To coincide with the two part article on choosing a luxury pen, it seemed only fitting to take this opportunity to review a brand new innovation in pen technology; specifically, the pioneering Parker Ingenuity range.

This lavish-looking collection has the gracious poise of a fountain pen without the hassles and impracticalities you’d normally associate with the traditional device. At the heart of the Ingenuity range is Parker’s brand new 5th ink technology; it has a number of advantages over regular fountain pen setups including a fluid, uninterruptable flow of smudge-resistant ink, a flexible tip that rapidly moulds and adapts to your handwriting style, plus an easy to insert refill that won’t leak on you at high altitudes.


The Ingenuity range is broadly split into two categories, ‘Daring’ and ‘Classic’.

The ‘Daring’ collection definitely lives up to its name: Merging flourishes of traditional fountain pens with innovative technology, each pen features the typical emblems of time-honoured writing tools like the engraved metallic cap and nib, with the added benefits of contemporary features such as textured-weave rubber grips and chrome trims.

It’s a look that could easily fall short, but Parker manages to toe the line with just enough precision to grab the best of both worlds. While the slim models are styled with a less ambitious nod to the early twentieth century, the larger pens in the Daring collection are refreshingly different.

Naturally, should you choose to plump for a more customary design, the other side of the Ingenuity series is probably where you want to be. The ‘Classic’ range features a more characteristic look and feel; the uncomplicated lacquered finish appears refined, yet sombre by comparison.


The unit I used for review was one of the larger ‘Daring’ models. Initially my thoughts revolved around the weight of the pen; it certainly has a substantial heft, although having used the pen continuously for several hours, I can freely admit I didn’t experience any fatigue or discomfort in the longer term.

Finding a comfortable pivoting point was a little trickier; with a sharp, extruding fibre tip, you’re wielding a substantial mass on a very fine point. Again, while it took a good half page to discover the perfect balance, once achieved the pen certainly felt as comfortable as any large fountain I’ve used in the past.


Obviously, the key to a great pen is fantastic lettering, and I’m pleased to give a big ‘thumbs up’ to the Ingenuity’s 5th technology. Having become a fibre-tip convert over the past few years, it’s great to see Parker reformulating their pens to suit the modern man’s needs.

The pen glides as promised and rapidly adapts to your handwriting style. Whilst it doesn’t quite capture the iconic look achieved with cursive writing by a fountain pen, it still creates a magnificent stroke with ink appearing thick, rich and vivid on the page.

Replacing used refills is a breeze – just unscrew, remove and insert a new cartridge. It’s the wonderful simplicity of a ballpoint without the associated inky mess; there’s certainly no need to have something on-hand for cleaning up the mess afterwards.


It’s very much a case of having the best of both worlds with the Ingenuity range; the time-honoured look of a fountain, with the highly practical ink-nib of a fine liner. You’ll get elegant design without ink-drenched fingers and the pressure-related issues of a ballpoint.

If you’re searching for a new category of luxury pen, the Parker Ingenuity may perhaps be just the ticket: one for the ‘wish list’.

About The Author

Johnathan Bell is the founder, owner and main author of Guy Style Guide, a website dedicated to everyday male fashion, style and grooming. The primary mission? To guide clueless men through the tricky mindfield that is the growing world of male couture. Find him on , Twitter and Tumblr.

5 Responses

  1. michael shwartz

    If you are looking to buy the Parker 5th pen please do yourself a favour and walk away. This is a very poor product which doesn’t do what it is supposed to. The ink smudges all over a standard 80 gram despite the Parker salesperson telling you at the point of sale that this will not happen.

    Having paid £125 for this pen I was told at the point of sale that the pen would write at any angle and on any paper. In addition, the ink will last a long time and not require a refill for some time. In reality, the ink smudges immediately, and only lasted me 2 weeks despite my only using it for a few short letters.
    The aftersales service is your worst nightmare. There is no one to talk to, and replies to my emails have been unhelpful in resolving the problem. PARKER have done everything in their power to get rid of me as a customer and despite several attempts to seek their help in resolving my problem, I have been stuck with a useless and very expensive pen.
    Do not bother buying this pen – it does not do what it is supposed to.

  2. Matt

    I would agree with the article. Elias is a fantastic original pen with great style. Its the closest feel to a fountain pen without it having the mess, and wires more consistent. It smears less than fountain ink and doesn’t bleed through the page as much either. It impresses clients, which is worth money in itself and is comfortable. The ink lasts a little longer than a fountain pen, but certainly not as long as some ball points. Mine doesn’t smear on paper at all. I haven’t tried signing a receipt with it yet. But if you are writing on glossy paper, you might need a space pen instead. Otherwise, Parker hit a home run with this one.

  3. Parker Ingenuity

    I think the parker ingenuity is a great product, it is a little on the pricey side tough. I feel sorry for Michael though, I think perhaps you had a faulty model and it was wrong of parker not to get back to you quickly.

  4. Johan

    So what exactly is “messy” around a modern fountain pen, especially a cartridge filled one? It looks like Parker simply designed a very expensive felt tip pen, to solve a problem that didn’t really exist in the first place.

  5. Scott

    I am quite pleased with this pen. I was never a fan of fountain pens and preferred Pilot porous point pens. This pen is like a hybrid of the two. It brings the best features of both into one writing instrument. Not only is it a great penmanship tool, it is also an excellent drawing tool. I’m using it in my graphic design class on tracing paper and find it to be superior to anything else my classmates are using.