Behind the Scenes at Parker
Parker pens have established a leading reputation for top quality and design. From writing notes at school to taking exams at university, most of us have fond memories of our ‘trusty’ Parker. We take a visual look behind the scenes, at the incredible amount of detail that goes into making one of their pens.
With any new pen, the first stage for Parker is the conceptual design; is it technically innovative? Does it aesthetically stand out? Does it respond to consumer demand?
- Technical Innovation– Innovation is at the heart of every new pen that Parker makes. From the outset George Safford Parker wanted to improve the ink flow of a pen by creating a permanent contact between the reservoir and the nib. He said ‘make a better pen and people will buy it’. Their lucky curve feed is one of the most important pen inventions of all time.
2. Aesthetics – Parker are the pioneers of aesthetically beautiful pens. Their iconic Parker 61, manufactured shortly after World war 2, was the first time a pen brand took inspiration from aviation and car industry design (many pen brands soon followed suit)
3. Searching for new materials and finishes
4. Acting on customer feedback – Answering consumers worries, expectations and needs is vital when creating a product people want. Parker developed the Ingenuity 5th when consumers said they wanted a more modern fountain pen that wrote smoothly, adapted to their writing and didn’t leak.
Craftsmanship - from prototype to mass manufacturing
5. Blanking – This is the first step in the manufacturing process where flat sheets of gold, silver and steel are used to shape the cap and body
6. The next step is to decorate and engrave the body (called chiselling)
7. The pen is then protected from wear and tear by applying lacquer or precious metal
8. Many of Parker’s nibs are coated with precious metals such as gold, platinum, rhodium and silver. Parker have become the leaders in Europe at the process of electroplating.
9. The final step is to assemble the parts. With Parker premium pens, high quality materials can only be assembled by hand
Quality Control - A Product that Lasts a Lifetime
10. The opening and closing mechanism of every pen clip is checked
11. Its then over to testing the twisting and push button mechanisms
12. The pen is then put through its paces to see how time and use may alter it. Parker looks at how the pen is affected by repeated contact with the skin, exposure to different climates, how light makes colours and materials age, and much more.
13. And finally the most important part – how does the pen actually write? Many different machines are used to test performance under different levels of pressure, heat, altitude, colour intensity, duration of writing, line width etc.
We’re always amazed at how much goes into making a pen, and Parker go that extra mile to ensure the quality of the end product. At Pen Heaven we’re always very happy to recommend Parker for this reason, with manufacturing defects almost unheard of. So if you are looking for your next trusty pen companion, look no further.