As beautiful as this pen is (and it is a real eye-catcher) it was a bit of a disappointment to me. You see, when I won the auction on eBay it was listed as a Duofold Centennial but when I got it I realized it was the diminutive International variant. I immediately wrote the seller and asked what could be done to rectify the situation. I proposed a partial refund based on the difference in price between the Centennial and International sizes. The seller agreed and I was satisfied. I still want a Black & Pearl Centennial (or two or three) but that can wait.
I say two or three because this colour has been released on all three variants of the modern Duofold. This example is a MKII which can be identified by the banner nib design and banner cap medallion. I would love to have this as a MKI Centennial and hopefully will one day as MKI is my favourite revision. This MKII has the slightly streamlined shape similar to the MKIII. The flat-top of the cap tapers into a slight conical shape and everything feels a little rounded off. The black and pearl colour design was used in vintage Duofolds from the thirties and those pens were made from celluloid that has characteristically darkened from gasses from latex sacs used at the time. Vintage pens have a lighter cap than barrel because of this. The modern Duofolds use Acrylic which is much more stable and remarkably pearlescent.
The International size means the pen is on the slender size and the nib is closer to a #5 than a #6 in size. The tapered section is very comfortable and this pen is well suited for long writing sessions. The nib is 18k two tone and mine is a medium. These nibs were also made available in a wide range of sizes including obliques and italics. It takes Parker’s proprietary cartridge / converter filling system. On paper this pen is remarkably smooth and lays down a wet medium line. The trim on the pen is a heavy 23k gold plate.
Ok, short and sweet this time. Tons of these pens have been made over the years and Parker continues to sell Black & Pearl Duofolds even as I write this. It’s a beautiful but somewhat blingy and flashy pen. Treat yourself!
For some great deals on Parker Duofold Internationals, head over to Pen Chalet.