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fuliwen dragon


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#1 davyr

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 05:17

at this early point in my fountain pen mania, there's seems to be no rhyme or reason in my collection, except that most are super-sized. if there's a little method to my madness, it's to obtain representative pens from the major pen-producing countries of the world. to wit, italy is represented by aurora, omas, stipula, and visconti, germany by pelikan and montblanc, japan by namiki, sailor and danitrio,the uk by conway stewart and yard-o-led, and the us by scheaffer and parker. china is represented by fuliwen. fuliwen? many know of hero, with its parker knockoffs, and some may have heard of duke, who incidentally sell really cool-looking bottles of ink. i like the fact that fuliwen and duke produce pens that look, well, chinese, with traditional chinese motifs and such. fuliwen is based in shanghai.

Posted ImagePosted Image

the fuliwen dragon retails for around $300, with street price of 200. the metal portion of the body is made of zinc, depicting a dragon clutching a pearl in bas relief. the rest of the pen is marbled pearlescent amber and brown celluloid. there are some unusual design elements to the pen. it's clipless, and the cap is quite small. in fact, the cap cannot be posted, and given its dimunitive size, can potentially be easily lost. many won't like this unusual feature. if you look closely, the ends of the pen, including the section, gently taper outwards. this makes for a slightly unconventional, but ultimately (for me) comfortable grip. in fact, this is much more comfortable to hold than its cousin, the fuliwen eight horses, which had too skinny a section. i originally purchased the eight horses model due to its more conventional postable cap with clip. that pen was quite substantially heavier (too heavy for me) since it had more zinc cladding. i ultimately returned that pen due to a leak.

Posted Image

the packaging is elaborate. the inner pen box is of metal and faux wood, and holds the pen, a zinc pen canister, and a box of 5 international size black cartridges. the outer pen box inner lid, inner pen box inner lid, and pen canister are all imprinted/engraved with a dragon motif. fancy schmancy.

Posted Image
Posted Image

the dragon's eyes are painted in a red plastic, which fell off within a week. it nevertheless looks ok. it would have been real cool if the eyes were tiny embedded rubies, even though i normally hate gems/jewelry in watches, and men's jewelry in general. a simple wedding band is enough for me, thank you.

the nib is 14k yellow gold, medium point. it's simply engraved with the fuliwen logo, and is fairly small, but still in proportion to the pen. there is some springiness to the nib. i'd say that the feel of the point to paper is semi-smooth - definately not glassy smooth, but also not scratchy like a fine point. the line is generously wide for a medium, and the flow of ink is average. it skipped like an arrythmia when filled with waterman red ink, and now skips only once in a while filled with aurora black. it'll skip maybe once every four sentences, usually on a downstroke, like when writing an "a".

Posted ImagePosted Image

the filling system is typical cartridge/convertor. it takes a little over two complete revolutions to fully uncap. total length is 13.7 mm ( 5 3/8 in), uncapped is almost the same size. section circumference is about 37 mm (1 1/2 in). the pen is heavy for its size due to the metal body, but is ideally balanced as the ends of the pen are of lighter celluloid. as mentioned above, i think the section is comfortable, but it may not be for those who grip the section far down, close to the nib - there's quite a sharp dropoff at the level of the threads. the relief sculpture provides for tactile enjoyment, and is not so bumpy as to interfere with comfort or be a nuisance.

Posted Image

this pen represents pretty good bang for the buck. the dragon relief is traditional and classical in appearance. in fact, the body of the pen is reminiscent of the imperial palace pillars in the recent action/period movie hero starring jet li, which was on cable as i was shooting the pictures. although i'll probably never use the pen canister, it's still a nice bonus and stunning to look at. although dragons are quite common in japanese maki-e pens, the cost of admission there is at least a grand for a decent example. (i think maki-e and italian celluloid will ruin me). when i feel overwhelmed or sorry for myself, i turn this pen slowly around and slowly a smile appears on my face. this pen is not for everyone, and some will hate the small cap, lack of clip, and unpost-ability. i carry this pen in my piquadro single pen holder, and hold onto the cap with determination when i use this at work. if this pen had ruby eyes for the dragon and didn't skip, it would be one of my favorites. nevertheless, it's quite an unusal and exotic pen, at a fairly acceptable price.

ok, so now time for ratings. why? well, it seems that everyone loves them, despite the fact that they're so personal/subjective, and ultimately meaningless to many. but who cares, it's fun. remember, ymmv.

test results

cap and body (12/20): cap is small and clipless, can be easily lost. eyes fell off. fit and finish not on par with the big boys
section (7/10): initially strange form, but i got used to it
nib performance (12/20): some feedback on smooth paper, skips occasionally
writing comfort (17/20): not light nor heavy, balanced
design (7/10): interesting dragon motif, celluloid color matches well with zinc body
value (8/10): $300 retail ($200 street price) is good bang for the buck
filling system (6/10): typical c/c. no big whoop
total: 69/100 (100 would be the perfect pen, which as you & i know, doesn't yet exist)


next review, conway stewart doctor's pen...Posted Image

Edited by davyr, 16 November 2005 - 19:23.

"i love the smell of celluloid nitrate in the morning...you know, the smell, that camphor smell, it smells like...victory."

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#2 Maja

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 08:49

What an interesting pen....Its shape sort of reminds me of a bo stick, the martial arts weapon. It's nice to see some originality in pen design!
It's also interesting to note that the medium nib is indeed a medium (and a fairly wide one at that).
Thanks for the review, Dave.

P.S. What happened to the dragon's eyes? Did you find them and glue them back on, or were they lost?
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#3 southpaw

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 16:00

Thanks for the review - nicely done.

Shame to hear about the eyes and the nib being a bit scratchy. The eyes falling off and the scratchy nib combined with the leak in the previous pen make me wonder about QC from this company.
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8, NKJV)

#4 davyr

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 03:40

What an interesting pen....Its shape sort of reminds me of a bo stick, the martial arts weapon. It's nice to see some originality in pen design!
It's also interesting to note that the medium nib is indeed a medium (and a fairly wide one at that).
Thanks for the review, Dave.

P.S. What happened to the dragon's eyes? Did you find them and glue them back on, or were they lost?

hi maja: yeah, with the cap off, it also sorta looks like a spear...[insert joke relaying how pen is mightier than sword] ;)
one of the dragon's eyes just disappeared one day after about a week, and i said to myself, what the heck? looking carefully, i noticed that it was just painted on vinyl or some such material, and i very easily peeled off the other with my fingernail. fortunately, the eyes (sans red contact lenses) are silver colored underneath and thus still look ok.

Shame to hear about the eyes and the nib being a bit scratchy. The eyes falling off and the scratchy nib combined with the leak in the previous pen make me wonder about QC from this company.

hey southpaw: yeah, it seems that i've had my share of problems with this company. unfortunately this seems to be the norm for many of the modern pens that i have, which is maddening especially if they were pricey. i've had problems with omas, conway stewarts, danitrios, and namikis so far. i think if you're spending several hundred bones or more on a pen, it should write perfectly out of the box. :bonk:

Edited by davyr, 15 November 2005 - 03:42.

"i love the smell of celluloid nitrate in the morning...you know, the smell, that camphor smell, it smells like...victory."

#5 Maja

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 02:25

[
hi maja: yeah, with the cap off, it also sorta looks like a spear...[insert joke relaying how pen is mightier than sword] ;)
one of the dragon's eyes just disappeared one day after about a week, and i said to myself, what the heck? looking carefully, i noticed that it was just painted on vinyl or some such material, and i very easily peeled off the other with my fingernail. fortunately, the eyes (sans red contact lenses) are silver colored underneath and thus still look ok.

Hi again Dave,

After I asked you about the dragon's missing red eye, I was thinking to myself that the eyes might actually look better without the colour! Same way that those Easter Island statues (moai) look better better without the pigmented eyes, IMO :lol:
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#6 davyr

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 19:11

hi again, maja,

After I asked you about the dragon's missing red eye, I was thinking to myself that the eyes might actually look better without the colour! Same way that those Easter Island statues (moai) look better better without the pigmented eyes, IMO

yeah, and also the venus de milo statue - probably looks better w/o the arms, eh? ;)


ok, just added some ratings, just for fun! ymmv.
"i love the smell of celluloid nitrate in the morning...you know, the smell, that camphor smell, it smells like...victory."

#7 TheNobleSavage

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 21:17

hey southpaw: yeah, it seems that i've had my share of problems with this company. unfortunately this seems to be the norm for many of the modern pens that i have, which is maddening especially if they were pricey. i've had problems with omas, conway stewarts, danitrios, and namikis so far. i think if you're spending several hundred bones or more on a pen, it should write perfectly out of the box. 


