The pen was obtained from 'CameraNation' for £10. The pen was supplied in a roll of foam and a small plastic sheath. I think the pen comes from Pakistan, but as there is no country of origin stamped anywhere on the pen, it's hard to be definitive.
When I first looked at the pen I said to my self 'It's a re-badged Hero 330' (see the review http://www.fountainp...showtopic=40296 ), but it wasn't, quite. The pen has the same 'Star Trek' style flash above the nib, is the same diameter and has the same shape cap. Infact, I think it's a clone of the Hero 330. So, it's a clone of a clone.
The overall quality and feel of the pen is a small improvement on the Hero 330. It feels to be a nice quality pen and nicely balanced, and feels almost identical to the DUX 612 ( http://www.fountainp...?showtopic=7894 ). This pen feels - to me - to be an improvement on the Hero 616.
When compared to a Hero 330, the section length is slightly longer, the cap size is identical and the clip size & shape is identical. The barrels are not interchangable due to a different thread diameter.
The pen size is:-
- 139mm capped.
11mm barrel diameter.
The construction is identical to that of a lower price point Hero pen. The cap is gold anodized aluminium, with a sprung clip. The section and barrel are moulded polystyrene, the connector is clear with a squeeze filler protected by a plated steel sac guard. The end of the barrel has a gold anodized aluminium tassie screwed into a gold anodized fitting on the end of the barrel - as per the MkIII Parker 61's. The mouldings are sharp and precise with very even colour and no stress lines in the plastic. The cap is well formed with no areas indicating over stressing during the forming, and the anodizing colour is uniform. Generally the construction is good.
It is quite expensive for a pen of this type.
It looks like a slimmer version of the Parker 61. A very elegant shape. The flash above the nib is a bit of a gimmick, but I do like it. The gold anodizing of the cap is not far off the colour of the gold on the P61 Custom cap, so it looks nice and understated.
Due to the quality of construction I'd expect the pen to be very durable in normal use. The barrel and section are well made and sturdy. The aluminium cap could dent in the future.
This is the best Parker 51/61 clone pen I have written with - equal with the DUX 612. I would describe the nib as on the fine side of medium, probably a US medium as the UK tends to prefer wider sizes. The line is nice and wet, doesn't skip, is smooth and has a nice level of feedback. The pen writes beautifully whether posted or unposted - the lightweight cap doesn't alter the good balance one jot.
The pen is very lightweight and it is possible to use it for hours. If I have one criticism, the pen is almost too light, in some ways I'd like a little more heft to it.
Value for money 4/5
It's a very nice pen. But the price is a bit high.
I really like this pen. I have reduced the number of inked pens I keep in rotation recently. This, a Dux 612 and my Leonardo are the only non Parker pens I keep in rotation with my Parker 51's, Parker 61's and a Parker 65, as they are the only pens that don't suffer too much by the comparison. Definitely worth having, and I think it's an improvement on the Parker 21 Super.