According to the HisNibs website, the Duke brand is produced in China by the Shanghai G. Crown Fountain Pen Co., Ltd, though much of the R&D comes from Germany. Thus, Duke pens are distinctive blend of Asian styling and German engineering. The Mako pen draws the inspiration for its design from the shark of the same name. It has a sleek, streamlined shape that looks as if it would easily cut through the open water. There are even some small slits in the sides of the cap, that mimick the appearance of "gills". It's a neat looking pen!
The Mako comes in three different color styles: a brown or green marbled pattern, or classic black. My pen is one of the brown models. The barrel is a deep brown color, with a rich marbled appearance. The cap is black lacquer, and the trim and nib are all silver. Very classy!
As to its size, the Mako is a full-sized, medium weight pen. It is comparable in weight to my Sheaffer Prelude and Parker Sonnet, though I would guess that it is slightly heavier. I usually write with my pens unposted, and the Mako feels very balanced in my hand. The best word that I can use to describe its feel is "substantial." Everything about it feels solid and secure. The cap clicks securely into place, and the all-metal connection between the barrel and nib section is very sturdy.
The Mako's all come with a fine-medium steel nib. The nib writes very smoothly, though the line is a bit less wet than my Lamy Al-star, or my Pelikan m215. The ink supply is stored in a large, integrated piston-filler that is permanently attached to the nib assembly.
In summary, the Duke Mako is a very unique pen that combines the best of Asian artistry and German design. It is solidly constructed, and has a look that is sure to elicit compliments from all who see it. And with a price of $65 from Norman Haase's HisNibs.com online store, the Mako is also a very good value.
Edited by TMann, 22 September 2005 - 03:33.