Pilot Metropolitan

8 09 2014

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Manufacturer: Pilot
Model: Metropolitan
Year: 2014
Nib Stroke: Fine
Nib Material: Steel
Nib Notes: True fine, very smooth
Primary Body Color: Bronze aluminum
Primary Cap Color: Same
Capped Measurement: 5 7/16″
Posted Measurement: 6″
Purchase Date: August 26, 2014
Purchase Price: USD 15.00
Purchase Source: Goulet pens

Review to come. This is experiment to use an android app,  Momento,  to post information to my WordPress blog. Cool!





I Have The BAT-PEN! (Aka the Monteverde Invincia Stylus)

18 08 2014

Ok, so……I own the Bat-Pen. No really, I own the Bat-Pen.

The Bat –Pen.

This is the Monteverde Incincia Stylus. Ok, I’m and adult. I know there’s no Batman (….or IS there???……). But if there were, THIS is the pen he would use. At least his alter ego, Bruce Wayne, would.

I came to this pen, initially, from a very practical standpoint. I always carry a fountain pen to write with. I also have a Samsung Galaxy S3 and a Nexus 7 tablet. I’ve found that I’m increasingly using the tablet in my insurance business for notes and filling out applications. Typically I just use a cheap stylus for this, but it’s just something else I have to keep up with. So I started looking to see if there was a fountain pen that also included a stylus in its design (there are a LOT of ballpoints that do). My search quickly lead me to the Bat-Pen. I’ve decided that Monteverde Invincia Stylus is too long to type, so for now on, the Bat-Pen. By the way Monteverde also makes another fountain pen / stylus that also incorporates a lot of other cool features called the “Tool Pen”, but it’s just not this level of cool.

 

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION

Weighing in at 45 grams inked, this is a substantial pen. All metal body, (not sure of the underlying material) with a black matte finish. There is a center band between the cap and the body that isn’t quite shiny, but not matte either. This has “Monteverde Invincia” inscribed on it. Uncap, and the matte black coloring continues with the section, but the nib is a gorgeous oily wet looking shiny black #6 size nib. Beautiful. It’s approximately 5 ½” capped and 6 ¼” posted.

This pen looks like it came straight out of the first Batman movie, the Tim Burton one. That movie had a distinct look to it. Dark tones and lots of art-deco design. This pen has that art deco vibe to it. There are rivets, probably just for looks, on the clip, and small rings separating the cap from the stylus tip and again near the end of the barrel just prior to the end piece.



 

 

THE NIB & WRITING EXPERIENCE

The large #6 size medium nib lays a luxurious wet line. Initially, I had a bit of a hard time getting it started, but just then, never since. It’s very, very smooth, but a weird thing, on some paper, the nib…..sings. Or squeaks. I’ll go with sings. It comes with a threaded converter and two Monteverde ink cartridges (short international style). I threw in the black cartridge, and would have to say I like it, though it’s not as dark as the Noodler’s black that I usually use.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

         


FINAL THOUGHTS

This pen is simply a “winner”. I haven’t even mentioned the stylus tip; it works superbly. There are some other, great reviews on this pen as well. Check out

 





The First Infomercial? Sheaffer Did it Right!

12 08 2014

This may be the first infomercial. Well, probably not. But since it has to do with fountain pens, I’m going to run with it.





Help Identify This Pen!!!

5 06 2014

I need some help. A couple of years ago, I bought this pen off fleaBay for a few bucks. At the time, I knew NOTHING about Chinese pens, but it was dirt cheap, and looked really cool (to me anyway). It was listed as “Jinhao Noblest”.

Well, today I know a bit more about Chinese pens, though I often feel like I still don’t know much. I soon came across other pictures of my pen, citing it as a Jinhao, Hushalai , Noblest (not even sure this one is a company…), Kaigelu and several others. I’m pretty sure it’s not a Jinhao. I don’t think it’s a Kaigelu either, but I do suspect a tie-in to that company though. The pens share a lot of the same type of components and attributes, with just a very few differences.

I just acquired a Kaigelu 316 in a white pearl and gray swirl. Overall, they seem to be almost the same pen. There are just a very few differences. Obviously, they are different colors. The mystery pen has a metal black cap that is a snap on. The Kaigelu is a screw on and is a resin material, the same as it’s body, but they are the same dimensions. Same clips, same twin gold bands, same top adornment, but different logo’s under each. The bodies seem to be the same resin material and have the same black painted brass end pieces. The Kaigelu body is shorter, but by the same exact measurement of it’s threaded portion of the section.

I know the Kaigelu is a copy of a Parker Duofold; is this just another company’s copy of a copy? If so, how do they both obviously share so many of the same parts?

Any ideas? Thoughts? Rants?

I’m posting this on the Fountain Pen Network as well. Anyone, please comment if you know anything!

 





Baoer 8 Running Horses

29 05 2014

Ok, so I’m really hung up on Chinese pens. Again.

Thank you pen addiction.

This is a pen that I bought off of eBay about a year and a half ago. I don’t remember now exactly, but I think it was about $9 with free shipping from China. Typical of a LOT of Chinese pens available on the market right now. This pen is made by a company called Baoer; I’ve read that it either owns, or is part of a larger company that also owns Jinhao.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION

Ok. This is the most Chinese, Chinese pen I own. Some (a lot actually) would say that it’s gaudy. To me, it’s not – but it’s close. They make this pen in 3 finishes, silver, copper (mine) and , I think gold. The model is called Eight Running Horses. The name is from the barrel of the pen which is made of some type of metal with a clear lacquer finish with a depiction of eight horses running and some (to me) unknown Chinese characters. Here’s a little secret. Every other review I’ve read on this pen says that there are only six running horses, not eight. Well, they didn’t make a mistake naming this pen. Get out your loupe, look closely, and you’ll see that there are two steeds running beside another horse that is obscuring their bodies. If you first look at the horse bodies , you’ll see that there are two extra heads that are next to the other horses. Eight. Eight horses. They named it Eight Horses because there are eight horses running. Duh.

