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Duke 911 - The Shark - An Unsung Hero


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#1 mke

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Posted 21 January 2018 - 09:32

The Duke 911 aka The Shark is by far the best Chinese pen I have.

It is very well-made and the nib is just a dream. It easily competes with nibs much more expensive.

 

If you haven't tried yet, you should. However, this pen is a bit more expensive than the usual Chinese pen.

You can find it on Ebay, on Peyton Street Pens, and (overpriced) on Aliexpress.

 

Unsung is not totally true, so consider this post a reminder (e.g. there are FPN internal posts - links follow)

http://www.fountainp...duke-911-shark/

http://www.fountainp...d-fountain-pen/

 

Has anybody a bit more information about this pen or the nib? (@terim?)

The nib size looks like a #6. I haven't disassembled it, as I fear I could destroy my very nice pen.

Anybody did?

 

I have the black one and ordered recently the green celluloid and the blue pen. Haven't arrived yet. Hope they are equally good.



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#2 mke

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 07:01

Meanwhile I got the blue and the green one.

First impression: same smoothness.

Second: there are actually two sizes: the black and the blue are somewhat larger than the green celluoid-like one. I was told there is also a red celluloid-like one which corresponds apparently to the green.

The green one is the same size of a Sailor ProGear21. The black and the blue correspond to the Sailor ProGear Sigma (named ProGear 2 in US?).



#3 garyc

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Posted 22 February 2018 - 22:29

I have to agree it's a very nice pen with a lovely nib. I bought the green 'celluloid' type version a few months back and would have loved a blue celluloid version if it had been available. I also recently tried to find the solid blue one at a reasonable price (around $15) with no luck - but I did find a solid black around that on ebay. The Ali prices are much higher. I wasn't aware of the size difference - is it significant?



#4 mke

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 07:03

The blue and the black ones are 0.7 cm longer.

 

Here is the blue one for 16 USD: https://www.ebay.com/itm/172585087390



#5 garyc

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 23:24

Thanks, that one just wasn’t coming up on an eBay UK search. I ordered one.

#6 jobodine

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 02:13

 

 

 

Have you tried the Jinhao X450 or X750  ? They write very smoothly and only cost 1/3 the price of the Duke 911  !! :D



#7 Dip n Scratch

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 08:02

I would second jobodine's comments on the Jinhao X450 & X750 as I have one. Although I did change the nib I only did so because I wanted a extra-fine line as opposed to the factory medium. The new nib is gold plated steel, which adds to the appearance of the pen as well.

I see a black X750 at $2.70 right now. You can use short or long International cartridges.

Jinhao do cartridges. Blue ink is around $1.40 for ten (long) cartridges.

I use that same ink in my other pens. It looks identical in shade to Herbin Eclat de Saphir, which are $8.00 for six short cartridges.



#8 garyc

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Posted 26 February 2018 - 00:08

Have you tried the Jinhao X450 or X750  ? They write very smoothly and only cost 1/3 the price of the Duke 911  !! :D


I have many Jinhaos : 450, 750, 159, 500, 992, 15 moka, the list goes on. There’s no denying the 450 and 750 represent great value for money, I think I like the 500 with wood barrel and the15 moka best. But the 750 in particular is cheap enough to experiment with nib grinding. On that level, those Dukes are expensive, but in the greater scheme of things, still relatively cheap. I quite liked the fact that the nib on my green 911 had a nice slight stub character.

#9 garyc

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Posted 26 February 2018 - 00:13

I see a black X750 at $2.70 right now. You can use short or long International cartridges.
Jinhao do cartridges. Blue ink is around $1.40 for ten (long) cartridges.
I use that same ink in my other pens. It looks identical in shade to Herbin Eclat de Saphir, which are $8.00 for six short cartridges.


I’ve also bought Jinhao converters to keep to replace those slider action converters which I loathe. I have a bottle of the Herbin blue which I like, but never thought to try the Jinhao cartridges - so thanks for the tip, I’ll give them a go

#10 mke

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Posted 26 February 2018 - 11:45

>Have you tried the Jinhao X450 or X750  ? They write very smoothly and only cost 1/3 the price of the Duke 911  !!

 

None of the Jinhao, I have, is a match for the Duke. It doesn't matter if the Jinhaos are cheaper or not. If I buy a nib which is as good as the Duke's for switching, the price of the pen and the nib become similar to a Duke 911.

Additionally, this Duke just fits better my hand than any of my Jinhaos does. That might be different for other people.

 

Actually, you can buy X450s/X750s for 1 USD if there are special sales on Aliexpress. Anyway, I recommend you to buy a Duke and see for yourself. You don't waste your money, I promise.


Edited by mke, 26 February 2018 - 12:33.


#11 mke

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Posted 26 February 2018 - 12:45

Just bought another Duke:  Duke Celluloid Fountain Pen Leonardo Da Vinci series Rose Wood Color LINK to Ebay

Nib looks identical to that of the 911. Hope, I am not wrong.

 

Dukes sell out fast - you always need to decide quickly if an offer is reasonable. And this one is.



