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Jinhao 5000 Filigree Overlay Pen Review


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#1 richardandtracy

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 15:24

This is a review of the Jinhao 5000 Filigree Overlay Pen.

I have often looked longingly at Henry Simpole's pens and thought to myself:
  • There must be a mechanical way of doing that without needing manual intervention.
  • I wonder if it's comfortable to hold?
  • I want one of them
Sadly, I cannot afford one of Henry's pens, but this Jinhao pen is affordable to all, and has been done by mechanical means to make a mass production version of a very limited edition type of pen. So what is it like?

Well, it's like this:
Posted Image

Initial Impressions
The first impression when opening the bubble wrap packaging was 'Ooh, Shinee'. I like it. Lots.

It is actually breathtakingly attractive.

You would never believe this pen cost $15.60 (£9.96) + postage of $5 from China. I got it from E-Bay seller 'combinedshipping' who seems to be another outlet for 'comeon1788'. The one fly in the ointment was the leaflet that came with the pen, advertising fakes of all sorts. Fake Montblanc pens, fake Parker pens and fake Rolex watches. It wasn't a mistake, the 'combinedshipping' and 'comeon1788' names were clearly plastered all over the leaflet. Not impressed with that at all, and I said so in the E-Bay feedback I left. However, the E-Bay sales seem to be genuine and not fakes. I suggest you use the E-Bay outlet & screw up the leaflets that are supplied by this seller. A genuine Montblanc Boheme LE for $36? In your dreams.

Back to the Jinhao 5000. The pen is fairly heavy, but the weight is distributed evenly along the pen, unlike the Jinhao Century pens, and is beautifully balanced. It's a slender but dense pen, there is heft here, but it only makes it feel more like a quality product rather than cheap junk. I don't equate weight with quality, however this pen oozes it.

The filigree is sharply stamped or cut, and etched to form a beautiful dragon shape curling around the cap and another around the barrel. There are a few areas where the edge of the filigree isn't completely smooth, but mostly it's very good. What can I say other than 'It's superb'.

The cap posts securely and, unusually for my Jinhao's, does not unbalance the pen because of the even weight distribution throughout the pen. The top of the cap has a 'jewel' like radial machining:
Posted Image
Love it.

Having talked about the weight, I suppose I should give the dimensions and weight:


Dimensions
The sizes and weight are as below:
Length Capped: 136mm
Length Uncapped: 122mm
Length Posted (wonderfully secure): 161mm
Barrel Diameter: 11.10mm
Cap Diameter: 13.05mm
Weight: 40.5g capped. 23g uncapped.

Construction
The overall quality of fit and finish is remarkably high. Note: I did not say 'Remarkably high for a Chinese pen' and also did not say 'Remarkably high for a pen of this price'. It is a remarkably good quality pen on any scale of reference, the low price is absolutely amazing for this quality pen.

The overall construction method has baffled me somewhat. The filigree is overlaid on a painted brass tube, but how the filigree is made, I cannot entirely decide. There are a couple of possible methods.
  • Stamp a flat sheet, roll it and then seam it and slip over the inner tube. I don't think this is the construction method as you would expect to see a seam - and I can't.
  • Laser cut the shape from a seamless tube. Probably not the construction method because it's too slow unless massive machines are used.
  • Die cut a seamless tube by slipping it over a mandrel and rolling over a cutter. Possible, but doesn't explain the etched sections.
  • Die cast a filigree tube over a mandrel, polish the surface and slip over the inner tube. This is possible as it explains a couple of little bits of casting flash in the filigree cutouts, and the engraving could be the unpolished finish from the diecasting process.
The section is moulded plastic over a metal nib and c/c carrier, feels nice & sturdy.
The finials on the cap and barrel are painted metal.

The c/c is a deluxe piston c/c, of below average quality. There is a part of the piston movement where it's possible to see the seal completely losing contact with the side walls of the c/c. It's not a real problem as international c/c are easily available.

The nib is sharply engraved and the bi-coloured plating accurately stops at the edge of the engraving. This is precision work.

Durability
There are two areas of durability problems I can see. The first is the gold plating - for the price, the plating cannot be more than 'Gold Wash' rather than plating, and it's inevitable that it will wear away quickly. If you want the pen to look gold for long, get it re-plated by a jeweller and take a hit on the price. The second area is likely to be the painted coating on the brass finials. I imagine that it will start to wear away like it did on my Jinhao Century pen before too long.

Other than the problems identified above, I expect the pen to be a long lasting one and keep writing well for years.

Writing with the Pen
I have already mentioned that the pen is beautifully balanced. Despite its weight, it is lovely to write with whether posted or un-posted.

The nib was not very smooth when I got it, having one tine displaced relative to the other. After re-setting that and doing 30 seconds of smoothing on three grades of micromesh, it writes beautifully. The point is possibly an American Medium - in other words a bit on the fine side to UK eyes.

When writing with the pen, it is very nice to write with. I find I can write all day with pens under 25g, almost regardless of the section design. However for pens heavier than 25g, the section design must be good for me to be able to write all day with them. This pen is pretty well designed, and despite it's weight, it can be used for a large part of a day before the weight becomes an issue. The filigree doesn't cut into your hands at all when writing, and is very comfortable to hold.

The nib is very, very stiff. There is no hint of flex, and if you press hard enough to flex the nib, it moves far enough from the feed not to be fed with ink. So no flex. Ah well. Cannot have everything.


