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Duke Century Pioneer


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#1 petra

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Posted 01 April 2006 - 20:23

Posted Image (photos borrowed from ISELLPENS.COM)

Here's the Duke 2000 Century Pioneer. When I saw it on sale at Isellpens.com I thought I'd give this pen a try. It brought out the "shiny gold scavenger" side of me, what can I say? :lol:

There's substance behind the glitz of this slender pen. It constructed of solid brass, which gives it a nice heft. Weighs just over an ounce.

Size: Just over 4.5" uncapped; 5.25" capped; and 5.5" posted. The barrel is just over 3/8" wide and the section is 3/8" at its widest point.

The cap has Duke 2000 written all over it -- once engraved in the clip, three times along the sides, and one more time on the cap band, where it says "Duke" and "208" and shows the crown image. I have no idea what the 208 means, but there's no mistaking this for some other brand! :D The cap seems to have a double snap - when it goes on, it's definitely on. You know -- snappy! :rolleyes:

I'm pleasantly surprised by the nib -- marked 14k / 580 / Duke. There's no size marking, but I'd describe it as a medium by western standards. The nib has a bit of spring to it and I've been enjoying the writing experience. It's also a very wet writer.

I will say, though, sometimes I write very quickly... and at certain times and angles, I've heard a bit of a squeak! I read comments about other pens that squeak, but this is the first time I've ever experienced it. I still don't know exactly what produces this effect. It happens seldom and catches me by surprise. Is the pen trying to tell me something? :blink:

The pen has a screw type converter and apparently takes international cartridges.

Design: Well, it's bit over the top in terms of all the gold linear cascading patterns, and all the DUKE labels... but I've already admitted that this kind of stuff has its occasional appeal :blush: -- a nice change from all those other basic black pens.

The presentation box is truly over the edge -- covered in metallic gold vinyl with concentric ring patterns on it, and with sharp-edged brass logos that say DUKE (as if we could miss this) on both the inside and outside of the box lid. The interior is lined with a suede-like material. There's also an additional protective liner, I guess to protect the pen from the brass logo.

There was no paper work at all with this pen (too bad, I love those crazy translations...) so I don't know if the linear pattern is actually gold plated. I'm guessing it's polished brass, for the price. The black surface seems to be enamel inlay... I don't know how to describe it. The brass and the black appear to be at the same level on the surface, but when you hold the pen, you can feel that the lines are raised above the black ever so slightly. It's a nice tactile experience, I really like it.

I've only had the pen for a few days, but so far so good -- good ink flow, no skipping, and the nib really is enjoyable despite the odd squeaks now and then. I'm surprised by how quickly this pen gobbles ink, but then it IS a wet writer.

All in all, I'd say it's a pretty good pen for $35! Hey, a gold nib & a good writer... I have no idea how the finish will hold up in the long run, but at least there aren't any fragile parts or materials to break. Are there any other pens with the same features in this price range?

Hope this review has been worthwhile!

Petra
/:)


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#2 southpaw

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Posted 01 April 2006 - 20:31

Thanks for the well-written review.
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8, NKJV)

#3 Leigh R

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Posted 02 April 2006 - 03:59

Hi Petra, and thanks for the review! My one and only Duke - the Beijing Opera - is a heck of a squeaker. It's got a Duke 14k nib as well. I tried to file the squeak away but it was imperturbable, heheh. I got used to the squeak, eventually - but it does get surprisingly loud sometimes. Enjoy your pen!

#4 Ann Finley

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Posted 02 April 2006 - 04:23

Thanks for the info, Petra, and for taking the time to do a really nice review.

Best,
Ann

#5 petra

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Posted 02 April 2006 - 05:21

Regarding the squeak -- I've discovered that the squeak disappears when writing on really smooth paper, for example on the pads that Richard Binder sells. So squeaking must have something to with how the nib moves across paper fiber textures. Also, after re-reading Noble Savage's review of the Duke Gold Medal pen, I realize this must be the same German nib.

Petra

#6 impossiblebird

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 22:26

How is the pen holding out these days? Is the finish still intact?

I bought a Duke pen with the same nib, and I like it very much. It's not fussy as regards angle, is a good starter, nice and wet, fine to medium... the pen itself is very bling: covered all over in gold(esque) diamond cut, but coated in a thick plastic. Matt gold at the ends. A thinner section with concentric raised rings like a screw thread at the back of the section, so that gives a secure hold; the pen weighs 36g but I'm using it uncapped, which brings it down to 20g. I've no idea of the model name.

A bargain at £15!


#7 Skeet

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 01:00

Duke is one of the better and more expensive Chinese pens. They usually hold up rather well.
IF YOU FREE YOUR MIND...YOUR PEN WILL FOLLOW
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#8 penguina

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 02:21

I have had this pen for about ten months now. It seems to be a very sturdy well made pen, and is still in perfect condition. I bought it on ebay from the same seller at a rather dearer price at that time.

My pen has a different nib. It is a gold 580 nib, but is a Chinese upturned calligraphy nib. I have to like this unsual nib, and have used a lot for my drawing :happyberet:
[b] [/b ] Penguina

#9 wardog

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 03:02

Nice review. I'm waiting on a Duke in the mail now :)

#10 impossiblebird

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 19:46

How is the pen holding out these days? Is the finish still intact?

I bought a Duke pen with the same nib, and I like it very much. It's not fussy as regards angle, is a good starter, nice and wet, fine to medium... the pen itself is very bling: covered all over in gold(esque) diamond cut, but coated in a thick plastic. Matt gold at the ends. A thinner section with concentric raised rings like a screw thread at the back of the section, so that gives a secure hold; the pen weighs 36g but I'm using it uncapped, which brings it down to 20g. I've no idea of the model name.

A bargain at £15!

Turns out I was wrong here; the nib on the Duke Century Pioneer is significantly larger. I now have this very pen in my possession, and its nib is slightly different in performance to the other; less wet (in fact I'd say it was neither wet nor dry), more springy, and with ever-so-slightly more fine a point. And no squeak, though all my paper's as cheap and nasty as it comes. Not 'Exceptionally' smoooooth, but a very nice feel on the paper. When I got hold of the pen it had old ink dried on the nib and feed, and I daresay I didn't get it scrupulously clean before filling it for my own use; perhaps the flow will increase a touch, but I'm not concerned if it doesn't.

As for the hardiness of the finish: the pen just fell 5 feet onto a ceramic-tiled floor (cap on, snd stayed on), and nary a mark on it.
:thumbup:

Edited to add: after a few hours scribbling, and a refill, the nib now qualifies as wet. Still no squeak.

Edited by impossiblebird, 12 February 2011 - 09:51.







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