Thursday, June 8, 2017

Fast, good, cheap --- pick any two...

There's a old saying in project management---"Fast, good, cheap---pick any two"---and this recent eBay purchase just confirmed its veracity (click on photo to enlarge):

The pens (an all-black Jinhao '15' and a Hero '616' Jumbo) were purchased from an eBay seller in Singapore, who did a nice job stubbing them (ie. modifying their nibs to stub nibs) and who shipped them to me very promptly. They did take over 5 weeks to arrive, though... but for the price I paid ($21 USD + shipping) and the quality of the work, they were well worth the wait.

If it looks familiar, that's because the Hero '616' is basically a Parker '51' clone (nice comparison of the two pens here ). It has a hooded steel nib and uses an aerometric-style squeeze-filling mechanism to draw bottled ink. There is a smaller model of the '616', but I prefer the slightly-larger Jumbo version as it's practically the same size as a full-sized Parker '51'.

The Jinhao '15' reminds me of the Waterman Sérénité (but at a fraction of the price ;) with its tapered body and textured section grip. I was pleased to discover that its cap could be posted, thanks to an indented ring on the barrel end. It can be used unposted (without feeling unbalanced) unless you have very large hands. I hold my fountain pens a bit higher up on the barrel, so the grip area on the Jinhao is perfect for me.

Though they lack the gold nibs that their Parker and Waterman counterparts have, both the Hero and Jinhao are reliable writers that won't break the bank if you're looking for an inexpensive knockabout fountain pen.

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