Parker 5th technology pictures and hands-on

Parker has announced a new pen technology that merges the ease of use of a ball point pen with the eloquence of a fountain pen.

Called the Parker 5th Technology, the company states that the new technology, which has taken 18 months to create, answers the three most requested features by pen users around the world; to be smooth, to be clean, and to be reliable.

"The Parker 5th technology is so called because it offers a genuine fifth way of writing, following decades of fine writing being led by the fountain pen, ball point, roller ball and the mechanical pencil," Parker’s head of Research and Development, Dr Leighton Davies-Smith, told Pocket-lint.

The new system, which Davies-Smith says is the most advanced writing technology in recent times, promises never to dry out, never to leak and work straight away without having to scribble something first to get the ink flowing.

"We’ve tested the technology in an altitude test chamber at our lab in France," explains Davies-Smith, who has been directly responsible for creating the new technology. "Working on a plane and then in the desert isn’t going to be a problem."

This has been made possible by ditching the idea of ink flowing through a traditional nib found on fountain pens and instead adding the nib to the refill itself, much like you would find on a ball point pen. The nib then automatically wears in as you use the pen, moulding to your style of writing within minutes.

The new technology can be found in two new ranges of pens launched by Parker. There is a thicker more "manly" design and a thinner more "elegant" design. Within those ranges there are two further styles: the Parker Ingenuity - Daring Collection that features a more patterned design; and the Parker Ingenuity - Classic Collection for more traditional pen users. The pens start at £115 and are available exclusively at Harrods and Selfridges to start with.

The nibs (£5.50 each) will come in fine or medium thickness and in blue or black ink. Other coloured inks are expected early next year.

In the hand, the pen is well balanced and very well built. The nib is easy to replace and the writing experience very clean. Sadly, that clean writing experience means that it does lose a little of the quirkiness of an original Parker Vector - which traditionally gives an irregularity in the ink flow and a "hand-written" feeling - but you can't have everything.

Talking to Davies-Smith about this, it seems we are in the minority of people that even want such a thing.

We do, however, love that every time we’ve put ink to paper the ink has flowed straight away.

Are you a fan of quality writing implements? Let us know in the comments below...



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