The Parker 45 is notoriously difficult to accurately date due to the lack of date markings before 1980 and the sheer numbers that were made over the years. Some of the standard colors, for example black and dark blue, were produced right from the start in 1960 through to the mid 1980’s with hardly any changes.
In 1960 the first pens were produced in Black, Burgundy, Grey, Light Blue, Dark Blue and Green as Parker 45 Classic pens.
In 1962 Parker invested in new molding technology which made it easier to produce the plastic parts. As a result the Parker 45 Arrow with its plastic cap and barrel started production.
By 1964 Parker had realised that their new 45 pens were a runaway success and widened the range by adding more top end versions such as the brushed stainless steel “Flighter” and the gold filled “Insignia” followed soon after in 1965. See our Parker 45 Flighter Time Line Here
1967 was another busy year for the 45 with the release of the 45 Deluxe (plastic barrel and cap with gold trim) as well as the clipless “45 Lady” pens and the anodized aluminum “Coronets” all being introduced around this time.
The end of the 60’s, probably 1969, saw the introduction of the “Student” range or “Happy Colors” with bright colors, steel nibs and chrome trim. Colors were Olive, Yellow, Orange, Pink and Turquoise.
The 1970’s brought in a small change to the shape of the clip screw on the pen cap. Parker introduced their “Personal Touch” stickers in about 1970 which were small round stickers with the letters of the alphabet printed on them, designed to be stuck on the clip screw of your pen to give it that personal touch. As a result certain pen clip screws including the Parker 75 and 45 were redesigned to facilitate these stickers. Out went the earlier inverted cone or “conical” clip screw and in came the round “dimpled” or “dish” style version.
1970 also brought a change to the Flighter pens with the end cap now being chrome rather then the earlier black plastic.
The middle of the 70’s saw the beginning of the decline in Fountain Pens and relatively little happened to the 45, particularly the plastic bodied pens which became more or less static in terms of any new models or colours.
The late 70’s did see the Flighter get a small modification where the internal design of the barrel was simplified. Instead of the original full length internal plastic sleeve inside the barrel with plastic threads to screw the shell grip section on to, we now find a small brass threaded insert and a small plug at the top of the barrel for the end cap to screw on to.
1979 saw the Flighter change once more, now losing it’s end cap altogether. We also see the introduction of the Parker 45 TX with it’s dark blue epoxy paint on brass body and gold trim, as well as the Harlequin series in either “Shield” or “Circlet” pattern. Production of the TX ended in about 1983 and for the Harlequins about 1984.
1980 Date Coding Introduced. See the Date Codes Used Here
By the end of the 80’s only the Flighter GT (gold trims) and Blue, Red and Black plastic pens remained.
1990 English made pens now stamped “Made In UK”
In 2001 the Parker 45 got a facelift adding a Cabochon Jewel to the clip screw and a redesigned arrow on the clip. Plastic versions known as Parker 45 Specials with gold trim and the brushed stainless Flighter also with gold trim.
2007 only the 45 Flighter remains on catalog
2008 the Parker 45 is discontinued.