After many months of design modiications, prototype development and trials the Parker '51' was launched in 1941. This pen was made shortly after in 1942, the barrel bears a '2' date stamp, a very early vacumatic.
It is finished in Dove Grey and has a solid Sterling Silver cap with a 'Blue Diamond' 14Ct. Gold clip. Only traces of the blue colour remain but I decided not to paint in the diamond in the spirit of conservative restoration. Similarly the slight fading of the barrel colour below the point where the cap fits has been left alone, it must have taken many decades without use to appear. The grey finish is excellent as is the Sterling Silver 'Heritage' cap. The cap is engraved with fine longitudinal lines, the cap band has a chevron pattern and the clip is 14Ct. Gold, later ones were Gold filled.
The filling unit was fitted with a new diaphragm as the original had hardened with age and the pen now fills very well. The 14Ct. Gold nib is a masterpiece, it writes with a smooth broad to medium line and has a wonderfful 'feel'.
An important feature of this '51' is its 'correctness'. The barrel is stamped:
and the cap is stamped:
Sterling Silver. Made in U.S.A
Both imprints have the correct form for a third quarter 1942 pen. By this time the first year speedline filler buttons had been replaced by plastic ones in black, yellow, or clear, this pen has a black one.
The Parker 51 is still regarded by many as 'the best pen ever made' and this particular example supports that claim, the Silver cap is a real bonus!