Jottings (Timely and Otherwise)

Parker Sonnet

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In the past few days, I've had an impulse to ink up my collection of Parker Sonnets -- for the first time in many, many months. I've always liked the size and shape of these pens. Like the Parker 75, which the Sonnet was created to replace, these pens are a very user friendly size and shape. They are not overwhelmingly big or heavy. They are not, by and large, super ostentatious. In short, Sonnets are designed to be comfortable for long use, day in and day out. has a great information page about the Parker Sonnet. It can be found here:
I have several 1994 model Sonnets in acquer finishes (sometimes referred to by Parker as "lacque" -- not sure if that denotes something different than "lacquer"). Parker gave them names like "Firedance" and "Moonbeam", presumably because that sounds more exciting than "black and red mottled" or "black and cream mottled" which is what "Firedance" and "Moonbeam", respectively actually look like. They came with 18kt gold nibs. For me, the star of the 1994 lineup was the "Cisele" model -- a sterling silver finish cross-hatched with black horizontal and vertical lines. (See, for example:

Although it first appeared relatively late in Parker's history (1964), I have always considered the Cisele finish THE iconic Parker design. The accepted wisdom is that it was designed by then Parker CEO Kenneth Parker along with designed Don Doman and it was inspired by the design of a 17th Century snuff box. The Cisele finish first appeared on the "Parker 75" in 1964 -- and it has been carried over into several Parker models over the years including the "Classic", the "Premiere" and, of course, the Sonnet.

Here is my 1994 Sonnet Cisele:

As you can see from the page, the Sonnet has undergone several re-designs over the years (the designs got progressively less attractive in my opinion). Notwithstanding the various "refreshed" tweaks to the Sonnet line, the pen's basic size, handling and writing characteristics have not really changed.

I remember being frustrated at times with my Sonnets -- the nib is slightly softer than the usual absolutely rigid Parker nib. While that's a boon to many fountain pen users, it can frustrate lefties who push the pen across the page instead of the more natural pulling motion used by righties. I have a recollection that the pen skipped now and again or would have "hard starts" if it not been used within the last day or two. I was mindful of this when I inked up four of my Sonnets -- and time will tell. So far, I have had no problems. Indeed, I am enjoying writing with all of them. Time will tell if the issues I remember reemerge.

The Sonnet may never reach the "classic" status attained by Parker models like the Duofold, the Vacuumatic, the "51" and the "75" -- which makes used Sonnets a decent value right now. That said, it may get there some day. And, so far, my Sonnets are proving to be great daily writers. Stay tuned.

Updated Jun 14, 2019 at 12:13 AM by Kronos (Added photos)



  1. Dan R's Avatar
    Very nice. A shot of the nib would be great too! I have a Vacumatic, 51, 61, and 75, but no Sonnet. You have a nice find there!

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