The entire pen is metal, with a black lacquered cap, the aforementioned copper body with the embossed depiction of the horses running, and a black end piece, with electroplate gold hardware. Actually, the pen looks to me like it was heavily influenced by the Pelikan line of pens. The pen comes with a converter and also takes the international size cartridges.

THE NIB & WRITING EXPERIENCE

As you would expect for a pen in this price range, it comes with a steel nib. What one might not expect is just how fantastic a nib it is. The nib is a two-toned job, the gold coloration a result of electroplating. Mine is supposed to be a medium, but is much closer, at least by western standards, to a broad. It is very, very smooth, and lays down a nice wet line. Only the slightest bit of line variation can be had, as the nib is fairly stiff, but not what I would call a nail. I have some nails, I know.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The Chinese are producing some really fantastic pens right now and for the last several years. But there are some drawbacks. Among the brands I’m familiar with (Baoer, Huashilai, Hero, Jinhao and Kaigelu; there are probably many others as well) quality control has been very, well, loose, let’s say. It seems like every 3rd or 4th pen I’ve bought, regardless of company has been either a dud or in need of a lot of help to make it serviceable. Another issue is shipping. Expext a pen coming from China to take 4 to 6 weeks to get to your door. There are several North American vendors now who are carrying some of the more popular brands such as Jinhao. Check out Goulet Pens (http://www.gouletpens.com ). You pay only a couple of bucks more, but you’ll have your new pen in a few days as opposed to several weeks. No brainer.

In terms of value, I don’t know how you can beat these pens. Let me put it this way. My collection is at around 90 pens, most of which are vintage. I own two pens from what are generally considered “luxury-line” pens, a Mont Blanc 144 and a Pelikan M200. Both are at the low end of those companies lines, but are $100 + pens. While you can argue looks all you want when comparing those pens to this, they are no better to write with. No smoother, no more dependable, no more pleasurable, at least to me. And when you have a serious pen addiction, but not the serious money to go along with it, what’s a fella to do?

 

 

 





Waterman Laureat…….Writing Under the Radar

19 05 2014

Tonight’s focus is on a pen that I have a love-hate (actually more of a love-kind of dislike) relationship with, the Waterman Laureat. Here’s what I mean by love-hate. I love the way this pen writes. I mean LOVE the way it writes. Like butta. When inked, I can write with it for a bit, cap it, and then set it aside for weeks at a time. When I pick it up, uncap it and begin to write, it starts wet every time. I don’t own that many pens that I can store that long and stay “wet”. The hate part (again, hate is probably too strong a word) is that I just don’t like the way it looks. It’s just aesthetics. But, hey, did I mention how great this thing writes?

There’s not an enormous amount of information out there about this pen. In fact, prior to writing this, all I knew was what I could see looking at it.

  • It’s a metal bodied pen (brass I believe) with a lacquer paint finish.
  • Medium steel nib with gold plate.
  • Takes international cartridges.
  • It’s a Waterman from France.
  • It’s skinny. That’s an absolutely quantifiable term.
  • It’s ugly. At least mine is.

When doing my research I came across the following post at Ravens March Fountain Pens (http://dirck.delint.ca/beta/?page_id=5209 ). By the way, if you haven’t already, you should check out the Ravens March blog, it’s really good! This is simply copied from that site – no plagiarism intended.

Lauréat

Maker: Waterman.

The Lauréat was one of Waterman’s nearly-fine pens of the 1990s; not one which lay on the bottom of the heap, but which was not out of reach of the average buyer.  Like the Super Master, it is less notable for its superb writing abilities than for its power to resist damage.  It is reasonably close in looks to Waterman’s iconic Le Man series, a move likely aimed at the same sort of combination of vanity and inability to either scrape up money or justify spending a lot on a pen which Parker served with its 21.

The Lauréat in use is something like the Expert II; the point is of very similar construction and performance.  It is perhaps a little better balanced, and is a somewhat more slender object overall.  The cap-station on the tail is another echo of the Le Man, and while it doesn’t have an actual gripper mechanism like the more expensive pen, it does make for very secure posting.  It is wide enough in the body to avoid my frequent accusation of over-slimness, and balances well with the cap posted or set aside.

Update: I’ve been shown a pre-1990 catalogue showing that this model and the Super Master were both in production at once, at least for a while.  It thus is not only of the 1990s, as the first sentence indicates, but also a little bit of the 1980s.

Production Run: c. 1985 – c. 2000

Cost When New: Based upon someone else’s public remembrance, it was $125 in 1992, but this seems too much based on the overall feel of the pen.  A 1999 catalogue shows it at $85.00 which seems nearer the mark (for modern values, try this calculator).

Size: 13.8 cm long capped, 17.0 cm posted, 12.4 cm uncapped.

Point: Plated steel.

BodyBrass, generally lacquered.

FillerCartridge, capacity approx. 0.6 ml or 1.4 ml (international pattern).

 

 

 

 





Another Chinese example of awesomeness! The Jinhao X750

2 05 2014

This will never happen again. Three posts within a week of each other. Something’s wrong here….

My first video review (imagine hearing a huge crowd like in a football stadium cheering in the background)! The Jinhao x750. I just looked at this and realized – I just did a commercial for the Goulet Pen Company. Well that wasn’t my intention……but…….I’ll be sending out my bill in the mail.

Here’s the review:

 








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