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Majohn A1 (a capless clone)


VillersCotterets

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Got an A1 in today, initial thoughts:

-Very similar in size and shape to a VP but not identical

-Nib inserts are identical and swappable

-The clip is only placed slightly off-centre, but it does help with comfort.

-Non-boxed package includes two empty cartridges, one cartridge plug, converter and pipette.

-My pen has Moon Man branding, not Majohn.

-Important:  The nib I received is nowhere near an extra fine, it's more like a Western medium.  It was also so wet I had to adjust it slightly.  The nib is very smooth, though, and quite a pleasant writer.

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Seems that the nib unit is adequate to serve its purpose as a writing tool and that is enough for me.

In terms of durability of its mechanism or the material, we'll just have to see how it fares in the long term.

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6 hours ago, penzel_washinkton said:

Seems that the nib unit is adequate to serve its purpose as a writing tool and that is enough for me.

In terms of durability of its mechanism or the material, we'll just have to see how it fares in the long term.

Moonman, Wing Sung, and PenBBS manufacturing quality does not fail. But for a dud unit, which is not unique to any manufacturer, I have not had any of their models fail due to poor manufacturing. Take the X1. That thing is a manufacturing miracle for $40. The key is always the nibs with Moonman. If the nib unit works, this is a monumental shift. The fact they we know they can give us various sizes makes the mouth water. Will they? We wait

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My highlighted word is durability and not the manufacturing quality. You could have the best manufacturing in the world but if the design is flawed (material thickness not adequate, exposed parts that are prone to breaking) then it would do you no good.

 

Hence why for the A1, my main concern is more towards the durability of the spring cap mechanism. Remembering that the body of the A1 is brass / aluminum, I don't think there would be a major failure issue unless they really f***ed up the design.

 

 

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50 minutes ago, penzel_washinkton said:

My highlighted word is durability and not the manufacturing quality. You could have the best manufacturing in the world but if the design is flawed (material thickness not adequate, exposed parts that are prone to breaking) then it would do you no good.

 

Hence why for the A1, my main concern is more towards the durability of the spring cap mechanism. Remembering that the body of the A1 is brass, I don't think there would be a major failure issue unless they really f***ed up the design.

 

 

Great points and agreed. I feel it will be easier longterm to find replacement parts if something were to break down considering the volume in which they produce these pens. You can still easily source the original WS 698 models which points to either an unimaginable amount of unsold inventory or steady production. If it is as solid their past work, there is little to worry about if you one day just have to buy a part, which these companies eventually sell as readily as they do the full models. Unlike the Lanbitou 3088 the Bilibili Chinese reviewers love it. 

Refreshing stuff. 

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In all honesty, I really hope this pen will be a success commercially and be the right kick in Pilot's behind.

Ever since they released that Capless / VP LS for around 400-500 USD, I feel that they are getting too full of themselves with their pricing.

 

If it does make a dent in Pilot's capless market then Pilot will have no choice but to respond and (hopefully) will try to make the market competitive. Platinum tried to do it with the Curidas but some will feel that the price is too expensive although I disagree with that. With this pen at the current price point, it is a no brainer.

 

In case the market becomes competitive then the winner will be us, the consumers, and I can only hope that it actually happens.

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23 minutes ago, penzel_washinkton said:

In case the market becomes competitive then the winner will be us, the consumers, and I can only hope that it actually happens.

 

As a fountain pen enthusiast, I hope for something different: for the Chinese and Japanese manufacturers to carve up the market for different quality grades of fine writing instruments at different price points, without making the better grades of products more accessible or affordable. Those users whose priority is on core writing functionality, and then favour economical or down-to-earth products over those with gold nibs, attractive body materials and finishes, and/or a good name on account of the brand or country of origin, will have the option of buying perfectly competent and reasonable attractive Chinese pens; those who want Pilot and what it represents can buy Pilot on the company's terms, and where it wants to position itself in the marketplace.

 

Let European manufacturers play catch-up, and face the dilemma of which of those to focus competing with (while Kaweco grits its teeth watching Majohn succeed in the market).

 

Giving consumers more choices is a good thing, in my book; making some of the preferred options less costly (financially or otherwise) to acquire in exchange is not necessarily so. I'd love to see dozens of options — enough to confuse the average punter who doesn't spend a great amount of effort doing due diligence, and studying the products and differences — available, each embodying a different compromise from the perspective of the individual consumer; there is no perfect (and painless) solution for fulfilling one's requirements, but everything makes the purchaser consider what he/she is willingly forgoing by choosing one over the other.

 

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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I get the point that you're saying but in reality I really think that would be difficult to achieve or even if it was achieved, it will only be for a short period of time.

Pilot has been a staple of common stationary items outside of fountain pens. If a company as large as them see a potentially profitable market then they would really consider jumping into it with all their seriousness and create competition for that particular market (let's say Chinese pen has a hold on the lower end fountain pen market).

 

Getting all these companies to find their standings into their market is possible but in the long term, they wouldn't want to stay in that same pool. They will find ways to expand their markets to try to bite of a slice of cake from other market pools.

 

<rant mode: on>

Pilot with their Capless has been too complacent. They were the OG and they sat on their laurels for a very long time since they hold a design patent to the thing. Once the patent period is over, they still sat on their laurels since there were very few / no company giving competition to the capless market. Suddenly Chinese bootlegs showed up, Curidas pops up and this A1 comes with cheaper prices and adequate qualities (based on preliminary impressions of the build quality and nib performance).

