Bookworm 675/ Yiren 601 Review.
This is a little review of the Yiren 601 pen. It appears that both the Bookworm and Yiren trademarks are both owned by the Shanghai Shulong Stationary & Gifts Co. ( http://bookwormpen.en.alibaba.com/ ), and many of the pens are identical between the two ranges, with only the printing on the pen being different. This pen has 'Yiren 601' printed in small letters on the threaded part of the section (visible in the photos below), so that the lettering is covered when the barrel is on the pen. However, the nib has 'Book Worm' indented on it. Just to enhance the confusion it was sold as a 'Jinhao' by the e-bay vendor (obviously not true as there is no Jinhao logo or lettering). I have seen these pens advertised in the past as the 'Dolce Vita Naranja' too. The pen has been around since at least 2009 and possibly earlier, so the pen design was from a few years ago, and this does show in some areas of the design and manufacture of the pen. Chinese pens have advanced noticably since 2007, when I first became aware of them, and the more recent designs are technically and functionally considerably superior to earlier designs. So, this is an older design, almost from a different era.
The initial impression was 'This is a fairly low end pen, trying to look like a high end pen', but it does look quite pretty with the contrast between the black cap & finial, orange barrel & apparent filigree at either end of the orange barrel. The shape is moderately old fashioned, echoing 1920's pens in the same way as a modern Parker Duofold does. A sort of 'homage' to the shape rather than a slavish copy.
There is also a hint of Italian in the colour combination of black, silver and orange - echoing pens made by Delta, though the orange in this pen is more muted than the bright orange used in Delta's pens, it's more of a 'cooked orange' than a 'fresh orange'.
The veins, pearlescence and transparency of the orange part of the barrel are very attractive, and the 'filigree' section adds interest too. All-in-all an interesting and attractive looking pen.
The pen is as below:
The nib & section look nice, as shown below.
The pen dimensions are:
Length, Capped: 137mm (5.39")
Length, Uncapped: 121.5mm (4.78")
Length, Posted: 160mm (6.30")
Barrel Diameter: 12.70mm (0.50")
I think this is a low end pen, and it shows in the material choice and finish of the pen.
The only plastic parts in this pen are the polythene cap liner, feed, section and orange part of the barrel. The rest is painted or plated brass. The apparent 'filigree' section appears to be etched brass, with the raised sections thinly chrome plated and the indented areas are painted black. On the furniture the chrome plating seems to be thicker than on the 'filigree' area and is reasonably well applied, though there are blemishes visible where the substrate wasn't brilliantly polished. The black parts of the barrel and cap are painted. The painting is not evenly applied and makes no pretense of being durable. In fact, on the third day of use, the black paint on the barrel finial corner started to chip and moderately large areas of the black paint on the 'filigree' section fell off at the same time, exposing lightly corroded brass underneath. This is shown below (in this state after only 4 days use):-
The screw thread between the barrel & section is a reasonable fit, and the orange barrel section forms a tenon into the 'filigree' sections at either end, giving a good joint between the two materials. The brass barrel finial seems to be pressed into the barrel, which is a cheap but perfectly durable method of construction.
The convertor is a screw convertor of average quality.
The pen it is moderately well put together, there are no sharp edges and it is quite well designed. The clip is secure and there are no sharp edges. The cap lip is machined to a nice shape and the edge is well finished.
The cap click strength is such that the cap is secure and requires a medium strength pull.
This pen is a low end pen, and after 3 days, it was showing signs of distress; Which is not a good sign for long term durability.
This is what a pen is for, so is the most important area for a pen.
After flushing and inking the pen for the first time, it was a bit dry and a bit on the fine side, while being a bit scratchy too. However with a bit of pressure, the line width increased. 'Ooh, a flex pen' I thought. WRONG. Just a very thin and bendy nib that stays bent after a moderate amount of pressure. Not good. So, I had to reset the nib and smooth it off. To be honest, this nib feels like the poor quality nibs found on pens like the Jinhao 5 years ago, and is very unlike the much better quality nibs found on the more recent Jinhao designs.
Despite the brass finials and cap, the pen is well balanced whether posted or not. The size is perfect for my large hands trained to the size of the Parker 61 & 51. The weight is fairly high, but the section shape should prevent your fingers sliding down to the nib. All round, it's comfortable & very well built. Should be suitable for quite a few hours of writing at a time.
Value for Money
This pen cost me £3.53 including postage from Hong Kong. That is not a lot of money, and as such it represents fairly good value for money. However, I think you would be better served in getting a more recently designed pen that costs more, but is more durable, such as a Kaigelu of any sort (which may even be cheaper than even this pen) or something like the Jinhao Century pens.
This pen is pretty, but doesn't live up to its promise, being let down by a poor nib and poor painting on the metallic parts of the pen. Get one only if you have no intention to write with it, or use it as a knock-around pen that you won't be concerned about if the paint goes.
I hope this is of interest,