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Hero 100, 616 and 132
Posted 01 August 2006 - 01:20
The Hero 100 is the flagship clone of the Parker 51, using a 14K gold nib. I got a maroon model with brush silvertone cap and gold trim. This is a newer model 100, without the Parker-style arrow clip.
The Hero 616 is another 51 clone, a step below the 100, with a 12K gold nib. I got the green model with the polished goldtone cap, which does have the Parker-like arrow clip.
The 132 is another 51 clone, this an offshoot with a half black, half gold barrel joined in a wavy line, with apparently the same 12K gold nib as the 616 (some variance in the plastic parts).
Looks, Fit and Finish:
100: The 100 is a decent looking pen. The cap is the best finished of the three by far. Unfortunately, the clip appears to be anchored to the cap similar in manner to the 132 (see below), giving doubts as to its serviceability. There is an exterior camfer at the open end of the cap, so it better blends into the pen barrel when capped in its overlap fit. Unfortunately, the grooved metal ring between the nib section and the barrel is there just for looks (and it does look a bit cheap), because it does NOT provide a closure detent for the cap. The cap just jams on until stiction restricts further advancement. There is no positive "stop" that I can tell. Basically, this sucks, unacceptable on any pen that has classical aspirations.
616: The 616 body looks very similar to that of the 100, minus the metal tassie. Close inspection shows the nib section-barrel separation ring is a sandwich of plastic between two metal disks, as compared to the 100 all-metal unit. Indeed, the section barrel threads are metal on the 100, and plastic on the 616. The cap is polished gold electroplate over steel, with fine longitudinal incised lines. It's not great, but passable. There is no bottom edge camfer as on the 100, and so there is more discontinuity between the cap and barrel on the overlap fit. The cap fits even worse that that of the 100. Again, no positive stop, just jams on until stiction takes over. And when jammed on tight, the cap still rocks on the barrel! Totally unacceptable. Now, get this, when the 616 cap is placed on the 100, it fits more smoothly, and there IS a positive internal stop!!! And no rocking! And the 100 cap fits the 616 barrel no worse than it does the 100 body. The 616 cap has the Parker clone arrow clip. Good news: This clip has a strong circular collar as its base, and so doesn't have the structural weakness that the 132 (and new 100?) clip does. Bad news: there are four bubbles underneath the gold plating. Yuck-o. I don't know whether they are hollow bubbles or have crud underneath the plating.
132: The least expensive clone, the Hero 132, has some interesting attributes. Narrower than the 100 and 616, the 132 pen body is more robustly made than both. The barrel is an interesting half black, half gold color, apparently made in separate sections that meet not in a circular plane, but in a three dimensional curve, dipping toward the nib on one side of the barrel, and toward the rear on the other. The forward end of the barrel has a metal insert to thread to the nib section, unlike the 100 and 616 barrels, which are both just threaded plastic. The 132 nib section threads are also metal like the 100. OTOH, the 132 cap is cheap, thin, gold plated steel with a bad clip design. Despite this, it fits the pen body better than either of the other two!!! It slides on with increasing friction, and then "snaps" closed the last little bit, coming to a positive external stop where its edge butts up against the threaded metal insert in the barrel, leaving a smooth, unbroken external surface at the junction. Unfortunately, the clip uses just two folded metal ears to lock into a rectangular cut in the cap, with only little metal hooks at the ear ends to anchor the press fit clip. So there are four points of contact, each consisting of two pieces of thin sheet metal meeting edge on at 90 degrees to each other. This is guaranteed to fail, and fail it did. With only a week in my shirt pocket, the clip loosened enough so as to be worthless, and so this 132 is now a desk pen. Sigh.
How Do They Write? (All three using Waterman blue-black)
100: The 100 fine nib is by far the smoothest writer of the three. Though the 14K nib appears the same width as the 132 12K nib, it puts down a slightly thicker, but drier, line. The 100 is not as smooth as my Parker 75 with extra-fine 14K nib and Parker cartridge ink.
616: The 616 medium 12K nib is "scratchier" than the fine 100 nib, and puts down a wetter line.
132: The 132 fine 12K nib is likewise "scratchier" than the 100 nib, and puts down a slightly thinner and wetter line.
The Bottom Line
These Hero pens have some very good attributes, but the quality is far from seamless. Some things are done well for the money, other things are done so poorly one has to imagine, "What were they thinking?" The clip pulling out of the cap on the Hero 132 was indicative of really deficient engineering and manufacturing, IMO. Too bad, the rest of the pen is built stronger than the other two. With some nib smoothing, it may have remained my carry pen if the clip had survived. At this point, I can't recommend Hero pens until the cap problems of poorly anchored clips and poor barrel fit are solved. Again, this is all just my newbie opinion, take all with a grain of salt.
Posted 01 August 2006 - 01:35
Posted 01 August 2006 - 18:39
Posted 05 August 2006 - 02:15
Posted 07 August 2006 - 07:24
Posted 07 August 2006 - 13:06
Are you sure the 616 is a gold nib? I thought it was steel.
It is supposed to be steel.
Stolen: Aurora Optima Demonstrator Red ends Medium nib. Serial number 1216 and Aurora 98 Cartridge/Converter Black bark finish (Archivi Storici) with gold cap. Reward if found. Please contact me if you have seen these pens.
Please send vial orders and other messages to fpninkvials funny-round-mark-thing gmail strange-mark-thing com. My shop is open once again if you need help with your pen.
Posted 07 August 2006 - 14:33
Posted 07 August 2006 - 15:15
Posted 27 April 2008 - 01:05
Wow ... I might have to go back and check out this line ....
Thanks for the review
Posted 02 May 2008 - 12:10
Wow ... I might have to go back and check out this line ....
Thanks for the review
the 616 and 329 is with steel nib,while 100 gold.
Posted 03 May 2008 - 02:49
Posted 04 May 2008 - 23:43
Some time soon, I hope to buy an old style 329, another 132, and a 110.
ETA: One other thing to mention is that my 132 is a gold and grey model, not the half black and half gold model. They really don't look like quite the same pen despite the same model number.
Edited by Jimmy James, 04 May 2008 - 23:46.
Posted 13 May 2011 - 10:56
I using 616 when i was a kid, really a good pen, cheap, realible and good to use.
Posted 23 May 2011 - 06:29
Never put a 616 in your hip pocket. It will break apart at the barrel/section junction.
Close inspection shows the nib section-barrel separation ring is a sandwich of plastic between two metal disks, as compared to the 100 all-metal unit. Indeed, the section barrel threads are metal on the 100, and plastic on the 616.
Posted 24 May 2011 - 00:26
Does anyone have experience with a Hero 1000 btw?
Posted 26 May 2011 - 04:21
Posted 30 May 2011 - 03:10
Posted 30 May 2011 - 11:52
Hero's pen usually means a lot to us.
It just like Nike or Adidas in the US,very normal,most people are familiar with it.
My first pen was a 616 given by my father.
as i know,616's nib is steel and 100's is 14K
Posted 27 August 2011 - 00:12
WTT: Conklin Nozac Cursive Italic & Edison Beaumont Broad for Pelikan M1000 or Something Cool (PM me to discuss. It's part of my One Red Fountain Pen trading post)
WTB: 1. Camlin SD
2. 1950s to early 1960s 1st Gen MB 149 with BB nib
3. Airmail 90T Teal Swirl
4. PenBBS 355-16SF Demonstrator
Posted 03 October 2011 - 19:04
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TWSBI Diamond 540 - Sheaffer Purple
Sheaffer 300 - Private Reserve Orange Crush