Please note that this is my first review. The pen arrived today from China and it took exactly 14 days to cross over to Europe. As I opened the envelope I found it lying inside a small sealed plastic sleeve, no pen case or any other accessory. Yet for $ 7.90 including shipping I did not expect much more. As soon as I held it in my hand I got a feeling of a solid pen which definitely will have its presence sensed. My mother who does not know much about fountain pens thought it was quite expensive. Thus my first impressions were: "The pen is better than what I expected, and I have done a good bargain!"
Appearance & Design (8)
Unlike other well known Jinhao pens, I would say that this pen is quite conservative. It has a slight glossy finish, almost as if it was lacquered. The deep sptted wine color is lovely and also gives an inherent deep reflection which is marvelous! The gold coloured band on the cap has 3 "905" inscribed on it while that on the barrel has the Jinhao trademark as well as some writing in Chinese which I am not able to read. Definitely a robust pen with a good construction quality, nothing less than a Waterman Phileas for example. A good thing considering and this is about $ 50 less. I believe the pen to be entirely composed of brass except for the black ends of the barrel and cap and the inside of the cap which has an additional plastic housing for the pen to clip into. The plating quality of the gold trims is not excellent but not bad either.
Construction & Quality (7)
As hinted before, the pen looks and feels solid. Everything is well fitted. Again, such quality was definitely not expected for such a cheap pen. I can not yet detect any eye-scorching manufacturing flaws, even on close examination. What set me off is the nib, which was not gold plated and sort of stands out. The pen also gives the idea of a rugged pen. With regards to dropping it, I have not tried yet and it is not my intention to, but, I think it would be able to withstand the impact even on my marble floor.
Weight & Dimensions (7)
Long, slender and with a discrete weight. Dimensions are as follows: Length - 136mm capped, 117 uncapped, 151 posted. Weight is around 30g. However, it does feel heavier, and it gave me the impression of being heavier than my crocodile vermeil Parker Sonnet. This further points to the fact that the pen has a solid brass construction. While I usually write with posted pens, I feel that the best way to write with this pen is with. Like that the balance is fine and it fits may relatively large hands well. If the cap is posted, the pens weight becomes more obvious and may be tiring if used for long periods of writing.
Nib & Performance (9)
Wet and smooth! Almost buttery smooth! Thus this pen provides another aspect, utilitarian. The flow is very well controlled for a Fine point, no skipping encountered till now. The nib is a semi-hooded nib which reminds me of my Parker 45. While it has no inscriptions, engravings or other on it which give an indication of its official size, I say it writes a F to an EF line, perfect for me! The nib is however a bit stiff, which I do not mind personally but may be an issue for others and gives no line variation whatsoever. The only slight criticism I can hold for this nib is that it has no economic value being a plain steel nib and that while writing one notices some slight traces of nib creep.
Filling System & Maintenance (8)
This is a CC pen. There is not much to say about that, apart form the fact that the CC is fixed and that it does not seem to be removable. Fills and is maintained like other CC pens I have.
Cost & Value (10)
For $7.90 an extremely good deal. It looks better than its price, writes better than its price. Any more to say?
Conclusion (Final score: 8.17)
Good mark for being a good looking, good writing and cheap pen. I wouldn't mind buying an other, definitely.
Please note that the pictures are taken directly from the seller and it is he/she who should be credited for them.
Edited by Marlon, 01 October 2009 - 00:53.