Monday, May 3, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 190

Our last in-person meeting was held in February 2020 and the meeting theme that night was "Multi-Coloured Fountain Pens". The theme was suggested by Candice who brought some eye-catching pens for the topic, including a couple of shimmery, iridescent ones. She'd said she'd purchased them from AliExpress.com for very little money, so I ordered a Yiren '405' fountain pen in a yellow-green colour. 

It wrote fairly well for a pen that cost $9.99 USD, but I didn't plan on buying any more (even though they came in several different colours) ... until I spotted these three Yiren '405' fountain pens for a great price on eBay a few months ago.

I placed an order and got all three  for $7.89 USD, including free shipping! 

(all photos by Maja ~ please click on images to enlarge)

The fountain pens look metallic, but they're actually made of a very light plastic and spray-painted (?) to create that cool gradient effect. The pens are feather-light -- 14 grams with an empty converter in place -- and yes, they are Lamy 'Safari' clones (or "tributes", as some pen folks call them)...

 

The pens post easily and are the same size (posted and capped) as "the real thing". They all came with a generic plastic ink converter (with a red turning knob - a nod to Lamy's proprietary converter??) that fits my 'Safari' fountain pens, but not quite as snugly as a Lamy converter. Not surprisingly, the Yirens also take Lamy ink cartridges. There are some notable differences between the Yiren '405' fountain pens and Lamy's 'Safari', though ...

...such as the fact that the Yiren pens are only coloured on the outside. That came as a huge shock to me... but what was I expecting from a pen that cost less than $3 USD ?!?!?

 

 

All three Yiren pens have a plastic finial that is very similar to the Safari's, but it lacks the tiny hole in the center of the cross that the Safari finials have. The '405's barrel bottoms (not shown) are very similar to a Safari's, but the Yiren's have a small circular indentation in them. 

 

Although I referred to them as "clones" earlier, there is no mistaking the pens for a Lamy product, as the Yiren brand name is clearly imprinted on the barrel end.

 

 
                            

The '405's steel nibs are all iridescent (aren't they pretty?) and have "YIREN" and the nib width ("EF", in this case) stamped above the company name...

 


...and yes, the Yiren nib fits perfectly on my Lamy 'Safari' pen! (above)



 (photos of the three Yiren '405' fountain pens and the green-yellow '405' fountain pen I bought in early 2020 from a different seller on AliExpress.com)

Interestingly, the yellow-green '405' pen was a much better writer out of the box- the other three all needed some minor nib-tweaking to increase their ink flow and smoothness. Also, the finial on the yellow-green '405's' cap was completely different-- a slightly-convex black plastic disc with a raised image of  stylized chrysanthemum (?) on it.

In summary: If you're looking for a great writer out of the box, I would not recommend the Yiren '405' fountain pens I bought recently. If you happen to get one that's like my smooth-writing yellow-green '405', well, "Yiren luck"! 😉 

All jokes aside, even if you get a '405' that needs some minor nib adjustments, you likely won't have spent a lot of money acquiring it...and they're great pens on which to practice your nib-tuning skills!

~Photos & write up by Maja

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