Man , you are singing to the choir!!! I have had numerous problems with modern pens!! I think I stated that 3/4 of all omy new pens need some kind of adjustment or return to be fixed. I agree 100% if you are paying some coin for pens, I expect the pen to be next to perfect. I expect a pen company to pay attenetion to detail when it comes to the small details along with the major ones too!!

I say this pen for sale at Fountain Pen Hospital. It was very interesting looking!! I have had experience with Duke Pens and I have to say that I am very happy with the pens that I bought. The nibs were nice and smooth and the quality was top priority!! Although I thought that some of the designs were a bit on the Gaudy side but it was very well made.

As for the Fuliwen Dragon, are you planning to send it back and get the Dragons eyes repaired? Regardless it is a nice pen and a work of art. I really dig the case that it came in, along with the Cigar Tube you put the pen in!!!

Overall nice review and nice pen!!

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#8 davyr

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 21:39

hi tns,

Man , you are singing to the choir!!! I have had numerous problems with modern pens!! I think I stated that 3/4 of all omy new pens need some kind of adjustment or return to be fixed. I agree 100% if you are paying some coin for pens, I expect the pen to be next to perfect. I expect a pen company to pay attenetion to detail when it comes to the small details along with the major ones too!!

preach on brother! yeah, i think all companies should actually test each and every pen that leaves the factory with ink, to check for nib performance and make sure there are no leaks. and then completely reclean them out. i heard parker, among some others, does this.

As for the Fuliwen Dragon, are you planning to send it back and get the Dragons eyes repaired? Regardless it is a nice pen and a work of art. I really dig the case that it came in, along with the Cigar Tube you put the pen in!!!

nah, even if they reglue/repaint the eyes back on, they'll just fall right off anyway. i'm toying around w/the idea of sending it to a jeweler, to insert ruby or garnet eyes, although i'm not sure if the zinc metal is up to the task...it'd be real cool tho
cigar tube...that's funny, i didn't think of that, but you're absolutely right! :lol:
"i love the smell of celluloid nitrate in the morning...you know, the smell, that camphor smell, it smells like...victory."

#9 goodguy

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 13:18

What an interesting and beautiful pen.
Thanks for the review.
Respect to all

#10 redpriest

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 16:24

at this early point in my fountain pen mania, there's seems to be no rhyme or reason in my collection, except that most are super-sized. if there's a little method to my madness, it's to obtain representative pens from the major pen-producing countries of the world. to wit, italy is represented by aurora, omas, stipula, and visconti, germany by pelikan and montblanc, japan by namiki, sailor and danitrio,the uk by conway stewart and yard-o-led, and the us by scheaffer and parker. china is represented by fuliwen. fuliwen? many know of hero, with its parker knockoffs, and some may have heard of duke, who incidentally sell really cool-looking bottles of ink. i like the fact that fuliwen and duke produce pens that look, well, chinese, with traditional chinese motifs and such. fuliwen is based in shanghai.

Posted ImagePosted Image

the fuliwen dragon retails for around $300, with street price of 200. the metal portion of the body is made of zinc, depicting a dragon clutching a pearl in bas relief. the rest of the pen is marbled pearlescent amber and brown celluloid. there are some unusual design elements to the pen. it's clipless, and the cap is quite small. in fact, the cap cannot be posted, and given its dimunitive size, can potentially be easily lost. many won't like this unusual feature. if you look closely, the ends of the pen, including the section, gently taper outwards. this makes for a slightly unconventional, but ultimately (for me) comfortable grip. in fact, this is much more comfortable to hold than its cousin, the fuliwen eight horses, which had too skinny a section. i originally purchased the eight horses model due to its more conventional postable cap with clip. that pen was quite substantially heavier (too heavy for me) since it had more zinc cladding. i ultimately returned that pen due to a leak.

Posted Image

the packaging is elaborate. the inner pen box is of metal and faux wood, and holds the pen, a zinc pen canister, and a box of 5 international size black cartridges. the outer pen box inner lid, inner pen box inner lid, and pen canister are all imprinted/engraved with a dragon motif. fancy schmancy.

