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

(Sold) This is a 1946 Blue Diamond Parker Vacumatic Major fountain pen in Emerald 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 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 use only very gentle restoration techniques and use only the highest-quality replacement materials and specialist tools. The pen measures slightly over 5" capped and 0.48" in diameter.

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

In the late 1930s and throughout the 1940s, the pen industry underwent a major shift toward sturdy, dependable, always-ready, consistent, self-filling pens that were supposed to perform equally well regardless of one's ink, writing technique, paper, air pressure and temperature, and other, sometimes extreme, conditions. Each major brand offered a lifetime warranty on their flagship models, and made sure their pens would not require servicing often.

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Emerald Pearl, XF Semi-Flex, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment

In terms of nib manufacturing, there was a definite transition toward less flexible, larger, thicker nibs with plenty of tipping material, so that they would comply with the dominant handwriting style of the era. For most people, including office professionals, Ornamental Penmanship was quickly becoming less practical and was gradually phased out in favor of the more rapid and legible business cursive, such as the Palmer Method. Flexible nibs were still available as special-order items, but the vast majority of gold nibs made at the time were semi-flexible or firm.

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Emerald Pearl, XF Semi-Flex, nib close-up

Parker's nib design focused on improving the gold point's ability to absorb vibrations caused by dragging the tip across the surface of the paper. Such vibrations are often perceived as unpleasant, and nib makers went to great lengths to minimize them. The Vacumatic nib was a great example of this new type of design. The nib has variable thickness (strategically distributed), which further improves its "compliance," its ability to seamlessly conform to the writer's movement, responding to even the slightest variation in pressure, direction, and rapidity, while soaking up microscopic paper bumps with ease. This particular nib lays down a line of about 0.3 mm (on my paper) and spreads easily to about 0.7 mm with slight increase in writing pressure. This is not a fully flexible nib, so please do not try to push it beyond its limit, but it can be used rather effectively to instantly add character to your handwriting.

The pen is in excellent condition, without any flaws or defects. The Emerald celluloid has incredible depth, vibrancy, and still very good barrel transparency. The gold filled trim is in equally good shape, and the imprint is strong. The filling mechanism holds up to 1.8 ml of ink.

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

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 "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 "Striped" Duofold Senior Fountain Pen, Vacumatic, Green & Gold, XF

(On hold) This is a 1943 Blue Diamond Parker "Striped" Duofold Senior Fountain Pen, a Vacumatic filler, in Green & Gold celluloid, with gold-filled trim, and a 14k gold XXF nib. This was a Parker flagship model, a large pen, measuring 5.3" capped and 0.48" in diameter.

Parker "Striped" Duofold Senior Fountain Pen, Vacumatic, Green & Gold, XF, uncapped

Parker's Duofold has been the flagship model for decades, a pen that embodies elegance, class, beauty, and all-day writing comfort. A supremely beautiful, luxurious-looking pen, it resembles a Medieval stained-glass window, a true work of art. It's also a pen with superb ergonomics, with a streamlined, graceful shape, undisturbed by a filling contraption, and a very comfortable, slightly tapered section. The pen should be suitable for the vast majority of users, including those with large hands.

Parker "Striped" Duofold Senior Fountain Pen, Vacumatic, Green & Gold, XF, nib profile

I could go on at length about the amazingly rich, vibrant, semi-transparent celluloid, and the high-capacity, efficient filling mechanism, but, truly, the star of the show is the 14k gold nib. Duofold nibs are renowned for their reliable performance, day in, day out, on all kinds of paper, with all kinds of ink, able to accommodate a broad variety of writing techniques, grips, degrees of writing pressure, etc. The nib was engineered to take advantage of the proprietary gold alloy, with its unique elasticity and vibration-dampening properties. The shape,continuously varied in thickness, further enhances these properties, while the tipping material adds a measure of reliability. Parker's engineering prowess allows the Janesville company to create a writing surface both smooth and "grippy," a nib tuned to write at the lightest touch, yet taking increased pressure in stride. This nib lays down a consistent XF line of about 0.3 mm (on my paper).

