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Hero 200A 14K Nib Is A Fake.



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Honeybadgers

I bought a hero 200a a while ago. it's a decent writer, but I paid for a pen with a 14k nib. The nib is stamped 14k, but even moderately firm pressure sprung the nib immediately. It felt like pot metal.

 

So, I had a chemistry lab where we were taking very precise density measurements. for giggles, I brought in the hero and measured the density.

 

my calculations were quite accurate, and the hero nib had a density of 2.681 g/mL . Thats almost exactly the density of aluminum. 14k gold should be ~12.9-14.6 g/mL. Hell, stainless steel is around 8.

 

Long story short, chemistry lab proved that the Hero 200A sold on ebay does not have a gold nib at all. Not even cut rate 8 or 10k. It's almost certainly coated aluminum.

 

Still, not a bad writer, wouldn't be a bad deal if it was $1.50. Too bad they're asking about $40.

Edited by Honeybadgers

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)

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I'd love to have access to a lab like that. I have a lot of Chinese nibs, where I am sure the nib is a mystery alloy.

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I bought a hero 200a a while ago. it's a decent writer, but I paid for a pen with a 14k nib.

 

[...]

 

Too bad they're asking about $40.

 

Respectfully, if you paid 40$ then you did not pay for pen with a 14k nib.

 

Also, your assumption that gold = flexible is erroneous.

Very interesting to see that the nibs are likely Aluminium - I had always assumed cheap Chinese pens would be steel.

Platinum 3776 - F, Pilot Decimo - F, TWSBI Vac Mini - 1.1i

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Honeybadgers

 

Respectfully, if you paid 40$ then you did not pay for pen with a 14k nib.

 

Also, your assumption that gold = flexible is erroneous.

Very interesting to see that the nibs are likely Aluminium - I had always assumed cheap Chinese pens would be steel.

 

 

So much wrong with this.

 

1.) the platinum PTL5000A is $35 with a 14k nib

 

2.) the pilot seremo is $35-40 with a 14k nib.

 

3.) the wing sung 698 gold nib is actually a 14k nib.

 

4.) I was not assuming that gold was flexible. I was exerting modest NORMAL writing pressure, such as when you're trying to make a mark through on a carbon copy, something a normal steel or non-soft gold nib shouldn't struggle with. This bent like... ALUMINUM. Seriously, press down with modest pressure and you'll get a wetter line from a steel or rigid gold nib, I was not exerting more than firm, normal writing pressure. I was not attempting to get any line variation. It sprung like the nib was made of baling wire.

 

5.) they are all mostly steel. I can confirm that every other chinese pen I have has a steel nib. The hero 200a comes from a more dubious time in China's fountain pen history. I do trust modern chinese pens.

 

The price of 14k gold is a hell of a lot less than you'd expect. An ~#5 nib has about 0.6g of gold. The price of 14k gold is currently ~$22/gram. Therefore, you're spending about $12 in gold. Even a #6 nib is still 0.8-0.9 grams, or about $20. That's why the platinum 3776 and so many other gold nib pens in japan cost between $60 and $90. The lamy 2000's body costs substantially more to make, machine, and assemble than the 0.2g of gold in the nib.

Edited by Honeybadgers

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)

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moderately firm pressure

 

As fountain pens require no pressure to write, the above suggested to me you were trying to flex the nib. It's a pretty wide spread assumption that gold nibs ''flex better'', hence my comment.

 

I cannot confirm your prices, a google search from my end (UK) puts them higher than you post but not by much. I was not aware of either of the pilot or platinum models so I take back my assumption that you can't find 14k nibbed pens for that price bracket from a reputable maker.

 

Yet I'm still not surprised that a cheap Chinese pen falls short of what it claimed.

Platinum 3776 - F, Pilot Decimo - F, TWSBI Vac Mini - 1.1i

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Awesome that you did a lab test! Since Chinese fountain pens are synonymous with fake, I guess it's only fair that their nibs are fake too! There is balance in the universe ;) .

"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

 

B. Russell

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So much wrong with this.

 

1.) the platinum PTL5000A is $35 with a 14k nib

 

2.) the pilot seremo is $35-40 with a 14k nib.

 

3.) the wing sung 698 gold nib is actually a 14k nib.

