25 April 2011

Matching (VIII)

The controversy is always there: Is that pen original or a copy of another? Which company did father that idea? Sometimes, the answers are clear…

On the top, Inoxcrom 55. Parker 21 (Mark 1), on the bottom.

Inoxcrom remains, despite its financial difficulties, as the best known fountain pen company in Spain and one of the few known outside its country of origin. This company was founded in 1942 by Manuel Vaqué as Industrial MAVA in Barcelona, and changed its name to Inoxcrom in 1946. It started by producing nibs for other companies and by assembling pens with imported parts. And by 1955 the company produced the first complete pen—the Inoxcrom 55, a copy of the very successful Parker 21.

Again, on the top, Inoxcrom 55. Parker 21 on the bottom.

This pen had a remarkably constant price in Spain: 100 pesetas for about 18 years—between 1955 and 1973. The competitor Parker 21, about 300 pesetas by 1960.

Advertisement published in La Vanguardia Española (Barcelona) on September 15th, 1961. The Inoxcrom 55's price was significantly lower than that of some imported pens.

The Mark 1 Parker 21 had a larger feed.

The construction quality of both pens was not that different—the 55 model was a reliable product indeed, and became the workhorse of many a student in Spain.

Both pens were aerometric fillers. The Inoxcrom pen had the instructions in Spanish.

Nowadays, in Spain, it is possible to find units of this model for about € 50.

My thanks to Grafopasión members Alberto and Claudio.

(Pilot Decimo, 18 K M nib – Diamine Teal)

Bruno Taut
(April 22nd, 2011)
[labels: Inoxcrom, Parker, España]

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