I came by the 159 totally by accident. I was having a rare sleepless night and decided to surf the net in the early hours in the hope that I would get to sleep afterwards (it worked). In a half awake state, I saw an image of a Jinhao 159 and an MB 149 together and thought that it looked pretty good. A quick surf on the bay and I snagged this Jinhao 159 for £6.98 inc P&P.
As you can see from the images, the 159 has the classic cigar shape, though the design is not as refined as that certain German pen. Unlike the German pen which I will not identify, the section is narrower (or at least appears to be) and the pen is comfier to write with. The 159 is mostly metal and black lacquer and I have no complaints about the finish which is very good. I think that the cap is mostly plastic and posting it does not put the pen out of balance. Overall well made and solid. Being large and metal, it is not light weight but the weight is not excessive and one of my year 7 (11-12YO) pupils used it the other day without problem, in fact she found that the chunky shape was a big help. Dimensions are 147mm long capped, 164mm posted, barrel 17.3mm diameter, mass 49g (to compare, my Parker Duofold Maxima has a mass of 20g).
The 159 has a steel nib which like the rest of the pen is rather large. It is marked 18K GP, though where they hid the gold plating is anyones guess. No complaints about how it writes though. I prefer nibs on the flexier side, but this is a nail. However it writes with a very smooth wet broad line and as such is nice to use. The filler is C/C and the included converter works well, so no issues here other than capacity.
For me, this is a fun pen and a nice surprise. It is very robust and costs little, so I can let the kids use it without worry but it is nice to use in it's self. It is only 73 times cheaper than that certain German pen but I have had both and I know which will stay.
Appearance & Design (1-10) 7
Construction & Quality (1-10) 7
Weight & Dimensions (1-10) 8
Nib & Performance (1-10) 7
Filling System & Maintenance (1-10) 6
Cost & Value (1-10) 10
Conclusion (Final score, xx/6) 45/60
A writing sample (Diamine blue-black):
Edited by Malcy, 04 March 2012 - 10:04.