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Parker '17' Review

Parker '17' Review
Parker introduced the '17' to the Duofold range in 1962.  It was available in two versions, the 'Parker 17 Duofold' and the 'Parker 17 Super Duofold'.
The 'Super' version differed from the standard pen in that it features a very wide Gold filled cap band and a metal end ring on the barrel.
There was also a Parker 17 pencil:
In 1965 a 'De Luxe' version of the 17 was added to the line.  This had either a chrome plated or rolled Gold cap with a self coloured cap stud.  The Gold capped pen also had a 14 Ct. Gold nib:
Made in the U.K. the '17' was manufactured from injection moulded plastic in the four solid Dcolours, Black, Red, Blue and Green.  Green is the least common colour and there seem to be fewer Black ones than Red or Blue.
A dismantled Parker 17:
The first '17's sported a large and most impressive exposed 14Ct.Gold nib, they are now often known as the 'Beak Nib 17s'.  In 1964 the pen was redesigned to more closely resemble the Parker '51' in that the large nib was replaced by a much smaller, circular affair enclosed in a plastic 'hood'.  The 'beak nib' pens are much harder to come by than the hooded versions, one such pen is the subject of this review.
The pen is a Parker '17' fountain pen, original version in Red, made in the U.K. between 1962 and 1964.  It is in good overall condition with an excellent surface, clear barrel imprint and good Gold filling. The 14 Ct. Gold nib has a slight kink towards the tip, it doesn't affect the performance.



The dimensions of the pen are:

Capped: 137mm.

Uncapped: 125mm.

Posted: 146mm.

Barrel Diameter: 12mm.


The visible length of the nib is 15mm., it is 14Ct gold and clearly inscribed:





The barrel is clearly inscribed:

'Parker '17'

Made in England'


The cap is a push fit, seating on a metal ring between the barrel and section.  It carries a Gold filled 'Arrow' clip a Gold filled narrow cap band, and a body coloured end stud.


The filling system is the 'Aerometric' type with an open design.  The filler sleeve is stamped:


To fill press ribbed

bar at least 5 times.

The Parker Pen




The first impression of the pen is that it is a straight forward, no frills modestly priced fountain pen from around the 1960s.  This changes somewhat when the cap is removed to reveal the spectacular 14Ct. Gold nib, in the posted configuration it moves up several notches.

 The pen is light and well balanced, more so when the cap is posted.  It sits very well in the hand although some may find that the smooth, tapered section may offer less friction than needed but this is not really an issue s the nib requires very little pressure.

 The filling system works as it should and takes up a decent volume of ink.  The nib is exceptional, it has a fairly broad point and enough flex to produce good line variation and add character to the handwriting.  A person with a decent hand would produce very impressive results.

 As a vintage fountain pen, and the date of 1962 qualifies the description, the Parker '17' offers great value for money.  The open nib versions, this pen, command significantly more than the later hooded nib pens and are almost certainly worth the added expense.

 Many pen enthusiasts would not class a standard '17' as 'collectable' as they are by no means rare and of very modest value.  I would disagree on the basis that, if you are looking for a 'complete' set you need each of the following models in just four colours, Black, Red, Blue, and Green:

 Parker '17' 'Open nib'

Parker '17' 'Open nib Super'

Parker '17' hooded nib.

Parker '17' hooded nib Super.

 The open nib versions date from 1962 to 1964 and the hooded nibs form 1964 to 1972, the models did not overlap.

This list excludes the Parker 'Lady', which is, strictly speaking,  part of the '17 family' and the 'De Luxe' metal capped versions.

This is a very nice Parker '17' Lady, a little gem of a pen:


And here is the Parker 17 De Luxe:

In my opinion the Parker 17 is very underated and undervalued.  It is, after all, a well made, stylish and fully functional fountain pen with a 14 Ct. Gold nib.  It is impossible to find a new fountain pen with this specification for anything close to the price commanded by the Parker 17.



Parker 17 in Red


 A Parker 17 Super Duofold in Black available here.