Parker "Striped" Duofold Senior Fountain Pen, Vacumatic, Green & Gold, XF, nib close-up

If you have been looking for a beautiful pen that writes the most enjoyable, dependable business cursive, look no further. If you are a lover of modern Japanese nibs, you're in for a real treat. And if you've been trying to take your penmanship to the next level, this pen might be just what your handwriting needs.

Parker "Striped" Duofold Senior Fountain Pen, Vacumatic, Green & Gold, XF, capped

The pen is in excellent condition, without any flaws or defects, and is priced at $199. Please, contact me if you're interested in ordering it, and I will email you a PayPal invoice. Shipping fees are listed on this page. Thanks!

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Golden Pearl, XF

(Sold)  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 around 5.1" capped and 0.48" in diameter.

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

Yesterday, I saw an amazing post on Instagram showing a trio of OMAS Arco celluloid pens, and it reminded me that it must be the most beautiful pen material ever made. My next thought was, how about the 1940s Parker Vacumatic? Quite frankly, the Golden Pearl celluloid must be at least in the same conversation as the Arco, quite possibly a runner-up. Wouldn't you agree?

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Golden Pearl, XF, nib profile

The celluloid exudes timeless beauty. The Vac has been around for decades, yet it manages to look fresh and exciting, while other classic designs have a somewhat more dated appearance. The shimmering, gleaming material explodes in a myriad of colors and patterns, most of which  unique to each individual pen. The stacking of the different layers of celluloid resulted in creating a semi-transparent barrel, which allows you to watch your pen fill (awesome!) and gauge remaining ink level with ease. It's such an ingenious design, and yet it remains unmatched by any modern acrylic, in my opinion. The pen really does make you smile, as if emanating warmth, pleasantness. The rich, vibrant browns and yellows certainly add to that perception, as does the unique tactile sensation that only vintage celluloid has.

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

Yes, the material is gorgeous, but the pen is also a top performer. The 14k nib, thanks to its ingenious design and manufacturing process, is a true expert at reducing paper vibrations and, thus, giving its owner a resolute, forthright, yet entirely cushioned ride. It's a rare nib that is made to be firm, yet feels soft. I tuned it to write at the lightest touch, as required by Parker, but it will also take increased pressure in stride, giving you more generous flow and a hint of line variation. The nib just wants to go, as if to attack the paper; it wants you to write more, making the most beautiful strokes, down, up, and across, including glorious curves (about 0.4 mm on my paper). It's a pen that wants to make you push yourself that much harder, write that much longer. It's such an exciting, wonderful thing to just pick it up, ink it up, and put it to paper. The reward is instantaneous.

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Golden Pearl, XF, material close-up

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

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Emerald Pearl, F

(Sold) This is a 1946 Blue Diamond Parker Vacumatic Major fountain pen in Emerald Pearl celluloid, with a 14k gold Fine 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). This is a full-size pen, measuring around 5.1" capped and 0.48" in diameter.

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Emerald Pearl, F, uncapped

Most fountain pen enthusiasts, even those who do not currently own a vintage pen, would agree that the Parker Vacumatic is utterly beautiful. Most people are also aware of its ingenious, high-capacity filling mechanism. However, fewer people are aware of the pen's incredible writing performance. Quite simply, the Vacumatic is one of the best writers ever made. There, I said it.

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Emerald Pearl, F, nib profile

What is it exactly that makes the Vacumatic such an awesome performer? As with most things, it's a combination of factors, including its superb ergonomics, the ink delivery system, and, of course, the nib. Made of 14k gold, the nib might look like modern nibs by the likes of Pelikan, Montblanc, Bock, etc., but the similarities are superficial only. The nib has a continuously varying thickness, which combined with the properties of the alloy (developed by annealing, tempering, and hammering) gives the nib incredible elasticity and vibration dampening ability.

