Parker Ellipse review.
The Parker Ellipse was made for less than two years beginning in 2000, a pen for the new millennium. Although at only twenty years old perhaps it doesn't really qualify as a vintage pen but its short production run made it a very good prospect as a collectible. It has quality in abundance, rarity and a quirky and unusual design, all the attributes of a collectable pen.
The first thing one notices about the Parker Ellipse is that it is an unusually large and chunky pen with a very solid, high quality feel. Made from brass with several coats of lacquer and a resin section, it has a posted length of 15cm and a girth around 1.4 cm.
The cap, a 'click' fit, is quite unlike any other Parker cap, it has a large 23 Ct. Gold plated clip featuring an inset chromed 'ellipse', a nod to the Parker 'Blue diamond' of several decades earlier. An elliptical Gold cap band is another unusual, and striking, feature. The solid 'click' as the clutch engages is most pleasing, and not simple to achieve. The clutch ring has two 'tabs' which are sprung to engage the inner cap ring. The pen's successor, the Parker 100, also uses the same mechanism.
The nib is 18Ct. Gold, two toned with an elaborately engraved 'P' for Parker. The feed arrangement is also unusual in that there is a domed cap fitted underneath the feed to prevent drying and protect the fins on the collector. The nib is super smooth, quite firm but with a little 'softness'. It is a very comfortable and 'easy' writer with a 'forgiving' feel as the 'sweet spot' covers a large range of writing angles.
The ellipse is a cartridge/converter filler, the connector is made from solid brass which adds a little weight but gives a good solid feel as the barrel is unscrewed for filling.
The Parker ellipse was made in just three colours: Black, Blue, and Red. The limited range of colours, and the fact that there were no model variations also adds a great deal to the collectability of the pens. I only have a full set of ballpoint colours at the moment:
The bottom pen is the blue one, it is a good deal lighter than it looks in the photograph. The Black is a solid. 'Piano Black' and the other two colours have a metallic appearance. The Ellipse didn't sell well, it was very expensive, and now the ballpoint are also quite collectable.
In summary the Parker Ellipse is a large, luxurious, high quality pen with a great deal of 'presence'. It also has a tactile appeal which is very difficult to describe but is probably to do with the size, weight, smoothness of finish, and sheer quality of the pen. The excellent 'Penography' site describes the Ellipse as an instant collectible, and that was in 2007!