Parker Vector

Parker Vector

I am sure I don’t have to introduce you to the Parker Vecor fountain pen. As far as I remember from time I went to school (and that’s long ago), many of my fellow school friends used this pen. So, today, what are my thoughts about this pen?

The Parker Vector was originally released as a rollerball pen early 80’s, the RB-1. In 1984 they added the fountain pen, of which the design was based on the RB-1, as the FP-1. Parker decided soon to change the name into ‘Vector’. The Parker Vector is really a beginner fountain pen, small, smooth and lightweight, with a rather simple design.

I have two Parker Vector fountain pens in my collection, a black and a blue one. For many years these pens have not been used, as if they are enjoying their retirement. But nothing is less true after I inked them up again for reviewing them.

The Parker Vector is still available today. In almost every supermarket you can find them for just less than € 20. The pen has a medium nib. A fine point nib should also be available, but harder to find.

I have to admit, when first speaking, I was not so excited about this fountain pen. There was nothing about this pen that got me into it. It does wat it always has done: it writes fluently and smooth. After inking the pen, I could use it almost immediately for writing. But the touch and the sense of the nib and the writing with this pen is not special to me, no love at first sight, even no love at all.

Then also, there is a crack in the barrel at the point where it connects with the front section. When I pulled off the cap, due to the crack, the whole front section came out off the barrel. Alright, I assume the pen has probably suffered a lot, but when I compare with the parker Jotter (see review), the Jotter had a similar same crack after nearly using it for a couple of time.

The pen is not a big one, therefore, I assume, posting the pen is appropriate and even recommended. The Parker Vector posts very well. The back of the barrel is a smaller stainless steel part on which the cap can be secured.

On the cap is a very useable clip. Strange enough the clip does not have the typical Parker chevrons.

For inking the pen, you only can use the Parker cartridges or a Parker converter. Parker does not use the standard international cartrigdes. When I first started writing I used the Parker Quinckflow ink. Then when I bought the Cross black/blue ink, I wanted to change the ink. And then all of a sudden, inkflow problems occurred. Hmmm, after switching back to the Parker ink the inkflow problem solved. Just to stress out the importance of ink with relation to the performance of the nib. Or does Parker only forces you to use their ink? Hmm, honnestly I don’t think so.

Jotter section vs. Vector section

The grip of the Parker Vector is made out of stainless steel. No ergonomic grip, for sure ‘ergonomic design’ was not an issue in the early 80’s. Anyway the thing that bothers me, is the sharp edge between the barrel and the grip section (see image above). It is the same edge that the Parker Jotter has to deal with, but on the Jotter is more backwards and less disturbing, in particulare for those with bigger hand.

Parker Jotter, Lamy Al-Star, Jinhao X750, Parker Vector, Waterman Allure

As a final conclusion, this fountain pen is not a hotty. Perhaps due to the old design. Scratches appear easily and writing performance is not always 100%. When compared to the Parker Jotter, the Vector tends more to be an ‘old’ school pen. So, when you are looking for a beginner fountain pen, I would rather go for the Jotter, a Faber-Castell Grip, Waterman Allure or a Lamy Safary. Don’t take my words for granted, but that’s how I feel about the Parker Vector.

There is also a Parker Vector with the whole body in stainless steel, but price goes above € 20, which brings it to the next-level fountain pen class … with other and better contenders.

The good and the bad:

+ school pen
​- inkflow not always 100%
– the plastic barrel is prone to cracking
– old design

Some technical info:
  • Length:
    • 13,1 cm closed
    • 11,4 cm without cap
    • 15,4 cm posted
  • Weight:
    • 12 gr. complete (ready to write)
    • 8 gr. without cap
  • Ø
    • ​1 cm barrel
    • 0,9 cm grip
    • 1 cm cap
    • 1,3 cm cap with clip included

There are some things we need to rely on every day. Vector is a pen to count on for PARKER craftsmanship, guaranteed. Vector Standard Black Fountain Pen is ideal as a gift for everyone on all kinds of occasions like birthdays or as a Parker Christmas gift. This product is perfect for all companies who wants to give Parker gifts for their employees, partners or investors. Once you feel the grace and fluidity in writing of this product you can get Rollerball and Ballpoint matching to the set.

Before buying, check also the Parker Jotter, also a beginner fountain pen in the Parker family

–> check it out!

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