As the nib moves across the surface of the paper, it begins to vibrate. These vibrations, let's call them "paper buzz," are experienced as "roughness" or "toothiness." Modern pen makers try to minimize these unwanted sensations by polishing the writing surface (the tipping material) to an extreme degree. While that might give the user a momentary sensation of smoothness, it also compromises the nib's writing ability, reducing friction and impeding capillary flow. Parker's solution to the "paper buzz" problem was radically different, and it involved engineering a vibration dampening mechanism into the nib, but, crucially, without overpolishing the writing surface. The result is a nib that writes consistently at the lightest touch, feels smooth, including rapid upstrokes and cross-strokes, and will give you a hint of line variation if called upon to do so. It's really is a genius piece of writing technology! 

The pen's in excellent condition, without any flaws or defects, with gorgeous, gleaming celluloid of incredible depth and vibrancy. The gold-filled trim is in equally great shape. A beautiful specimen! 

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Emerald Pearl, F, capped

Parker "Striped" Duofold Ingenue Fountain Pen, Blue Pearl, F

(Sold) This is a 1940s Blue Diamond Parker "Striped" Duofold Ingenue Fountain Pen with a Vacumatic filling mechanism, in Blue Pearl celluloid, with a 14k gold Fine 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 soft cloth. The pen measures 4.8" capped and 0.43" in diameter.

Parker "Striped" Duofold Ingenue Fountain Pen, Blue Pearl, F, uncapped

Which modern fountain pen would you call "cute?" There are lots of plain pens, elegant pens, classy pens, luxurious pens, beautiful pens, but cute?  I am sure you all can think of a lot of cute pens, but I'm finding the question difficult and a Google search isn't helping, either. However, if I am allowed to include vintage pens, it would have to be the Parker "Striped" Duofold Ingenue. 

Parker "Striped" Duofold Ingenue Fountain Pen, Blue Pearl, F, nib profile

Marketed towards women, the flagship Ingenue is a dainty pen that looks like a piece of jewelry rather than a writing instrument. Parker claimed that, in various opinion polls, "Lead and other pen," which was particularly true of the Duofold line. The gorgeous celluloid explodes in a rainbow of colors, vibrant and bright, resembling a Medieval stained glass window, including barrel transparency. The stylish gold-filled trim offers a bit of luxury, class, while adding some warmth to the dominant cooler tones of the Blue Pearl celluloid.

Today, marketing a "lady" pen would be risky, and calling it "Ingenue" might even be perceived as offensive, yet this pen is clearly made for a smaller hand. I can think of many scenarios where having this pen would be awesome, ranging from formal business meetings to solitary long writing sessions at your favorite coffee shop. And, with the holidays approaching, it would make a fantastic gift to usher a friend or family member into the exciting world of fountain pens. But most of all, this is one of the cutest pens I've ever seen, and that means a lot to me! How can you NOT be tempted add it to your collection?

The pen writes a consistent line of about 0.4 mm, and it most likely sold as a Fine. The 1940s Duofold nibs are not the most exciting gold points ever made, but they are responsive, reliable, almost business-like. This particular nib is no exception. It writes at the lightest pressure, but will take a heavy hand in stride, dampening paper vibrations with ease and providing that highly coveted gliding sensation as it moves across the paper.

The pen is in great shape! There are no defects or flaws. The material is beautiful, as is the gold-filled trim. The imprint is a bit faded, but visible clearly. The filling mechanism works easily, efficiently, and holds a lot of ink. You should be able to use most conventional inks currently available, just remember never to let ink dry up inside the pen. If you're going to put the pen away for a few weeks, just flush it with water a couple of times.

Parker "Striped" Duofold Ingenue Fountain Pen, Blue Pearl, F, 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, Golden Pearl, XXF

(Sold) This is a 1944 Blue Diamond Parker Vacumatic Major in Golden Pearl celluloid, gold-filled trim, and a 14k gold XXF (needlepoint) 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, Golden Pearl, XXF, uncapped, with the blind cap off

The quote I wrote comes from a Parker wartime advertisement, showing a mother with a daughter, looking  at a photograph of their husband/father in a U.S. Army officer's uniform. Today, such an ad would probably face a lot of criticism, but, regardless, one must appreciate the fact that the Vacumatic was designed to be a daily "workhorse" kind of pen to be used in all kinds of environments, including out in the field, at sea, and in the air, and it proved to be a reliable tool for tens of thousands of American servicemen.

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Golden Pearl, XXF, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment

What makes the Vacumatic such a good daily writer? Bearing the Blue Diamond lifetime warranty, the pen was designed from ground up to be a tough, dependable writing instrument. I've restored countless Vacs, and I rarely come across any cracks or material malformations. The celluloid of which the pens were made, is of the highest quality, stable, suitable for machining, resilient against environmental challenges, and, most importantly, drop-dead gorgeous. The filling mechanism, despite having some plastic parts, is equally dependable as the pen's body. It's an ingenious mechanism, and it has definitely stood the test of time. I must point out, though, that the pen is meant for heavy daily use, rather than for frequent ink changes and sporadic, quick note type of scenarios. Finally, the 14k gold nib. Though it's not as huge and thick as its competition (e.g., Sheaffer's Lifetime), it's, nevertheless, a reliable gold point, with just the right amount of tipping material, and of excellent geometry.

In the hand, the Vacumatic is supremely comfortable, it becomes an extension of your hand, and, hence, your thoughts. Writing with the Vac is such a pleasant experience. It's so effortless, gliding across the page, as if hovering above it.

This particular nib is a rare needlepoint, writing a line of about 0.2 mm (on my paper) with light pressure. Despite being very fine, it's also incredibly smooth, writing confident rapid strokes in virtually all directions, without feeling scratchy or catching the paper. Today, if you want a needlepoint nib, your only option is a custom grind. Yes, you can buy a Japanese XXF nib, but such nibs are designed to be used primarily with Japanese handwriting where short, downward strokes are required. If you have small handwriting, if you need to write a lot on poor-quality paper, or if you write a business cursive (e.g., Spencerian penmanship, Palmer Method, etc.), this nib is likely to become one of your top performers.

Cosmetically, the pen is in great shape! There are no defects or flaws, just very minor surface wear, difficult to see with the naked eye. The gold-filled trim is in equally great condition. The imprint is strong.

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Golden Pearl, XXF, capped, the red hues indicate barrel transparency

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, Golden Pearl, XF Semi-Flex

(Sold) This is a 1945 Blue Diamond Parker Vacumatic Major in Golden Pearl celluloid, with a transparent barrel, 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 (by hand). The pen measures 5.1" capped and 0.48" in diameter.

Parker Vacumatic Major, Golden Pearl, XF Semi-Flex, uncapped, with the blind cap removed

In 1945, the U.S. fountain pen industry was thriving, despite a severe economic crisis, including material and labor shortages. Parker continued making its highly-successful Blue Diamond Vacumatic pens, perfecting their design and manufacturing process. The pen I'm offering today is a great example of the model, made out of the gorgeous Golden Pearl celluloid, with an awesome 14k gold XF semi-flexible nib. The pen looks virtually as good as new. The shimmering, gleaming celluloid has incredible depth and vibrancy. The gold-filled trim is in equally great shape. Barrel transparency is so good, it looks as though the pen had never been filled. The imprint is strong. And the nib, oh the nib!

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

Despite some obvious similarities, each pen I restore is unique. I select from among vintage pens that can, potentially, make excellent daily writers, even for people who are new to the fountain pen hobby. Sometimes, I come across a pen that's special. This pen is one of those pens.

Parker Vacumatic Major, Golden Pearl, XF Semi-Flex, nib close-up

What makes it special? Yes, it's in amazing cosmetic condition and has been overhauled, serviced, and ready for your favorite ink. But what makes it truly awesome is the nib. The nib will be particularly appealing to those of you who like Japanese fine and extra-fine nibs. It lays down a confident, self-assured line of about 0.3 mm (on my paper) when writing with a light hand (0.6" with increased pressure). It's been tuned to perform flawlessly at the lightest pressure, grabbing onto the surface of the paper and not letting go until you command it otherwise. If you press harder, the nib is going to respond with a pleasant "give," opening up just enough to give you a hint of line variation, adding character to your handwriting. No, it's not flexible enough for Spencerian or Ornamental Penmanship broad swells, but it will be great for a business cursive, and virtually any modern "small" handwriting.

