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  1. Man, I have not posted here for such a long time, that I could not even find which Forum to post these thoughts. I was thing aloud about one of my favorite topics - The "Clones". They are part of Pen History so here it goes. I have always been facinated with the "Clones", fountain pens that were trying to claim the spotlight while they share some to many common aspects (design, name) of another, well known pen. From the early days of my collecting life I was initially fascinated by the fake Parker Sonnet from China and I wrote a number of postings with the main one on penhero.com (see https://www.penhero.com/PenGallery/Parker/ParkerSonnetClones.htm) but also here on FPN. Of course, this is a trend that started neither with the fake Montblanks of the 90s, nor the Parker Sonnets of the 2000s. It is rooted way back in the Fountain Pen History. Many people tried to benefit from the success of important models by producing mostly illegally what we call today "clones". Misterlook and a bunch of Esterbrook "clones" pop up often in my mind, because the copied pen did not have to be an expensive one, simply a very widely known brand. Anyway I digress. The "clones" have come along way. For good or bad, they are now easily traded even on Amazon. But what exactly consitutes a clone? Or is this the exact term that we should use? People use more gentle terms like inspired, or tribute, or even the even more refined "hommage". I always thought that the last one is just a silly trick to use an uncommon word to avoid calling it a clone. The "clones" are here to stay (whether we like it or now - and please don't turn this thread into a fight for the ethics of cloning ). Many of them are actually decent users!... So I thought to propose a standardized terminology... When a pen has some visual similarities but there is no doubt that the "original", genuine pen is different enough, we should say that this "clone", which is really not a clone, is pen INSPIRED by the original one. Example: Jinhao 15 Guangzhou Tower (or Wasteline) model (still been sold in Amazon!) Waterman Serenitè (ORIGINAL) Of course the Serenite has the well known bend shape while the Jinhao, often call by the name "Gullor" is straight. When it is hard to distinguish a pen from a quick look from the original genuine pen, then we will call the pen a WANNA BE. I would reserve the term TRIBUTE or HOMMAGE if the original pen dates decades before the date of issue of the "Wanna Be". An important condition for this category is that the "Wanna Be" pen should not carry the name of the original pen company or model. Seagull (Japan) from https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/321688-mystery-parker-vacumatic-copy Parker Vacumatic Finally, in a class of their own, we have the "TRUE FAKES" or "GENUINE CLONES" - pun absolutely intended - which carry the name of the original pen make, even if there are minor differences between them and the original pen. Typical Chinese Sonnet Clone sold in Ebay (2023 Fall) Original Parker Sonnet Ciselé What do you think? Of course we can always add internediate grades as TRUE FAKE- or WANNA BE+ to cover gradations and introduce the obligatory ambiguity Example the Jinhao Centennials which I am not sure if they are an Homage+ or a True Fake- Let me know what you think. PS> The original article is in https://azfp.blogspot.com/2023/11/fountain-pen-clones-terminology-first.html to avoid the issue of lost images
  2. Normally I’m a fan of italian fountain pens. I started off with a Pelikan M800 though – the benchmark of a good, full-size piston filler. I was very satisfied with the Pelikan, it seemed to be everything I ever wanted from a fountain pen, I would never need another one. But later, after falling in love with the looks of it, I ordered a Delta Dolcevita and completely changed my point of view for what fountain pens are about. Handling the Dolcevita was like holding a Faberge egg in my hand, the Pelikan reminded of a free merchandise pen in comparison. The Italian culture has a profound feel for the exquisite, stemming from old tradition and masters like Bernini, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. The Germans have great composers and philosophers, but let’s face it; they have no one even close to the Italian masters of fine arts. For some time it seemed I would never buy any other pens but Italian. Then I happened to read this article on Diplomat pens: http://www.fieldnotesblog.com.au/search/label/diplomat. Until then I had always considered Diplomat pens a bit boring; traditional design, no nonsense, heavy and solid – in other words extremely German. But after reading the article in Field Notes, I couldn’t wait to order one. Now, after two weeks with my Diplomat Excellence A with a 14 Kt gold medium nib, it seems the Germans have turned the tables on fountain pens again. What a fantastic pen this is! Plain and modest in comparison to most Italians, yes, but what a performer it is, and some value for money! The pens come in several colours and finishes. Mine is a Marrakesh; a brown metallic lacquer – just one colour but thousands of nuances depending on light and environment. Fine pens are a lot about material and finish. Several makers of expensive pens can perform the same (high) level of finish as Diplomat, but this utmost feeling of everlasting quality I haven’t experienced in any other pen. The sense of solidness when unscrewing the barrel, the weight of the all-metal body, the smoothness of the beautiful in-house nib, all make a combination that is hard to describe – it’s not a feeling of luxury, but something more subtle, maybe what the Germans call “Ausgewogenheit”, a kind of fine balance, a balance between utility and beauty. If this pen was a car, it would be a Mercedes W123; the durable, yet slightly gilt-edged workhorse from the 70’s and 80’s. Writing with the Diplomat Excellence, the nib is quite “present” between your fingertips. In comparison, the Delta Dolcevita feels more like a unity of nib and barrel. With the Diplomat you really feel that you’re writing with a fairly large nib, fitted to a heavy, solid barrel. I haven’t yet decided which writing experience to prefer, I like them both. Guess it’s a matter of writing technique and personal preferences. The nib is wet and smooth, and I haven’t experienced even the slightest disturbance of ink flow. This is a first class writing instrument at all levels! I hope these pens will remain on the market for years to come. They are reminders of a time when people cared for their handwriting, and for accessories that would stay with them for a lifetime. (Sorry about the pics, I'm a lousy photographer...)
  3. This looks ok to me, but I don't have the eye that many of you do, so would be grateful for your opinions on this Tribute to the Mont Blanc please. The last photo shows the stars on a Jungle Eyes Mozart (MoP), the Tribute (Quartz) and a 146. Thank you!

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