Parker Vacumatic Major "Long" Fountain Pen, Golden Pearl, F, Semi-Flex

(On Hold) This is a 1943 Blue Diamond Parker Vacumatic Major "Long" in Golden Pearl celluloid, with gold-filled trim, and a 14k gold two-tone, 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 (by hand). This is a full-size pen, longer than most of the later Major models, measuring about 5.3" capped and 0.48" in diameter. 

Parker Vacumatic Major "Long" Fountain Pen, Golden Pearl, F, Semi-Flex, uncapped

When it comes to flex, the conventional wisdom is that the best performance is to be found among vintage pens, particularly those that have not been abused. Finding such a pen "in the wild" is becoming more and more difficult, and, as a result, the prices of restored vintage pens with flex nibs have gone up substantially over the past few years. There's a lot of variability among vintage flex pens, even across the same model, and each pen is going to have its own unique feel and performance characteristics. Quantifying flexibility is, therefore, rather difficult. I always tend to to cautious and conservative in my assessments of flex, paying special attention to a nib's responsiveness, rather than total tines spread.

Parker Vacumatic Major "Long" Fountain Pen, Golden Pearl, F, Semi-Flex, nib profile

What you want in a quality flex pen is its ability to respond to your hand's subtle changes in writing pressure, direction, and speed. You want to be able to create a subtle transition between a hairline and swell, as that is the very foundation of Ornamental Penmanship and most other similar styles. The pen I'm offering today would be an excellent addition to a calligrapher's tool box. A pen that doesn't have a huge range, but it does have enough of it to be a superb instrument with which to create awesome calligraphy. The nib writes a Fine line of about 0.4 mm (on my paper), and opens up easily to at least a BB. The nib is smooth, soft, and feels as though it has a shock absorbing mechanism built into it. It offers you a comfortable, yet agile, ride across the paper, with that highly coveted gliding sensation. It will allow you to bring out the beauty, shading, and sheen of your favorite inks, thanks to its wet flow under pressure. And, it's the more rare two-tone variant to boot!

The pen is in excellent condition. Being the "Long" model, it should feel comfortable in most people's hands, with a high-capacity filing mechanism, and the timeless, gorgeous Golden Pearl celluloid, this pen is sure to put a smile on your face. The material has such depth, vibrancy, as if it's alive, with hundreds of tones of brown, gold, and yellow. The transparency is a bit ambered, but you can still see your ink inside the barrel with ease.

Parker Vacumatic Major "Long" Fountain Pen, Golden Pearl, F, Semi-Flex, 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.