Despite Parker's emphasis on minimalistic designs as of late, Parker's Urban Ballpoint pen is definitely an eye catching addition to the Parker series. With a bold aesthetic and an unconventional design, Parker are aiming to impose their presence on the premium ballpoint pen market. Although the aesthetic suggests otherwise, the Urban line is intended to be a mid-tier offering in the ballpoint pen market.
• Price: Usually around £20-£30
• Weight: 38g
• Dimensions: 8.5 in. x 4.3 in. x .8 in.
• Nib size: Medium
• Detailing: Arrow clip, ballpoint pen shape, thin, cigar band
• Material: steel
• Ink colour: Black
• Pen colour: Numerous sophisticated colours from which to choose
• Nib material: Stainless steel
As for the aesthetics, each of the the Parker Urban Ballpoint pens are almost entirely made out of metal resulting in a bold yet elegant look. This pen oozes class in just about every aspect: the glossy sophisticated barrel, the refined chiselled metallic lines and the graceful chrome tip. To add to the elegance, the pen clip is shaped like Parker's trademark arrow; subtle details like these are the reason this pen is so aesthetically satisfying.
The new design Parker have adopted for this series add to the refined aesthetic, the Parker Urban ballpoints have embraced a new silhouette curved design resulting in a sleek and elegant look. Parker really have hit the mark with this subtle aesthetic change. The new silhouette design is subtle enough to still write comfortably yet prominent enough to make the pen look artistic.
The Parker Urban ballpoint series includes a number of colour variants, from matte black to metallic brown. Despite each variant looking classy, if there was one to set your sights on it would have to be the black and chrome variant. With a muted black finish to the barrel, accompanied by the classic Parker chrome tip, this combination is as beautiful as it gets for ballpoint pens.
Construction / Quality
To no surprise, this Parker model is well constructed. If there's one thing to expect from Parker, its their refusal to cut corners. Every aspect of the Urban ballpoint model feels stable and secure, like most Parker models this pen feels like it was made with durability and functionality in mind.
The all metal construction means the barrel is smooth and scratch resistant whilst Parker's traditional arrow shaped clip is well secured. Additionally, the cap is near airtight and produces a click so satisfying it may justify the price tag alone.
Despite Parker labelling this as a heavier pen, it doesn't feel particularly heavy at all. It weighed in at 100 grams, therefore justifying it's heavy description but maybe due to the bigger surface area it felt just right.
Next, the ergonomics of the Parker Urban ballpoints are perfection. The new curved silhouette design means the pen fits flawlessly in your hand; this is a pen where you could write for longer periods of time and not even feel the slightest bit tired or uncomfortable.
To conclude, you would be hard pressed to find a premium ballpoint pen as comfortable as the Parker Urban ballpoint's at a similar price range. Usually heavier ballpoints at double the price, get rather uncomfortable after only a few minutes but Parker have really perfected the feel of their ballpoints.
To continue the positive streak of this review, the writing performance on this pen is shockingly good considering the old model ballpoints were slated for being dry and scratchy. This is not the case for this model, Parker have adopted a smoother, wetter style resulting in a pen that is smooth over all surfaces.
Additionally, there is very little spring or shake which is rare for a ballpoint pen. This means you can jot your most accurate and smooth ideas without the fear of mistakes that come from certain springs and shakes that some ballpoints produce. To conclude, this model has no spring, no hard starting, no skipping, a great feed and is just the right level of wetness.
If there was one complaint in this department it is how quick the Parker Urban ballpoint's run through ink. Ink cartridges which last up to three months in other pens, only last two to three weeks with this model. However, you could say that's the price you pay for such a graceful writing experience
Due to the slightly narrow tip, it's very easy to wash out ink from the feed quickly and easy whilst the rest of the pen is smudge and scratch resistant. Additionally, this pen is easy to disassemble if you wanted to clean it from inside to out; cleaning-wise, this all results in pen that is as low maintenance as possible for a ballpoint pen.
However, this pen does not come with a converter therefore if you wanted to utilise other ink cartridges you would need to separately order a converter. Furthermore, as previously mentioned the Parker Urban Ballpoints run through ink like there's no tomorrow therefore it may be wise to have a few cartridges spare.
Value For Money & Conclusion
Usually priced between £20 and £30, the Parker Urban ballpoints are intended for the mid market. This being said, they are worth their weight in gold. Between the excellent writing performance, the elegant design, their sturdy nature and their comfortable fit, they could easily be repriced in a higher price range and it would be completely justified.
To conclude, for a very affordable price you are getting a ballpoint pen which is going to gain a lot of admiration for it's bold looks and performance. Not to mention, it has the most premium branding available in the pen world.