421 of 483 people found the following review helpful
The answer to a question no one asked,
This review is from: Parker Ingenuity Large Daring Black Rubber and Metal Chrome Trim (CT) 5th Technology Mode Pen (S0959230) (Office Product)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Program (What's this?)Did you ever ask the question "why doesn't someone make a pen that looks like a fountain pen, but really isn't a fountain pen"? I surely never did, and doubt anyone else has done so, but Parker has answered the question anyway. Parker's answer is called the "Ingenuity 5th Technology Mode Pen," a moniker as weighty as the pen itself.
Having received this pen from the Vine program, I had no idea what it might cost, but given its heft and pretension to serious "pen-ness," I had an idea it might well be a couple hundred - and so it appears to be at Parker's retail price.
If, as I am, you are a fountain pen collector always on the lookout for a new and fascinating fountain pen to put in the shirt pocket rotation, you will not be interested in this one at all - because as I explain below, although it goes to some lengths to look like a fountain pen, this isn't a fountain pen at all! For those who are not serious about fountain pens but want a "serious" and expensive looking pen, or those who really enjoy using ceramic or roller or composition tipped pens, it can be somewhat recommended, although its weight and size may be off-putting to anyone who is used to carrying a roller ball or ballpoint pen around in a shirt or coat pocket every day. However, if you are among those who firmly believe that a writing instrument should be a cheap, disposable item, and take offense at the idea that anyone would spend more than a few bucks on a pen, no matter how finely made it may be, or whether it is a piston filled fountain pen or rollerball, modern or vintage, large production or limited edition, you no doubt made up your mind when you saw the price -- before you even scrolled down to look at this review. The design, workmanship and function of this particular offering will mean nothing to you one way or the other. I can save you a lot of time. If the price offends you, you have no need to read further; and the rest of us really will derive no benefit from hearing your opinion of folks who do think it makes sense to invest a couple of hundred dollars or more in a fine fountain pen - which this item, incidentally, is not.
As for the pen, it is an unusually heavy writing instrument, one you are not too likely to clip in your pocket on a daily basis. It is reasonably well balanced, and without the cap posted, it is not at all uncomfortable in the hand. Right out of the box, it has a plastic, 'dummy refill' inside, which has a fine, pointed plastic tip that protrudes from a metal 'hood' that is fashioned in the form of a dummy fountain pen nib. The dummy refill also is fitted with what looks like the serrated comb feed of a fountain pen - for reasons I cannot fathom other than to go one step further with the ersatz fountain pen theme. It took me a moment to grasp that this was not a fountain pen at all, but a fine line, composition tip with a ballpoint/rollerball style refill.
The real, ink-filled refill, with a working tip, is hidden in the bottom of the small presentation box in which the Ingenuity is packaged. I unscrewed the section and barrel of the pen, inserted the working refill, and was yet again amazed to discover this is indeed the intent and design - a fountain pen that isn't, a fountain pen nib and feed that isn't, with a tiny composition tip peeking out from under the pseudo-nib and pseudo-feed. I kept reading the scant instructions - which are really just pictorials for various Ingenuity models - thinking I must be missing something, that there must be a way to make this work as a fountain pen and fill it with a converter or a cartridge, if not from an inkwell. I could be totally off the mark, but the answer appears to be what you see is all there is - a fine composition tip ink refill, like any other ball, roller, ceramic/composition tip pen.
Out of the box, it writes consistently and smoothly - but of course, without the feel, the flex or the character of the line created by a decent fountain pen nib. I can create a similar tip and a similar line with a nicely sharpened, good quality graphite pencil from any one of a number of reputable manufacturers, like Faber Castell or Rhodia, and do so when I am not in the mood to use one of my fountain pens. After a week or so, I have noticed the pen has begun to 'skip,' which is a bit of a concern. If that is all the use one can get out of a refill, then the cost of operation is a bit ridiculous. If the tip simply does not flow ink particularly well, that is also a concern. For all the pseudo-fountain pen frou frou, heft and finish -- not to mention the price -- it should at least function well as a felt tip pen!
Allowing for the fact that others may appreciate composition tip pens more than I do, I give it two stars. However, I would not personally buy one for myself or as a gift. In my view, the marketing and design folks at Parker have not come up with a winner.
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Showing 1-10 of 30 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 29, 2012 9:51:04 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Jan 31, 2012 12:44:29 PM PST]
Posted on Jan 29, 2012 2:46:28 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Jan 27, 2013 8:37:29 PM PST]
Posted on Jan 29, 2012 9:54:57 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 30, 2012 9:55:42 AM PST
I know I sound naive here, but this is an honest question from someone truly interested in purchasing some quality fountain pens. (I was not seriously looking at buying the Parker, just saw a sidebar ad and got curious, then I saw your review!)
I bought a few cartridge fountain pens back when I was in college 20 years ago, inexpensive ones (since I was basically penniless back then), but I still have notebooks from that time and admire my handwriting with those pens! I remember how I loved writing with them, and have not found a rollerball that has come close to the visual impact I achieved with my fountain pens.
What would you recommend as the best-quality instruments now available, for someone who loves to write in cursive with a fountain pen? Not necessarily the most expensive (it's easy to search for that!) but the finest quality, the ones that give finest line, and, yes, relative to price? I have a young child so I think a cartridge pen would be less...dangerous than one that requires an inkwell, though I'd consider either one. I would really love to teach my son to write beautifully with a fountain pen, as well. My ex is if the mind that it doesn't matter if you can spell, or if you have nice handwriting anymore since "everything" is done on computers with spellcheck. I could not disagree more.
Thanks for any advice you can provide.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2012 7:00:19 AM PST
C. Vance says:
Parker makes a nice fountain pen for a reasonable price, around $50 here on Amazon.Parker Urban Premium Chiseled Medium Point Fountain Pen, Metallic Black (1774704) is one example.
You can search for others too.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2012 7:09:52 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Jan 30, 2012 7:10:42 AM PST]
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2012 9:08:37 AM PST
M. WILLIAMS says:
Hello, Emily. The best forum on fountain pens is fountainpennetwork dot com. But I can give you a few tips now. In my view (and opinions vary greatly, of course) the best make is Pelikan. At some point look at those. They make a very good child's pen called Pelikano, and an excellent 'proper' model from about £65 (in Britain), the Pelikan M200. This is a steel-nibbed pen, and better than most other manufacturers' expensive gold-nibbed ones. But I greatly recommend that you look up the Lamy Safari or Lamy Vista on Amazon, check the reviews, and get one. They are probably the best starter pens out there. If I can advise you further, feel free to ask.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2012 9:12:56 AM PST
I second that. Pelikan fountain pens are well made, they have a reliable piston fill mechanism and come in a wide range of sizes, prices and designs. Good all around pens.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2012 10:04:05 AM PST
Thanks to all three of you! I'll check out the forum you suggested, and will give the Pelikans a try. I love that they make a child's pen - as most children do, my son loves to have his own version of grown-up things.
I'll give a couple of the $50-range pens a try, as well.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2012 10:46:30 AM PST
M. WILLIAMS says:
Feel able to ask questions you feel might be naive on that forum. They're very friendly towards novices.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2012 3:07:50 PM PST
Amazon Chuck says:
I agree you can find all the suggestions and answers at FountainPenForums dot com. Also consider starting out as a step above Pelikan Pelikano (which is a fine inexpensive pen), looking for Lamy Safari, Waterman Phileas, TWSBI 540, Levenger True Writer, and others. If you want to tinker, for $20 there is a Noodler's Ahab. There are tons of selections beyond those according to tastes, appearance, feel, cost, etc.