#12 lovemy51

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 05:16

happy for you, mke! mine was by far the worst (no exaggeration). no matter what i did to tweak the nib or the feed, it wouldn't write.



#13 mke

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 13:36

> Nib looks identical to that of the 911. Hope, I am not wrong.

It is identical - the pen arrived today. But not yet inked.



#14 mke

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 13:26

Inked with Parker Quink BlueBlack. Same nib, same smoothness. The pen "Leonardo Da Vinci" has a different form, it is a bit longer, feels therefore different.

But from an extensive one-day use of the new pen, my recommendation for both pens (having the same nib) still persists.

 

There is also a blue version of the "Leonardo Da Vinci" - a bit more expensive than the red one was. I just bought it too. LINK

 

 

The Duke 911 and the Duke "Leonardo Da Vinci" produce a beautiful colour with the Parker Quink BlueBlack. No other pen of mine does this colour with this ink. Amazing.



#15 garyc

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 23:14

I have to agree with mke, my second 911, the deep, dark blue version arrived yesterday and I have to say it is gorgeous. And after a couple of dip tests with some blue inks I had: Diamine Sargasso Sea and Twilight, Cross blue, I remembered I had an old bottle of Quink blue/black hidden away and it is ideal. The nib on my blue version does not have the slight 'stubbi-ness' of the green celluloid, but it is lovely and smooth just the same. The slightly larger size suits me too.

 

Just out of interest, I also inked up an X750 and it is just a little too broad for my liking, with more uncontrolled issue of ink. I have in the past replaced nibs on the X750 and also tried grinding them, but the 911 nibs are just nice 'out of the box'. I'm just going to order one of those Da Vincis, the only doubt I had was the clip which is a bit 'Jinhao shield' in style, but now that I know it's the same nib, I'll get one - thanks for that mke.

fpn_1520549989__20180308_223939.jpg


Edited by garyc, 08 March 2018 - 23:15.


#16 mke

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 01:01

Good to hear garyc that you too enjoy that pen.

As the Ebay sellers are very poorly describing the pens - no model number/name, weight, sizes, I am going to do this by myself.

 

I haven't used my other Dukes since a long time but I remember that also the other nibs were not bad at all - Duke 2000, Duke 209? I put them now into my rotation list to retest them.

I also looked through the Ebay offers and I found several where I think that the nib is identical to the 911/Leonardo and others were it looks similar to Duke 2000 pen.

 

I think it is time to create an overview. I will publish it on my blog in the next few weeks: https://mkepens.blogspot.jp/

 

You can help, by telling me about the Dukes you have. Either here or directly to mkeduke@mkemail.de (give it 20 min before it is online, I just created the address).

Thank you

Michael


Edited by mke, 10 March 2018 - 01:03.


#17 garyc

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 13:20

Michael,

 

only just seen your post, I will certainly make a list, although it may not be until well after the weekend as I have alot stacked up to do.

 

I have only just started looking at Dukes, I recently bought a P06 'Coloured painting' style and my most recent arrival was a Model 960 'Crane' style, I think it is the same as the one reviewed some years back: http://www.fountainp...892-duke-crane/ . I also have another 960 on order with a 'Zebra' cap. Peyton Street pens have the 960 'Crane' currently for $16.  Jewelrymathematics has them for a couple of dollars less on eBay. The 960 is fairly unexceptional, apart from the cap. The nib is a size smaller than the 911's, but still very smooth and acceptable. The P06 was less impressive in real life than in the pictures, it has a similar nib to the 960.

 

Peyton have a whole page of Dukes, with 2 versions of the 911, plain black and with a mother of pearl band. They have some nice pictures of the 911 and offer a fine italic grind of the nib as an option. As I mentioned, my green 911 (from China) already had a nib with slight stub/cursive character which is really nice. Their more expensive Duke examples have 14k nibs.

 

They also include 3 of one 'filigree' style of a Picasso "a company nominally associated with Duke. 

 

The hisnibs.com website also has a number of Dukes on offer, but the 911 for $65 seems a bit optimistic, though it could be argued that that price more closely reflects a retail price of pens of this quality. 

 

The blue shark 911 is becoming a real favourite. Capped, it reminds me alot of the Waterman Carene, obviously very different pens and nibs with the cap off and when writing, but in the feel, weight and finish of the capped pen, they seem very similar. At least, this is how I remember the Carene, I haven't used mine for ages so I must dig it out and compare directly.

 

Cheers,

Gary



#18 garyc

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Posted 22 March 2018 - 22:49

Just bought another Duke:  Duke Celluloid Fountain Pen Leonardo Da Vinci series Rose Wood Color LINK to Ebay
Nib looks identical to that of the 911. Hope, I am not wrong.
 
Dukes sell out fast - you always need to decide quickly if an offer is reasonable. And this one is.


I also bought this - still available from cindyshop88 for about 15 USD. It has the same great nib as the 911s. It bears a very strong resemblance to the Jinhao 8812 wood barrel, with an almost identical cap (not interchangeable). I’ll post pictures of this - and another Duke that arrived today - over the weekend.






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