The Yiren 829 is yet another unbelievably affordable Chinese-made fountain pen that can be purchased on eBay. It set me back $7.20 AUD including postage! My first impressions of this pen? It’s well-built, aesthetically pleasing, a great everyday writing tool – if used mostly at home. The barrel and cap are made of a chromatic-finish charcoal grey metal, with an engraving of gold plum blossoms across the barrel. It’s smaller and more slender than I expected. It feels solid in the hand, yet not overwhelmingly heavy. In fact, it’s fairly light for a fountain pen, much lighter than some Parker ballpoints I own.
Truth be told, I purchased this pen purely as a gamble, because I love plum blossoms. To the Chinese and Koreans, plum blossoms (KR: 매화, CH: 梅花) are a symbol of strength, endurance and beauty in the midst of hardship:
In the midst of winter, before snow melts and the swallow returns, plum trees blossom onto the barren landscape, bracing the harshness of winter and reminding people spring will come. Celebrated here is the vitality of life, endurance through hardship, and hope that life will regenerate. The plum blossom has been an important symbol in Chinese (and generally in East Asian) culture. As a “friend of winter,” the plum blossom most vividly represents the value of endurance, as life ultimately overcomes through the vicissitude of time. The fragrance of plum blossoms “comes from the bitterness and coldness,” as the Chinese saying goes. Souls are tempered in the depth of experience, growing in inner strength and unyielding courage - THE EPOCH TIMES
It comes with a very clean, minimalistic medium hooded nib, which I rather like. See below for a closer look -
I think of it as an ‘everyday pen’ because together with the ink I used* to test it out, it is compatible with such a wide range of papers. It writes wonderfully on A4 cartridge paper without any feathering or bleeding onto the back of the page. I was pleasantly surprised, but dubious about how well it would perform on thinner paper. So I gave it a spin on a regular Spirax composition book. Though Spirax normally produces quality notebooks, this particular style – from its latest fashion stationery range – had very flimsy paper. Amazingly, while some faint traces were visible through the back of the page, the Yiren 829 performed very well on even this cheap-grade exercise-book style paper.
(* from Hero, another Chinese brand – I don’t need expensive ink when I get through a stack of paper each day for my thesis!)
I would recommend this pen for students, or anyone else who wants an inexpensive writing tool of decent quality. It doesn't quite match the ease/comfort/smoothness of the Lamy Safari, but it's nice for those days when you want to treat yourself to a little luxury while writing.
Edited by notebookerie, 20 June 2013 - 06:25.