We are now carrying Parker Sonnets! If you've been following me on Instagram, you may have noticed that this Parker Sonnet with the brown rubber finish has been popping up all over, like here and here and here. This is mostly because we're not exactly a large corporation, so the pictures on Instagram are of pens that I'm actually using and cups of tea that I'm actually drinking from. And you might be able to tell that I have had my Sonnet inked up since I first got it. Some of you may recall when I got my Parker Sonnet and I fell in love. I sometimes get new pens just to check out and see if we'll like them or if we'll carry them in the shop, and we have a few dreams in the works coming up, but it's rarely that I will mention them on the blog if we don't really have concrete plans to bring them in. I made an exception for the Sonnet because it was just that pen for me. As soon as I got it, I knew I wanted to carry them.
Here's the story of how my Sonnet and I came to be best friends: our Parker sales rep, Mike B., occasionally comes by with new price lists and catalogues and things, which of course I love. However, like most price lists, the Parker price list only has these teeny tiny pictures of pens, really only there for reference, next to all the numbers about pricing and styles and product codes. For the longest time I missed seeing that the Parker Sonnet is available in a "Brown Rubber" finish, which of course I had to try. After a passing mention to Jon, I ordered the pen, and as I'm sure maybe some of you can empathize, suffered the wait time of processing and shipping from your local pen dealer ;) To Jon's surprise, I had blithely ordered an 18k gold-nibbed pen, and was pleased as punch when it arrived. I think he was a bit surprised at how soft the nib was, until he discovered it was a gold nib. He was moderately unimpressed at the time, although now he is thinking of one for himself. Which is no surprise, because this is truly one of my all-time favourite pens. There's just something about the size and the weight and the look and the nib of this pen that make it just right for me. We have five models of the Parker Sonnet. There are certainly more models and colours available which we can special order for you, but we're also hoping to grow the line over time.
The Parker Sonnet is a modern classic style of pen. It's a bit over-looked in the fountain pen world - we hear a lot about Sailors and Pilots and the Lamy 2000, but not too much about the Parker Sonnet. Maybe it's because it's not too flashy, like for example how a Lamy Safari might stand out from the crowd, but more of a timeless sort of pen. It's an elegant, understated, but still substantial-feeling pen. The Sonnet is a cartridge/converter that takes proprietary Parker pieces. It has a snap cap, which also posts on the back. This is a bit of a weightier pen, almost surprisingly so, maybe because I'm used to writing with lighter pens. It's made out of metal, but it's not overly heavy, even for me, although I usually prefer lighter pens. Its weight gives it a good balance, whether or not you post the cap, which does post securely on the back if you'd like to. I write with it unposted, but I have smaller hands.
The Brown Rubber finish is of course my favourite - it's really a texturized kind of rubber, and the silver grid pattern is etched in, so you can feel the texture of the barrel and cap if you run your fingers over them. I personally really love the grid pattern on the barrel of the pen - it's a bit vintage looking, and also gives the pen a tactile quality.
But the best part of this pen is the nib! A surprising and wonderful nib. For the most part, Sonnets will have steel nibs, but the Brown Rubber and the Dark Grey, along with a few others that we don't carry, have 18K gold nibs. The gold nib is soft! It's not a flex nib, but it will be quite responsive to your writing. The following writing samples were done on Life Japanese Stationery and Clairefontaine 90gsm Seyes Ruled paper, and with Diamine's Ancient Copper and J. Herbin's Eclat de Saphir.
Both the steel and the gold are fairly wet, and with just a bit of pressure, you can see lots of shading! Smooth and flowing, with just a hint of barely noticeable feedback. These are Western nibs, as opposed to Japanese, so they will run on the wider side; these nibs might be similar to Lamy nibs. The steel nib is also pretty responsive for a steel nib, which will naturally be a bit stiffer than gold. You can get the tiniest bit of line variation. This writing sample is a medium steel nib.
The Sonnet is similarly shaped and sized to its famous vintage sibling, or maybe great-uncle?? - the Parker 51. And of course both have the classic Parker arrow clip.
Now, I never really figured myself much of a rose gold person, not being much a pink person, but now that I have both the TWSBI Mini in White & Rose Gold (now discontinued due to manufacturing costs, but may one day be resurrected) and this Parker Sonnet with the Brown Rubber and Rose Gold trim, I think I must really be a pink gold person. My top few pens rotate around quite a bit, but for the last little while, this Sonnet has been at the ready. This is truly one of my favourite pens. The styling and weight and size are perfect for me, and the nib is wet and responsive to my writing. You can check out more details on the Parker Sonnets we have available, but if you check us out on Instagram, you'll probably end up seeing more of this pen on there, too! I think Jon might go for a dark grey or the classic black & gold Sonnet - he says he likes the Brown Rubber better for the texture, but we can't have two in the family, now can we...