Thursday, July 23, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 48

Performance and price don't always go hand in hand, as you'll see in these reviews of two modern fountain pens recently acquired by Jerred...

(all photos courtesy of Jerred ~ please click on images to enlarge)

Jerred:"This is a Hongdian 1850, also called the Black Forest. Hongdian is a Chinese maker, one I'd never really heard of before the beginning of this year. They seem to be very influenced by the severe, almost industrial designs that are the hallmark of certain German makers, such as Staedtler, Faber-Castell or Lamy."

"This pen comes in three finishes; black (seen here), blue and what looks like a raw, brushed aluminum. Fit and finish is excellent, the coating is evenly applied and seems reasonably tough, and while the pen is all metal and slightly on the heavy side, it's well balanced in the hand."

"One thing that definitely bears highlighting is the nib: The nib on this pen is absolutely excellent. Out of the box it was smooth, well adjusted, and wrote very reliably. It's also black-coated, and (apparently) it's a PVD coating instead of paint or epoxy, which should help with wear. All-in-all, for a $25 pen, I'm very impressed."

"This is a Parker Duofold International, in Ivory. This is part of Parker's modern Duofold lineup, and International is the smallest size in the lineup. It's similar in size to a Pelikan M600, though with a slightly shorter section. Fit and finish are merely okay, however. While the body is well enough put together, the nib slit is quite badly off-center and the masking isn't great either. While I normally wouldn't complain about such things, this is quite an expensive pen, and I would expect perfect, or close to perfect attention to detail."

"Worse than the aesthetic issues, however, are the functional issues with this pen. To put it bluntly, the nib was pathetic. The tipping was so uneven that it would not write unless I applied pressure, the inner tines weren't smoothed properly, and the tines were out of alignment. It was so bad, in fact, that I ended up having to completely re-grind the nib to make the pen functional. It writes well enough now, but overall I was quite disappointed."

Many thanks to Jerred for sending in his photos and reviews for our virtual "show & tell"!

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