The pen arrived in a black “crocodile skin” box wrapped in a white cardboard sleeve. The box was lined with “velvet”. Sold as a Duke Crown, this is described on this forum elsewhere as a Duke D2 so I will call it a Duke D2 too.
Very shiny black pen with silver trim, clip and a very decorative “waistband”. I am sure that there is a technical name for it but I don’t know what it is! A surprisingly attractive pen for one so cheap.
A similar shape to a Mont Blanc with rounded ends. Capped it is almost exactly the same length as a Lamy Safari and slightly taller than my Parker 51. At 46 grammes empty it is 5 grammes heavier that a Rotring 600 FP full of ink. I never thought that I would own a pen heavier than the Rotring. I now believe that I will never own a pen heavier than this.
I filled the pen with Visconti Green and the pen wrote straight away in a medium stylee. The nib is supposed to be gold with rhodium plating, but I have to say that a gold nib at this price seems very unlikely and it springs like a steel nib, hardly at all that is!
Unscrewing the body reveals the convertor that comes with the pen. I have almost paid as much for a converter as I paid for this pen. Unscrewing it shows up the awful engineering. The pen squeaks and it is though the threads have been threaded in different gauges. I couldn’t bear it so I put some lube on the threads, but although the squeak stopped it always felt as though you were risking cross-threading the parts when you screwed them together.
Cost and Value
Very reasonable price and if but for the nasty engineering this would be a very good pen. It is the sort of pen that would make you throw away all of your Lamy Safaris as they now don’t look at all grown-up any more! I know as I have four of them.
The pen was coming from Hong Kong from an eBay vendor called FungShop and delivery was expected to take up to 20 working days. In the end it arrived in just over a week. It cost under £4 (US$8) plus shipping, which was about twice that. Being so cheap there were no customs charges on it. If you can ignore the engineering, which obviously I can’t, it would make an impressive looking gift for someone who likes fountain pens but is on a tight budget, or to introduce an older child to fountain pens. At this price they are practically disposable.
Edited by AndyHayes, 05 August 2007 - 16:46.