 

4.) I was not assuming that gold was flexible. I was exerting modest NORMAL writing pressure, such as when you're trying to make a mark through on a carbon copy, something a normal steel or non-soft gold nib shouldn't struggle with. This bent like... ALUMINUM. Seriously, press down with modest pressure and you'll get a wetter line from a steel or rigid gold nib, I was not exerting more than firm, normal writing pressure. I was not attempting to get any line variation. It sprung like the nib was made of baling wire.

 

5.) they are all mostly steel. I can confirm that every other chinese pen I have has a steel nib. The hero 200a comes from a more dubious time in China's fountain pen history. I do trust modern chinese pens.

 

The price of 14k gold is a hell of a lot less than you'd expect. An ~#5 nib has about 0.6g of gold. The price of 14k gold is currently ~$22/gram. Therefore, you're spending about $12 in gold. Even a #6 nib is still 0.8-0.9 grams, or about $20. That's why the platinum 3776 and so many other gold nib pens in japan cost between $60 and $90. The lamy 2000's body costs substantially more to make, machine, and assemble than the 0.2g of gold in the nib.

I am interested in the Platinum pen. Where can I get one for $35.00 ?

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There could be another answer. Hero has had trouble with (Chinese) counterfeits of their pens - particularly the low cost 616. They recently changed that pen to, at least for now, distinguish the real from the counterfeit. It could be that the "Hero" you bought was a counterfeit and not an actual Hero.........................

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I am impressed that from a sample size of one pen from an unnamed eBay vendor, we can assume that all Hero 200As are fakes.

fpn_1412827311__pg_d_104def64.gif




“Them as can do has to do for them as can’t.


And someone has to speak up for them as has no voices.”


Granny Aching

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All Chinese nibs are steel. Period. Any Chinese nib inscibed with 14k, 12k or 10k are SOLID yellow steel. :)

Edited by mitto

Khan M. Ilyas

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The elusive Chinese "gold"... lol.

 

PS - I came here to read reviews, there is a complete lack of self-indulgent prose about how the pen makes you feel about yourself to this post. Please update.

Edited by bobaroo
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All Chinese nibs are steel. Period. Any Chinese nib inscibed with 14k, 12k or 10k are SOLID yellow steel. :)

 

Your evidence for such a statement???

fpn_1412827311__pg_d_104def64.gif




“Them as can do has to do for them as can’t.


And someone has to speak up for them as has no voices.”


Granny Aching

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Ian the Jock

All Chinese nibs are steel. Period. Any Chinese nib inscibed with 14k, 12k or 10k are SOLID yellow steel. :)

Wow!

Now there's a bold statement if ever I saw one.

 

So should we now "report" every ebay vendor who sells a "gold nibbed" Chinese pen to ebay then? It would appear that they are all telling porkies after all.

 

Or is your statement along the same lines as your "every English made Parker 45 and New Slimfold have the same nib" statement?

 

Ian

 

Edited to spell my own name correctly.

Damn predictive text :D

Edited by Ian the Jock
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So after using a nib from your N. Slimfold in your P45, you still doubt the N. Slimfold and the P45 nibs are the same? :)

Khan M. Ilyas

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Ian the Jock

So after using a nib from your N. Slimfold in your P45, you still doubt the N. Slimfold and the P45 nibs are the same? :)

Hahaha you know fine well what you said, and you weren't talking about the shape/size or design of the nibs either.

You said all English 45s and NS had 1 and the same springy nib with a large blob of tipping.

And here, that isn't the case at all is it?

 

Ian

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Hahaha you know fine well what you said, and you weren't talking about the shape/size or design of the nibs either.

You said all English 45s and NS had 1 and the same springy nib with a large blob of tipping.

And here, that isn't the case at all is it?

Ian

:)

I did not say 'all'. I said 'almost all'.

:)

Khan M. Ilyas

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Ian the Jock

:)

I did not say 'all'. I said 'almost all'.

:)

Ok, I give in then, and concede that you don't make broad, sweeping, wholly unsubstantiated, and most probably incorrect statements, after all.

 

Ian

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Seeing as there are lots of random vendors on eBay, and counterfeit goods are rampant coming from China, this could have been any version (counterfeit or original) of the pen you "reviewed". Did you try checking first that the seller sold you a genuine Hero pen with appropriate nib before stating that all such pens have aluminum nibs? I see a bunch of vendors selling this model of pen for differing prices.

“I admit it, I'm surprised that fountain pens are a hobby. ... it's a bit like stumbling into a fork convention - when you've used a fork all your life.” 

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