Where it all began…Parker 45 Flighter

Lots of you out there have a story to tell about what exactly got you into fountain pens. In this blog post I will tell you about my journey.

The genesis of my obsession fondness of all things fountain pens began when I was about 10 or 11 years old. My mum and dad presented me with a new, ‘Parker 45 Flighter’ and a bottle of blue Parker Quink. The reason for the ink was simple. The pen came with a converter.

I used up the bottle of blue ink fairly quickly and a trip to ‘Brkers of Kensington’ long before it became a glorified Tesco, resulted in me returning with a bottle of black ink. I preferred black ink and used it exclusively for the next decade. (This I now find quite strange as I rarely use black ink at all any more). For almost 10 years I used this pen virtually every day. It got me through my O-levels, A-levels and part-way through my first year at university. I didn’t own any other pens – something I now find almost inconceivable!

At some point I remember taking some silver polish to it and by the time I had finished, the brushed chrome finish was no more. I was left with a shiny, mirror-like finish. When I went up to university, I stopped off for some stationery bits and pieces at Selfridges (braving the makeup and perfume department) and saw a LAMY 2000 fountain pen. Dip testing it, I instantly took a liking to it. A trip to a cash point in Cavendish Square and a LAMY 2000 was mine.

The Parker 45 made the long walk back to the pavilion and I am sad to say not called up for the first eleven ever again. The LAMY 2000 was simply a much better pen in every way. The nib was smoother, the filling mechanism was better/could hold more ink and it just looked so unique and different. I still own both pens however I rarely use the Parker 45 anymore. I do however use my LAMY 2000 frequently.

Last week I inked up my Parker 45 and used it as part of my daily carry for the first time in ages. I did enjoy using it but confess to longing for some of my favourites from the Conid, Visconti or LAMY stable. I suppose my tastes have changed greatly. I tend to like large pens with bigger nibs, interesting filling systems and more elaborate materials. I still have a soft spot for the 45 though. I will never sell or gift this pen to anyone. It will remain part of my humble group of pens, albeit not used a great deal.

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