measures about 5.1" capped and 0.48" in diameter.

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Azure Pearl, XF, uncapped, with the blind cap removed

The Parker Vacumatic I'm offering today is everything I want in a fountain pen. It all starts with the design. It's a handsome, graceful, streamlined shape with superb ergonomics, posted or not. Next, the material, in this case, the gorgeous, highly coveted Azure Pearl celluloid, which has incredible depth, vibrancy, and excellent barrel transparency. The gold-filled trim is elegant, sparse, and adds a touch of luxury. The vacuum filling mechanism goes beyond today's ubiquitous C/C filler, and provides a large-capacity system that is as simple as it is efficient, a writer's dream. Finally, the nib and feed. One of the best such units ever made. No, it's not as technologically advanced as Sheaffer's Triumph, but it has amazing ink flow latitude, allowing a broad variety of tunings, to satisfy even the most discerning writer. 

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Azure Pearl, XF, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment

The pen is awesome, yes, but it is the nib that steals the show. It's a beautifully made 14k gold nib, with ample tipping material, of perfect geometry. The incredible property of this nib is its ability to provide a smooth, cushioned ride, without compromising writing ability. While a lot of modern gold nibs are optimized for smoothness, their overly polished writing surface is prone to develop flow issues, particularly hard-starts. Parker came up with just the right kind of tipping geometry for the Vacumatic nib. It's a nib that never falters, never skips, never starves for ink. If you write with a light touch, it will give you a superb, consistent monoline. If you press harder, it will reward you with a hint of line variation, and will instantly add character to your handwriting. You put it away for a few minutes uncapped, no problem, it will start back up the instant you put it to paper. The oversize ebonite feed, with its broad ink and air exchange channels, does a great job buffering ink and regulating its flow, delivering just the right amount of ink to the nib's point, responding to your most subtle variations in pressure, angle, and rotation. With light pressure, the pen writes an XF line of about 0.3 mm, but will open up nicely with increased pressure, giving you an almost semi-flexible character.

The pen is in excellent overall condition, without any flaws or defects, with gorgeous color and very nice barrel transparency. The gold-filled trim is in equally great shape. The imprint is strong.

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Azure Pearl, XF, capped

Parker Vacumatic Major, Azure Pearl, F

(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.

Parker Vacumatic Major, Azure Pearl, F, uncapped, with the blind cap removed

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 Vacumatic Major, Azure Pearl, F, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment. The red lines you see in the barrel are the result of the transparent parts of the barrel, the background is showing through.

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.

Parker Vacumatic Major, Azure Pearl, F, capped

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.

Parker Vacumatic Major, Azure Pearl, F Semi-Flex

(sold) This is a 1945 Blue Diamond Parker Vacumatic Major in Azure Blue Pearl celluloid, with a 14k gold Fine, Semi-Flex nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a thorough cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth (by hand). I work according to current "best practices" in fountain pen restoration, and I use high-quality replacement materials and specialized tools.

It's so incredible that Parker was able to design and manufacture the Vacumatic while, in 1945, most of Europe, Japan, and other parts of the world lay in ruin after the devastation of World War II. Despite a severe economic and political crisis, material and labor shortages, the Janesville company created this amazing writing instrument. Mind-boggling, don't you think?

Parker Vacumatic Major, Azure Pearl, F Semi-Flex, uncapped

The Parker Vacumatic is known even to fountain pen novices for its beauty, an advanced filling mechanism, and writing performance. This particular model is in exceedingly great shape. The Azure Pearl celluloid is deep, rich, and vibrant. Barrel transparency is excellent, so you can watch the pen fill, and gauge remaining ink level with ease. The gold-filled trim is in equally great condition. Quite simply, this is a stunning pen. If you saw it alongside the latest Visconti or Pelikan, you'd think it was a gorgeous modern pen, and you'd expect to pay a significant premium for it, but you can have it now for a lot less.

The nib is a dream to write with. It was made in a process that is mostly lost to us. Yes, there are some white papers and patents available in archives, but the actual methodology and the human touch required to make these nibs are gone forever. Unfortunately, there is a finite number of these pens still available and I would not hesitate to buy one now, as sooner or later, they will completely disappear from the vintage pen market, some to be safely guarded by collectors, others to end up in the trash. 

Parker Vacumatic Major, Azure Pearl, F Semi-Flex, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment

The nib lays down a smooth, wet, Fine line (about 0.4 mm on my business paper) and it provides that highly desirable gliding, almost hovering sensation. The nib does a great job absorbing micro shocks and gives you a cushioned ride, but without disconnecting you from the paper. You're always in control, and if you press harder, you will be rewarded with a subtle "give" and nice line variation. It is not a full-flex nib, so please don't press too hard, but you can easily get the F-BB variation, perhaps more. This nib is bound to add a lot of character to your handwriting, regardless of your writing pressure.

Parker Vacumatic Major, Azure Pearl, F Semi-Flex, capped