Dating A Pen

Dating a pre-1980 Parker 45 usually involves a little detective work and the results can be rather general to say the least, giving a rough idea rather then a specific date.

1: Check for a date code on the side of the cap. These are usually found to the right of the country of manufacture. For example IIN or QI

2: If the pen is boxed with paperwork in the box check the paperwork for a sale date. This will tell us when the pen was sold, not when it was made. There were so many 45’s made that shops often had older stock in long after the pen was made.

Some earlier US pens had a date code on the box indicating the year of manufacture.

3: Model – Some models date from specific years or had identifying features during certain time periods. The best example of this is the 45 Flighter which started off in 1964 with a black plastic end cap, later changed to chrome in around 1970 before losing the end cap altogether in 1979/80.

4: Colors – some colors were not made until after a specific date, for example the “Happy Colours” that came out around 1969.

5: Clip Screw. The Clip Screw (or “Tassie) was changed in around 1970 from the simple conical to a dimpled version or a conical version.

6: The Ink Converter – an early ink converter may indicate an early pen – but because all ink converters fit all 45’s it is easy to swap them around or replace them so this is at best an indicator rather the a hard and fast rule.


Example 1


Looking at the pen we have a Parker 45 Coronet in Green complete with box and paper work. The pen has the older conical clip screw on the cap indicating pre-1970/, with an old wide style ink converter which would tie in with the pen being an older example of a 45. We know that the Coronet was first manufactured in 1967 so this alone would give a rough date of 1967 to 70.

Next we look at the box. The box label matches up with the pen and underneath the pad we find the paperwork. At this period in time Parker would print the printing date on the paperwork … so we have a printing date of 09/66 on the Instructions and 11/66 on the Loss Insurance Registration Form. Best of all the Registration Form specifies that the form is for pens purchased in 1967.

Everything appears to tie in so we can quite confidently say that this is a 1967 pen.

Example 2


This pen was being advertised as a 1960’s Flighter in it’s box. This time there is no date on the Guarantee form so we only have the box and pen to go by. Firstly the pen, which has a dimpled clip screw (tassie) on the cap and has a chromed end cap on the end of the barrel. Both these would suggest a pen made after 1970. The ink converter is an earlier wide version which were used until the late 70’s. From this we can roughly date the pen as probably being manufactured somewhere between 1970 and around 1978.

The box would indicate an earlier pen being the older cardboard design but I have a feeling that the box does not go with the pen and the guarantee card has been added in as well to make the pen look more collectible and bump up the price. Therefore I do not take the box or guarantee into consideration.



Upon opening the box the first thing I notice is the lack of an end cap on the barrel body making this a later post 1979 pen. A quick look on the cap shows the later “Made in the UK”  and the date code of IN – which when we look it up denotes the 3rd quarter of 1989 or the 3rd quarter of 1999. Due to the box I would go with 1989.



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