Friday, April 15, 2022

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 357

From vintage to modern we go now!

Here's a nice, affordable fountain pen I bought last April from eBayer 'esybuy' for just
$20.61 USD including shipping from China:

( ~ please click on images to enlarge ~ )

My beautiful Jinhao '100 Centennial' (a/k/a Jinhao 'Century 100') fountain pen!

If it reminds you of a certain classic fountain pen, your eyes aren't deceiving you - it's definitely an homage to the vintage Parker 'Duofold' from the 1920s/30s, and its model name is undoubtedly a reference to the "Duofold Centennial" model, a modern version of the vintage 'Duofold' which came out in 1988, to celebrate Parker's centennial anniversary.

This isn't the first Jinhao 'Duofold' tribute -- there was an older Jinhao model called the Jinhao 'Century' (a/k/a Jinhao 'Celluloid') that had a similar shape, but a completely different clip, section and cap band(s). Actually, there were actually two versions of that pen, which some refer to as "Mark I" and "Mark II". Jinhao wasn't alone in making Parker 'Duofold' lookalikes, though - Moonman did it with their 'M600S' fountain pen and, before that, Kaigelu with their '316' model (those are just the two examples that spring to mind -- there are several others).

Above: Jinhao's #6 size two-tone gold-plated steel nib.

Mine has the Jinhao chariot logo at the top, and "JINHAO" and "18KGP" (18 Karat Gold Plated) below it. Some of these nibs lack the "18KGP" imprint, but have the nib width engraved/stamped on them - mine doesn't. It was advertised as a Medium, though, and it lays down a Medium line (the pen was also available with a Fine or Bent nib). The
plastic feed keeps up with the ink flow (it's definitely a wet writer) and the nib writes quite smoothly. It doesn't have any flex to it, but I wasn't expecting any. I read that the nibs can be swapped out for other #6 size nibs, but apparently, the Jinhao nibs are rather challenging to remove, so I haven't attempted it.

 Jinhao's chariot logo also appears on the medallion that sits atop the cap finial. Mine is made of a gold-coloured metal, but I've seen some pens with dark grey medallions.

A few photos against a lighter background, which shows the pen's material a bit better ...

In terms of weight, it's a fairly light fountain pen - total weight (with the provided Jinhao converter in place) is 27 grams, with the cap accounting for 12 grams of that. Its posted length is a whopping 6.75 inches, though, so I prefer to use mine unposted.

My pen came with a converter but I was curious to see which ink cartridges it might accept, so I tried the international cartridges that came with my Kaweco Sport and Ensso Piuma pocket pens. Unfortunately, they didn't fit :( I've heard from a credible source that the newer versions of this model (ie. the pens that don't have any black accents) do take international ink cartridges.

Unposted, the pen's length is approximately. 4.9 inches from nib tip to barrel end, which I find long enough to use very comfortably. It's also very well-balanced without its cap on. Should you decide to use the pen posted, keep in mind that it doesn't post very deeply, and it's a bit back-weighted, too.

Above: the wide metal cap band with "JINHAO" engraved/stamped in stylized block letters. The cap doesn't have an inner cap liner, but it screws on tightly in about two and a half turns.  

The clip has a nice tension to it--not too loose but not too tight--and has the Jinhao chariot logo at its top. My pen has a ball-end clip, like the vintage Parker 'Duofolds' pens from the 1920s and 30s, but the same Jinhao model (in other colours) also comes with an arrow-style clip. I haven't seen this particular colour with an arrow clip.

This model's predecessor (the Jinhao 'Century'/'Celluloid' model - Mark I) had metal barrel threads which added more weight to the pen; I much prefer these acrylic barrel threads, though, as they make the pen lighter (and I think they look better). You can't see it in my photos, but there's a black O-ring at one end of the section threads that prevents the user from over-tightening the barrel when screwing it onto the section (I thought that was a great idea). The section is really comfortable to hold, and I find it aesthetically pleasing, as well. I also love the shiny, gold-coloured trim rings and how they contrast so well with the pen's glossy black accents.

The material looks like it's composed of small orange and caramel-coloured pieces within a light orange resin - an interesting effect.

the Jinhao '100 Centennial' ('Century 100') was first released, it only came in a few colours (four or five, I think). Later, more colours were added to the lineup (both solid colours and swirly or checkered patterns) and more recently, Jinhao added models without any black accents. They even made some versions with vintage Duofold-style barrel imprints, which look very cool (tip: some online sellers refer to this imprint as a "logo" in their auction/sales listings ;)

As mentioned earlier, some models have ball-end clips, while others have arrow clips. If you don't like gold-coloured trim, some of the pens come with silver-coloured trim. With all these colours, trim and clip options,
I can easily see the '100 Centennial' being one of those pens (like the Lamy 'Safari'/'Al-Star') where people want to own one of each type. 

Side note: I just discovered that there's also a Jinhao '100A' model that came out a while ago. The photos I've seen of it show a pen very similar to (the same as ??) the '100' model but with a "Greek key" style engraving on its cap band. I didn't see any online reviews of  the '100A' model yet, so I don't know if the cap band is the only difference.

In summary: I'm very happy with this purchase! Yes, it's clearly a 'Duofold' "tribute", but it's in a colour that the originals never came in and, for what I paid, I think it's definitely worth the price tag. The online prices vary from site to site, but I've seen it selling for as low as $12.98 USD with free shipping to Canada. All in all, I think it's a nice writer and a classy-looking pen (that looks much more expensive than it really is :)

(photos and review by Maja)

(Very late note: I didn't realize until well after I'd posted this review that I'd already reviewed the same pen back in August 2021, albeit with completely different photos; I guess it tells you how much I enjoy using my Jinhao 100s lol :)

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