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Duke 226 "Columbus"


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#1 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 15:56

Duke 226 "Columbus"

First, my writing sample and pictures:







First Impressions--
The box this came with is well documented on both HisNibs.com and where I bought it from, isellpens.com. I am not associated with either. Its a big, solid box. It came with a cleaning cloth, a manual, and a leather 2-pen pouch for carrying it in the pocket. It was well done, and the pen gave a very distinct feel of quality.

Appearance and Finish--
This pen is made of solid copper with some chemical process making the blue, irridescent almost, finish with its pebbling, which creates a unique rainbow effect. While the barrel-clip design recalls the Pilot Vanishing point, this is not a retractible pen- the cap screws off. This pen looks like nothing else.
The pen I got has a small chip on one of the trim rings, but otherwise the finish was superb. The only real let down for it was the knob on the back being a tad wobbly when it is not against its stop.

Design/Size/Weight--
This pen is HEAVY. If you don't like heavy pens, avoid this like the plague. This thing is heavier than Rotring's 600 tank. However, it is a pity if you don't like them because it is othewise a fantastic pen. The grip works for me- those who have problem with the Vanishing Point may find a problem here. It is a generously sized pen, and very solid in general feel.

Nib design and performance--
The nib is not as flexible as my old BCHR Waterman 55. However, it is more flexible than my Esterbrook 2048, and much more flexible than my Pelikan 800. I have been pretty pressured with this once or twice (not in the writing sample) and it doesn't look at all worse for it. This is a pretty hardy Flex. The nib is 2-tone 14k gold. It is a truly beautiful design. It is as smooth as bavarian cream. This nib is the BEST expressive nib I own, period. The Sheaffer Triumph nib is probably smoother (its close), but its a nail. I would buy this pen just for the nib.

The feed is interesting, though. Its smooth, not ribbed or finned, or anything, perfectly smooth (like my Waterman, actually). It smells weakly, vaguely similar to a Wality nib. Could this possibly be ebonite? If it is, it is finished to a high polish.

Filling System--

The various websites refer to this mostly as a piston filler. One independant wondered if it was smoother than a Pelikan because of the metal inside. All of them wonder why the knob does not move outwards as it is unscrewed. I am going to assume that this is, infact, a captive-converter design. There is probably a standard duke converter in there, with its knob integrated into the metal knob on the back of the pen. It can be a bit wobbly when it is not against its stop, but other than that, this is still impressive.

When you post the cap via screwing it on, the knob can't be turned.

Cost/Value--

Yafa claims the retail price to be $250. For this price, the pen represents a decent value, possibly even a good value. I paid $85 for it on isellpens.com. For $85, this is in the bargain-of-the-century class to my mind, and am surprised they aren't going to people like a barrage of heat-seaking missles.

Overall Opinion/Conclusion--

Despite a minor finish issues, and its massive weight, this pen is absolutely fantastic. Good at any price, and breath taking at its price of acquisition.


Edited by Green Maned Lion, 30 January 2007 - 16:02.

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#2 pvdiamon

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 20:16

Does the nib come out for cleaning? Or do you have to fill/empty repeatedly with the piston mechanism? Have you found that to be a problem? I found my
Wallity is like that, takes what seems like an eternity to wash clean by fill/empty method.

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#3 mholve

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 20:25

That's some serious (left-handed) chicken scratch! smile.gif

I liked that pen also when I first saw it. My Unfall Old Man may need company...

Edited by mholve, 30 January 2007 - 20:26.


#4 helius

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 20:29

Thanks for the review. A few quick questions:
- Can you check the ink level at all?
- How does the nib compare to modern flexy nibs like DaniTrio's and Namiki's Falcon?
- Is the line width about the same as other Duke Mediums/Unlabeled?

Very interesting looking pen. Now I may just have to get one. roflmho.gif roflmho.gif roflmho.gif

#5 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 22:40

I own no other modern flexibles, and I have no other dukes, so I can't tell you either.

You can't check the level of ink in it. The nib does not come out for cleaning.
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#6 jd50ae

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 22:47

Had one for a few years and I like it.

Another one of those dastardly Chinese pens. wink.gif

#7 shahrincamille

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 04:24

I have a Duke Ruby and it's 22K GP steel M nib is one of the smoothest that I've ever had. It's easy to take apart too, so no problems giving the nib and feed a thorough cleaning whenever I change inks. The build is solid, and the black lacquer with inlaid filigree silver design on the cap is just stunning. Got it at Fleabay, along with a free 3oz bottle of black Duke ink, for less than US$30 including shipping to Malaysia biggrin.gif So what I have is a very good first impression of Duke pens smile.gif


And now you come up with this review of the Columbus. Coupled with my personal experience of Dukes as above, I scoured the 'Bay a couple of days back and found a Duke Columbus with an opening bid of just US$19.99. Put in a bid during the last minute, and now it's mine for only US$42 including shipping and insurance biggrin.gif biggrin.gif Your excellent review simply prompted me to get one of my own smile.gif


But the nib design on the pics posted looks a bit different from yours though. It's two-tone, and the design is the same as the Columbus on sale at HisNibs.com. Hopefully the writing experience is as pleasant as yours.


Cheers cool.gif



Shahrin

#8 shahrincamille

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 13:22

I've received this pen a few weeks ago and the large clip with the Duke logo on top of it seems to be a bother, getting in the way, unlike the slim clip on my Pilot Capless Decimo mad.gif


This is how I hold my pen :

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Edited by shahrincamille, 01 March 2007 - 13:22.


#9 shahrincamille

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 13:26

(Sorry, but I just have no idea on how to put up a few pics in one post)

As you can see in my previous post, the clip would obviously get in the way of my index finger. Then I found out that you can actually ROTATE the nib/feed assembly to suit your hand eureka.gif

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#10 shahrincamille

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 13:27

So now I have a 'customised' Columbus to suit my hand biggrin.gif

Another view

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#11 Judybug

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 15:34

QUOTE (shahrincamille @ Mar 1 2007, 07:27 AM)
So now I have a 'customised' Columbus to suit my hand biggrin.gif

Another view

Well now, that's nifty! smile.gif My only reservation about this pen is that you can't see the ink level.

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#12 Leigh R

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 16:45

Thanks for a helpful review, Shahrin! I like the unusual design, as well. Do you find the nib to be flexible as GreenManedLion did?
smile.gif

#13 shahrincamille

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 21:07

QUOTE (Leigh R @ Mar 5 2007, 04:45 PM)
Thanks for a helpful review, Shahrin! I like the unusual design, as well. Do you find the nib to be flexible as GreenManedLion did?
smile.gif

Thanks Leigh smile.gif

Honestly speaking I would rate the 14K nib's flexibility to be about similar to my Pelikan M400 Tortoise's. Which makes it less flexible than my Delta Papillon's, but certainly more than the Lamy Safari and Parker 51s biggrin.gif


Shahrin

#14 325irollin

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 19:42

I just bought a Duke Blue Spyder and Duke Carbon-fibre!






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