The section of the Parker 75 fountain pen family underwent several changes during the course of its 30 years of production. These changes occurred with the section threads, in the ring near the nib, and the finger-gripping areas, in subtle ways over the years and were slipped into production.

Additionally it is also possible to replace the fountain pen section with one for the soft-tip or rollerball. They all fit into the barrel of the Parker 75 fountain pen. Put another way, a Parker 75 soft-tip or rollerball pen can be converted into a Parker 75 fountain pen. This is sometimes quite advantageous since the prices for rollerballs are usually less than for FPs, so it is a good route to acquire the cap and barrel for a 75 in this way. There is a possible problem, though -- the cap may not fit tightly when the pen is closed due to variations in the inner cap clutch/spring or lack of it, using simply an inner cylindrical sleeve (prevents premature drying of the soft-tip refill.

A side note about the sections which once accommodated the felt-tip refill Parker called 'soft-tip'. Since these refills are no longer made, it is possible to use the plastic hollow section with a ballpen refill. Alternatively you can convert it for use with a ballpoint refill with the addition of an inexpensive plastic adapter.

While we're on the topic of non-FPs, Parker used pencil cartridges that would fit into the 75 BP barrel.  Two distinct types are known to have been used, the older US-made cartridge used 0.9mm lead compared to the Japanese-made one that had 0.5mm lead.

Another interesting fact is that the section of the Premier model fountain pens is interchangeable with one from a Parker 75. And the Premier cap will fit properly! Although the section will fit a T-1 barrel, the same cannot be said for the cap since it uses a different cap clutch mechanism.

Normally the plastic sections were black in color, but there are some clear plastic demonstrator

and colored sections that left the Parker. I don't believe they were ever sold; instead they are more likely to be prototypes made by the model shop.  The colored sections I have seen were this burgundy one below,

and a blue one.


 These non-black sections are considered quite rare and command premium prices.  But even a black one can be unusual as you can see with this prototype specimen.  It has a second chrome band near the threads.


Here is a goldplated version of this.

To see a section disassembled down to its components, click here.  And to see a variety of colored sections found in 2013, click here.



Early production used sections with metal threads as shown below. These can be readily seen even when the section was fitted onto the barrel because the metal threaded left a visible telltale band on the barrel.

By late 1965 Parker stopped producing the fountain pens with this metal-threaded section, replacing them with an all-plastic model. As a result, this early variant is especially prized among collectors.



The original Parker 75 Ciselé introduced in 1964 had a chrome-plated ring with engraved lines and a zero reference mark. These characteristics were borrowed from the Parker VP model that preceded the 75. The purpose was to facilitate the nib point being rotated into a position that the user felt most comfortable.

The first Parker ads touted the 75 was "The first personal-fit pen tailored to write his own way". The pen would "conform precisely to his natural handwriting to become as personally his as his fingerprints".

These calibration markings were used to set the angle "by a dial as carefully calibrated as the lens on a $400 camera", the ads continued.


When first production began, the section ring was chrome-plated with ruled lines and the zero reference engraving. The matching nib was 14K gold.

Circa 1968, the chrome-plated ring omitted the zero reference engraving.

When production was shifted to the Meru plant in France, the first models produced had a gold-color section ring without any ruled lines.

Update of 12-14-2003:

I discovered that this section has a  number inscribed near the barrel threads.  I don't know if this is true for all sections of this kind.  

French alternative to the ruled lines. Notice how the lines are cut across the entire width of the gold-colored ring. Also the ring does not continue off the edge.

I have come to learn that these are really sections for the Parker Premier, the luxury successor to the 75 line.

Update of 12-14-2003:

I discovered that this section has a serial number inscribed near the barrel threads.  I don't know if this is true for all sections of this kind.  See more of this here.

Chromeplated ring all the way to the edge, this was found on a French-made midnight blue laque FP with the Chinese characters.

Goldplated ring all the way to the edge, this was found on a Premier.  What is interesting is that there was also a goldplated ring on the threads that screwed into the barrel.

French production changed the design to a 3mm wide gold-colored band. Notice how the ring no longer continues off the edge.

The ring was again changed to the final form - a thin gold-colored band. Apparently this was done because the wider bands were being corroded by inks. Matching this band was a 18K gold nib.

Update of 06-30-2009

According to this flyer, Parker's FP section change to the final form with the thin gold band were to:



The first section had a finger-grip formed by three flattened regions on the section where the writer’s hand would hold the pen. These flat regions were shaped like an elongated teardrop with two of the three being ribbed with lines cut into the plastic. As a result, these three regions formed a triangular shape, unlike contemporary pens whose grips were cylindrical.

Parker documents indicate that this unique and sculpted grip was the result of extensive research that spanned several years. A study was conducted by involving hundreds of people, each of whom was asked to grip a rod of pliable plastic clay just as s/he would normally hold a fountain pen. It came as no surprise when there were countless variations found due to subtle differences in physical characteristics of the hand -- its size, finger length -- and other individual factors. Each rod impression was then studied and compared until a general shape evolved. That shape was then applied to the grip that you see above.

According to Parker’s first ads describing this attribute, this "beautifully sculptured grip nests his fingers in its curvatures". As a result, Parker claimed that "there is less pressure as he writes. His fingers do not tire; each letter flows easily and gracefully."

In fact, after my Dec 22, 2001 update, while photographing the gold banded section for the spare parts Exchange page I noticed that I have two of these sections with the gold band that is somewhat different than others.  They had a number inscribed but unlike the ones for the Italian market.  These numbers were inscribed on the unthreaded plastic piece that goes into the barrel:  4613D1 as shown below and 4628C1.  If anyone knows more about the significance of this, please email me.


Towards the final years of production, perhaps starting in the late 1980s, the area for each flattened gripping region was reduced by about 50% in length from 30mm to 14mm, appearing more like a teardrop. This change coincided with the use of the thinnest section gold ring and was the last iteration used until Parker 75 production ended in 1993. This small teardrop area is poor lip service to the original triangular sculpted gripping areas that Parker used for its marketing campaign to launch the 75 line.

One thing to note about this last section with the thin gold band — the use of a very different feed than previously which you can see below.  Parker designed this to provide a more consistent flow of ink and the collector fins were made part of the feed assembly instead of being a separate and smaller piece that was in the gripping section.  This new nib/feed assembly resulted a gripping section that could no longer have the teardrop depressions.  So the nib/feed assembly that mated with this thin gold band section is not interchangeable with any earlier sections.