For some unknown reasons, Parker has recently sent me a survey about writing instruments. Sure thing, these surveys have the goal of understanding what customers want and look for. Now, I wonder where the real business of fountain pens is—is it in pen collectors and heavy users who accumulate pens or is it in occasional users and in people in search of a distinguished present?
The survey started with questions on the number of writing tools over €150 purchased during the previous two years, and on their nature, fountain pen or other. Once decided fountain pens were my object of desire, the questions versed about the personal value ascribed to gold nibs and about how the pen was filled.
Most of those questions could be answered by checking fountain pen fora. But those answers reflect only the opinion of collectors and accumulators. I do not know whether big pen companies check these fora, but these surveys make me think that the business, the big money, relies in the group of occasional buyers with little or no information on pens.
Only this could explain why Parker does not manufacture any self-filing pen right now, why the gamut of their pens is so boring, or why it is so difficult to find any nib other than F and M, at least in the Spanish market
Of course, that is a personal opinion. It happens that I cannot help thinking of the modern Duofold as a major treason to a beautiful tradition.