Two of the fountain pens I won on ebay came in the mail today--phenomenal shipping by the seller (even if it was a bit expensive.)

They both are cheap-o fountain pens, price-wise--I paid $2.54 for one and $2.99 for the other. Both are new and are Chinese brands. One is a Duke, the other a Dewen. Both got decent reviews at The Fountain Pen Network, so I figured they were both worth trying.

I have writing examples from both pens, but it's a bit too dark in here to take proper pictures at the moment, so that will have to wait a bit. But I'm impressed so far; they are well worth the minimal price--in fact, it seems to me that both pens could easily range around $20 retail, or more.

The Dewen pen has a medium point 22k gold-plated nib, the Duke pen is steel, I assume. In comparing both, the Duke wrote immediately after inserting a cartridge (they come with cartridge converters for bottled ink, but I haven't used them yet) and the Dewen wrote fine after a little bit of doodling to get the ink flowing properly. They are both very smooth writers, although I can't tell any difference between the Duke fine point nib and the Dewen medium point nib. I'd classify both as medium point, but I'm okay with that even though I prefer a fine point.

In looks, the only drawback on the Duke is the relatively cheap-looking name on the cap. (It's not on the clip, but the actual cap.) The printing isn't all there, so it looks like (to me, at least) that this pen was a second, perhaps, and perhaps that's the case. If I could scrape off the name without harming the finish (which is a really nice blue color), then I would do that. Maybe it will wear off over time.

The Dewen is just a pretty pen overall. The black plastic body and cap don't feel as if the pen is cheaply made, although since it has all gold accents, the silver brushed section (and it's actually called a section, by the way) seemed a bit... wrong. Although it doesn't look bad. It just maybe should have been gold, to match. Otherwise, though, it's a really pretty pen that writes very well.

Overall, I'm impressed with both of these, but if one ended up going missing, I'm obviously not out a lot of money. I'm hoping both will continue to work properly for many years to come. I'm definitely going to try out the bottle ink converter for both of these.

Further pens to come: A Waterman Phileas, and a Parker Reflex.


Grey said…
Interesting! I'm making note of both of those brand names.
Jennifer said…
So far they are both still working fine. No problems while sitting overnight (which does happen with some of the cheaper pens.)

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