The nib makes it a fantastically versatile tool. If you fill it with a dry ink, you'll be able to use it as a dedicated office writer. If you ink it up with a wet, saturated ink, you're going to get that awesome juicy flow, which, combined with the line variation, is going to bring the best out of your inks, particularly shading, even sheen. It's a very fine point, yet it's very smooth and easy to use. Quite honestly, this nib is likely to outperform a lot of modern gold nibs, unless, of course, you prefer very firm nibs, such as those on a Platinum #3776.

This pen would be an ideal first "top-tier" vintage pen for a fountain pen enthusiast, and it would make a fantastic Christmas gift for a family member or close friend. If you intend this to be a present, please, let me know and I will include a nice gift box with the pen.

Parker Vacumatic Major, Golden Pearl, XF Semi-Flex, capped

Parker Lucky Curve in Black Chased Hard Rubber, XXF Full-Flex

(On hold) This is a 1920s Parker Lucky Curve "ring top" button-filler fountain pen in black chased hard rubber (BCHR) with a 14k gold XXF full-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).

Parker Lucky Curve in Black Chased Hard Rubber, XXF Full-Flex, uncapped

This is a superb example of the well-respected and highly collectible Parker Lucky Curve from the 1920s. It's in amazing condition, without any trace of wear or fading, which plagues the vast majority of BCHR pens from that era. The pen looks as good as new, and it would be a perfect specimen for the high-end collector. The imprint is strong.

Parker Lucky Curve in Black Chased Hard Rubber, XXF Full-Flex, nib close-up

The pen was designed specifically with Spencerian penmanship in mind. It's a classic "ring top," meant to be worn around one's neck, so it's a lightweight, compact pen when capped (4.5"). However, it converts to a full-size pen when posted (5.7"), as it is meant to be used that way. In terms of ergonomics, the pen resembles those of a well-designed dip pen holder, with a somewhat long, streamlined shape and great balance. It's extremely comfortable to hold, lightweight, and very pleasant to the touch. The button filling mechanism works flawlessly and holds a lot of ink. 

The pen is a calligrapher's tool, a high-precision writing instrument, capable of producing beautiful penmanship. It was designed for a skilled hand, and will perform as well as any flexible pen of that era. I would rank it as a "full-flex," just shy of being a wet noodle, but it offers excellent flexibility, and fantastic snap-back. With light pressure, it writes an XXF line of about 0.3 mm (on my paper), and you can get the line even thinner if you use dry ink and dry paper. The nib excels at transitions between hairlines and swells, which is the cornerstone of Ornamental Penmanship. If you are new to flexible nibs, this pen is probably not for you, unless you're willing to learn its dynamics and try to write with a light hand. The best news is this pen had not been used much in the past, if at all, which means the nib is free from any (invisible) damage that many vintage flex nibs develop over time (due to using excessive pressure). The tipping material is ample and of perfect geometry. 

Parker Lucky Curve in Black Chased Hard Rubber, XXF Full-Flex, posted

Parker "Striped" Duofold Vacumatic Senior, Dusty Red, F

(Sold) This is a 1945 Blue Diamond Parker "Striped" Duofold Vacumatic Senior in Dusty Red celluloid, with a 14k gold Fine 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 was Parker's flagship pen at the time, a large instrument, measuring 5.4" capped and 0.49" in diameter.

Parker "Striped" Duofold Vacumatic Senior, Dusty Red, F, uncapped

The Duofold has been Parker's flagship model for decades. Parker collectors like to debate which variant has been the Janesville company's "best" or "most successful" design. I am far from joining the debate, as I'd have to side literally with everybody - I love them all. However, there's something truly special about the "Striped" Duofold from the 1940s.

