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Black Urushi Pen

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#1 NeoTiger


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Posted 16 May 2006 - 05:23

Hero Classic 100 Black Urushi

1. Introduction

Well I’m sure almost everyone here is familiar with the urushi finish on pens, with beautifully made pens from Nakaya and DaniTrio in particular, as well as the other Japanese brands (do they have plain colour urushi pens as opposed to maki-e?). However, all those pens cost a bit too much for me, so in order to satisfy my desire (partially satisfy) to touch urushi, I bought a black urushi pen made by Hero and sold by Yi Cheng.

The pen is known only as the “Black Urushi Pen” at Yi Cheng, but I notice that “Classic 100” is written on the section after the barrel is unscrewed (ie, the label is usually hidden).

2. Appearance & Finish

Well the appearance of the pen is very important to me, because this is the reason I wanted to buy this pen. Normally I don’t like gold trim, and I still don’t, but this pen only comes in gold trim and the desire for the urushi finish outweighed the dislike of gold trim. The barrel and cap are all covered with the black urushi finish, and does indeed have that shiny wet look to it. Very smooth and nice to touch. The pen definitely looks more expensive than it actually was. However, the odd shape of the nib needs a bit of getting used to, it just looks too short and stumpy to me.

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3. Size & Weight

The design of this pen is simple and elegant. I’m not sure what material is under the urushi, but it does have a decent weight to it so I’m guessing brass. In terms of size and shape, it is very similar to the Parker Sonnet, except the ends have a bit more rounding off to a bullet shape, and the section + nib is a bit shorter. Weight is just a little bit more than the stainless steel Sonnet, but not a significantly noticeable difference. The pen is well balanced both unposted and posted (and I consider myself quite sensitive to a pen being back heavy, as several of my other pens are when posted).

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Parker Sonnet vs Hero Classic 100 Black Urushi

4. Nib Design & Performance

The nib on this pen is a short stumpy design, and wraps around the feed like a cylinder (small gap at the bottom). The nib is plain gold coloured, with no designs at all. Only has the slit, no breather hole. The nib area responds very lightly to a magnet, so there is definitely some steel in there.

The nib writes reasonably well, with a Medium-Fine line width, not significantly wet but not dry. The nib does have a little bit of tooth, but it varies with different inks. I can feel the tooth right now with Parker Quink Blue/Black, and also felt it with Visconti Bordeaux, but I think it felt smoother with the ink it had before (it was either the same Parker Quink, or Waterman Floria Blue). The nib is slightly soft compared to the super-hard Lamy Studio nib, but no flex and no line variation.

5. Filling System

This pen is converter filled, with what appears to be a Parker style converter. I see that many people dislike converter fillers, but I like being able to keep my pen clean and just replace the converter if anything stains.

6. Cost & Value

The pen was relatively cheap, costing me approximately $35US including shipping. It appears to be cheaper if you buy it from Yi Cheng on eBay than from their website.

7. Conclusion

I can definitely say I am happy with the pen. I wanted urushi, I am poor, therefore I bought the Hero Black Urushi pen. Sounds like a good ending to me.

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#2 French


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Posted 07 June 2006 - 13:08

very nice review. I've seen these pens on ebay and wondered about them. I have purchased from Yi Cheng in the past and Alan Koo seems to be a good seller.

Enjoy your pen.


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