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Dollar 717i (not the demonstrator)
Posted 22 April 2009 - 23:44
First Impressions (8)
A smaller, lighter pen than Iím used to, about the size of the old Shaeffer cartridge pens of the 1970s (before the No Nonsense), but lighter due to the plastic cap. I love the color (Smoky Gray), and though Dollar obviously didnít spend anything extra, the pen appears well made and there are no defects visible.
I like a simple, solid color pen, and gray is just about my favorite color; the Smoky Gray of this Dollar pen is beautiful to my eye. Quite definitely not black, but still on the dark side. Thereís a ďplasticĒ look to the pen, but in this price range, thatís expected, and the molded parts are cleanly made and well assembled.
A simple design, with a blind cap shape reminiscent of the old ďcigarĒ pens and a flat-top cap; will fit nicely in even a smallish pocket. A little bit short for my hand uncapped, but very comfortable posted, and the plastic cap doesnít add too much weight for comfort; in fact, this pen is lighter posted than my Yafa uncapped. Screw-on cap; weíll see how well it stays on the pen over time but it appears to seal nicely and doesnít require a lot of torque to feel secure.
I also really love the ink window; Iíll be able to tell when Iím running low, which isnít the case with most cartridge pens unless I take the barrel off (and even then, only if the cartridge is made of translucent material). I also get instant feedback on the filling process, which did a lot to help my confidence inking a piston filler for the first time.
Comes only in Fine, and I prefer medium, but this nib is very smooth for a fine (Norman at HisNibs checks and adjusts every nib he sells), potentially augmented by the top quality ink I bought with the pen. Iíll have to write more to be sure, but Iím not actually sure this is any finer than the Medium on my Yafa, which appears to use the same nib and feed; in any case, itís certainly *not* scratchy or dry, which are the qualities that usually make a fine undesirable to me.
Filling System (9)
Pen filled quickly and easily; a double cycle of the piston (recommended method from HisNibs, to ensure a complete fill) took only about fifteen seconds plus time to wipe the nib and section -- I could easily do this in a minute including time to set the bottle out, open it, and close and put away afterward. My first time with a piston filler, it was smooth, easy, and fascinating to watch the ink bubble up through the ink window in the barrel -- Iím hooked...
Cost and Value (8)
Nothing fancy about this pen, but for the price, which included HisNibs standard nib check and adjustment, itís quite a good value. Thereís undeniably some value added in buying pens from a pen enthusiast who understands how theyíre supposed to write.
Overall, itís a nice pen for the price; itís about as inexpensive as a self-filler gets (for new, Iíve seen NOS pens for a few dollars less since ordering), but appears well put together and a nice, proven design.
Does not always foot up columns correctly.
Does not always sign big checks.
Posted 23 April 2009 - 01:41
Mine is a demonstrator & I'm very pleased with it. I use mine for underlining and writing margin notes in books, articles, etc. PR Copper Burst works very, very well in it. PR American Blue skipped some & Noodler's Polar Brown does even more. After trying some suggestions to get the NPB going, I think I'll try to thin it out with a bit of distilled water.
Posted 15 June 2009 - 18:20
Posted 18 June 2009 - 20:45
Posted 18 June 2009 - 21:56
Italic Dollar 717
I've had that model, with the Arabic script on the side, in hand. It's not an italic or stub, but rather an oblique nib.
Posted 19 June 2009 - 07:07
Current inked Pens: Pilot Decimo - Noodlers BBH, MB Mozart - MB Lavender
Pelikan M150 - Noodlers Kung te Cheng
Posted 19 June 2009 - 16:07
Does not always foot up columns correctly.
Does not always sign big checks.
Posted 28 April 2014 - 22:55
I recently bought a dark grey Dollar 717i from an italian seller on Ebay; it arrived a couple of days after I paid for it ... a kind of magic for the Italian Post.
My first impression was positive, the pen is light but with a sturdy feel, the plastics give a sense of rigidity.
I cleaned it with some warm water and liquid dishwashing soap and I started to appriciate the precise and easy operation of the filling system.
After a good rinse I inked it with my reliable, good old Rohrer und Klingner Verdigris, that I liked to pair with the pen's body color; I was a bit wary about the first writing test, because looking at the nib I had the impression tines were too tight ... and because I am not being very lucky with my recent pen purchases.
And instead I was *very* pleased by the way this pen writes: wet, smooth, prompt, in a couple of words, a true pleasure to write with, one of my best acquisitions - if not *the* best - in the last six months, the best 5 euros I recently spent.
But looking at the nib, it reminded me something ... well, yes, the Serwex 162! They are very similar as shown in the picture here below:
But quality of construction and finishing are not comparable, the Dollar 717i wins hands down ... it is enough to look at pen model engraved on the barrel.
The nibs are virtually identical:
But the writing experience in my case at least is *very* different; I own several Serwex 162 and I was never convinced by their performances, while my first Dollar works like a charm.
Now I am waiting for a demonstrator of the same type: if it works like this sample, I will dare to try also Dollar inks, perhaps they might also prove to e a pleasant surprise ...
Edited by ser.rep, 29 April 2014 - 09:53.
Fatti non foste a viver come bruti ma per seguire virtude e canoscenza
(Dante Alighieri - Divina Commedia, Inferno Canto XXVI)