Parker "Striped" Duofold Vacumatic Senior, Dusty Red, F, nib close-up

Whether it's the material, or the shape, or perhaps the filling mechanism, the pen is, in my opinion, one of the most successful designs of all time. Yes, I said it!  I love its overall shape. It's classic, yes, but manages to be original, especially with the slightly angular shape of the blind cap. The material is breathtaking! I must admit, this Dusty Red is particularly gorgeous. It has immense, shimmering depth. It's as though you're looking into a tropical ocean, full of exotic sea life, reflecting sunlight in a multitude of colors as they move beneath the surface. Barrel transparency adds both character and dimension, while providing very useful functionality. The subtle, classy gold-filled trim is seamlessly integrated into the streamlined design, and is in perfect shape here. Quite honestly, this is as close to new-old-stock as I have seen the "Duovac" in a long time.

But the most exciting feature of this pen, to me, is its writing performance. The balance, posted or not, is perfect, at least for my hand. The section, slightly concave, very comfortable, and should accommodate a variety of grips. And the nib is among the best ever made. Utterly delightful.

It's a very interesting nib. It's firm but feels soft on paper. It's tuned to write at the lightest touch, but it will take a heavier hand in stride. If you ink it up with a dry ink, such as this R&K Scabiosa, you're going to have a phenomenal office writer, but one that manages to remain exciting, nimble, and  capable of bringing out subtle shading in the ink. If you fill it with a more conventional ink, you'll have an effortless, gliding writer, hovering above the surface of the paper on a thin layer of ink, laying down the most enjoyable line ever. Line width, in my tests, varies between 0.4 mm and 0.5 mm, depending on ink, paper, and writing pressure. If you're expecting a lot of line variation, this nib is not for you. Its best property is its ability to dampen high-frequency vibrations resulting from dragging the point across the rough surface of the paper. A phenomenal writer!

Parker "Striped" Duofold Vacumatic Senior, Dusty Red, F, capped

Parker Vacumatic Major, Emerald Pearl, XF

(SOLD) This is a 1945 Blue Diamond Parker Vacumatic Major in Emerald Pearl celluloid, with 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). 

Parker Vacumatic Major, Emerald Pearl, XF, uncapped, with the blind cap off

In 1945, the world lay in ruins. I grew up in a country ravaged by wars, suffering decades of unrest and poverty following the conclusion of WWII. It's difficult for me to imagine a parallel world in which the Parker Vacumatic could have been conceived, brought to market, and enjoyed by millions. The magnitude of Parker's success is staggering, though, today, with the pen industry being a mere shadow of what it once was, it might be hard to appreciate it.

Parker Vacumatic Major, Emerald Pearl, XF, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment

The Janesville company ran a successful series of advertisements highlighting the new filling mechanism. Indeed, the Vacumatic mechanism was revolutionary at the time. It's easy to use, efficient, and holds a lot of ink. Moreover, the plunger is hidden by a cleverly designed blind cap, which does not disturb the graceful lines of the pen, as a lever mechanism unavoidably would.

Today, in the market dominated by C/C fillers, the Vacumatic seems like a pen from another era, an almost ancient piece of technology. It's only natural, particularly for new fountain pen enthusiasts to wonder if it works well, if it's durable, easy to use, and if it's superior to disposable ink cartridges. I can assure you that a well-restored Vacumatic filling mechanism functions perfectly and will give you years of dependable service. Just be careful not to let ink dry up inside your pen repeatedly, or the internal pieces may become inoperable.

The pen I'm offering today is a beautiful specimen of the Vacumatic Major. Made of the gleaming, shimmering Emerald Pearl celluloid, with superb gold-filled trim, and a large 14k gold nib, the pen looks virtually as good as new. If you saw it in a display case next to the latest Montegrappa or Visconti, you'd absolutely think it belonged alongside those expensive modern gems. 

