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Dancheron Amber Celluloid

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11 replies to this topic

#1 Melnicki



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Posted 04 March 2006 - 14:06

I'm going to attempt my first review. I've mostly been trying out cheapies, so pen snobs: this isn't for you.

This review is for a Dancheron Amber Celluloid Monte Carlo Series, Medium Nib, acquired on Ebay from luxury-xpress. Since then I have noticed it for sale at Isellpens.com (click on "other brands") where it is listed as "Paris Amber".

This was my first pen. I had no idea what I was doing. But the price was good. I think I got it for around $9, $15 shipped. I liked the color of the celluloid, and the price seemed reasonable (although I did not yet know about the diversity of the below-$15 Underworld of Fountain Pens...) I will cut to the chase and say that the reason I am posting a review of this pen first is because the pen remains to be my most valued at that price-point, despite my ignorance of FP's at the time . I will explain why, but first here is a preliminary picture:

Posted Image

So, let's see. I don't know much about the expensive celluloid pens, but the celluloid in this pen is quite substantial, unlike my two Esterbrooks, which feel flimsy and easy to damage. It makes a nice loud click when it bumps against a hard surface, but I have not seen any scratches yet. The celluloid shimmers as you turn it in the light, but you can see partly through the larger bead on the barrel. This doesn't detract from its beauty, you only notice it if you're looking for it. The celluloid is more of a yellowish-pumpkin color in real life. My camera made it look reddish, which it is not.

Its weight is substantial. Most of the weight is at the back of the pen. I don't like it posted because it becomes cumbersome. It weighs 41.5 grams on a laboratory balance. To compare, a Waterman Kultur (I have a purple plastic transluscent one) weighs 15.5 grams. The Dancheron is 14.8 cm with the cap on, 16.5 cm with the cap posted, and 11.7 cm uncapped. The thickest part of the bead is 1.4 cm. The grip tapers from .9 to .8 cm. It says Dancheron on the middle ring. The metal is heavy so it must be steel. The manufacturing doesn't seem remarkable, and the black lacquer shows fingerprints easily. There is a plastic sleeve inside the cap.

The nib reads Iridium Point Germany. I don't know how to describe nibs. It's not stiff but it's not very flexible either... It does make a broader, wetter line if you use pressure, and it feels very sturdy so I imagine it would hold up under a lot of pressure...

But, here is the part that makes me enjoy this pen the most: It writes extremely well upside-down, compared to all my other pens. You get a line which seems to be thinner that anything non-Asian I have that has been called a "fine". This is good because I like to write small and in tight spaces. It's nice to know that I have that option. It only skips when the cartridge is low on ink (but will still perform for a while after that skipping point, as my writing sample should demonstrate. It just needed to be primed or flicked to get it started. I imagine some detergent added to the ink might help, but it already flows nicely.

So I've only tried Noodler's Beaver ink in this pen, but I also have that ink in a Sensa Meridian, which is a nice writer, but the Beaver looks much better with the Dancheron, written either right-side-up or upside-down! Being a wet writer, the Dancheron shades extremely well. I tried writing a little cursive, and it looks great, although I don't normally write in cursive.

So the seller had a converter which I neglected to find out about it in time. I went to all the stationery stores I could find, and no one had a converter that fit. I actually found a tiny one (the problem was getting the last threads of the nib attachment to screw in while using a converter; if you forced it closed, then the end of the barrel would pop out of the celluloid bead at the back). I even trimmed the tiny converter, but I decided that it would be better to make this a cartridge pen. I don't know how to describe cartridges, but it takes the one that I consider to be ubiquitous. (It doesn't seem to take a weird one).

I think that's all I have to say right now. Because it shades really well I'm going to put Noodler's Golden Brown in it next, which shades well and is too light-colored for my F pens anyway. I'll append pictures of how it writes with that ink, when I get them.

Here are more pictures, including a writing sample, and the ad at Isellpens.com (not affiliated, but a pleased customer). (Note: someone else also sells it on Ebay)

Posted Image Posted Image

Posted Image

For larger-size pictures, look in my galleryFLICKR Dancheron gallery

Edited by Melnicki, 22 March 2006 - 09:24.

Click for Ink Scans!!

WTB: (Blemished OK)
CdA Dunas // Stipulas! (esp w/ Titanio nib) // Edison Pearl

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#2 petra


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Posted 04 March 2006 - 20:16

I am not familiar with this pen brand. But I'd say, you did great on a first-pen buy, finding one you like at a good price that writes well!

...now...get ready for the pen lust that soon follows the purchase of the first pen :D :D :D !


#3 Melnicki



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Posted 04 March 2006 - 20:40

oh, it's already happened. i have nine inks and nine inked pens, and three others sitting in the drawer. and one on its way... but i have successfully resisted purchasing more a few times in the past few days...

but i'm really curious about more budget cheapies. i don't know why because i forbade myself from getting any more ink (that's how the cycle continues)...

i need to turn the computer off... pens have sucked so much of my attention!!! i need to be studying!!!

