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  1. At the recent Pelikan Hubs gathering, a friend showed me a new Hero from China, with a safety and piston filling mechanism that worked just like a Montblanc Heritage 1912. It was branded as a Hero, and was not a Montblanc replica, but I was surprised that they had going to the trouble to copy this rather complicated mechanism. Now I see every day on eBay numerous "MB" replicas of the Heritage 1912 in black, red, steel, and possibly other colors. There are also many "MB" Rouge et Noir fakes available, even one with the matte hard rubber finish of the 1906 limited edition. The vendors are selling these at prices so low that no serious collector would mistake them for the real thing, but there is nothing to stop anyone from trying to represent them as real Montblancs, which would get a much higher price from an unsuspecting bidder.
  2. This may rile up some folks. I've noted that when the subject of low cost pens comes up, more and more members will now advocate the Chinese pens. I've also seen where some posts voice an uneasiness regarding whether or not the pens from China are out and out counterfeits. On the one hand, I do know and recognize that some of the Chinese manufacturers are not in the legal sense counterfeiters. Many we are told have or had licensing agreements with say Parker. Plus, given that they market under their own brand name, I'd concede that they may not be legally counterfeits. Counterfeiters typically try to name their products so that a purchaser thinks these fakes are the legitimate product. But not always. Back in the 80's Iived in Asia when it seemed every taxi driver wore what appeared to a 'Rolex' (but wasn't). Every shop keeper it seemed had what appeared to be an Apple II computer but wasn't. Yes, I know I exaggerate -- did so on purpose. I myself at that time had a 'pineapple' computer linked with a couple of 'orange' floppy disk drives. At the time I had no choice where I was; when I came back to the US I did not bring the fakes with me! What I am bothered about from surveying offerings on e-bay as well as websites from some sellers/importers (several of whom are active members of FPN) is that this approach is being used by the Chinese pen manufacturers. Think of how many of the Chinese pens not only look like Parker 51's in general body shape, but also use the Parker arrow clip of the same design as the P-51 era. Also how many pens are using what appear to be Sheaffer or Waterman clips. I've seen quite a number of pen offerings that have the pen cap bevel that look like Waterman. As well as pens having the conical cap ends looking like Cross products. In short, to me these imports smack of the same approach to counterfeiting as I described above for watches and computers in the 80's. And yet all too many of us moan about the industry dying or going off shore, while we buy the products that are stealing the legitimate manufacturers' markets. I don't object to the imported products. But let the overseas manufacturers use their own design elements, rather than try to fool purchasers. And we, as enthusiasts, should vow not to support these imports pretending to be what they are not. Anyone else feel this way? Comments?





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