The Parker 25 was an invention of the UK division of the company, which apparently noticed that the company, and indeed any pen company, was not directly appealing the the youth market in the 1970s. Elsewhere in my collection, there are Pelikans, Sheaffers, and Platignums which were appropriate to the high school or even middle school user, but they were not being styled with that market in mind. The 25 was specifically meant to call out to the younger user, being quite unlike any pens the old folks would be using. One suspects there was a little bit of an eye being kept on the parents who would shell out the money, since it was also pretty obviously as close to being indestructible as a pen could well be.
It is, really, four bits of stainless steel with some plastic bits holding them together; the colour of the pen was defined by the bits of plastic in almost all examples. It was extremely popular, something which confounds me because I find it an astonishingly ugly piece of work (an improvement over my initial stance of “repellently ugly”; we should all work to reduce our prejudices), but from a utilitarian standpoint, it is hard to fault. The one example I have in my collection arrived in a shocking state of filth and clog, but one would hardly know from the way it now writes.
The writing charateristics are, by the way, best described as “willing”. It’s a very stiff point, and will not excite any passions in those who judge a pen by the response and spring of the point. The only weak point of these pens is hidden away inside, in the form of a very modern, highly convoluted feed. If not given some regular maintenance, clogging is inevitable. The shape of the thing does mean that posting the cap is a very positive act, and a lost cap is quite unlikely.
[important]For a somewhat more sympathetic look at the 25, and a far more detailed one, have a look at this site.[/important]
Production Run: 1975 – 1994 (officially; some later date codes apparently appear)
Cost When New: $10.00 initially, up to $15.00 by 1980, and I hope no more than that for the rest of the model run. Either is roughly on par with the similarly-themed Lamy Safari (to check for yourself, try this calculator).
Size: 13.1 cm long capped, 14.0 cm posted, 11.8 cm uncapped.
Filler: Cartridge, capacity approx. 1.2 ml
If you are relying on the preceding information to win a bet or impress a teacher, you should read the site’s scholarly caveat. Remember, this is the internet, and it’s full of bad information.