Click for Ink Scans!!

WTB: (Blemished OK)
CdA Dunas // Stipulas! (esp w/ Titanio nib) // Edison Pearl

#4 krz


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Posted 05 March 2006 - 03:00

Thanks for the review Melnicki! :)

I have a similar one from the same folks , the model is called "Athens". White Celluliod with black. Same price range. And I've got to say it's one of my best writers! If the ink converter were larger I'd use it more (which I'll get for it).

I also got a brown Celluloid pen from the same folks that looks much nicer than it's cheapie price range, a "Florence" but it was a leaker. It leaked at the seam of the little chrome piece that's around the base where the nib goes in.

They cheerfully replaced it for me, and the second one leaked. I'm now just going to try the shellac treatment on it.

The "Athens" pen works so well I wasn't soured by the "Florence" experience, I think they are pretty good budget pens.
How can you tell when you're out of invisible ink?

#5 Slush99



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Posted 05 March 2006 - 03:06

Thanks for the review. The pen is lovely, IMHO.
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#6 DRP


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Posted 05 March 2006 - 08:43

Cheap pens can be an asset, especially if they are a good value for the dollar.

Thanks for taking the time to write your review. Best wishes on your studies.

#7 Kupotek


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Posted 02 August 2008 - 04:33

Melnicki, hi! I bought this pen via Luxury-Express back in October 2005, and finally ran through all my refills, and went looking for more,
but 'lo and behold Luxury Express has not been a registered member of ebay since 2007.

Searching Google I found your oasis of a post in the wilderness of the internets wink.gif

So first of all thank you, and I agree with you 100%, this is the best pen I have used
and such a fantastic price.

Take care and thanks for your review smile.gif

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#8 hari317



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Posted 02 August 2008 - 08:21

That's a beautiful pen, thanks for the review. How do you determine if the material is celluloid or acrylic?

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#9 ThaIwan



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Posted 02 August 2008 - 09:41

Not familar with these pens. I also like to try out the cheap ones. But I do recall though that I saw something of "Paris" fp in some department store in Bangkok. Think in some of the next weeks I'll be around there again and so might take a look again. The celluloid on the pen is nice. I do not prefer so much of the steel though. Thanks for making this review....now I have to go out and check things out again rolleyes.gif

#10 Melnicki



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Posted 04 August 2008 - 04:25

I believe celluloid has a sulfurous smell, but that might not always be the case. I remember reading something about it rubbing it for a bit (does it get hot? i don't remember). And I believe I was incorrect to call this pen's material celluloid. The ad even calls it resin, but I wasn't paying attention to such things when I started using FP's!!

but anyway, my opinion on this pen has changed. its performance hasn't really changed, but I hadn't noticed some of its flaws until I moved to a higher price-bracket on pens. There are better-performing cheapies at this range, too. (Some Duke pens, for instance).

One major flaw of this pen is that many inks need a "chug" of the converter to resume flow (after it stalls). I even mentioned this in the review, though I didn't find it a big problem. Writing with the pen at during lectures involves periodically opening it up and chugging the converter or squeezing the cartridge (which will decrease its lifespan). I think it's safe to say that's incredibly inconvenient, and also gives FP's a bad image in public. There's a thread somewhere on FPN with some serious repair info about this problem, with excellent advice from AntoniosZ. (I think the problem is called a "starved feed"). But I haven't attempted the repairs; I just put the pen in the drawer and got some Stipulas, a P75, a L2K, etc, and haven't looked back. Heck, even my Sensa's are a way better bargain than this pen.

My advice is to not be deceived by cheapie pens. There are some real treasures to be had, but it's hit-or-miss with cheapies. All the cheapies I've bought add up to a price well above a good used Parker 75, let alone the Sensa Meridians.

forgive me, for i've become a "pen snob" (to use my own words), but my cheapies were simply an expensive learning experience.

Edited by Melnicki, 04 August 2008 - 04:34.

Click for Ink Scans!!

WTB: (Blemished OK)
CdA Dunas // Stipulas! (esp w/ Titanio nib) // Edison Pearl

#11 Deirdre


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Posted 04 August 2008 - 04:35

I don't think this is celluloid, I think it's acrylic resin. Still, it's a pen, and it seems to work well.
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#12 lovemy51


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Posted 04 August 2008 - 07:05

on the seller's info box melnicki posted says "this stunning beauties are made of rich colorful resin"

i have one of those dancheron pens (actually two). i got from todd at isellpens, back when he had them, and it said it was "resin".

anyways, it's a beautifull pen. mine looks like something out of the 1800's and when friends come over the house and see the pen, they say: "now we know why you never take that one out of the house... it's very expensive, isn't it?" if only they knew i paid less then $10 for it!!!

the other one has a more contemporary look, but's still nice. i paid $5 USD for it (+ shipping charges). both good writers!

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