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 Striped Duofold Senior Vacumatic, Blue Pearl, XF

(SOLD) This is a 1945 Blue Diamond Parker Striped Duofold Vacumatic in Blue 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 Striped Duofold Senior Vacumatic, Blue Pearl, XF, uncapped, with the plunger blind cap removed

In anticipation of #fountainpenday2016, I have another beautiful, rare pen at a reasonable price. The Duofold has been Parker's flagship pen for decades. In the 1940s, the "Striped" Vacumatic Duofold was among the most beautiful pens of the era. The gleaming, shimmering Blue Pearl celluloid has incredible depth and chatoyancy. The colors explode in a rainbow of subtle variations of blue, red, orange, yellow, while the clear portions of the material allow you to see the ink sloshing around inside the barrel. It is a streamlined, elegant design, with graceful lines undisturbed by a filling contraption (such as a lever). The material is in excellent cosmetic condition, as is the gold-filled trim. Barrel transparency is excellent, the imprint is strong. If you've been disappointed by the gaudy modern acrylics and wanted to try a classy celluloid pen of awesome beauty, look no further.

Parker Striped Duofold Senior Vacumatic, Blue Pearl, XF, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry, perfect alignment, transparency in the barrel, and a strong imprint

The Senior was the largest model in Parker's line-up, measuring  5.4" capped. The pen posts very well, so it will feel comfortable even for people with large hands. An instrument of superb ergonomics, the Duofold is also a fantastic writer. The phrase I wrote comes from a Parker advertisement, and it describes this pen perfectly. The nib is ground and tuned to perfection. It writes at the lightest pressure, under its own weight, and will write consistent strokes of about 0.4 mm (on my paper) in virtually any direction, including curves and rapid upstrokes. The nib is firm, yet feels soft on paper, thanks to its ability to absorb micro-shocks coming from dragging the writing surface across the paper. Would you be able to find a modern pen that writes as well? Unlikely, even if you have your pen tuned by a nib meister. The vintage nib, made in a process that's largely lost to us, seems tailor-made for people who love to write. If you give yourself this pen as a gift, it'll be a gift that will keep on giving for years to come.

Write here...Parker Striped Duofold Senior Vacumatic, Blue Pearl, XF, capped