So a good friend (another English major) recently lost his pen case, which had all his fountain pens, and cheapies too. It’s always a bit of a heartache when a writer loses his or her tools– I still get pretty emotional about having a journal stolen in high school. So I wanted to buy him a starter fountain pen to begin rebuilding his collection, and I found some great prices on Parker and Waterman fountain pens through the France-based ebay dealer lewertowski.
The Parker IM is no longer in manufacture, but still fairly available, especially through international dealers. It comes in a charcoal plastic case, and although it doesn’t come with a converter it does include a cartridge. Instead, I bought the “luxe converter” (again, through lewertowski’s ebay store), which is definitely a high-quality converter and fits perfectly.
Soo, I kind of love the body of this pen. Although it’s plastic, it’s definitely well-made and doesn’t look or feel cheap. The “girth” (is that a technical term for fountain pens?) is fantastic for those with larger hands, or, in my case, for those with carpal tunnel who can’t grip slender pens 😦
I love the blunt ends of the pen body. They make the whole pen feel sturdier, and I think they probably add to the weight of it as well. One benefit of this design is a pleasurable experience when posting the pen: the cap encounters some air resistance when being posted, and thus sort of slides down gently (though securely) into position.
The Parker IM comes with a steel nib, and I chose a fine nib. The design is very simple, with no shoulders or breather hole. Richard Binder describes it as a “long thin ‘spike’ feed,” which was later adapted into the Parker 75. I have no experience with Parker fountain pens, so I don’t know if they traditionally run wide– but this one certainly does: it writes like a Lamy medium.
As for the writer experience, this nib is super super smooth. It never had any trouble starting up right away, and didn’t skip or leave any uneven lines. I’m not sure how it would write with a dryer ink, but I filled it with Tahitian Pearl and it writes beautifully. There’s no line variation (unlike the Parker 45), but it leaves a wide enough line for some shading.
As for a summary, I’d definitely recommend this pen for someone looking for a sturdy and reliable daily writer, for someone on a low budget, or starting out with fountain pens.