Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 407

Double-shot show & tell!
Earlier this month, I reviewed a pretty, multi-coloured Jinhao '100 Centennial'
fountain pen and mentioned how I owned three others of the same model. I'd reviewed two out of the three already, so here's my review of the third one - my red Jinhao '100 Centennial' fountain pen:

(please click on photos to enlarge)

I bought it earlier this year for the equivalent of $33 CAD (including shipping) from eBay seller 'pens-world'. Since I did an in-depth review of my orange/black version here (and also here
, a few months earlier -- I just realized today that I did two reviews of the same pen... LOL!), I won't go over the features of this model again, but I will point out some minor differences between the red version and the other two....

All of my other Jinhao '100 Centennial' fountain pens have gold-coloured trim, so I was looking for a model with silver-coloured trim....and I liked the looks of this one. The pen came with the same finial as my other '100 Centennial' models, but it was silver-coloured, to match the pen's trim and nib colour.

If you don't like silver-coloured trim, the red model also comes with gold-coloured trim and an arrow-shaped clip. It's worth mentioning that both the arrow clip pens and the ball-ended clip versions are considered the same model (the Jinhao '100 Centennial'), even though their clips are different. There is a Jinhao '100A' model, but its cap band is completely different. 

Now, if you're familiar with classic vintage fountain pens, I think you can see what classic fountain pen inspired the pen's body colour -- yes, the iconic vintage Parker 'Duofold' "Big Red"!

Above: The imprint on the Jinhao is also clearly an homage to the imprint on the vintage Parker 'Duofold'  (one Redditor filled in the imprint on his/her own pen here, so it's easier to read --click twice on that photo to see an extreme closeup).

There's a photo of a 'Duofold Jr' (the smaller version of the 'Duofold') imprint here
... and I think you can see the similarities to the Jinhao imprint. The 'Duofold's imprint has the words "Lucky Curve" within its banner, whereas the Jinhao's imprint says "Jinhao Pen" within its own banner. The Parker model name is above its banner, while the Jinhao model name ("Century") is above its banner. To the left of the Parker banner, it says "GEO. S. PARKER, JANESVILLE, WIS.", while to left of the Jinhao banner, it says
"Q.G. STATIONERY" (I suspect this refers to the manufacturer's name--Shanghai Qiangu Stationery Co. Ltd.). To the right of the Parker banner, it says "FOUNTAIN PEN  U.S.A.  PAT. 4-25-11", while Jinhao's imprint just says "FOUNTAIN PEN" in the same spot.

Even though the Jinhao's imprint is a blatant rip-off of imitation of the 'Duofold' imprint, it's the main reason I bought this red model--as far as I know, the red versions are the only ones that have this cool imprint on them.

Onto the second review in this blog post now!

Earlier this month, I heard about a smaller version of the Jinhao '100 Centennial' called the Jinhao '100 Centennial Mini", so I looked online to see what colours were available. At that time, I could only find two--an all-black one (black resin cap and black wood barrel), and another with a black resin cap and a barrel made of a stripey, lighter-coloured wood (described by the seller as "Tiger texture wood"). I purchased the latter from 'esybuy' --an excellent eBay seller-- for the equivalent of $30 CAD including shipping:

It has a beautifully-rendered arrow clip, but it's not the same style as the arrow clip on my full-sized all-orange pen (which I reviewed here).

Like its full-sized cousins, the 'Mini' version also has a screw-on cap topped with the same metal medallion --Jinhao's chariot logo-- but the Mini's medallion is smaller in size and gold in colour. Like the full-sized pens, the 'Mini' is also postable. The posted length of the 'Mini' is 16.5 cm and its capped length is 13.2 cm. The "Mini' measures 12.1 cm from nib tip to barrel end.
This particular "Mini' weighs 23 grams empty, with its cap weighing 9.1 grams, which makes it a little bit back-heavy when posted. Like the full-sized version, it's a cartridge/converter and came with a converter in place.

The wood they chose for the barrel is nice, but it looks reddish-orange in online photos...which was how I hoped it would look in real life 😞. After I got the pen, I noticed that different sellers were using the same photos of this model in their listings, so I wonder if they were stock photos provided by Jinhao. If so, it wouldn't be the first time a pen company did that--Pelikan did it with some pre-release photos of a few of their models (to much consternation from some buyers of those pens). That's not nearly as misleading to potential buyers as the all-black Jinhao 'Mini' being described by sellers as a "resin" pen, when its barrel is actually made of black stained wood. Yikes.

There are a couple of Jinhoo models made of "Tiger Stripe Sandalwood" (the '51A' model with a wood body + metal cap, and the all-wood torpedo-shaped model) and I wonder if my 'Mini' in "Tiger" wood  is made of that same wood...

Anyway, onto the comparison shots...

By my measurements, the 'Mini' is about 0.6 cm shorter (not a big difference) than its full-sized relative when capped...

...and it's about 0.8 cm shorter when posted (again--not a big difference)....

...and uncapped, the 'Mini' is approximately 0.5 cm shorter.

These aren't significant length differences, so why is the smaller pen called the 'Mini'??

Answer: Their nib sizes (the 'Mini' has a #5 two-tone steel nib, whereas the full-sized one has a much larger #6 monotone steel nib)....

...and their diameters. The 'Mini' has a maximum barrel diameter of about 11.5 mm whereas the full-sized version's is 13 mm. Maximum section diameters are 9.5 mm for the 'Mini' and 11 mm for the full-sized version (all my measurements).

One online reviewer noted that the two pen's capped lengths differ by 4% ---which isn't much of a difference--- but the barrel and section diameters differ by 13% and 16% respectively, by my calculations. Because of this, the full-sized pen feels considerably girthier.

If you have larger hands, I'd strongly suggest the full-sized version, but if you want a slimmer fountain pen, give the 'Mini' a try.
Both pen's nibs write smoothly but you might prefer the aesthetics of the larger #6 nib on the full-sized model.  

The 'Mini' is now available in more colours, and I suspect Jinhao will keep adding to the 'Mini' lineup. I don't know if it will be as big a seller as the full-sized '100 Centennial' though---the bigger version only costs a couple of dollars more, and is a much more comfortable pen to use posted or unposted (well, for my hand anyway). The 'Mini' is a nice addition to my collection, though, as I don't own too many fountain pens made of wood, and it does look rather cute ;).

(photos & review by Maja)

No comments: