A classic combination of sterling silver, black lacquer and gold trims, the Parker Sonnet Sterling Silver Cisele is certainly a style that has lasted for years as a highly desirable design amongst Parker pen enthusiasts. The finish endured a complete refresh of the Sonnet line that Parker made over a year and a half ago. In that re-release, the slim ballpoint version was created to offer direct competition with the slender profile of the Cross Classic Century.
Opening the box, there is an immediate difference in packaging that collectors of Parker Sonnets prior to 2008 would notice. Similar to the Sonnet Premium Gold Lustre we reviewed last year, the Precious Sterling Silver line is presented in a black, pull-out drawer box that contains the pen in a nylon pen wrap with the Parker logo on the front. The wrap has a magnetic closure and features three loops with two additional "pockets" for refills. As opposed to the chunky gift box that was offered before, this pen wrap provides the additional benefit of being able to use the container to protect and transport your writing instrument.
The glimmering sterling silver pairs well with the precise complexity of the filled-in grid engraving that covers the barrel and cap. A small hallmark is stamped on the back of the pen to signify the authenticity of the material. The gold trim and Parker arrow clip contrasts well with the silver and adds more of a luxurious appeal to the pen.
Holding the pen in-hand, the thin profile definitely reminds one of a Classic Century or Parker Insignia. That being said, the grip isn't for everyone, and certainly not me. Besides the narrow width, the crosshatch engraving feels rough on the finger tips. The Parker ballpoint refill that comes with the pen is a fine point and writes well. The solid weight of the metal in-hand and the average length of the pen offers decent balance. However, I would find it difficult to write over the long-term without developing a callus on my finger.
- Writing Quality : For those who prefer a slim grip. However, the engraved surface is bothersome to hold. (grade C+)
- Aesthetic Quality : Sterling silver w/ chiseled grid engraving is classy and exudes luxury. (grade A-)
- Utility : Slim, twist-action ballpoint could probably fit in many organizers. One easy twist and the point retracts and advances. Parker-style refill is easily found in most stores. Included pen wrap is a useful value. (grade B+)
- Price : If you think about the pen as just a ballpoint pen, then the price tag of $155 can seem steep. But, if you think about the fact that it is a Parker and that the pen is mostly sterling silver with an intricate design that most other manufacturers would offer above $200, the price doesn't seem so bad. (grade B-)
Final Grade : B
May be a great buy for people who prefer slim-profile, Cross-like ballpoint pens. Certainly a luxury item, but does not offer the everyday writing comfort that a great pen should.