The pen comes vested with a fantastic XF nib that lays down a consistent, juicy line of about 0.3 mm (on my paper). The nib is firm, yet feels soft on paper. There's ample tipping material, of perfect geometry. Clearly, this pen did not see much use back in the 1940s, and must have spent the subsequent decades put away safely, in favorable conditions. The pen writes a line that never hesitates, never skips, never starves for ink. It is smooth without being overly polished. It writes excellent upstrokes, at the lightest touch. It would be a perfect nib with which to writes a business cursive or American Cursive Handwriting. It would probably not make a great office paper, as ink flow is a bit too wet for the poor-quality office paper, unless you use a dry ink, such as Diamine Registrar's Blue Black. You would be hard-pressed to find a modern nib of equal performance and enjoyable feel on paper. Even the best Japanese nibs aren't as efficient at absorbing vibrations resulting from dragging the point across the paper. A superb writer!

Parker Vacumatic Major, Emerald Pearl, XF, capped

 

 

Parker Vacumatic Major, Golden Pearl, XF Full-Flex

(Sold) This is a 194  Blue Diamond Parker Vacumatic Major fountain pen in Golden Pearl celluloid, with a 14k gold, two-tone XF Full-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, and it measures 5.1" capped and 0.48" in diameter.

Parker Vacumatic Major, Golden Pearl, XF Full-Flex, uncapped

Parker make a few kinds of nibs for its highly successful Vacumatic line. They all share one thing in common - a superb writing performance. The nib's ability to write a consistent, juicy line and its soft, gliding feel rank among the best ever made. Today, decades after the last Vacumatic left the factory, very few modern nib makers can boast a similarly high level of nib design, engineering, and craftsmanship. Most Vacumatic nibs are of the firm variety. After all, the pen was guaranteed for life (the Blue Diamond series), and a firm nib was more resilient to heavy-pressure writing. The Janesville company also made a semi-flex nib, which is less common, but equally good in terms of performance. A discerning customer was  also able to special-order a fully flexible nib that was designed specifically for Spencerian and Ornamental Penmanship. Such nibs are very rare today, and, understandably, remain highly sought after by calligraphers and collectors alike.

Parker Vacumatic Major, Golden Pearl, XF Full-Flex, nib profile

The pen I am offering today comes vested with a rare, two-tone XF Full-Flex nib. With light pressure (i.e., "normal writing"), the pen writes a fantastic XF line of about 0.3 mm. With increased pressure, the tines open up with ease to produce a wide and juicy line of up to 1.3 mm, with excellent snap-back. Many flexible vintage nibs on the secondary market have signs of having been abused, flexed outside of their normal range. This nib, however, is perfect, virtually without any signs of use. It has ample tipping material, of excellent geometry. The tines are perfectly aligned, and I tuned the nib to write a somewhat wet line with light pressure so that you can take advantage of its ability to write a beautiful hairline with a light hand. For the best calligraphic effect, I recommend that you use a dry-writing ink (here, a KWZ IG Violet #3), which will enable you to get very subtle gradations of line width, necessary for the graceful transitions between hairlines and swells in Ornamental Penmanship.

This pen will perform at its best in a skilled hand. If you don't have much experience with vintage flex nibs, I recommend that you go slowly and gently, at least at first. High-quality flex performance is not about how soft the nib is or how wide it opens up. Rather, it's about the nib's responsiveness to minute variations in pressure, and this nib excels at that.

Cosmetically, the pen is simply gorgeous, without any flaws or defects. The celluloid has a vibrant color of incredible depth and chatoyancy. Barrel transparency is very good, the imprint is strong, and the gold-filled trim as good as new. Quite honestly, this is a beautiful pen. The only issue is a very slight plating loss on the nib, which happens to the vast majority of 1940s Vacumatics, and it has no bearing on performance.

Parker Vacumatic Major, Golden Pearl, XF Full-Flex, capped

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Golden Pearl, F (NOS)

(Sold) This is a 1946 Blue Diamond Parker Vacumatic Major fountain pen in Golden Pearl celluloid, with a 14k gold Fine nib. The pen is in a new-old-stock (NOS) condition, but I did restore it, as the filling mechanism had hardened over time, and the nib needed a tune-up. The pen was disassembled, cleaned, the filling mechanism overhauled, the nib tuned, and I polished it gently with a soft cloth. However, you can be sure that the pen has never been inked up.

