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Fountain Pen Review: Parker Sonnet


Introduction

The latest addition to the Parker Sonnet series aims to implement a modern twist to the vintage design; produced in 1993, the Sonnet is one of the more luxurious editions in the Parker fountain pen range. Parker deliver the elegant Sonnet in a range of colours and designs, aiming to appeal to a wide target audience.

Specs

 

• Price: Ranges from £75 to £200 depending on the model
• Weight: 26g
• Dimensions: 8.5 in. x 4.3 in. x .8 in.
• Nib size: Medium
• Detailing: Arrow clip, thin, cigar band
• Material: steel
• Ink colour: Black
• Pen colour: Numerous sophisticated colours from which to choose
• Nib material: Stainless steel & gold variants

Aesthetics 

Since production of the Parker Sonnet begun in 1993, the Sonnet has since been released in 46 different designs and colours. Despite the number of variants, Parker have done an incredible job at making each model look elegant and graceful with their attention to detail and refusal to cut corners. In an attempt to justify the price tag and build upon the elegant aesthetics of the Sonnet, Parker have included an 18 karat gold nib with a palladium-made clip and cap band. Not only do these additions add to the premium-feel of the pen but they also help to give the Sonnet a more premier look. 

Each variant of the Sonnet features a range of chiselled patterns and sophisticated scrollwork along the body and selected nibs; this type of attention to detail further adds to the elegant aesthetic of the Sonnet. Another example of the subtle details that Parker have added is they have engraved the Parker Arrow trademark into the clip and embossed their logo into the cap alongside the place of origin. Additionally, as you would expect from the price tag; the Parker Sonnet is delivered in luxurious packaging which further adds to the experience of unboxing a Sonnet.  

Construction Quality

Weighing in at 26 grams, the Sonnet is one of the lighter, high-end fountain pens on the market. Despite it's lightweight nature, the Sonnet feels robust and durable. The body of the sonnet pen is scratch resistant, the cap is air-tight, the clip is attached securely, the contents of the pen are unshakeable. Also, the cap is as light as they come meaning it doesn't make the pen feel back-heavy when posted. 

Additionally, the grip is metal made with a matte finish to compliment the glossy body resulting in not only a satisfying aesthetic but also a more sturdy grip. Furthermore, the grip section is longer than most fountain pens meaning you can grip the pen from various positions depending on which one you feel most comfortable with. 

The lacquer coating the Sonnet is not only fingerprint repellent but also buttery smooth, further adding to the premium feel of the pen. Furthermore, all the engravings along the pen are carved deeply and with good craftmanship, including the complex cross-hatch pattern on the nib. Overall the pen is constructed to a high quality, if you look for longevity in your fountain pens then you may want to consider investing in the Sonnet. 

Ergonomics

In addition to the top-notch construction quality, the Sonnet feels as premium as the price tag suggests. Although the pen is fairly light as far as fountain pens go, the weight is still distributed perfectly; it feels neither back-heavy or front-heavy. Furthermore, due to the lightness of the cap, you can keep the cap posted without it making any noticeable difference to the feel of the pen.

Additionally, the sleek shape of the Sonnet makes it a comfortable fit even when writing for extended periods of time. The only potential drawback is the body of the Sonnet is fairly thin; those with bigger hands may want to get a feel of the pen before committing to purchasing it. 

Writing Performance

Despite, the stunning aesthetics, robust construction quality and premium feel, the major draw of the Sonnet is the writing performance. The standard, premium variants of the Sonnet come with an 18 karat gold, medium sized nib but you can also choose from fine, extra fine and larger nib. You can also find editions with very flexible nibs for those who are interested in calligraphy.

File:Parker Sonnet F527.JPG

The standard, 18 karat gold nib, medium sized nib has plenty of spring to it; there's no hard starting or skipping. The Sonnet has a great feed, there's always sufficient ink flow to the nib and is just the right level of wetness to create smooth, sleek lines. The Sonnet also has a rapid drying time meaning you don't need to be cautious about smudging and smearing your work. Additionally, It's worth noting that the Sonnet performs equally as good on every type of surface. And as mentioned previously, due to the tight-fitted cap you don't need to worry about the ink drying out without any human error. 

Maintenance 

The Sonnet series support both a cartridge filling system and the use of a converter to draw your own ink from an ink bottle. This contributes to the low maintenance nature of the Sonnet due to how easily accessible the ink cartridges are, as well as the converter; you can find both at most high-street stationers, most online stationery retailers and the worlds largest online retailer "Amazon".

Further adding to the low maintenance of the Sonnet, the process to clean the Sonnet is as straightforward as it gets. The nib, plunger, barrel and contents of the Sonnet all unscrew and can be removed easily. Then after they can all be assembled back together with relative easy.

Value for Money & Conclusion

Priced between £75 and £200 depending on the variant of the Sonnet, the Sonnet is aimed at the higher-end market. Parker have made a good case of justifying the price with it's stunning aesthetics, robust construction, premium feel and graceful writing experience. Furthermore, the Sonnet has been around for 27 years, therefore making it a classic in Parker's fountain pen range; the Sonnet would especially be suited for those that are interested in collecting timeless fountain pens with a rich history.

 

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