First Impressions - I bought this pen as a gift for my former host father in Japan whom I'll be seeing this summer. It was a great value, at only $15.99 plus $10 shipping. A note about the shipping: wow, that was FAST! I ordered yesterday at around 2 pm, I think, and the pen got here today at 3:15. Todd Nussbaum, you have earned my future business! The hand-written note was also a nice touch. The pen comes in a leather gift box with instructions on how to fill it with the included piston converter.
Appearance and Finish / Design, Size, Weight - The pen is made of a nice shiny black lacquer and has red star-type accents on it, hence "Red and Black." It's medium-heavy, although nothing an adult male or someone who likes heftier pens couldn't comfortably write with for a while. The lacquer is prone to fingerprints, but that's probably not anything different from other lacquer pens. The pen has a snap-on cap with a gorgeous gold dragon clip with ruby-red rhinestone eyes. It seemed difficult to post the pen and would probably be too heavy that way anyway.
Nib Design & Performance - The nib is one of the most beautiful parts of this pen. It's 18K gold-plated with a lovely design of a dragon head on it. Seems to be a Western Medium, which may actually be too wide for my host-father and his delicate kanji-writing, but I figure it's more about the thought anyway. I only dipped the nib, but it wrote smoothly using Aurora Black ink on Moleskine paper with minimal pressure. I'm no expert, but the nib seems to be a bit italic, although maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part
The Filling System - I haven't filled this pen, although as I previously mentioned it uses a removable piston converter that seemed to be of adequate capacity.
Cost/Value - I mean, you can't beat the price on this pen. Awesome value.
Overall Conclusion - This pen will make a great gift for my purposes, and would be an excellent everyday pen for many, I'm sure. What really tips the scales in favor of this pen, IMO, is the price combined with the 18K plated nib. It's a great looking, professional-looking pen that would be a great buy for anyone. I would definitely consider buying Jinhao pens in the future, especially from Todd!
Edited by tisfortorrey, 25 June 2008 - 02:58.