Ink and Pen Notes: Parker Vacumatic Maxima c.1942 with Montblanc Bordeaux

Parker Vacumatic with Montblanc Bordeaux bottle

My favorite vintage pen and my favorite ink. How could it be anything but great? It can’t, and it was (great that is).

The pen was inked back on April 3rd so it lasted just over two months.

I’m told the nib is officially a fine (it’s not marked) but it’s as thin as many of my extra fines (the western ones). It put down a consistently fine line right until the very end. There was a skip and then it went dry later in the same sentence. The nib is stiff without any spring which I like. The ink, combined with the fine line, make this a quick drying ink suitable for any paper.

The nib is 14kt gold and the nib finish itself is gold. I prefer a silver finish but I can live with gold on this pen.

The Vacumatic filer is a real pain to clean. It’s just repetitive filling and flushing of the pen along with a lot of shaking. I left it to sit overnight on a tissue to let any remaining ink wick out.

The pen is such a great writer and such a pain to clean I considered refilling rather than flushing, but I decided I needed some variety so I’ll pick a different pen. I’ve yet to decide what fountain pen and ink will replace it. I do want to get Bordeaux back in the rotation.

This Just In: Parker Vacumatic Maxima

Photo of the Parker Vacumatic  Maxima Silver Pearl

My latest acquisition is another vintage pen and new fountain pen territory for me. The Vacumatics caught my eye at the Long Island pen show, especially the ones I later learned were the “pearl” colors. I didn’t get one in LI because didn’t know much about them (and onsite research was overwhelming) and I didn’t find one that was just right.

I was especially drawn to the wear pattern and the amber tint that some of them had. It was only this week that I learned from the Pen Addict podcast that the amber tinting is shunned by Vacumatic collectors, or if not shunned, it lowers the value to a collector.

I was browsing eBay last Sunday when I came across this pen, a 1942 Parker Vacumatic Maxima. It was perfect. A silver Pearl finish with nickel (not gold) trim and a fine nib. It didn’t seem to have any amber tinting from the pictures or description. While I didn’t know the meaning behind the tinting at the time, I knew I didn’t want it with this particular pen since it would clash with the silver and black.

The downside was that the pen would be pricey (IMO) and I would be buying it sight unseen. The seller had a good rep as a seller and fountain pen restorer so I took a risk.

Photo of the Parker Vacumatic  Maxima Silver Pearl

The pen arrived today and it’s every bit as nice as I hoped it would be. If I look closely, in the right light, I can see some amber tinting in the clear areas. But it doesn’t show in normal light or distance and the view of the ink is excellent. I love the way the silver striping has worn away from use. Too bad it’s not my use that created the wear pattern.

For its first ink I picked Montblanc Bordeaux, which is my favorite. I’ll probably stick with Bordeaux until I run out then decide whether I should switch to Montblanc Burgundy or something completely different. The ink just seems right for the pen. I was a little leery of going with a red ink but Bordeaux has always treated me well.

I’ve only had the pen for a couple hours and I’m still on the “new pen” high (new to me at least) but this pen seems destined to be one of my favorites, if not my favorite.

Photo of the Parker Vacumatic  Maxima Silver Pearl