Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Web Secret #253: Parker 5th Generation Technology

I live and work immersed in technology. I have a smartphone, a laptop, and a tablet. I am on the Internet about 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. I love cutting edge stuff and am an early adopter. I like the newest and the latest.

So it might surprise you that I still use a pen and a notebook throughout the day.

But not just any notebook. Not just any pen.

For the past 10 years, I have written my notes in a Moleskine Squared Red Notebook - size large. I love the acid free paper, the red bookmark, the elastic closure (great for travel) and the expandable inner pocket (which I never use, but it is oddly comforting that it's there.) Moleskine notebooks have existed for centuries, and were used by the like of van Gogh, Picasso, and Ernest Hemingway, to name a few.

And the pen - well that requires serious thought. I usually favor fountain pens, or strange Japanese writing instruments, typically purchased from

Currently, my go to writing instrument is a Parker 5th Generation Technology pen.

My family has a long and auspicious history with Parker. My great uncle was the French rep for the American company. His job enabled him, my grandmother and my mother to escape Nazi occupied France during World War II. His Parker connections were able to get him a visa so they could enter the US.

This same great uncle gifted me with my first fountain pen when I was seven years old. I remember the pen's color (teal) and the fact that it made me feel super grownup.

Anyway, sometime in 2011, the 5th generation technology pens were introduced. So named because it follows 4 previous generations of writing technologies - the fountain pen (1884), the ballpoint pen (1888), the felt tip pen (1962), the roller ball (1980s). The pen sort of looks like a fountain pen - but it isn't.

It's an entirely new kind of writing experience. Sure, nothing beats sitting at a desk and writing with a double broad gold tipped Duofold on a sheet of beautiful paper. But here's the rub - most of my life is spent writing in airplanes, at conferences, and on the go - where writing with a real fountain pen is at best messy, at worst impossible. (I will also add that I am left handed.) And this Parker pen - well it doesn't leak, it doesn't bleed, it doesn't clog. It's completely dependable and provides a pleasant and smooth writing experience, much more pleasant than your average roller ball/ball point/gel pen. In addition, refills come in fine and medium and in a variety of colors, including burgundy, olive green, peacock blue and purple.

The pen comes in many flavors, ranging in price from $80 - $160. All write with the same point, if you buy a more expensive version - you are paying for cosmetics.

Bonus: It is very easy and quick to swap out refills - none of thee many reviews I have read mention that you can change from black, to green, to burgundy ink in a matter of seconds.

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