A few years back the Parker Ingenuity line came out and I've been meaning to try one since and Goldspot was kind enough to send me one of the Parker IM Premium pens in the shiny chrome metal chiseled edition for review. Special thanks to them!
What is the Ingenuity pen? The Ingenuity line uses a proprietary technology called the Parker 5th, a special refill that is a plastic tipped, marker style refill, kind of like a fineliner.
The pen comes packaged in a simple, but tasteful gold and black Parker box.
This particular model is an all-metal, completely chromed edition that has a series of decorative textured lines and squares across the barrel. With the barrel being all chrome it tends to be a bit of a fingerprint magnet, but looks great; classy.
The textures give it a very "Parker" look which usually resonates with me as an homage to the Art Deco styling that graced so many of their earlier models. Over the last couple of years it seems that Parker has sought to "modernize" and revise their brand by updating the aesthetics, but I feel this pen is a nice blend of both worlds.
The pen is weighty, but not overly heavy and quite comfortable. The cap is attached to the barrel via a pressure "snap" system held inside, which also posts securely on the barrel. Surprisingly, posting doesn't make writing uncomfortable or create an overly unbalanced feel.
Also true to Parker branding is the arrow clip made from pressed steel that is also a polished chrome finish. The clip is quite sturdy, but with a good tug or snag I could see it bending out a bit.
The only part of the pen that isn't a polished chrome is the section which has a bit of a bead blasted finish to add texture and interest. I'm actually glad Parker opted to do this as polished sections tend to be overly slick which this is not.
The tip of the pen is probably the most interesting piece in the Ingenuity line as it has a faux appearance of being a fountain pen nib, split tines and all, but this is merely a metal shroud (referred to as the hood by Parker) that covers the refill as it protrudes from the grip and barrel. The underside of the "nib" is open to expose the textured tip of the refill that is also designed to look like a feed you'd find on a fountain pen.
I'm sure this aesthetic choice has many people puzzled in the fountain pen community. Why would you make a pen look like a fountain pen, but not actually be a fountain pen?
Personally, I actually appreciate the design choice here and think I understand Parker's rationale. They aren't proposing that this IS a fountain pen, but they are merely paying tribute to history and the art of writing, and the style of a fountain pen in general. I think of it like companies making those old-timey Edison style bulbs, but with LEDs instead of filaments. Modern tech with vintage style and appeal.
As mentioned above, the Parker 5th refills are a porous, fibre tipped pen that write similar to a fineliner which provides some expressive handwriting possibilities.
In comparison to other fibre, felt, or plastic tipped pens, I find it to be a bit on the stiff side, similar to that of a Sakura Pigma Micron or Sharpie Pen. While a Papermate Flair and Schmidt fineliner are not soft like a brush pen, I feel they are softer while writing than the Parker 5th which is my personal preference. If you enjoy the Micron or Sharpie Pen, this may definitely be a way to class up your barrel for sure.
The refills for the pen aren't cheap running around $8 apiece, but for a more "upscale" refill this is comparable to the Montblanc fineliners that run about the same price.
This particular pen normally retails at around $85, but Goldspot currently has them on sale for $49.95. They also have a variety of other Parker Ingenuity pens to choose from that can go all the way up to the $250 range depending on materials, but definitely keep this one in mind if wanting to pick one up for a great price.
Special thanks again to Goldspot for sponsoring the post!