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Baoer 79 ‘Starwalker’ – Another Familiar-Looking ‘Homage’ Pen: German Design At Chinese Prices!


Jamerelbe
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I have owned this pen for a few months now, and noticed that it’s a little under-represented in terms of reviews – so thought I would do something to help rectify that situation. This is a pretty classy looking pen – deliberately styled to resemble the Montblanc Starwalker range, but at a significantly lower price point!

 

Please be aware that the ranking I give the pen is relative. This is an inexpensive pen, made in China – I doubt it would stack up this well if it was sitting next to the German-made pen that ‘inspired’ its design and manufacture!

 

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Appearance & Design (8/10) – A Classy looking pen

The Baoer 79 would probably have to be classed as a ‘mid-size’ pen – not too large but not too small – mostly black with a chrome clip and trimmings. The cap, barrel and gunmetal coloured grip section all appear to be made of brass, though the cap is topped off with a glass ‘ball’ and the base of the pen body (below the threads) also appears to be made of plastic.

 

I like the look of the clip, the bottom of which slightly overhangs the cap of the pen – which means it doesn’t stand upright so well, but it appears to be hinged (and sprung) at the top, which is pretty classy for a pen in this price range.

 

As mentioned above, the pen mimics the style (though not the build quality) of the Montblanc Starwalker range. I’m not a particular fan of the glass ‘finial’, but otherwise I quite like the look of the pen!

 

http://i.imgur.com/3mXmspj.jpg

 

http://i.imgur.com/W2LBkto.jpg

 

 

 

Construction & Quality (7.5/10) – Well built, but potentially fragile.

The pen appears to be made primarily of brass – it feels sturdy in the hand, with a good amount of weight to it. There’s quite a noticeable step up between the grip section and the body of the pen – just below the threads for the cap – and I find myself naturally wanting to hold the pen precisely at that transition point. I don’t find that uncomfortable, at least for short writing spells – but the threads and/or the step may dig in a little during extended writing sessions.

 

I love the way the cap can be threaded onto the back of the pen – it writes well enough unposted, but when posted the length of the pen is comfortable rather than excessive, and the pen remains nicely balanced.

 

One quibble, though: the inner lining of the cap is plastic, all the way from the base of the cap to the inner rim – which means that the metal threads on the grip section screw in to grooves on the plastic. There may be no problem with this at all – but I’m a little concerned that over time the plastic lining will wear away.

 

http://i.imgur.com/YkiI5mS.jpg

 

Weight & Dimensions (8/10) - Long, slender, and lightweight

Being made mostly of brass (I think), the pen has a comfortable heft in the hand, weighing in at 28g (17g without the cap). It writes well unposted (128mm) or posted (152mm) – when capped the pen is 141mm from end to end.

 

The gun-metal coloured grip section of the 79 is slightly flared at both ends – but roughly 9mm in diameter. This steps up to the cap threads (around 10mm), while the pen barrel is about 11mm in diameter. As mentioned above, I find myself naturally gravitating towards the ‘step-up’ between pen and barrel – there’s a definite sharp transition, but (perhaps because my fingertips sit on the cap threads) I don’t find it bites into the fingers at all.

 

Nib & Performance (7/10) – A delightfully smooth writing experience – but watch out!
The nib on this pen is simple, stylish, a shiny monochrome metallic colour – which is a pleasant change from the two-tone appearance of many Baoer nibs. It’s probably best classed as medium thickness, though it tends to err on the side of “fine-medium”.

 

http://i.imgur.com/r1r5l3b.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/hR5whJk.jpg

The nib on this pen is smooth as butter – an absolute pleasure to write with, as it glides across the page. One caveat, though – on the basis of which I couldn’t give the nib a higher rating: I saw a Youtube clip that described this nib as being capable of significant line variation, and it’s certainly possible to spread the tines with moderate pressure.

 

BUT… the metal the nib is made from is fairly soft and malleable, and I’ve found that if I’m not careful the tines spread somewhat too far and don’t spring back! Thankfully, it’s not too hard to turn the nib over, and press the tines back into place- but do that too often and I fear the metal will become fatigued over time. I’ve taken one point off the score for that reason –but honestly, as long as you don’t press down too hard, the softness of the nib is probably as much an asset as it is a potential problem.

 

http://i.imgur.com/klVjS1E.jpg

 

 

 

Filling System & Maintenance (8/10) – Standard International Cartridge Converter – all plastic

I’m quite content to use pens that come with a cartridge converter – they’re easy to clean and I get to change out the inks more often. This pen comes with a cheap Jinhao cartridge converter, all plastic, which does its job admirably – but it can be swapped out for standard international cartridges if you prefer, or your favourite converter from another pen.

 

Cost & Value (9/10) – A great price for a really decent pen
Here is where the Baoer 79 really comes into its own: as a cheaper pen (<US$10 on eBay, I believe – though I paid AU$12.80 from an Australian-based online retailer, www.justwrite.com.au).

 

 

Conclusion (Final score: 7.917)A Solid All-Around Performer

This really is a classy looking pen – especially If you’re a fan of the Montblanc pen it’s designed to emulate (copy? rip off??). The main drawback, for mine, is the glass ‘bubble’ – I’ve heard at least one story of the glass shattering when the pen was dropped. The main appeal is the thread on the rear of the pen, which enables the pen to be securely posted. Given the price, I don’t think you can go too far wrong with this pen – especially for the smooth writing experience!

Edited by Jamerelbe
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I have one but haven't used it much.

I find it slightly annoying that when capped or posted, the lines don't match up. I'm probably being very unreasonable though, given the price of the pen. :blush:

Is the bubble glass? I had assumed it was plastic.

Whatever is true,whatever is noble,whatever is right,whatever is pure,whatever is lovely,whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.

Philippians 4.8

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I have one but haven't used it much.

I find it slightly annoying that when capped or posted, the lines don't match up. I'm probably being very unreasonable though, given the price of the pen. :blush:

Is the bubble glass? I had assumed it was plastic.

 

I find there is a bit of 'give' in the threads, so you can roughly match the lines up - but I suspect that may be a little 'hit and miss' from one pen to the next.

 

Re the bubble, I suspect you're right on that one: I'd just assumed it was glass, because I'd heard of someone managing to shatter it - but clear plastic can smash too... In the hand, it feels more like plastic than glass...

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Nice review of a nice pen. However, mine seems to dry out if left capped for a few days - am I just unlucky?

That's a good question - most cheaper pens will have some issues with hard starting if you leave them for long enough... I didn't notice it as a particular problem with mine, and the plastic inner cap SHOULD help minimise dry-out, but I found my Baoer 388 somewhat better on this score... I wonder if anyone else has found this to be an issue?

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Plastic is warm to the touch, glass is cool.

I should have checked to confirm this before writing the review: it's warmish to the touch, so probably plastic!

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Nice review of a nice pen. However, mine seems to dry out if left capped for a few days - am I just unlucky?

Any fountain pen will dry out uncapped for any length of time, ink evaporates, unlike ballpoint pens.

They came as a boon, and a blessing to men,
The Pickwick, the Owl and the Waverley pen

Sincerely yours,

Pickwick

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  • 1 year later...

Reviving this thread because I need help with my 79 :(

 

When capped, the lines match up just fine. The problem is posting with the threaded cap. The clip is 90 degrees out of phase with the feed/nib. That is to say, if the nib/feed are "due north", then the clip on the posted cap is "due east" and chewing into the webbing of my right hand.

 

I envision three possible solutions. First would be to not post at all. Throws the whole balance off for me. Just looks and feels better posted, imo. Second idea woul be to reposition the threads at the end where it posts. I can't find where it could be unscrewed and rotated 90 degrees. I suspect it isn't separable, but not sure. The third solution seems the most logical and achievable. Remove the nib/feed assembly, synchronise the orientation to the posted cap clip (all "due north"), and reinsert the assembly. The problem is: how do I get the friction fit unit out without mangling/destroying it?

 

The only other possibility would be a new threaded liner in the cap, but I have no clue how to locate or fabricate it.

 

If the clip were resting "due west", it would look weird, but not be as uncomfortable given that I am right handed. If the clip rested "due south", the pen would be unusable when posted.

 

Yeah, I know it isn't expensive so why fret, right? I just don't like stuff getting the better of me. Re-engineering is part of modern life in my experience. And the darned thing writes nicely :)

KEEP CALM AND BOOGIE ON!

 

SILENCE IS GOLDEN, BUT DUCT TAPE IS SILVER.

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Just pulled the nib and feed out of my Starwalker 79 (it's out of rotation at the moment), and am sad to say it looks like nib assembly has a definite 'fit' for the nib - that is to say, it'll only go in one way. Also (as you've obviously worked out), the cap is single threaded - as is the grip section (my clips always faces due east when the cap is posted). Not sure there's an easy solution - sorry I can't help!

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Thanks for the comments. It does make me ask how the third photo, featuring correctly oriented pen in

hand, was achieved. Dare I say sleight of hand :)

 

How difficult was it to extract the nib/feed assembly? I should be able to remove mine, even if rotation is not possible.

Edited by bmillicent

KEEP CALM AND BOOGIE ON!

 

SILENCE IS GOLDEN, BUT DUCT TAPE IS SILVER.

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Thanks for the comments. It does make me ask how the third photo, featuring correctly oriented pen in

hand, was achieved. Dare I say sleight of hand :)

 

How difficult was it to extract the nib/feed assembly? I should be able to remove mine, even if rotation is not possible.

 

It's been a while since I last used it - so I'd forgotten about this, but you're almost right: I can get the clip to line up, but it requires me to force the thread a little more than I'm comfortable with... :(

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Okay, I "forced the issue" with the cap posting by turning it clockwise 270 degrees. You know the drill:lefty loosey, righty tighty. Turning it 90 degrees the other way just made the cap fall off.

 

This whole endeavour made me worry that the cap would no longer properly tighten over the nib end. It fits pretty well so far. Hopefully I haven't chewed up the inner plastic threading too badly.

 

My new rabbit hole to go down involves fabricating replacement cap liners :)

 

 

And yes, I am OCD about all my Lamy Safaris threading label up . . .

KEEP CALM AND BOOGIE ON!

 

SILENCE IS GOLDEN, BUT DUCT TAPE IS SILVER.

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