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Jinhao 85 - the premature 2021 Parker 51 copy



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The market is full of Parker 51 knock-offs. Jinhao made their first attempt with Jinhao 51A. Jinhao 85 is their second try. Interestingly enough, Jinhao 85 is not a copy of the classic 1939-1969 Parker 51 Mk1 and Mk2 (like most of them are), but rather of 2021 Parker 51 remake. Which is even more surprising, as the new 51 was announced in 2019, but it hasn't been released yet and it's planned at February 2021. It's the first case that I know of where the Chinese clone is released before the model that is being cloned. 

 

There are several colors of Jinhao 85 available, I picked the classic black barrel with golden cap. The pen is made of lacquered metal, but it seems really solid - feels in the hand rather similiar to something like a lacquered Parker Sonnet more than a stereotypical cheap, Chinese metal pen.  How long it will last, I don't know, but it makes a good impression. There is also a version with a wooden barrel available.

 

The design of 85 is a little bit different than the classic 51. Most notably the cap is screwed. This design choice is rather baffling, as really seems anthitetical to what the original Parker 51 was all about. Back then most fountain pens had threaded caps and the slip cap of 51 was in tone with the practical design of the pen - it was quick and easy to use. Nowaydays however things are different, and fountain pens aren't about practicality at all, so I guess there's nothing wrong with such change.

 

This comment, however, should be adressed to Parker rather than to Jinhao, as Jinhao simply copied Parker's design - it's known that the new 51 will also have a screwed cap. 

 

It takes about two full turnes to uncap the pen. The cap unfortunately doesn't post well. Usually I don't mind that, but in this model I find it a major drawback, although I admit this is mostly because the comparison to the classic 51 and its clones, which typically post very well. Makes me wonder whether the new 51 will post. As for the practical side, the 85 can be used unposted without any problems. 

 

The filling system is a c/c, more or less standard international (I think, I havent tried cartridges - but Pelikan carts always worked with Jinhaos for me) with a typical Jinhao converter included. As usual with Jinhao pens it works well. 

 

The nib on 85 is very good. It's a fine, reasonably wet and very smooth. This is most likely the same as in Jinhao 911 (Hero 100 clone) and Jinhao 51A (Parker 51 clone). I have Jinhao 911 nib in one of my Wing Sung 601s and that one, while also smooth, is much more dry (although not to a point where it's a problem - it writes consistently well). So, as usual with Chinese pens, or really with any fountain pens for that matter, the experience may vary. 

 

As for the measurments, at 143 mm capped Jinhao 85 is a bit longer than the classic 51 or the Wing Sung 601. Uncapped it's about 1 mm shorter than WS 601. Unfortunately I don't have a scale at hand, but definitely Jinhao 85 is, capped and uncapped, is heavier than Parker 51 and WS 601. It's not heavy, but definitely substantial. 

 

Jinhao 85 costed me about 8 USD. Is it a good product for this price? Yes, I think it is. 

 

Is it anything spectacular? Not really. Wing Sung 601 is in my opinion still the best Parker 51 clone out there, at least from the ones I used. But it could be an interesting alternative if you prefer a bit heavier pen and c/c filling. 

 

Below - compared in size to Conklin Duragraph, Pelikan M200 and Wing Sung 601.

 

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Estycollector

For me, the WS 601 is the best alternative to my 1942 51'a. 

"Respect science, respect nature, respect all people (s),"

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Karmachanic

J85 is available EF (0,38)and B(0.8). The B could be ground to a cursive italic/stub. Cool!

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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2 hours ago, Karmachanic said:

J85 is available EF (0,38)and B(0.8). The B could be ground to a cursive italic/stub. Cool!

The B(0.8) nib is the bent one?

 

Thanks!

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On 1/19/2021 at 5:49 PM, antoniosz said:

Has anyone disassembled the nib?  It is a pitty to waste a XF/F on such a nice pen :) :) 
The XF/F nib and the threaded cap are the weaknesses in my opinion..  

 

 

It isn't possible to remove the hood on the Jinhao 85. Take my word for it. I've almost destroyed mine trying to get it off. I will be posting my review on this pen this Saturday, but, spoiler alert, I don't like it.

"There are thousands of thoughts lying within a man that he does not know 'till he takes up the pen and writes."

- William Thackeray

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On 1/19/2021 at 8:00 AM, WJM said:

It's the first case that I know of where the Chinese clone is released before the model that is being cloned. 

 

 

 

I have no proof, but I suspect the Jinhao 85 IS IN FACT the new Parker 51 since it is in almost all ways but branding and the fletching on the clip, identical to the new Parker and the new Parker is made in... wait for it... China.

"There are thousands of thoughts lying within a man that he does not know 'till he takes up the pen and writes."

- William Thackeray

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I didn't try to remove the hood on 85, but I'd assume they used a similar thing as in Jinhao 911, where removing the hood was also impossible. 

 

As for Parker, judging from the publicity photos the new 51 I think it's gonna have a Parker 45 or Moonman 80 type nib (they did the same thing in 2002 SE Parker 51). 

 

But if its really made in China, I wouldn't be least bit surprised if it was made in the same factory as the Jinhao. 

 

Looking forward to see your review. 

 

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Beechwood

These are good value, a little more honest than the 2021 Parker 51, also a massive difference in price. I can buy the Jinhao 85 for £7 delivered.

 

Thanks for the review, one of the best that I have seen.

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I confess I'd have bought one, but like most Chinese pens, there is no sensible nib option for me.  Fine nib?  Pah.......  ;)

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Estycollector

If this is a copy of the new Parker, it does not appeal to me. 

 

The original pens from the early '40's, for me, exemplified as understated elegance. These, again just for me, a bit gaudy. 

 

So far, the WS 601 is the copy of choice, again, just for my use.  

"Respect science, respect nature, respect all people (s),"

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Karmachanic
41 minutes ago, Estycollector said:

So far, the WS 601 is the copy of choice, again, just for my use.  

 

A widely held view.

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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1 hour ago, Karmachanic said:

 

A widely held view.

 

I have one and I like it.  But I don't use it as again, it's completely limited by the lack of any nib choices....

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Karmachanic

You bought a pen with an EF nib, but you don't use it because it has an EF nib. Uhhh OK! fpn_huh.png.c02cbec1f495894be6e73f7b38282536.png

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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I did yes.  Purely out of curiosity.   I'm sorry my mistake offends your sensibilities.  I'm clearly not as smart as you.  

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You can replace WS 601 nib for one of the slightly bent nibs, they are easily available. I have one of them in one of mine 601s. It writes like a medium. Thank's to the "bent" quality it even provides some slight line variation. 

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