Parker Sonnet sterling silver Ciselé GT

This is the third Sonnet in my collection or rather the fourth if you count the one I bought and promptly returned. Let me explain how this pen came to be in my collection. Gather around children as I’ve got a tale to tell… 🙂

I guess I’m a Parker guy. I can say it now and I’m totally OK with it. My favourite pen ever is the Parker Duofold Centennial and the Sonnet is probably also in my top five favourite models. It’s such a great pen design and for the longest time I’d been dreaming of getting a Sonnet in the sterling silver Ciselé pattern popular from the now retired Parker 75.

I found one on eBay with a broad nib in the MKI scrolled design and jumped on it. I was far too impulsive and paid too much for the pen. I got it and was instantly disappointed as the pen just felt terrible. The finish was unevenly worn and when compared to the Ciselé Insignia ballpoint I’d bought NOS in Manila, it was way smoother than it should have been–almost flush. It looked fake and so off I went onto the web to find more information on fake Parker Sonnets. Word to the wise–there are tons of fake Sonnets out there so be very careful. They’re getting increasingly more difficult to spot.
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(Picture above shows the centre band on the used pen from eBay.) The finish didn’t seem right so I wrote the seller to tell him I thought the pen was fake and I wasn’t happy. He told me to send it back. Just to be sure I went to a local Parker dealer– B. Sleuth & Statesman to have someone look at it. The guy in the store was super nice and he actually told me the pen was real–just abused and neglected. The trim ring near the nib was heavily corroded on a side that conveniently wasn’t shown in the pictures of the pen. For this reason, even though I was wrong, I felt no guilt sending the pen back for a refund. The friendly store clerk showed me a new Sonnet for comparison. It was totally breathtaking and so I had to ask about the price. How could I not?
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(Picture above shows the feed of the used pen from eBay. Note the corroded trim ring on the bottom of the picture.) Turns out the price was so good–way lower than MSRP and only slightly more than the recently purchased “fake” Sonnet. I clearly couldn’t say no and snatched it up on the spot. I sent the used Sonnet back to the seller who relisted it with the same pictures and it sold for maybe $15 less than I paid so I don’t feel too bad for the seller. Not sure how I feel for the buyer though. I checked back later and he left positive feedback so I guess it worked out for everyone.
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So let’s talk about the pen I bought. It ended up being my second retail gold-nibbed pen purchase and I’m very happy with it. The box it came in was missing the booklet and cartridge but that’s not really an issue for me. I bought a bottle of Graf von Faber-Castell ink while I was there. I strongly recommend you check out this retailer if you’re ever in Toronto.

The pen was a follow-up to the very successful Parker 75 and has become an iconic design in its own right. It’s a snap cap design making it great for single-handed use for quick notes and is super well balanced and comfortable for long writing sessions. You could definitely write a novel with this pen and many say it’s the best “writer’s” pen around. Sonnets are all metal and lacquered brass pens so they are a bit heavier but not so much to be overly fatiguing. It posts well for whoever cares about that.
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The nib is perhaps small when compared to all the #6 nibs out there but it’s smooth and performs well. It’s fit onto a feed that threads onto the section and is easily removed for deep cleaning. The feed works magnificently and is fed by a proprietary Parker cartridge / converter system that gets the job done. The latest 18k Sonnet nibs have a strange design change that sees the slit not meeting up with the breather hole. Not really sure about this design decision and it does make the nib a little stiffer. Those looking for a springy 18k nib should look for NOS Sonnets (but beware the fakes!)

And that’s about it. What do you like or dislike about this pen? Any theories about the nib slit? It’s really perplexing! As always, thanks for reading. 🙂

For great deals on Parker Sonnets, head over to Pen Chalet.

7 Comments

  1. Franz Dimson

    Another very good review Gerald! Thank you for sharing. Once I saw your IG pic, I just went over here and had to check your review. The Parker Sonnet is probably one of the first 10 fountain pens I’ve ever purchased. Lovely pen for sure!

    I must comment about the nib’s slit not reaching the breather hole. I checked out my Sonnets (got a “few”) and spare nib units, and I found that they all touched the breather hole. Your nib is probably a rare one. =)

    Keep the reviews coming sir!

    Reply
    1. Gerald Taylor (Post author)

      Thanks Franz! Not so rare–just recent. It can be seen in pictures of current Sonnets on Parker’s website. Only on gold nibs though. Steel nibs go all the way. At first I thought it was a defect but seems to be the new design.

      Reply
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  4. Doug Eaton

    Hello, Gerald. I was wondering what the date code was on this Sonnet Cisele. I notice that the feathers on the clip consist of five lines on each side, which I believe makes it of more recent vintage. I’m trying to verify one I bought on ebay and I think I’ve got a fake. It’s dated from the 2nd quarter of ’93, which would make it from the first year of manufacture, but it doesn’t look like any I’ve seen from that period. Thank you.

    Doug Eaton

    Reply
    1. Gerald Taylor (Post author)

      Hi Doug. Thanks for your comment. Not sure of the date code but it is definitely within the last five years. I bought it in a retail store and it is the current model exactly like on Parker’s site.

      Reply
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