I like Frank Underwater's name for this filling mechanism so that's what I'm using.
This has been my go-to pen for about a month now.
The Wing Sung 601 is a high-quality writing instrument. I recommend it highly.
Having said that, my first impressions were less favorable. This is a pen that's grown on me.
- It's short on bling. From Wing Sung, that goes to the 618 which I find miles more fun to look at.
- It's not particularly big or chunky, so no check there.
- It’s not unique like the Moonman M1 Wood and Brass or the PenBBS 308. Let alone anything from TWSBI.
- The design is clearly a throwback to the Parker 51 via the Hero 616. I have more than one 616 in pen storage.
- It’s another hooded nib pen. That puts it on the tame side of the street. For me, hooded nib pens don’t invite tinkering the way regular nibs do. I’m always concerned I won’t be able to get them back together again correctly.
It's the filling mechanism.
Wing Sung has taken it upon themselves to resurrect the Vacumatic filling mechanism. And they’ve improved the design. And they sell the pen for under US$10 on taobao
I like the idea that Wing Sung actually made two generations of this filling mechanism. The first used a rubber diaphragm which, while close to the original Parker design, was less efficient and potentially less durable. The revised design uses a piston which performs better and should last longer à la Edison's Draw Filler. Wing Sung moves beyond the Edison design by included a spring in the mechanism, making it possible to fill the pen with one hand. (Two hands if you keep one on the bottle of ink.)
The pen is very similar in length to the Wing Sung 618 but a bit slimmer because the cap isn't threaded.
Left to Right: Wing Sung 601, Hero 616 Jumbo, Wing Sung 618, Hero 338, Hero 565
- Length: 138mm
- Uncapped: 128mm
- Posted: 152mm
- Section diameter: 11.2mm
- Weight inked: 20g capped / 12.9 uncapped
Upon closer inspection, it looks as if the 601 may share the same section as the Wing Sung 618. The two pens already share common nib and feed. Perhaps the collector assembly is also shared. It would make sense.
Wing Sung 618 Left/Black - Wing Sung 601 Right/Gray
My writing experience with this pen has been outstanding.
The pen is reliable and fits well in the hand. I prefer writing with the pen unposted, but the cap is light enough and posts deeply so that writing with the cap posted is certainly doable.
The 601 is comfortable for quick notes or extended writing. It’s not particular about writing angle and offers a solid sweet spot with just a bit of feedback. The nib is hard so there’s no line variation to speak of, but that’s to be expected. It does reverse writing pretty well.
The nib and feed write moderately wet and put down a fine line. The nib feels finer that than the nib on my Wing Sung 618 but that is likely the ink. Or just me. I’d expect the 618 to write more boldly than the 601 just on looks alone.
At the end of the day, the pen is on the conservative side of the spectrum. One might even say boring. Maybe I didn’t help things by getting it in gray.
But I love that it is very good at its intended purpose and advances the art in ways that aficionados can appreciate but regular users just find useful.
More pictures and comments here.