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Duke D18 or D19 - finish with tiny porcelain squares
Posted 14 November 2008 - 22:23
This is my very first Chinese pen and I bought it out of curiousity and because it had a finish (the porcelain pattern) that I’d never seen before and it looked nice.
However: the price for the pen (including shipping from Hong Kong to Europe) was about $15. I had no particular expectations except curiousity. I thought the pen looked very fine on the pictures on Ebay, but I was mostly curious.
First Impression – Weight!
When I put it on the scale it showed 44 grams, which I think is very much on the heavy side. To my surprise the heaviness is well balanced and when you write – both posted and unposted – the pen doesn’t feel particularly heavy; more of a well balanced pen that weighs very well in my (neither tiny or very big hands – maybe on the bigger side for being a female, but not BIG) hands. There is no effort needed due to the weight when you’re writing. It doesn’t have a clumsy feel to it. It’s very well built.
Second Impression- Finish!
The finish is much fancier than I had imagined. My pictures don’t do justice to this pen. The greyish-green is in a very nice shade with a bit of a metallic lustre in it. Its lacquer over – what I think is – solid brass. I’m also impressed that the manufacturer seems to have paid attention to even the tiny details. The pen has a much classier look than I had thought. No flimsiness at all. So far is everything good. I’m starting to feel a bit worried that this cheap pen will outclass my darlings…
Third Impression – The Nib!
…but it doesn’t. The nib is an M/F I should say. Even here everything looks and feels fine and solid. The nib is inscribed with 22KGP which I believe means that it is gold plated in some way, but I’m not sure. I decide to ink it with Noodlers Widow maker Red simply because I need a pen with red ink since I’m writing an essay with quite a lot research and – consequently – notes in the margin. I ink it and put the pen to a paper. It is not a bad writer, the nib is smooth enough, but it is a little on the dry side and – most unfortunately – very stiff with a bit of a numb feeling to it. I think it is the stiffest nib I’ve ever used. It is not a bad nib, but it lacks very much regarding fine tuning.
Value for the money: 6/7
This pen gives extremely good value for the money. It is almost ridiculously well made according to the price.
Finish & Design 5/7
This is a very fine pen. The “porcelain” finish is something extra for such a pen which gives it an extra plus.
Weight and Balance: 5/7
It is well balanced – especially in relation to its heaviness
It was hard to decide this. I don’t like the stiff nib, but it is a fair writer.. The nib lacks the finetuning (and also some mediumtuning) and therefore it gets 4 out of 7, which is more like 3,5 out 7 than a real four, but not as bad as a 3. Instead the nib gets an own grade.
For the stiffness and lack of response, smoothness.
Will I use it?
As a pen for margin notes and "field" use– yes – there it can have a niche of its own.
An impressive pen according to the price.
Weight: 44 grammes/1,55 ounces
Capped: 13,5 cm/5,25 inches
Uncapped: 11,5 cm/4,5 inches
Posted: 15 cm/6 inches
Posted 14 November 2008 - 22:47
Edited by MYU, 14 November 2008 - 22:57.
Posted 15 November 2008 - 00:47
... i've seen these at goldquills.com for $19 USD, so i guess your price was very good (unless you paid in Euro).
how's the section? does it feel slippery because it's metal?
Posted 16 November 2008 - 11:47
Posted 16 November 2008 - 11:58
Nice to hear that I got a good deal - I paid 15 dollars, not euros.
Posted 16 November 2008 - 16:42
Edited by adallak, 16 November 2008 - 16:45.
Posted 16 November 2008 - 16:56
Thanks for a good, thorough review. In comparison with my Carbon Fibre I have to agree with everything, except for the nib issue. The nib on mine, while stiff, is not what I would call numb. It does a good job of transmitting the feel of the paper to my hand as I write. From my experience I'd have to recommend Duke pens to anyone looking for an inexpensive "starter" fountain pen.
Just my $.02,
Posted 16 November 2008 - 18:45
hmmm! funny how all these chinese pens body designs look alike!!
PS. mine has a lacquer section.
Edited by lovemy51, 16 November 2008 - 18:47.
Posted 17 November 2008 - 02:50
Posted 17 November 2008 - 09:57
Thanks for uploading the pics of your pen, Adallak. I really like the colours and the pattern on the cap.
Posted 17 November 2008 - 17:54
Posted 03 December 2008 - 17:27
The pocket clip has not returned to its initial position after I put it in my poceket just once... Wrong metal I guess. You better keep it on your desk not in the pocket if you want it to keep its shape.
Edited by adallak, 04 December 2008 - 05:45.