Review by Laura Cameron
In my ongoing quest to try every pen I can get my hands on, my most recent acquisition is the Parker IM Fountain Pen in Light Purple with Chrome Trim and a fine nib ($41). This one appealed to me because of the look, the price point and the brand name.
The body features a brushed finish in purple and all the trim is chrome, making this a stylish, modern looking pen. The postable cap features a contoured end cap and the standard Parker Arrow pen clip. The nib is a Parker stainless steel fine nib. The Parker IM comes with an ink cartridge and a converter can be easily purchased separately.
When I received this pen, I was really pleased with it in terms of look and feel. I immediately filled it up with some Diamine Ancient Copper, found a notebook and took it for a spin.
I had a bit of an interesting experience with this one which, in hindsight, was related to the ink I was using. At first I had a bit of trouble getting the ink to flow smoothly through the nib, but after a bit it wrote fairly smoothly. I found the fine nib a little bit scratchy, despite switching position while writing.
Over the next few days I kept pulling out this pen, and that’s when I discovered that the ink sample I was using must have had some quality issues – each time I opened the pen there would be ink crusted all around the nib. I could run it under water, clean it off and start to write again fairly quickly, but as soon as it sat in my bag for a bit, I would open it to find the nib crusted over again. Within a day or two I went ahead and emptied and cleaned the pen and tossed the ink sample. The second time I tried filling the pen with Faber-Castell Cobalt Blue, and that has been much better. I still find the nib a little scratchy, but it’s far better with the new ink.
Empty, the pen weighs approximately 26gms. It is lighter than I would have expected given the metal body, but I still feel like it has a decent weight in my hand.
Overall, I think this pen is a pretty good starter fountain pen. I’m not sure I enjoy it quite as much as my Retro 51 Tornado Fountain Pen, which is quite a bit heavier in my hand, but I like it far, far better than the Sheaffer VFM that I reviewed a few weeks ago. The two don’t really compare, but I was carrying both at the same time and I was far more likely to grab the Parker IM and pretty happy while using it.
I just wanted to add a quick note about the notebook that I used to test the Parker IM. This was a generous gift to the desk by Julia Skott from Sweden. (Ed. Note: She blessed us with a heap ton of awesome Swedish and European notebooks at the Atlanta Pen Show this year that will be making an occasional appearance on the blog.) Appeel notebooks are made by an Italian company that wanted to create eco-friendly journals inspired by the Italian landscape. The notebooks are called Appeel because the book covers and pages are made from apple peels and selected vegetable fibers. I found a few examples of Appeel products being offered at promotional goods sites (i.e. for creating logo merchandise), but I didn’t find anywhere to purchase otherwise.
The notebook I used had a cardstock cover, though many of the journals I found online have leather covers. The notebook measures 13 x 21cm with a sewn binding, and contains 80 pages of 80gsm lined paper, featuring the Appeel logo in the upper corner. The paper is a neutral tan color. In general I enjoyed testing the paper. Surprisingly, it tolerated fountain pen ink quite well, with some ghosting, but no bleeding through even in the areas where I filled in with extra ink.
Laura is a tech editor, podcaster, knitter, spinner and recent pen addict. You can learn more about her knitting and tea adventures on her website, The Corner of Knit & Tea and can find her on Instagram as Fluffykira.