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"western" Pens Made In China


Allsop
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I have heard a rumour that some of the West's best known fountain pen companies manufacture their pens in China, Mont Blanc was specifically mentioned and I am wondering if there is any truth in this? I know that Apple and a lot of other computer companies use Chinese manufacturers and it would not surprise me if pen companies did. Does anyone know if some of our best known pens are actually made in China?

“They took my books because my message was love.

They took my pen because my words were love.

Then they took my voice because my song was love.

Soon they’ll take myself so nothing remains.

But they don’t know that when I'm gone my love will stay.” Kamand Kojouri

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Montblanc pens are made in Hamburg, Germany. Pelikan pens are made in Germany. Aurora pens are made in Italy.

 

Pelikan nibs for sure are made in Peine/Hannover. I made a trip to the plant and a guided tour there and I saw the nibs being made, gold and steel.

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Montblanc pens are made in Hamburg, Germany. Pelikan pens are made in Germany. Aurora pens are made in Italy.

Thanks for this. I thought it bit of a stretch to say Montblank were made in China but I would be interested to know if any other's are.

“They took my books because my message was love.

They took my pen because my words were love.

Then they took my voice because my song was love.

Soon they’ll take myself so nothing remains.

But they don’t know that when I'm gone my love will stay.” Kamand Kojouri

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Thanks for this. I thought it bit of a stretch to say Montblank were made in China but I would be interested to know if any other's are.

 

I believe that Chinese fake "Mont Blank" pens do exist. They spell it wrongly in order to not infringe copyright.

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Sheaffer along with (apparently) some Parker and Waterman pens are being manufactured in China.

 

let this not dissuade you, though. The Chinese factories are more than capable of delivering a quality product: it all depends on how much is being put into quality check.

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Parker makes some of it's pens in China. Others in a Parker/Waterman factory in France. Parker closed it's UK factory with in the decade.

Cross, which now owns Sheaffer is in China. :unsure:

 

:headsmack:I remember when Cross only made a nifty matt black and gold rimmed; then expensive ball point, in the '60-70's. a Parker Jotter had cost $3.75, and the high status Cross thin black ball point a whopping $8.00..........but at least among Americans it was 'the' high status ball point.........at the time MB was very affordable in the ball point market........having so many.

To tell the truth, MB was not on my radar nor Pelikan......Fountain pens were passe` to me. Too much trouble, for any tiny scribbling I was doing.

 

Later MB was still not on my radar, I'd inherited a couple from my wife's uncle. and one of them ended up being sold for used ball point prices at a flea market. :headsmack:That little snowflake on the top of the ball point I'd not noticed, nor had my wife. In the '60-70's and a bit later when MB had three levels of it's own fountain pens, they also made market priced ball points.

 

Back to Cross. In fact I'd gone to the BS, USAF PX, Post Exchange @ 1970-71 to buy the high class Cross black ball point. At the pen island, then drooled over a classic Black and Gold Sheaffer Snorkel. :drool: A pen I'd been going to buy once I became an adult....but had decided I didn't need a fountain pen.

Then there was the P-75 Stirling silver ball point, for :yikes: $18, that put that $8 Cross in the deep shadows. Having more money in my pocket than good sense bought that matching P-75 fountain pen to go with it for an additional $22.

 

That was back when we still had silver money and the Dollar was Almighty. The German Mark was sitting at 3.60 to a dollar....down from the 'normal' 4-1. Back in Silver Dollar times....you could take your blue seal dollar bill into any bank and get a silver dollar for it.

Mercedes and BMW were cheap cars....small (still are to those days standards....only the SAAB reached then US middle class size inside where it counts), under powered............that they cornered had nothing to do with stoplight to stoplight. (Was on a back road in Virginia a decade ago, and laughed my self sick, some little corner was rated at 25mph, that would have been 45mph/70kpm in Germany. So corners are still a foreign word in America.)

(Because of different transaxels, you did not want to take a Camero out on the Autobahn or you'd burn up the motor going Autobahn speeds for any length of time. The German cars, were slower to the stoplight, but had much higher cruising top ends....ah yes, the good old days, when one flew low on the autobahn....before the Greens ruined everything.)

