Parker Slimfold – Same but different!

I was tidying up some pens last night, and between them were a few Parker Slimfolds.

The Slimfolds were the runt of the Duofold litter, but they are fascinating pens: Small, affordable, reliable, easy to clean and service. A great introduction to vintage pens.

There are several articles that cover the history of Slimfolds, but last night I noticed something that was unusual and I have not seen covered elsewhere: There different “generations” of the original Slimfolds!

The easiest way to spot the difference are the clips. One (I believe the later one) has a shorter clip with tapered feather section on the arrow. The other is a bit longer and the feather section is more rectangular

The next difference is in the cap band. They both have the same chevron pattern, but the newer band has a bit of a “lip” at the top and bottom, which the older one does not seem to have.

Next difference, still on the cap, is the breather holes. The later pen has only one breather hole towards the top of the cap. The older one has two breather holes opposite each other, much further down the cap. Usually, you’ll find one of the breather holes hidden under the clip.

Moving to the barrel, the main distinction is the imprint. The earlier pen has Parker and Slimfold printed on separate lines followed by “Made in England”. The newer pen has the Parker logo and “Parker Slimfold” on a single line. The earlier pen also has a year stamp (“6” in this example, denoting 1956). The newer barrel is not dated.

There is a slight difference in the colouring of the plastic, which is very difficult to see in the pictures. The earlier pen is a bit brighter overall, the newer pen is a bit darker. This only seems to apply to the red ones though, as far as I have seen.

And just so that you don’t think this peculiarity is only relevant to the red slimfold, here is a similar pair of caps in green.

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