Review: Parker Urban

The Numbers:
Weight: 33g
Length (capped): 135mm
Length (uncapped): 125mm
Price: £41 from Executive Pens Direct
Body Material: Metal
Nib Material: Stainless steel
Filling Mechanism: Cartridge/converter
Colours: Various

Intro: My thanks to Executive Pens Direct for sending me the Parker Urban fountain pen for review.

This isn’t the first Parker fountain pen that I’ve reviewed but this is my first experience with a Parker pen that isn’t of the entry level tier.

Parker is a brand known for its long history in fountain pen making. Its vintage fountain pens are much sought after and many still perform well today. Now how does a modern Parker fountain pen fare?

Packaging:
The Parker Urban comes in a very stately box. It starts with a grey sleeve with the Parker logo on it. Its texture feels nice to the touch. That slides out to reveal a nicely printed card, underneath that is the fountain pen securely nestled on a bed of velvet like material.

If I were to judge a pen by its packaging, I have to say I am very impressed.

Performance:
The Parker Urban from its appearance looks sleek and distinguished, very much inline with my impression of the brand. It has a metal body and a stainless steel nib. The fountain pen is vaguely torpedo shaped. The widest point is where the cap meets the barrel. There is a slow taper to a narrower point towards both ends. The balance of the pen is slightly back heavy because of its metal housing. It would probably work better for people with larger hands than mine.

My Parker Urban is the Vibrant Blue model but it looks turquoise when you hold it in your hand. However, it photographs as a blue colour. It’s really odd that it is this way. So bear that in mind when you look at the photographs.

The strong turquoise colour is accented with chrome trims. Both ends of the pen has a plain polished chrome tips. The clip has Parker’s traditional arrow shape. It has a good tension to keep the pen secure. The cap pulls open easily and closes with a very satisfying click. Plus, the cap can be posted if you so desire.

The grip section is a plain black plastic with a metal lip. It is long enough to fit most hand sizes. There is a slight step between the barrel and the grip but it doesn’t get in the way when I write.

The Parker Urban fountain pen is a cartridge and converter system which makes it easy to fill and clean. And a push converter comes provided with the pen.

The stainless steel nib looks under-sized especially when compared to the body of the pen. I keep thinking there is more nib where I can’t see. I’d prefer if this is a larger nib just to make the entire design of the pen look more balanced. Still, regardless of the size it writes nice and smooth. I was sent a medium nib and it is still fairly useable for me.

Now, comes the problematic part of the Parker Urban. At least for my particular pen. The nib dries up, very, very, very easily. It hard starts without fail every single time. I don’t believe the ink capacity of the Parker converter is a lot less than the other brands of converter I’ve used and even taking into consideration wider nib size, I run through ink on this Parker Urban way faster than usual. Normally, I can fill a pen and use it for an entire month and still have ink left over. With the Parker Urban, I run out in two - three weeks. Putting aside the faster than usual use of ink, the hard start issue is just not acceptable. I am quite sure I got a lemon because from my googling I’ve not found a review where they had the same problem.

As long as you have purchased your Parker Urban from a reputable store. I’m sure you will be able to return the pen and get a replacement easily.

Conclusion:
The Parker Urban fits the corporate world with ease. When it writes, it performs well. However the hard starting issue makes me wary to recommend it.

Pros:

  • Variety of colours
  • Comes with the converter
  • Smooth writer

Cons:

  • Hard starts
  • Nib looks undersized
Posted on September 21, 2018 and filed under Fountain Pen, review.