The Parker Jotter fountain pen has been available for at least a year. However, it has not gotten a lot of notice. In theory, Parker took the classic good looks of their iconic Jotter ballpoint pen and turned it in to a fountain pen. This is not unlike what Caran d’Ache did with the 849 as well. Both companies position these pens in an entry level price point as well, relatively speaking.
The Jotter Fountain Pen I purchased is the Stainless Steel with gold accents ($24). It arrived in retail packaging (clear plastic on the front and a hanging loop at the top) so it appears that the Jotter fountain pen was intended for stores like Staples and Office Depot.
The pen ships with one blue cartridge. Parker pens take proprietary cartridges/converters so a converter ($12) will need to be purchased separately to be able to expand one’s ink options.
It’s ironic that Parker’s ballpoint refill is considered the industry standard for fountain pen refills but their cartridges and converters are proprietary. How come Parker’s fountain pen ink cartridges didn’t become the industry standard?
Overall, the Jotter in Stainless Steel looks really good when capped. The line is sleek and understated.
When opened though, I feel like the grip section and the collar that connects the nib feels a little less thought through. There is a noticeable edge where the grip section connects to the body.
Though it’s hard to tell in a photo, the Parker Jotter fountain pen seems a bit wider. It could just be the difference between the grip section on the fountain pen versus the tapered end on the ballpoint.
The Jotter Fountain Pen is 5 1/16″ long capped, 4 5/8″ uncapped and 5 7/16″ posted. It weighs only 16gms capped (with cartridge) and just 10gms uncapped. It’s a very lightweight pen.
The nib shape on the Parker Jotter is very straight as it fits into the collar. Other nibs tend to taper in slightly. I think this design is an effort to make the pen feel more modern. This more angular look reminds me a bit of the Caran d’Ache 849 fountain pen. I don’t hate it but at the same time it’s also a little odd. The nib is etched with the brand name and three chevrons. There is an etched square on the nib where a breather hole would normally be. Again, it’s an odd design decision but not unpleasant. And the absence of the breather hole doesn’t seem to affect the pen’s performance.
In writing, I found the medium nib very smooth but a bit too wide for my microscopic handwriting. The centers of some of my letters fill in which is not ideal for legibility. I really wish Parker would offer some of these entry level pens with some nib options!
So, if I were to compile a plus and minus list for this pen, here’s what it would look like:
- snap cap
- noticeable step between body and grip section
- only available with medium nib
- proprietary cartridge/converter
I really love snap cap fountain pens. For the sort of everyday writing I do, it makes a pen easy to grab, jot and recap. The Jotter lives up to its name in regards to easy of use. The medium nib is the only real drawback I have with this pen.
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13 comments / Add your comment below
Great review. Thanks for highlighting pens that don’t get as much attention. I’m using my Jotter today and I like it, although it is a very short, slim pen. I think that this is a relaunch of a pen that Parker has previously called the 15. (See parkerpens.net for a great overview.) I think that I read somewhere that the Jotter was too small to fit a converter, but I have not tried it to confirm. Another good Parker option is the Vector, which is available in fine as well as medium.
When I was in college, the Jotter ballpoint was THE pen I used for everything. Now, I find them a little too skinny to write with, which makes me a little sad! I had the previous Jotter fountain pen as well and also found it a great writer but a little skinny so I’m paying it forward to someone else.
You should look at the Jotter XL, essentially a scaled-up version.
I bought mine in 1985. The pen was earlier called the Parker Mixy or the Parker 15, but by the time I wanted a slim, inexpensive Parker fountain pen it was called the Jotter. I think it’s better known outside the US than in this country, though. The current Jotter may be considered a re-release, but it looks very like the pen depicted as the Mixy on parkerpens.net.
I also have microscopic handwriting and am in the market for a new sub $50 pen.
I love my pilot metropolitan cursive italic nib as well as the fine nibs, but want to Branch out a little.
If you have any blogs for your favorite pens I would appreciate it.
Good review. I think Parker Jotter is a decent starter pen for those who don’t mind proprietary cartridge/converter system
I’ve been using a Parker Jotter for a couple of years and just lost it last week so I bought another today. I like small pens and it’s comfortable and smooth writing as well. It’s a whole lot better than those Chinese Cross pens if you ask me. Even the Scheaffer pens write better than a new Cross.
You should look at the Jotter XL, essentially a scaled up version.
You can get this pen with a fine nib. It’s listed in the trade catalog. Part number 2096896 gets you a white barrel Parker Jotter fountain pen with fine nib. I would expect that you would need to special order it from a storefront pen shop though, and pay a little more…
I like the trade mark of Parker. I admire the manufacturing of pens and roller-pens in the United Kingdom. I hope to have a variety of them.
I am trying to find out which end of the cartridge to fit in the pen! No one says! I put the blue end in, it seemed to fit, there is ink there but it is not flowing down into the nib…? I have used fountain pens all my life, my first was a Parker in mid-60s, have never had this issue before.
Yeah, it’s the blue end 😀
Just push it in till the bottom of the feed punctures the lid, then keep the pen with the nib facing down for a bit. Hope this helps!
I could see this pen improved with maybe a higher quality gold plated nib to match a gold plated Arrow Pocket Clip.
The Original Ballpoint Jotter from 1954 took two years to improve until 1956 when they added a metal point to the barrel & the iconic
feather clip to signal entrance into the official
family of fine Parker writing instruments.
The same needs to be done here.
If this pen was around in the late 1800’s-early
1900’s, it probly would have been the affordable pen for every household.
Of course, Parker had different fountain pens
back then which put them on the worldwide map today.