Way back in the mists of time when I was a little fellow at school, a few of the older children had graduated to a “fancy” pen, a Parker ballpoint. There didn’t seem to be any other choices, seemingly the only fancy pen in the world was a Parker Jotter, although it came in a few different varieties – chrome or gold trim, coloured resin or steel lower body, etc. Well that’s my memory of it all anyway. So, not surprisingly, a Parker Jotter was the very first “good” pen that I ever owned. When I was about eleven and started intermediate school, my parents thought that I had reached that stage where I should have a “decent” pen, so a Parker Jotter arrived. I also had to start wearing a school tie and a cap. A tie! Everyday, all day at school. Anyway, I remember my Jotter was a brushed all-stainless steel model. I quite liked it, but somewhere along the way it got lost.
The Parker Jotter is a bit of a classic. It’s been around for a long time, and has those long clean smooth classic tapering lines. It looks a plain, simple, no-nonsense but classy sort of writing instrument. It seems to me you normally see the Jotter pencil as part of a ballpoint pen and pencil set, rather than as an individual item.
The Jotter is a standard push top ratchet mechanism pencil, but rather unusually there isn’t an eraser under the top cap. Instead, if you unscrew the top half of the body there is a small eraser there, plugging the top of the lead refill magazine.
The body is different too. The pencil is much heavier and feels like the wall section is thicker than on my much lighter new ballpoint. Actually the ballpoint feels so light that in comparison you would think it was made from aluminium. But having said all this, neither Jotter is a heavyweight. Also the style of the end cap has changed – the old cap had a depressed centre, and the new one is a simpler flat topped pressing.
The mechanism on the Jotter is a good positive clicker, with 10 clicks advancing 6mm of lead. I believe it’s only available in 0.5mm lead, which is a little unusual in these days of 0.7mm popularity. The tip is a short cone with a short fixed sleeve about 2mm long. Fine for writing and ruling an occasional line, but there’s no pocket safety here. Also I find the tip looks a bit incongruous. It really breaks the smooth continuous lines of the body. I don’t like it, and I’m sure they could have done something better.
“PARKER” and “Made in USA” are discretely stamped into the body.
Overall, this is a good pencil, and I like it, but for pure functionality its not too hard to do better.
- Best Points – Classic solid steel.
- Not So Good Points – Tip not retractable.
- Price Range – Mid.
Dimensions – Length 133mm, diameter about 7 - 8mm in the common grip area, 10mm at the widest point. Balance point about 70mm up from the tip.
Sorry about some of these photos not being the best – its actually quite hard taking close ups of a shiny reflective metal object with just a basic camera.