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Maker: Parker.

This pen’s name somewhat depends upon where you live.  In North America, it has only ever been the IM, while in Europe it was for the early part of its existence it was known as the Profile.  Since a redesign in 2009, the IM appelation has become widespread.  Since a contenter for the meaning of the initials is “International Model”, this is just as well

Another contender is “Instant Modern”, from some of Parker’s own ad copy, which also offered this Bulwer-Lytton bait:  “Every detail… is carefully considered to reject superfluous detail in favour of comfort, practicality and intelligent style” making it “the ideal writing tool for life spent on the go.”  I will agree and contest this statement all in one breath– have a look at this picture, which shows the well-conceived if slightly ugly end that is brilliant for posting the cap on, but also the cap jewel which looks rather like the headlight of a 1950s Buick; any reference whatever to a car of that era lets the air of out an appeal to practicality.  Also, any pen with a clip that appears to have been made specifically to look like a planarian cannot entirely claim to utterly utilitarian lines.  Alas, the remodelled version offers less comedy potential.

The earlier version uses the writing components common to most of Parker’s low-end funky-looking stuff, which means gratifying performance in some cases and misery in others.  The later version uses essentially the same guts, and likely with the same slightly spotty quality control, but the exterior is rather more grown up.  While the earlier version looks something like the Vector dressed up for a special night out, the redesign looks like an entirely different model of pen.  The headlamp and planarian are gone, replaced respectively by a gum-drop derby and slightly more recognizably arrow-based clip.  The latter is not spring-loaded, but is somewhat more like a Vector’s simple self-sprung bent metal.  The cap has gained a band and seems less in danger of cracking in the mode of lower-end Parker offering.  It is, in general, a rather more polished pen than the previous version.

Production Run: 2004 – present.

Cost When New: Currently about $30.00, although depending on the source, it can be found for slightly less or about 50% more; there is also a Premium trim level which costs around $55.00.  The previous version cost much the same, and lacked the upgrade.

Size: First model; 13.5 cm long capped, 15.9cm posted, 11.4 cm uncapped.  Second model; 13.8 cm capped, 15.4 cm posted, 11.7 cm uncapped.

Point: Steel.

Body: Initially ABS, the later version is a clad-metal body.

Filler: Cartridge, capacity approx. 1.2 ml.  Will not accept 45-style converters, but later, thinner ones can be slipped in.

Parker IM/Profile, pre-2009.

It's actually a rather sturdier box than the Lamy Safari comes in.

Parker IM, in the somewhat more elegant 2009 redesign (2nd quarter 2010 date code)



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