Even if I went to Parker 51 Appreciation Class, I don’t think I’d ever warm up to a fountain pen that a) looks like a ballpen and b) basks in looking like a ballpen.
However, a Parker 51 with a Nathan Tardiff flex nib is an altogether different animal. (Nathan Tardiff, the man behind the Noodler’s line of inks, apparently used to make these monster custom nibs.) TAO saw it and IM’d me while I was half-asleep. (Never ask a friend to buy a pen for you when you’re half in a boat painted carnival red and yellow and half in a world where you’re running away from a horde of revelers in purple tights bearing torches.) “Yes, please get it for me,” I sleeptyped.
And here it is.
Uncapped, it sticks its tongue out at you.
The customization required changing the placement of the nib to give it headroom, otherwise it would not be able to flex. The flow was also adjusted, I believe, but once in a while the nib does starve.
This is a strange sight, stranger than revelers in purple tights. The nib is cut like a right-foot oblique, which means I rotate it to the right considering how I write. As I note in the writing sample before, the edges of the strokes reflect the cut of the nib. It’s especially obvious in letters like “n” and “h.”