Value for Money
!!!!!!! You get a lot of pen for the money.

Comparison with other pens
The Jinhao is a nice, slender pen, as shown in comparisons with a Kaigelu 316 (Parker Duofold Centennial copy), Parker Duofold International and the Jinhao Century pen:
Posted Image
And against a Parker 51:
Posted Image

Conclusion
This is another very good, Jinhao. It's a classic shape, wearing a gorgeous overcoat, that works well. Jinhao have a very good reputation and this pen has done nothing to reduce it. It's a great pen, but I think it needs to be kept for special occasions to keep the gold wash over the filigree intact.

This pen is quite amazing, and it feels really good to write with due the the superb balance and pretty good nib.

I hope this is useful,


Regards,

Richard.

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#2 Wh3r3sWald0

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 15:57

Nice review, I haven't looked at any of the fancier Chinese pens yet since I have not been a big fan of the designs, but this one looks intriguing and I may have to give these pen designs a more thorough examination.

#3 M@rtin

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 16:09

excellent review!...nice FP!!!!

#4 KrazyIvan

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 16:52

Thanks for the review! There is one more plausable method for the filigree cut. Plasma cutter/CNC machine combo. I have been dying to try one out. :D

#5 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 22:17

very interesting thanks for sharing :thumbup:
Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time

#6 Skeet

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 06:24

That's a really beautiful pen. I absolutely love Jinhaos. It's unfortunate that they don't manufacture more of their pens with threaded caps. Very informative review. Thanks.


IF YOU FREE YOUR MIND...YOUR PEN WILL FOLLOW
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#7 Inkwisitor

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 18:22

Thanks for a thorough review of a surprisingly attractive pen.
"The cultured man is the man whose interior consciousness is forever obstinately writing down, in the immaterial diary of his psyche's sense of life, every chance aspect of every new day that he is lucky enough to live to behold!" - John Cowper Powys

#8 richardandtracy

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 11:40

...There is one more plausable method for the filigree cut. Plasma cutter/CNC machine combo. I have been dying to try one out. :D

Try which out? The pen or the plasma cutter? If it's the latter, then I'm with you in the queue. :roflmho:

Regards,

Richard.

#9 Toolattack

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 16:43

Incredible value for money. I really like the look of this pen.

#10 watch_art

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 04:32

Dang - you've got some sweet lookin Chinese pens. Very nice.

fpn_1432247667__cropped-20150427_0641231 sigpic14481_1.gif vanness.jpg?t=1321916122


#11 Joe in Seattle

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 05:59

You sold me. I ordered one.
"how do I know what I think until I write it down?"

#12 Aldwin

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 17:17

Nice looking pen! How has the gold held up after a month?

#13 richardandtracy

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 17:23

As I said, It'll be a pen for only special occasions. I have not used it a lot, having had the pen for over a year now, I have used it on 4 occasions after I made the review. I still like the pen, but do not think it's likely to last well. Had it been made by Kaigelu, I'd expect the plating to show signs of wear after 3 months. The pen is made by Jinhao, so may show signs of wear after about a month. It's a shame, as the pen is beautifully balanced and feels really good.

Regards,

Richard.

#14 rwilsonedn

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 19:34

Would it help to put a few coats of clear lacquer over the gold wash on the overlay? That might stabilize it, and turn a beautiful pen into a durable and beautiful pen.
ron

#15 Aldwin

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 21:11

As I said, It'll be a pen for only special occasions. I have not used it a lot, having had the pen for over a year now, I have used it on 4 occasions after I made the review. I still like the pen, but do not think it's likely to last well. Had it been made by Kaigelu, I'd expect the plating to show signs of wear after 3 months. The pen is made by Jinhao, so may show signs of wear after about a month. It's a shame, as the pen is beautifully balanced and feels really good.

Regards,

Richard.


Whoops, missed the year of your original post completely!
I'm partial to the white version, but I don't fancy getting it if I won't be able to use the thing. If I can got it re-plated, on the other hand...

#16 richardandtracy

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 08:10

I hadn't thought of putting laquer on it, Ron. That would probably work a treat. May need re-applying regularly, but it's certainly worth thinking about.

Aldwin, the option is to get two. They are not wildly expensive (even though they are not cheap by Chinese pen standards), use one and accept that it may start to look a bit tired in a while, and have the second kept pristine. I do want to do this with a Jinhao Century Mk2 as well as a Kaigelu 316 charcoal. The Kaigelu in particular gets a lot of use, and I really love using it because of the base material and its overall feel. The furniture, though, is looking quite tired.

Regards,

Richard

#17 learn2shoot

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Posted 16 October 2014 - 20:32

I bought this pen based partially on this post.  I have had it for 2 weeks now.  I agree with the analysis above.   While the OP is using it for special ocassions, I plan to use it daily.    At the price I paid 13.38 plus 4.99 for shipping (18.37) I figure I can abuse it and buy another (if /when) it dies. 



#18 Art

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Posted 16 October 2014 - 21:32

Very nice review. It's a great looking pen. Now you've got me looking for one on ebay.  :wub:  :wub:  :wub:



#19 richardandtracy

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Posted 17 October 2014 - 07:57

Must admit I have plans to buy another for everyday use. When/if I ever get a bit of spare cash, that is.

 

Regards,

 

Richard.








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