 

 

I do have a pretty shimmering blue heavy Cross Townsend nail, under the bed. I don't use nails much, but got it on Sale at Galeria Kaufhaus, like my 605.

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

RIP...200's once great nib, now a double ball.:crybaby::wallbash:

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 

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Sheaffer along with (apparently) some Parker and Waterman pens are being manufactured in China.

 

let this not dissuade you, though. The Chinese factories are more than capable of delivering a quality product: it all depends on how much is being put into quality check.

That was my contention in the discussion I was having that led to my question here. I asserted that the quality of some Chinese products are as good as western and indeed some western companies actually made their goods in China. Good to have it confirmed.

“They took my books because my message was love.

They took my pen because my words were love.

Then they took my voice because my song was love.

Soon they’ll take myself so nothing remains.

But they don’t know that when I'm gone my love will stay.” Kamand Kojouri

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Some Yafa (Conklin, Monteverdi, ?) pens use parts made in China and some pens might assembled there as well.

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Pelikan nibs for sure are made in Peine/Hannover. I made a trip to the plant and a guided tour there and I saw the nibs being made, gold and steel.

+1 Took a tour as well as got my special M1000 Nib ground there. Fantastic people doing good honest work.

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There's also a company in India that makes some low-end Parkers under license - Beta, Vector and Frontier.

It's hard work to tell which is Old Harry when everybody's got boots on.

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  • 2 years later...
On 7/22/2018 at 6:16 PM, Driften said:

Some Yafa (Conklin, Monteverdi, ?) pens use parts made in China and some pens might assembled there as well.

It seems that many/most of the Monteverde pens are MIC. At least now they're disguising it a little by getting exclusive colors. Take the Jinhao 992, which Monteverde sold as the Monza a few years back in the standard 992 colors. Now they're 6 colors they alone seem to have.

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I am not sure if other models are, but the very well made Cross Peerless 125 is made in China, with a Japanese made (Sailor) nib.

 

 

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The only super premium pen I can think of is the peerless 125. But that pen can trade punches with the $1000 MB 149 all day long, as long as you're okay with a japanese F or M nib. The fit and finish on it is stunning, and it's clearly a pen made by artisans, not by the lowest bidder.

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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5 hours ago, Honeybadgers said:

The only super premium pen I can think of is the peerless 125. But that pen can trade punches with the $1000 MB 149 all day long, as long as you're okay with a japanese F or M nib. The fit and finish on it is stunning, and it's clearly a pen made by artisans, not by the lowest bidder.

 

That's a gorgeous pen. Just because something is MIC certainly isn't a bad thing! 80% of the parts making this post possible were likely made there (if not the CPU and SSD, then just about every other computer part!). I've got some higher end acrylics from Chinese factories that are gorgeous. Fitted with german nibs and feed systems, they write perfectly.

 

Is the Peerless 125 a lacquered brass pen? Is it heavy?

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1 hour ago, CheapFP said:

Is the Peerless 125 a lacquered brass pen?

 

That would depend on which variant (or colourway, or ‘edition’), wouldn't it? For example, and this is far from being an exhaustive list,

aren't all going to have the same body material and finish.

 

1 hour ago, CheapFP said:

Is it heavy?

 

But what counts as heavy, objectively and absolutely (i.e. not compared to some idea or experience someone has in mind)?

 

Anyway, the (hyperlinked) product pages give the weight of the pens.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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There is a paradox of luxury that while we like things to be cheaper and high quality, we actually tend to associate cheapness with less desirable. Hence, why we tend to gravitate towards wanting more expensive pens even though cheaper pens work just as well if not better.

 

So, while manufacture costs would most likely go way down if the pens were made in China, and the quality probably just as good, people who enjoy the premium feel of fountain pens would probably just no longer buy them.

 

Just look at the luxury market, for example. Louis Vuitton, Hermes and so on... even Chinese people would not buy them if they were made in China.

 

This is why I don't think well-established Western fountain pen companies would ever shift their manufacturing to China. It's just paradoxically unprofitable.

 

(There are exceptions to this rule of course... Apple and so on, but I don't want to go into subtleties of behaviorial economics.)

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