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Reflex

Maker: Parker.

This may be the cheapest thing Parker has ever made, and almost certainly the cheapest they ever put their name to.  It was clearly meant to compete for the European school pen market, against such things as the Lamy Safari and Pelikan Pelikano.  I suspect it didn’t do so well– any Safari I’ve had anything to do with is a very robust item.  This is not.  The cap is easy to press too firmly into place when posting or capping, and is thin and brittle enough to crack when this happens.  It may cost much less than those German competitors, but the fact that it’s pretty much guaranteed to need replacement at the end of each school year (if not every semester) makes for a false economy.

There is trouble with this pen apart from the fragility.  The point is of the same type as found in the IM or the 88, and is smooth and free-flowing when properly done.  However, there was a lot of trouble with quality control on this pen; I won’t guess whether this is due to the skilled hands at Newhaven being despondent at working on such an evident bottom-feeder as this, or to the new overlords at Newell-Rubbermaid insisting that any pre-shipping inspection was a waste of money.  I’ve had two of these (because I’m a little strange for pens), and one of them refused to write anything like comfortably without a lot of effort being put into forcing the point into a decent shape.  I can hardly encourage seeking one out, I completely understand why they were withdrawn from the line-up, and I suspect you won’t find a lot of functional ones ten years on.  I just hope that doesn’t render them a collectible item.

Production Run: 2000 – 2007.

Cost When New: $5.00 to $10.00, depending on where it was got (for current value, try this calculator).

Size: 14.2 cm long capped, 15.5 cm posted, 13.1 cm uncapped.

Point: Steel.

Body: PVC, I should think.

Filler: Cartridge, capacity approx. 1.2 ml

Parker Reflex – not black, but more of a black cherry; it’s translucent with very subtle sparkles in it.  You can make out the cracks in the cap mouth.

This is the one with the horrid point – I don’t think the colour has any bearing on that

 

 

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