Next under the looking glass is a beautiful little gem I recently purchased on eBay. Ok, I have to admit, I spend WAY too much time perusing the fountain pen auctions on eBay. I could have a deadline for a pro forma on a $100m project due in an hour, and there I’ll be at my desk – clicking merrily away. For some reason, it’s even worse when I have no money to be perusing the fountain pen auctions on eBay. But over the last couple of weeks, I’d seen an auction for a no-name ‘presentation’ pen. Normally, I immediately cull those auctions out. Don’t look at ’em. But the picture on this one….it drew me in. Played with my psyche. The picture wasn’t even all that clear, but was, never-the-less…enticing. It was orange and looked like cracked ice. In fact, the effect looked quite similar to one of the Levenger True Writers I have (that one, a deep blue). Anyway, knowing that it couldn’t possibly look as good for real as it did in the picture, AND knowing that it was going to be a cheap, piece of crap writer, well below ‘Bic’ pen quality, I broke down and bid on the auction. What did I have to loose? The opening bid was $5 and there was 2 minutes left to go. Placing my bid for $5.25, I was rewarded with a message congratulating me for winning the auction, just under two minutes later. I’d just wasted about $11 dollars (auction price plus shipping) on a pen that I was sure I’d be dissapointed with. And so I waited (the pen would take a while to ship as it was in Great Britan), cursing my addiction all the while.
About a week later, the package arrived in my mail box. Looking to anyone else like a crack addict, sweating and with shaking hands I tore the package open. Obviously, I needed to ink it, but upon my initial first inspection, I was struck with – this is NOT a crappy pen. The fit and finish were good. Very good. So good, in fact that I could find nothing wrong with the naked eye. It’s a ‘snap cap’, and does so with just the right amount of effort. The cap posts nicely, with no ‘wobble’. Now for the ink test. Long story short, it writes as well as it looks. A nice wet medium line. This is a cartridge or converter filler, but comes only with a cartridge. Black ink, unknown manufacturer, but uses an international style cartridge. One drawback (there had to be at least one, didn’t there?) – It’s tough to get the ink flow started once it’s been capped and sitting for more than a couple of hours. Once started though, it doesn’t skip or dry out. The nib is very smooth and a pleasure to write with.
After some research, I found that the pen is of Chinese origin (big surprise given the price), a Fuliwen. The eBay seller I bought this from is PDL Trading. I had a very positive transaction with this seller.
Well I guess it’s time to sign off; The Godfather is coming on TNT.