Reviewing The Parker Sonnet Fountain Pen
The Parker Sonnet Fountain Pen is hard to critique. I used it for a week and a half as my everyday fountain pen looking for constructive criticism that would make for a balanced review. I pride myself on writing balanced reviews for you and just couldn’t find anything to criticize about this fountain pen because I loved it. I mean LOVED it. This is the first fountain pen I couldn’t find much to improve upon.
Parker Sonnet and Parker Ingenuity next to each other so you can see the beautiful nib on the Sonnet
The dark grey model is also adorned with nickel-palladium plated trim on the cap band, clip and derby (cap end, or hat, where the clip affixes.)I reviewed the striking Parker Sonnet Dark Grey CT fountain pen which is made of stainless steel covered in smooth black lacquer with dark grey rectangles printed over the body of the cap and pen.
The nib is 18K solid gold plated with rhodium highlights. The fountain pen comes in a fine or medium nib; I’m reviewing the medium nib here. All of these Sonnets listed below come with either fine or medium nibs and your choice of gold-plating or nickel-palladium plating for a gold or silver looking finish on the metals.
Parker Sonnet Fountain Pen models range in MSRP from $105 – $355 US.
In order from least to most expensive:
- Sonnet Stainless Steel
- Sonnet Matte Black
- Sonnet Deep Black Lacquer
- Sonnet Red
- Sonnet Brown Rubber Lacquer
- Sonnet Dark Grey (reviewed here)
- Sonnet Pink Gold
- Sonnet Pearl
- Sonnet Metal and Pearl
- Sonnet Chiselled Silver
- Sonnet Cisele Sterling
- Sonnet Cisele Silver
The Parker Sonnet has a pull-off cap with the trademarked Parker arrow on the clip. “PARKER” and the arrow with oval design are stamped along the cap band as well as the model name: Sonnet and FRANCE for where it was manufactured.
I like to write with the cap posted, or attached to the back of the pen. You may prefer leaving the cap on the table and if so, this portion of my review doesn’t matter to you.This is where it really stands out amongst its competition.
The firmly seated cap when posted is an exciting find for me, one that other models (like the Aventura and Bailey) struggle with.The cap STAYS PUT on the back without wiggling off as you write, even for more than an hour.
At .90 ounces, the Parker Sonnet is medium weight for a lacquer fountain pen. The weight of this pen is perfect for a balanced feel and extended writing periods.As can be expected, most metal pens are heavier and most plastic pens are lighter.
When I lifted it out of the Parker gift box, I expected it to be a bit heavier under the false logic, “the more it costs, the heavier a fountain pen gets,” but the Parker Sonnet surprised me with its understated weight and elegant style.
Sonnet Total Weight is .90 ounces for body + cap
Sonnet Cap Weight is .35 ounces, it’s well-balanced
Parker Sonnet Nib Performance
Here’s where it REALLY shines. I put this pen through the wringer. To be honest, I worked it harder than I do most fountain pens because I was trying to find its Achilles heel so I could warn you about its weaknesses.
Types of Paper
I tested the it on notebook paper, thick journal paper, signing a receipt, I even mucked up the nib with ultra-thin newspaper while thoughtlessly trying to speed its drying time after cleaning out the nib. (This resulted in another round of cleaning of course.)
This is absolutely an everyday fountain pen that will work well in almost all writing situations. This fountain pen performed well on all types of paper, leaving nothing to be desired. I would personally prefer a fine nib, but the medium will give you exactly the line width you’d expect if you prefer medium nibs.
The medium 18K gold, palladium plated nib wrote exactly as I expected a medium nib to write in terms of line-width. It is a rather smooth writer. I had absolutely NO scratchiness or tooth in the gold nib. It was like writing on glass when I loaded the converter with my brand new bottle of Waterman Harmonious Green ink. (Although I did experience the Waterman ink to be a little on the thin side for my taste, but that has nothing to do with the Sonnet!)
There was virtually no bleed-through using Waterman Green Ink. This fountain pen lays down a rich line of ink, not too wet, not too dry. I wish I could find the perfect words to describe the smoothness of the nib on anything and everything – I can’t – but I can tell you this is a fine writing experience, not a fountain pen.
The Parker Sonnet is a workhorse; this is a pen that won’t let you down under any conditions. I used it literally everywhere I went for almost two weeks searching for some weakness I was determined to find that doesn’t exist. I wrote notes for an hour-and-a-half and experienced no hand fatigue or smudging.
This fountain pen is easy to disassemble and clean. The converter is also extremely easy to load with ink, just sticking the nib into an ink bottle and twisting the back of it to pull ink into the tube. It filled on the first try with no fuss and no mess.
Who Is The Parker Sonnet Best For? Is It a Good Overall Value?
The Parker Sonnet is appealing to all fountain pen users. This is a quality fountain pen anyone would be proud to own and use everyday. It’s comfortable, not too weighty, and the 18K gold nib makes writing fun. (There are also stainless steel nibs available on Sonnets, but I haven’t reviewed one yet.)
It is a beautiful pen designed for long-term use and it outperforms many other fountain pens in versatility on paper types, feel and its beautiful design.
The one and only drawback I could find after almost two weeks of falling in love with this pen is not a drawback, but a personal preference.
The Dark Grey CT reads as a rather masculine design to me. A woman (okay… I) might prefer the more feminine Pearl and Metal or Pink Gold versions of this pen or the more gender-neutral colors.
That said, this is a fantastic everyday fountain pen… it’s not meant to sit around just for special occasion writing, buy one and use it as your daily writer. Just buy the body color that suits you and you won’t be disappointed!
I encourage you to buy the Parker Sonnet Fountain Pen with my highest recommendation; this is an investment in falling in love and probably forgetting about your other fountain pens!