Friday, June 24, 2022

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 391

Here's a very inexpensive fountain pen I recently acquired -- a Jinhao '65'.  I saw this model during a visit to Nikaido when the shop's co-owner Joe showed me the one he bought from Aliexpress.  As soon as I got home, I ordered one for myself for the low, low price of $4.34 CAD, including shipping (link)...

(please click on images to enlarge)
There was only one colour option for the pen--matte black-- but I thought it suited the pen's simple design and I liked the way it looked in the photos, so I didn't mind. The pen arrived, safe and sound, in a no-frills, narrow cardboard box with the words "Business Gift Pen" and "Made in China" on it.

It's a long, slender, cylindrical fountain pen measuring 13.4 cm long capped, 16.1 cm posted and 11.9 cm uncapped (my measurements).

The weight of the pen is about 13.7 grams empty, with the cap accounting for about 6.6 grams of that.  The pen posts easily and securely, and I prefer using it that way as it's nicely balanced and not overly long when posted.

The pen's cap, barrel and clip are made of a matte black metal, but the ribbed section is made of black plastic. The monotone steel nib is very Lamy-like (more on that below) ...

... and has the Jinhao chariot logo, company name and "F" (for Fine) on it.

Although the nib's width is marked as Fine (and was described as being 0.5mm in width by the seller), to me, it writes more like an Extra-Fine. It is a smooth writer, though, and I have no complaints about it. It doesn't have any flex to it, but I didn't expect any. There was an Extra-Fine (0.38mm) nib width option for the pen, but I wanted the wider of the two nibs.

The pen came with a ink converter (which did not have the Jinhao name on the turning stem) in place, but I haven't tried using it with ink cartridges yet (the pen did not come with any cartridges). I did try putting a standard international ink cartridge on it, but the opening wasn't wide enough. I'll have to look into that later, but for now, the supplied converter works well.

Remember how I said the Jinhao's nib was very "Lamy-like"? Well, as soon as I saw the pen, I was instantly reminded of my Lamy 'cp1' fountain pen --the top pen in the photo above.

When I started researching the history of the Lamy 'cp1' on Fountain Pen Network, I found out that there were two versions--- one made before 1983, which was shorter and skinnier (like my example from 1978 - model 58), and a later version which was longer and thicker. The Jinhao '65' appears to have been inspired by the earlier Lamy 'cp1' version.

The later Lamy cp1's came with the same nib and feed as Lamy's 'Safari' pens, whereas the nib on my early 'cp1' is completely unmarked and also lacks a breather hole. The Jinhao '65' also lacks a breather hole, which adds support to my theory that it was based on the earlier 'cp1' version.

I wasn't able to slide the nib off my Jinhao but I believe Joe was able to do so, and I think he put a Lamy nib on it (Joe--please correct me if I'm wrong!). The other parts of the pens (caps, barrels and sections) are not interchangeable, though, as the Jinhao is ever-so-slightly wider (it's just over 0.9 cm in width vs. just under 0.9cm for my Lamy 'cp1').

Another difference--the design of the Lamy 'cp1' clip (top) looks much nicer (and the clip feels a lot more robust) than the simple clip on the Jinhao. The Jinhao's cap top and barrel ends are flat and unadorned, and its clip has no markings on it. In fact, aside from the Jinhao name and logo on the nib, there is nothing else on the pen that indicates it's a Jinhao writing instrument.

Above: I thought the Jinhao's barrel was closed (like the Lamy cp1's) but it actually has four small vertical slits in it. I'm not sure why it's like that---perhaps for safety reasons (to prevent choking should someone swallow the cap)?? Both the Jinhao and Lamy post via friction, but the Lamy posts with a nice "click" whereas the Jinhao doesn't make that sound. I haven't used the Jinhao long enough to tell how well its black finish holds up to repeated posting (or general use, for that matter).

The Jinhao '65' is a cool-looking, very portable fountain pen---it's light in weight and fits in the narrowest of journal loops--but the writing experience and build quality can't compare to that of the Lamy 'cp1'. For $4 CAD shipped, though, the Jinhao is worth buying if you're looking for a lightweight, modern-looking fountain pen. Many thanks to Joe for inspiring this purchase!

(photos & review by Maja)

No comments: