In the age of the Schmidt Easy-Flow 9000
and Monteverde Soft-Roll
ballpoint ink cartridges, Parker, who has been the long-standing bar of measure for the aptly-named Parker-style ballpoint refills, had fallen behind in quality. Many of our customers rave about the smoothness, ink flow and long-lasting qualities of the Monteverde
or Schmidt refills, often buying the refills with the intent to exchange the misbegotten Parker cartridge in the pen they just purchased. Parker ballpoint refills just didn't match up to the new technologies that were being developed and introduced into the market.
Finally, with the introduction of the new Premier SE Stealth Black ballpoint
, we get a glimpse of the Parker Quinkflow ballpoint cartridge, which is equipped in every Premier SE ballpoint. According to the Parker
website, they promise a smoother, cleaner and more consistent writing performance. Lipstick on a pig? I say no.
I did have my skepticism at first, but then when I tried it side-by-side with a regular Parker ballpoint, I was struck by the immense difference. Smoother? Check. Cleaner? Double Check. More consistent writing performance? Don't know about that since I only got to try it for a few minutes. It is definitely a significant improvement over the standard Parker ballpoint cartridge that now comes standard in virtually every Parker Pen (and many more brands, for that matter). But, now that we've gotten a taste of what better writing quality could
be, what do we do now?
The introduction of the Quinkflow technology as a separate refill for sale is not available at the moment. However, Parker will be including the Quinkflow refill in every new purchase of a Duofold, Premier or Sonnet Precious
ballpoint pen. It is a rolling change that will take effect at the end of this year into next year. The refills themselves should be available for sale in North America by the beginning of December. I anticipate that the Quinkflow refill will be a separate offering to the regular ballpoint for a while, probably at a higher price point. Although, with all of the competition and Parker-Style clones out there that already outperform the brand's own refill, I would imagine it is a matter of time until the standard Parker refill is no more and the Quinkflow is the wave of Parker's future.