Posted Image
Posted Image

the dragon's eyes are painted in a red plastic, which fell off within a week. it nevertheless looks ok. it would have been real cool if the eyes were tiny embedded rubies, even though i normally hate gems/jewelry in watches, and men's jewelry in general. a simple wedding band is enough for me, thank you.

the nib is 14k yellow gold, medium point. it's simply engraved with the fuliwen logo, and is fairly small, but still in proportion to the pen. there is some springiness to the nib. i'd say that the feel of the point to paper is semi-smooth - definately not glassy smooth, but also not scratchy like a fine point. the line is generously wide for a medium, and the flow of ink is average. it skipped like an arrythmia when filled with waterman red ink, and now skips only once in a while filled with aurora black. it'll skip maybe once every four sentences, usually on a downstroke, like when writing an "a".

Posted ImagePosted Image

the filling system is typical cartridge/convertor. it takes a little over two complete revolutions to fully uncap. total length is 13.7 mm ( 5 3/8 in), uncapped is almost the same size. section circumference is about 37 mm (1 1/2 in). the pen is heavy for its size due to the metal body, but is ideally balanced as the ends of the pen are of lighter celluloid. as mentioned above, i think the section is comfortable, but it may not be for those who grip the section far down, close to the nib - there's quite a sharp dropoff at the level of the threads. the relief sculpture provides for tactile enjoyment, and is not so bumpy as to interfere with comfort or be a nuisance.

Posted Image

this pen represents pretty good bang for the buck. the dragon relief is traditional and classical in appearance. in fact, the body of the pen is reminiscent of the imperial palace pillars in the recent action/period movie hero starring jet li, which was on cable as i was shooting the pictures. although i'll probably never use the pen canister, it's still a nice bonus and stunning to look at. although dragons are quite common in japanese maki-e pens, the cost of admission there is at least a grand for a decent example. (i think maki-e and italian celluloid will ruin me). when i feel overwhelmed or sorry for myself, i turn this pen slowly around and slowly a smile appears on my face. this pen is not for everyone, and some will hate the small cap, lack of clip, and unpost-ability. i carry this pen in my piquadro single pen holder, and hold onto the cap with determination when i use this at work. if this pen had ruby eyes for the dragon and didn't skip, it would be one of my favorites. nevertheless, it's quite an unusal and exotic pen, at a fairly acceptable price.

ok, so now time for ratings. why? well, it seems that everyone loves them, despite the fact that they're so personal/subjective, and ultimately meaningless to many. but who cares, it's fun. remember, ymmv.

<span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>test results</span>

cap and body (12/20): cap is small and clipless, can be easily lost. eyes fell off. fit and finish not on par with the big boys
section (7/10): initially strange form, but i got used to it
nib performance (12/20): some feedback on smooth paper, skips occasionally
writing comfort (17/20): not light nor heavy, balanced
design (7/10): interesting dragon motif, celluloid color matches well with zinc body
value (8/10): $300 retail ($200 street price) is good bang for the buck
filling system (6/10): typical c/c. no big whoop
total: 69/100 (100 would be the perfect pen, which as you & i know, doesn't yet exist)


next review, conway stewart doctor's pen...Posted Image



#11 redpriest

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 16:38

Nice review!

What an interesting looking pen. Fuliwen deserves an A for having created a beautiful sculpture. It would bother me to no end to have all that bas relief rubbing against my hand as I write. I would not hesitate to include this pen in my modest collection, not as a writing instrument but as a work of art.

This pen is visually stunning but I wonder whether its form followed function or not.

#12 Torculus Resupinus

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 20:51

Very pretty pen. I've recently purchased a down-market cousin of this pen, a Jinhao Dragonplay in "black" or "antique silver" (it also comes in bright "silver" and "gold"). The thing is going for $16.90 plus postage. I don't know what metal it's made of (the innards are brass), but it's good and heavy (104 g). The sculpturing is even higher relief than this Fuliwen, but I find it very comfortable to hold at its (rather short) section, even though it's designed to be posted (there are threads to post the cap on the barrel end) -- well balanced. The Jinhao has two dragons, one on the cap and one on the barrel, and they're perfectly lined up head to head both capped and posted, and the heads are properly aligned with the nib. Both have "ruby" eyes (I assume colored glass), and there's a bigger "ruby" on the cap band. Clipless, c/c, big g/p steel nib (M with lots of iridium). I haven't inked it yet, but I'm sure it writes like a Jinhao: smooth nail. It makes a terrific paperweight!

#13 rwilsonedn

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 23:30

Does anyone know if this pen is still available and if it has stayed at this astronomical (for a Chinese production pen) price point?
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