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Picasso 903: A Chinese Beauty

picasso fountain pen review chinese pen pen review

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7 replies to this topic

#1 jacobgmusic

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 02:16

Picasso 903 

Sweden King on Top

 

With any Chinese fountain pen you are going to get a confusing name. For this review I am going to refer to it as the Picasso 903. I was a fan of this pen right from the start. I received it in a beautiful box; far better than some boxes of more expensive pens.

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I have never used a fountain pen from a Chinese Manufacturer that I absolutely loved... until this pen.

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It has one of the smoothest nibs I have ever used.

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#2 Honeybadgers

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 05:42

I'm glad you like it. Nice box too, but not my style of pen. 


Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)


#3 Mech-for-i

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 07:55

I had one too in orange, a very decent if not overwhelming good pen. I am glad that you like it. I think the myth and prejudice of Chinese fountain pen being sub par is somewhat entrenched and do not reflect the reality nowadays. That stated, let's not forget that a high % of Chinese fountain pen sold, and bought are those that are just geared for volume in sales and priced as low as possible and I suppose one cannot really expect any sense of quality there.

 

My experience is that once one start checking out the reasonably priced ( as in not just going for the $ as low as possible ) one would find quite abundance of various models that are just as good as this one ... though not quite as exciting might be as a limited edition MB or alikes, but then most of them are made to be pens first and fashion accessories come very last on the list.



#4 Tseg

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 11:52

Nice review.

 

I really wish the Chinese could break through with a higher end pen company, with focus on gold nibs and the like... $100-$200 pens.   Right now it seems a 'high end' Chinese pen is $20-$30 with a steel nib.  I think until Chinese pen companies can have some gold nibbed success stories they are destined to be perceived as bottom feeders.  By that I don't mean offering models that can come in either steel or gold nibs, but a nice pen only available with a gold nib... 18K even better to really separate from the pack.  We know they can make some nice writing steel nibs.  I would love to be blown away by a nice writing gold nib pen.  I like this 903 because it is not all cheesed up with ornate designs like other Picassos... making a refined pen is also important.


Edited by Tseg, 13 June 2018 - 11:52.


#5 Mech-for-i

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 14:00

There is already such pen , but of course the Mfr was not interested in marketing it outside of China, and there is several reason to that, but primary of that is purely business. If the Mfr can made a business home market without the need for massive effort and cost to marketing then it surely do not made sense for them to do the opposite. Actually the $20 - $30 pen is not considered high end even in Chinese own home market, that price range reflect most of the mid range / next level keepsake pen so to speak, as compared to the like of entry and just mid range workhorse. China the home market had a large population that actually use these pens regularly , daily, and as primary writing tools. So its not as simple as such, variety at this price range can be rather daunting for those not familiar with the Chinese fountain pen scene.

 

Another one is very much market specific and a perceived thing. Chinese fountain pen Mfr, despite business as such; they still think of fountain pen as daily ware more than high end fashion / hobby item which is a fact; around the home market anyway. And a really top dollar pen is not really top of priority for these Mfr(s) ; after all most of their customer are not in the market for that $200.00 Gold nib pen, sure the clients know that gold nib being an up market option but really it does not help with the writing nor being needed. In short its a luxury extra.

 

The asked for Gold nib $100-$200 gold nibbed pen thus is a product that pretty much not being sought by the customers ; and not an enticing business preposition either. As of today only a few individual workshop making custom pen would likely tailor to this need and annually Hero tend to bring out one or in some time two / three truly high end gold nib pen , usually of small batch or limited production, but then of course again its too much effort to market oversea that will not return good business so they never made it out of the border ( usually ), as a matter of fact I am not sure if most fellow member know about Hero(s) more common gold nib pen range other than the knowledge of the Hero 100 and Hero 200 ( both literally several decades old already ); say for example the 2017 release of their regular catalog item Model 2191


Edited by Mech-for-i, 13 June 2018 - 14:15.


#6 jacobgmusic

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 14:44

I had one too in orange, a very decent if not overwhelming good pen. I am glad that you like it. I think the myth and prejudice of Chinese fountain pen being sub par is somewhat entrenched and do not reflect the reality nowadays. That stated, let's not forget that a high % of Chinese fountain pen sold, and bought are those that are just geared for volume in sales and priced as low as possible and I suppose one cannot really expect any sense of quality there.

 

My experience is that once one start checking out the reasonably priced ( as in not just going for the $ as low as possible ) one would find quite abundance of various models that are just as good as this one ... though not quite as exciting might be as a limited edition MB or alikes, but then most of them are made to be pens first and fashion accessories come very last on the list.

I have a Jinhao x450 that is a decent writer but it isn't something that I like. I agree that the reasonably priced pens are better ( as evident by this pen).



#7 Honeybadgers

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 01:45

Nice review.

 

I really wish the Chinese could break through with a higher end pen company, with focus on gold nibs and the like... $100-$200 pens.   Right now it seems a 'high end' Chinese pen is $20-$30 with a steel nib.  I think until Chinese pen companies can have some gold nibbed success stories they are destined to be perceived as bottom feeders.  By that I don't mean offering models that can come in either steel or gold nibs, but a nice pen only available with a gold nib... 18K even better to really separate from the pack.  We know they can make some nice writing steel nibs.  I would love to be blown away by a nice writing gold nib pen.  I like this 903 because it is not all cheesed up with ornate designs like other Picassos... making a refined pen is also important.

 

 

Hero has a safety pen with a fairly soft 10k nib that is about $70-100. And you can find wing sung 698's with vintage lucky 14k nibs for $40, pretty soft and a little flexible, pretty scrollwork and shape (they fit a pilot steel nib feed or any standard #5 feed)

 

I do agree, it'd be cool to see chinese pens around $100 with gold nibs, but I think we are getting there, Chinese nib makers are really stepping things up with bent nibs, bespoke stuff like penbbs nibs, etc. and the quality of materials and finish/fit has gone up massively. I think these no-name brands and companies like jinhao are starting to fall way behind the likes of wing sung, moonman, hero, PenBBS, Fuliwen, and the like.

 

I would give up my visconti before I sold my delike alpha or wing sung 601's.


Edited by Honeybadgers, 14 June 2018 - 01:47.

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)


#8 Mech-for-i

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 10:25

 

 

Hero has a safety pen with a fairly soft 10k nib that is about $70-100. ...

 

Yeah those Hero 10K nib certainly somewhat of a sleeper, I've got quite a bunch of them and they are all soft ( I would not say flex as its still more a firm nib ), and soft in a nice cushioned manner, much better than that 10K suggested







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