The Parker 75 was introduced towards the end of 1964 and remained in production, first in the USA, later in France, for over thirty years. Best known in its original incarnation in the sterling silver crosshatch or grid pattern (much later renamed "Ciselé"), as shown above, the 75 was also offered in a vast range of other patterns and materials. Although fountain pens with precious metal caps and barrels were nothing new, the 75 was a trendsetter in being the first mass-market pen design in which this was the base configuration.
The Parker 75 is one of the most widely collected of modern fountain pens (the matching ballpoints, rollerballs, and pencils are also sought after), and the variety available has made the 75 an area of specialization all its own. The 75 was the basis for Parker's first limited editions -- the Spanish Treasure (1965), Bicentennial/Americana (1976), and R. M. S. Queen Elizabeth II (1977) -- and if this wasn't enough, Parker's designers turned out a plethora of models in extremely limited numbers for internal evaluation and test-marketing, most of which never went into full production. Generically (if often inaccurately) referred to as "prototypes", these pens are often spectacular in appearance and highly esteemed by collectors.
Timeline (work in progress):
Section with metal threads replaced by all-plastic section, by late 1965 (per ads; change surely earlier)
French production begins, 1968
"0" center mark removed from metal section-end nib angle indicator, c. 1971
Flat ends replaced by dished ends, c. 1971
Clip shortened, feathers of arrow lengthened, c. 1972-73
Plain cap rim area widened, imprint moved from front to back, c. 1974
Wide finned-tail feed replaces original thin-tailed feed, 1991