Comparing the Dollar 717i and the Stipula Splash...
The Stipula Flash is, from appearances at-least, largely comprised of parts from the Dollar 717i fountain pen manufactured by Dollar Industries (Pvt.) Ltd. of Karachi, Pakistan. The Dollar 717i has a street price of around $15 USD, while Stipula Splash goes for $60-$70 USD.
The Dollar 717i is described by the manufacturer as a "Beginner's Pen" (link below). The 717i, like the Stipula Flash comes in black, blue, and red opaque plastic. There is also a clear "Demonstrator" version of the 717i and a Calligraphy nibbed version primarily marketed for arabic writing.
The Dollar 717i colored, demonstrator, and calligraphy versions can be seen on this Manufacturer's Web page:
For comparison purposes, here is a picure borrowd from the Anderson Pens Web site which offers the Stipula Splash.
Here is a picture borrowed from the Engeika Web site which offers the Dollar 717i for sale. Here we show the clear demonstrator version.
Here is a picture of the Doller 717i from the manufacturer's Web site (link above).
From examining pictures of both pens, it appears the main differences between the Stipula Splash and the Dollar 717i are the blind cap, the nib, and possibly the feed.
Other minor differences between the two pens include a metal or metalized plastic finial on the end of the Splash's cap instead of plastic, and a balled clip on the Flash versus a straight clip on the 717i.
* The blind cap that covers the piston knob at the end of the barrel appears to be metal or metalized plastic on the Flash. The blind cap on the 717i is plastic.
* The stamped steel nibs on the flash and 717i are quite different in design. The angular 717i nib design somewhat resembles the nib on a Lamy Safari or Parker Vector. The more traditional wing-shaped nib on the Flash looks almost identical to the "flex" nibs used on the early (small) Noodler's Nib Creaper piston-filler pens. The Flash's nib, like the nibs on the early Noodler's pens have a slit that runs the full length of the exposed nib. It is widely rumored the $15 Noodler's Nib Creaper pens, like the Dollar 717i pens, are made in Pakistan.
* It is difficult to tell from examining pictures alone, but to accommodate the different shaped nibs, it is quite likely the feeds are different between the Dollar 717i and the Stipula Flash.
From several reviews so-far, it is becoming apparent the Stipula Flash suffers from poor ink flow. This causes railroading when the nib is flexed. The significantly more expensive Stipula pens equipped with Stipula's Titanium T-Flex nibs are also notorious for poor ink flow. The flow issues are likely due in large-part to Stipula using what appears to be plastic instead of slightly more expensive Ebonite (hard rubber) feeds with their nibs advertised to be flex-capable.
If the inexpensive Noodler's flex pens are using Ebonite feeds to enhance flow, one can only question why Stipula would use plastic feeds in their pens advertised as flex-capable.
It should be noted that Yafa Pen Company (estd. 1978) is the exclusive North American distributor for the Italian brands Delta and Stipula. Yafa Inc. is also the Manufacturer and exclusive Distributor of Monteverde and Conklin brands: Conklin is a "Retread" brand.
Stipula's Italian Site - in English:
Dollar Industries (Pvt.) Ltd.: