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Kaigelu 323


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#1 richardandtracy

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 12:42

Kaigelu 323 Review.

This is a very brief review of my Kaigelu 323 Pen. It cost £10.42 (US$16.11) inc postage from the US.
The pen came without a box, I had asked to be charged $8 extra for the same large plush box as the Kaigelu 316, but due to a bit of mis-communication between the vendor & myself, I was neither charged for, nor got, the box. It's an open nib pen with a gold plated metal section, black painted barrel and an acrylic cap like the ones for the K319. The pen comes in three colours, the 'Lapis' with a mostly blue cap with brown and cream veins, and 'White' which is mostly cream with brown veins in it and finally a 'Toffee' colour, which seems to be the other extreme of the 'White' where the cream lines have been reduced to a minimum.

Initial Impressions.

On opening the packaging I was fairly impressed. The lacquering was beautifully done, without a blemish, and the gold highlights looked smart and attractive. It looks very sophisticated, though the wide gold re-inforcing band on the bottom of the cap with a pattern reminiscent of the Greek-Key pattern is a bit over the top. On opening the cap, the pen still looks attractive with its gold section & duotone nib which looks in proportion to the rest of the pen and is identical to the one in the K316.

The pen is as below:
Posted Image
Uncapped:
Posted Image

The nib & section look nice, as shown below.
Posted Image

The pen looks impressively understated with its black barrel, gold trim and blue/white cap. According to the Kaigelu website the cap is made from 'Imported Italian Celluloid'; Well, it isn't Celluloid, probably a good quality acrylic instead, as there is no smell of camphor at all and it doesn't give the same 'taste test' result as the FPN Etruria Celluloid Acetate. The colour has a depth and pearlescence to it that is very like celluloid, and the colour can be seen all the way through to the inside of the translucent cap. It looks good and feels equally good.

One thing I must say about this pen. It's not a derivative design of any pen I know of. This is Kaigelu's designers doing a good job without any outside influence at all.


The pen dimensions are:
Length, Capped: 141mm (5.55")
Length, Uncapped: 126.5mm (4.98")
Length, Posted: 168mm (6.61")
Barrel Diameter: 135mm (0.53")
Weight: approx 35g
Construction
The overall quality of fit and finish is really high.
Note: I did not say 'High for a Chinese pen' and also did not say 'High for a pen of this price'. It is a remarkably good quality pen on any scale of reference. This is China truly producing a good quality pen. You know, I'm getting a bit fed up with feeling I have to say this. Kaigelu are comparable in quality with any western manyfacturer for their equivalent level pens, and possibly one grade up for their cheapest, lowest grade pens.

This is a higher range Kaigelu, so the plating is probably as thick as that on the Kaigelu 316. The metal part of the barrel is lacquered in black, and after some months of use now, I have only managed to nick the laquering once, with the sharp edge of a bit of steel in the workshop, showing brass underneath. The convertor is a higher range screw in convertor, and is almost identical to the one found in the K316 ( http://www.fountainp...316-grey-amber/ ). The nib is the same as the medium nib found in the Kaigelu 316. The pen it is well put together, there are no sharp edges and it is well designed. The clip is secure and there are no sharp edges. The cap lip is reinforced with a separate machining and the edge is well finished. The cap-barrel thread is actually on the acrylic on both the cap and barrel. The cap lip re-inforcing fits on the outside of a tenon cut into the cap material and the end of the barrel has an acrylic insert in the end. This inser is positioned to match the cap striations when 1 turn from fully tightened. Someone has gone to great lengths to ensure that the colours line up.

The c/c is a deluxe piston c/c, of better than average quality, and it screws in. The c/c has a little ball in it to break the surface tension.

The quality of the fit between the cap re-inforcing ring and the body of the cap is superb, absolutely seamless. This pen feels like one costing over £75 (US$110), despite the fact it was under £11 delivered to the UK from US based e-bay seller 'pmstylus'.
While it isn't a top of the range pen, it is well made and durable, with good design and all the parts are well finished.

Writing
I've written with this pen regularly for several months now, and it's smooth and nicely wet. The nib is the same as the medium nib on the Kaigelu 316, so it can be smoothed off into a very good writing experience, and in this case it needed no work prior to first use.

The plated section caused me concerns about whether the section would be difficult to grip when hot and sweaty. Having had the pen for around 4 months now, I can say with confidence that 'Hot & Sweaty' is something completely alien to the UK climate during a drought..! (Since the drought was declared, we've had twice the normal levels of rainfall, and commensurately low temperatures.) I have tried wetting my fingers to simulate running sweat, and the section didn't feel much slicker than when dry, so I doubt if anyone would have problems.

The pen is well balanced whether posted or not. When posted, the relatively light cap makes no significant alteration to the balance. The diameter of the section is a little large for me with large hands trained to the size of the Parker 61 & 51. The weight isn't objectionable & the section shape is no worse than many, and quite comfortable due to a lack of projections sticking into your fingers. All round, it's comfortable & very well built. Should be suitable for quite a few hours of writing at a time.

Conclusion
This pen is yet another good Kaigelu. The more I see of the brand, the more I am impressed. Thus far, I've not seen a bad one.

I hope this is of interest,

Richard.

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#2 Hex

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 16:13

It is of interest. Thank you Richard.
Hex, aka George

#3 lovemy51

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 08:34

what can i say? one of my favs!! thanx, Richard!

PS. my K323 writes better than the K316

#4 watch_art

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 05:18

wow that's a really nice looking pen. i'm very impressed.

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