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Golden Pearl, F (NOS), uncapped

How would you like to be able to walk into a fountain pen store, seventy years ago, and pick out a brand-new Parker Vacumatic from inside a beautiful glass display case? I know I'd love the opportunity! Well, I have the next best thing for you today, a new-old-stock, unused Parker Vacumatic Major in gorgeous Golden Pearl celluloid, with a fantastic 14k gold Fine nib. The pen is as beautiful today as it was the day it left the factory, literally. Most pens that have spent seventy years in storage do not write well, which is why I also restored and tuned the pen's ink and feed system, so that it's ready either for your display case or your favorite ink, whichever you prefer.

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Golden Pearl, F (NOS), nib profile

Over the decades, the rubber diaphragm has hardened and, as a result, the filling mechanism was "sticky." I decided to take the pen apart and restore it, the way I usually do, so that the pen is as gorgeous as it is functional when you receive it. I hope this gives you that incredible feeling of going back in time to the time when the fountain pen ruled the office.

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Golden Pearl, F (NOS), nib close-up

Needless to say, the pen is in impeccable condition. The celluloid is so vibrant, so full of chatoyancy, so smooth. Barrel transparency is perfect. You can watch the pen getting filled, and you can watch how you favorite ink sloshes inside it. Of course, once you've bought the pen, you can fill it with whatever ink you want, but I'd encourage you to avoid permanent, cellulose-reactive inks, in particular, as they will stain the material, thus making the barrel opaque. Gold-filled trim is perfect, the imprint is strong.

The pen writes beautifully. Parker tuned its nibs in the 1940s to write at the lightest touch, and that's where this pen performs optimally. However, it will take greater pressure in stride and reward you with a gentle, pleasant "spring" and you might even get a hint of line variation. With light pressure, the pen writes a confident, consistent line of about 0.3 mm, but it will widen with increased pressure. I think this would be an ideal pen with which to enjoy the shading and sheen of your favorite inks, but less ideal as a daily office writer, esp. on poor-quality copy paper.

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Golden Pearl, F (NOS), capped

Parker Vacumatic Major, Silver Pearl, F

(SOLD) This is a 1945 Blue Diamond Parker Vacumatic Major in Silver Pearl celluloid, with nickel-plated trim, and a 14k gold Fine 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 hand polish. This is a full-size pen, measuring 5.1" capped and 0.48" in diameter.

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

Stealthy-looking pens are in vogue these days. However, stealth was not a common look in the vintage pen world. The pen I am offering today is as close to a monochromatic color scheme as it gets for pens made in the first half of the 20th century. I hope you find it interesting.

Parker Vacumatic Major, Silver Pearl, F, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment.

The Vacumatic is in fantastic condition. The Silver Pearl celluloid is smooth, deep, and rich in color. The barrel has nice transparency, so you can see the Vacumatic filling mechanism work its wonders and gauge remaining ink level with ease. The nickel-plated trim is in excellent condition, particularly given how poorly it typically wore over time. Simply put, this is a beautiful writing instrument that should satisfy even the most discerning fountain pen connoisseurs.

The start of the show here is the 14k gold nib. It writes a generous Fine line (about 0.5 mm on my paper) that is wet and luscious. It's the kind of nib that brings out the beauty in your favorite inks. You're going to see your inks shade and sheen better than in most modern pens. The large nib, along with the two-channel oversize ebonite feed, are going to provide a superb writing experience. The nib is tuned to write at the lightest pressure, as Parker intended, but it will take a heavy hand in stride, rewarding its owner with a pleasant, cushioned ride across the paper, but without the feeling of being disconnected from the page, without skipping or skidding out of control. If you use a dry ink, such as Rohrer & Klingner Salix, the nib will write a slightly thinner, more conservative line, suitable for office use.

Parker Vacumatic Major, Silver Pearl, F, 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.