Parker is known for producing high-end, luxury fountain pens for powerful executives, politicians, and Hollywood stars, but this has led to many people believing that Parker pens are out of their budget. Enter the Sonnet, Parker’s version of a budget-friendly and affordable fountain pen.
We were lucky enough to get the opportunity to try this pen out. We put it through the wringer, taking a look at the design, the nib, the ink reservoir, as well as the general perception of the pen. Does everybody else love this pen as much as we do? You’ll have to keep reading our Parker Sonnet fountain pen review to find out.
Parker Sonnet Fountain Pen (Our Review)
Parker has been producing pens since 1888, with flagship products like the iconic Parker 51 and Black Lacquer. It’s no surprise that the brand has come to be known as a reliable global distributor of high-quality ink, fountain, and ballpoint pens.
The pen is available in either a gloss or matte finish. The cap, barrel, and nib are made from durable stainless steel. This means you don’t need to worry about your pen getting damaged from rust or moisture, and it’s resilient from scratches or dents if you happen to drop it.
The fine nib comes plated in either gold or nickel-palladium. Using gold for the nib is more than just to make the pen an expensive status symbol.
Gold is a stable material, so it’s resistant to the highly corrosive nature of iron gallotannate inks. Iron gallotannate inks are high in ferrous sulfate and gall extracts which can make the inner mechanisms of your pen deteriorate over time.
In terms of the filling mechanism, you can use either a cartridge or converter. The cartridge type is a proprietary system, meaning that it only fits the pen it was designed for.
On one hand, this can be a little frustrating. It’s nice to simply pop down to your local stationery store any time you need to refill your cartridge. But proprietary reservoirs are useful in that they fit the pen better than generic ones, and limit the amount of wear and tear subjected to them.
The Parker Sonnet Fountain Pen is assembled by hand, polished and stamped with a goldsmith’s hallmarks. This promises that only the highest quality is guaranteed. You get a certificate of authenticity with every Parker pen you buy, guaranteeing the quality and value of your purchase.
The pen is placed in a hard outer shell case and comes packaged in a stylish gift box to give it that real ‘spoiled’ feeling, a present to yourself if you will.
- Fantastic ink flow
- Comfortable grip design
- Comfortable writing experience
- Only uses fine and extra-fine nibs
- Laborious cleaning process
- Wet nib needs special fountain pen paper
What’s Included in the Box
Because Parker is a brand of prestige, they place as much care and attention into their packaging as they do into their pen. Along with your brand new Parker Sonnet Fountain Pen, you get a spare ink cartridge to ensure you can keep writing for hours at a time.
You also get some important paperwork, including a detailed care and use guide to help you keep your pen in tip-top condition. Not only does this make your life easier if you’re trying to keep everything clean, but it will also allow you to extend the lifespan of the pen.
Along with the care guide, you’ll get a pamphlet explaining the warranty terms and conditions should something go wrong with your new purchase. You also get a certificate of authenticity so you can prove to your friends that it’s the real deal.
Parker Sonnet Nibs
The nibs for this fountain pen are available in a range of different shapes and sizes to suit your style. The cheaper options come in a stainless steel nib, and the more expensive options have a gold nib.
Each pen nib is specifically marked with a unique code. This code can be located on the back of the nib.
The Parker Sonnet is applicable with all standard nib sizes.
The 18k Nib
This optional gold trim nib gives a softer, delicate, and more luxurious feel when you write. It’s known to improve wettability, which means that it reduces the surface tension of the ink.
Breaking the surface tension allows a smoother finish on the page and decreased smudging and feathering.
Given the longevity of the gold nib and the excellent quality work it produces, it’s definitely worth the cost if you can afford it.
The Sonnet Fountain Pen uses a cartridge filling system. You also have the option to use a converter if you want to use bottled ink.
However, the ink in your Parker Sonnet can evaporate and gum up the inside of the pen, which damages the internal mechanisms. Because of this, it’s best to use a converter and renew your ink to avoid it drying out, especially if you don’t intend on using the pen frequently.
You can refresh your Parker Sonnet Fountain by unscrewing the grip and lightly squeezing the end of the cartridge or converter. This forces ink through the feed. Be sure to check the nib to ensure that there’s ink flow before writing.
This pen is a cartridge converter type. The instructions are straightforward, simply unscrew the grip section from the barrel. It’s a plunged style converter, so you just need to slide the mechanism back to pull the ink cartridge into the chamber, and wait for the satisfying click.
How it Writes
The feel of the pen in your hand is comfortable when holding and writing with it. Parker does an exceptional job at adding just the right amount of weight to give it that good balance. It isn’t light and flimsy like others, this pen is weighted so that you feel the give when putting pen to paper.
Anyone new to fountain pens might be scared by the weight of the Parker Sonnet, but it’s actually better for you and your writing. The added weight allows you to flick the pen across the page, rather than using force to get the ink out. This will improve the quality of your handwriting, given enough practice.
Parker Sonnet Fountain Pen Customer Reviews
It’s obvious that we loved getting to use the Parker Sonnet Fountain Pen, but we’re only a fraction of the user base. So what did everybody else who bought one think of it? The results are unsurprising.
Out of an astounding 952 reviews, the Parker Sonnet Fountain Pen has a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars.
71% of customers give 5-star reviews, and the general feedback is that the pen has a sophisticated and elegant look. Customers are proud to showcase theirs as it boasts quality and prestige.
In terms of its writing ability, a vast number of reviews stated that the ink doesn’t spread when writing. It writes smoothly and the grip is light and comfortable.
The consensus with the top reviews is that the Parker Sonnet Fountain Pen is money well spent, and we have to agree.
Only 6% of customers gave 1-star reviews.
The most noticeable theme from the negative reviews was that the pen seems to skip at times when writing. It’s hard to say whether the users were doing something wrong in the maintenance or writing, or if this issue comes from a flaw in the manufacturing process.
Either way, we hope that they came right and that Parker stayed true to their guarantee.
There are also reports that the nib on their pen bent inward, meaning it had to be returned and replaced.