I bought this FP’s by curiosity, but I ended by loving them. I like the fine Chinese pottery, so a “porcelain” FP tempted me instantly after I saw their pictures on internet. Besides, Jinhao had the good idea to use as decorations some well-known Chinese cultural symbols that challenged me to decipher them here, in my first review.
1. Appearance & Design (7/10). Both pens look nice, with the cap and the barrel made by glazed white ceramic and chromed trims. The imagery is silk-screened in blue cobalt, remembering the traditional pottery from Jingdezhen, the most important center of Chinese ceramics. The appearance however is rather modern, well proportionate due to the metallic tubular ends and to the wide ring of the barrel.
The horse printed on the barrel of the first FP is a copy of Xu Beihong’s drawing named “Running Horse”. Xu was an important painter from the first half of the twentieth century, famous for its drawings with horses. The copy is enough closed to its original (image bellow), catching the horse in an elegant running movement.
The symbolism of the horse changed with time in the Chinese mentality, but it still preserved its first meaning, as a representation of the military power in art. The horse here seems to hover, contrasting thus with the traditional symbol by its suave suppleness. Let us remember that 2014 is the Year of the Horse according to the Chinese calendar.
On the cap there are four verses in Chinese calligraphy whose mining I could not identify. The calligraphic writing is completed by the seal of Xu, in red. It would have been better if the manufacturer offered to the curious people like me some explanations regarding the imagery and the translation of the verses, but no written information accompanied the FP.
The dragon on the other FP is the symbol of the Emperor, as well as a mythological sign with favorable auspices. It is represented here in a traditional manner, as a huge coiled sneak with four feet, a demon head and a burning pearl (the symbol of wealth, good fortune, prosperity, etc.). On the cap is the calligraphic Chinese character of the dragon, in Hanzi. Such references may enrich the design of the pens and increase the pleasure when admiring these FP’s.
At the end of the cap, there is a black button, which I would had expected to be blue. On the ring are engraved the name of the producer as well as the model number (JINHAO 950), and on the clip is engraved a carriage, the emblem of the manufacturer.
The FPs came in simple blue boxes of cardboard with plastic foam supports within. Certainly it is not a luxury box. I gave only 7/10 points also because of the quality of the screen printing, which is one according to the serial manufacture technology.
2. Construction & Quality (8/10). The FP is definitely a solid one, though I could not say anything about the impact resistance of the ceramics. The ceramic pieces are glazed and pleasant to the touching, but the quality is far from the more valuable porcelain pens. The engravings are carefully done, also the chroming. With few exceptions, the manufacturer paid attention to details. The push cap fits well but needs an excessive force to be pulled off. The black plastic section is very ergonomic and easy to grip, its diameter diminishing slightly towards the nib. I disliked however the abrupt passing from the barrel to the section, which is somehow unaesthetic and coarse.
3. Weight & Dimensions (7/10). Jinhao 950 Porcelain is a full-size FP, its dimensions being:
Length capped: 139 mm
Length uncapped: 125 mm
Length of the section: 27 mm
Barrel diameter: 12 mm
Section diameter: 9/6,5 mm
It is definitely a heavy FP, weighting 52 gr capped, which for a porcelain pen might be reasonable. To write with the cap posted is uncomfortable yet not impossible. With the cap aside, the pen seems balanced and easier to use.
4. Nib & Performance (9/10). Jinhao 950 comes with a medium steel nib engraved with a decorative theme, and with the name of the manufacturer. The nibs are 17 mm long, being a bit disproportionately small in comparison with the pen.
I was amazed to find how smooth the nibs are. They are among the smoother nibs of mine! I had read about the quality of Jinhao’s nibs, so these nibs may be not exceptions. They are somehow responsive at the pressure, varying the width of the stroke, though there is a little feed-back on Rhodia paper. On a low quality paper the feedback is however consistent. So, even I bought these pens for their beauty, I decided to put them to work. Both FPs work very well out of box – no skipping, no hard starting or something like this until now.
5. Filling system & Maintenance (8/10). The pen comes with a Jinhao converter with screw (metallic-ring version), which I consider of a low capacity. I read on FPN that some people had problems with Jinhao converters. I had not difficulties, but I am not sure they could appear. Alternatively, the FP’s can take international ink cartridges.
6. Cost & Value (9/10). What something else could I say about a nice FP with a smooth good nib that costs 12 usd on Amazon (including the delivering from China) and only 10 usd on eBay?
Conclusion: 48/60 points could be a realistic evaluation of these FP’s. I bought them to assort them to my Chinese porcelain blue painted tea cup set, but finally I found pleasure in putting them to work. It was my pleasure to find that some simple things could be sometimes good-looking without being necessarily expensive. These FP’s will never be my daily writing instruments, of course, but their view could make me joyful now and then. Life may be more agreeable sometimes when you are surrounded by some few beautiful objects like these.
For a collector, these pens could be attractive pieces in default of the much more expensive hand-painted, Japanese porcelain FP’s. So I ordered also the “Bamboo” and the “Water Lily” versions of Jinhao 950, both of them promising to be beautiful as well.
Edited by Alex2014, 10 February 2014 - 09:38.