 

How will Pilot respond? I don't know.

But had they given proper R&D to the capless, try to make it more accessible in terms of price to people and market them properly then they should have been able to delve into greater common markets. Let's face it, one of the few designs in a fountain pen world that has a possible strong appeal to the common masses are the retractable fountain pens, hence why many roller balls and ball points only comes in retractable type.

<rant mode: off>

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I agree. Based on the Chinese blogs and Bilibili chatter these pens we are getting are designed with their middle class in mind who don't want to spend their disposable income on $150 pens. I think it is a case of perfect circumstances that the western buyer benefits from because but for a few, they are not designing these for the US market. I am still more curious about the industrial model that it in R&D right now. If you get a chance to look at the video, it is amazing. A full sized nib with adequate sealing. Take my money 

 

I also am going to ask Chris R if he wants me to send him one for review. I do not do videos but I want to see how he reacts to " maintenance water"

Edited by J120
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On 11/26/2021 at 3:18 PM, VillersCotterets said:

Weird clipless model discovered among other promotional photographs. Is it a prototype never to be released? A future release? A copy from another compagny? 

unknown model.jpg

 

the answer to my dislike of the clip in the wrong place?...  :lol::lol:

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On 11/26/2021 at 4:06 PM, werter1245 said:

This version has not yet appeared in Chinese reviews, but it is expected.

Screenshot_27.png.541cb2a44f467b20f15d5ed4550778b3.png

 

 

Majohn Design? :lol::lol:

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7 minutes ago, J120 said:

chance to look at the video

Is there a link to the above video or have I overlooked it?

“Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today, because if you do it today and like it, you can do again tomorrow!”

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On 12/6/2021 at 10:31 PM, J120 said:

Also worth noting there are 9 colorways in both models. Pearl White, Pearl Blue, Pearl Green, Lattern Yellow (tan), Bean Red, Cloud White, Piano Black, and the two matte black versions.

 

Honestly this to me is the best thing in this whole thread.

 

I got a Decimo in F recently and it's not a very consistent writer...kind of disappointed TBH, maybe I just got a dud, but being able to sub in Moonman nibs (with decently-sized converters) will be great.

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1 hour ago, ext23 said:

I got a Decimo in F recently and it's not a very consistent writer...kind of disappointed TBH, maybe I just got a dud, but being able to sub in Moonman nibs (with decently-sized converters) will be great.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the included converter is basically identical to a Pilot Con-50 ie. small and mostly useless.  It's good that Moonman is including a pipette and two empty cartridges (including a cartridge seal) because that how I suspect most people will use the pen.

 

On the good side, after being left alone for 48 hours the pen started up and wrote immediately.  That pretty much meets my needs for usability.

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2 hours ago, jekostas said:

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the included converter is basically identical to a Pilot Con-50 ie. small and mostly useless.  It's good that Moonman is including a pipette and two empty cartridges (including a cartridge seal) because that how I suspect most people will use the pen.

On the upside, at least it isn't based on the CON-40?

 

Personally, I'm just waiting to see if the matte run is prone to brassing. If it does, I'd deem it perfect— especially for the price.

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I ordered a copy of this Majohn A1 specifically to have a capless nib unit to grind. I did a quick dip test and, like most Chinese pens, it wrote way too fine for me. (Marked EF on the nib unit.) After I ground the nib the pen was so dry that it wouldn't write. This might've been the result of my grinding, I'm not sure. The feed seemed set too close to the nib so I increased that distance and flossed the nib. Now it writes very well and I am pleased with the pen in general. I haven't had it long enough to determine if it will dry out.

 

I ordered my through Etsy but I see that Amazon has them too, albeit at a higher price.

Children think adults have all the freedom and adults think children have
all the freedom.
 

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2 hours ago, OCArt said:

I ordered a copy of this Majohn A1 specifically to have a capless nib unit to grind. I did a quick dip test and, like most Chinese pens, it wrote way too fine for me. (Marked EF on the nib unit.) After I ground the nib the pen was so dry that it wouldn't write. This might've been the result of my grinding, I'm not sure. The feed seemed set too close to the nib so I increased that distance and flossed the nib. Now it writes very well and I am pleased with the pen in general. I haven't had it long enough to determine if it will dry out.

 

I ordered my through Etsy but I see that Amazon has them too, albeit at a higher price.

Did you get the clipless version?

And what does yours say on the body? 'Moonman' or 'Majohn'?

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On 12/10/2021 at 6:01 AM, socialmoth said:

I'm just waiting to see if the matte run is prone to brassing.

 

Brassing can be "encouraged", but only if there is brass.  The A1 is white metal underneath the coating.

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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37 minutes ago, Karmachanic said:

 

Brassing can be "encouraged", but only if there is brass.  The A1 is white metal underneath the coating.

 

Oh no! I've ordered an A1, but almost entirely because I was looking forward to it brassing like an old camera! I just love how well-used Vanishing Points / Caplesses look, but could never bring myself to letting an expensive pen get so tatty. Perhaps I will get lucky one day and be able to buy a rough looking Pilot one on the cheap. Ho hum!

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