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Bargain Innovation? Tales of a .38mm Capless


J120
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13 minutes ago, Licue said:

Are you sure it doesn't just feel more substantial?

Apparently it's mostly made of metal, whereas the Curidas and its clone are mostly plastic. 

 

It is made of metal which makes it more robust than plastic obviously.  Not a fair comparison but considering the price difference I made it because Platinum looks more ridiculous by the day with the price point for the Curidas. The fact someone took brass and made a better pen for $5.50 is the point. It should be less of a retractable but it is more. The drying on this model is not any worse than the marketing hype that makes the Curidas a dust collector.  The inner mechanism is better designed, simple,  and executed with precision that makes all that work inside the Curidas an absolute joke. 

This is going to come down to individual tolerance. If a few squiggles does not affect you and you can deal with rose gold you pick this over than model any day. It takes 3.4 international standard easily acceptable short, regular, and long cartridges. It is a more substantial pen. Hopefully more interested parties take the chance and get one on Taobao so I am not the only one testing it. 

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36 minutes ago, J120 said:

It is made of metal which makes it more robust than plastic obviously.  Not a fair comparison but considering the price difference I made it because Platinum looks more ridiculous by the day with the price point for the Curidas. The fact someone took brass and made a better pen for $5.50 is the point. It should be less of a retractable but it is more. The drying on this model is not any worse than the marketing hype that makes the Curidas a dust collector.  The inner mechanism is better designed, simple,  and executed with precision that makes all that work inside the Curidas an absolute joke. 

This is going to come down to individual tolerance. If a few squiggles does not affect you and you can deal with rose gold you pick this over than model any day. It takes 3.4 international standard easily acceptable short, regular, and long cartridges. It is a more substantial pen. Hopefully more interested parties take the chance and get one on Taobao so I am not the only one testing it. 

I can find low price brass pens on Ali (and elsewhere) pretty easily.

Being made of metal instead of plastic is not a sign of quality on its own imo.

 

And maybe part of the inner mechanism (the retracting mechanism) indeed is better than Platinum's (and Lanbitou's copy). 

But I can't get over the fact that they just left out the other half: the "door/garage" that seals the nib.

 

Concerning the cartriges: I'm surprised you say it can take a long international cartridge. 

Does it also take 2 short international cartridges? And are there any problems if you only use 1 short? 

 

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1 minute ago, Licue said:

I can find low price brass pens on Ali (and elsewhere) pretty easily.

Being made of metal instead of plastic is not s sign of quality on its own imo.

 

And maybe part of the inner mechanism (the retracting mechanism) indeed is better than Platinum's (and Lanbitou's copy). 

But I can't get over the fact that they just left out the other half: the "door/garage" that seals the nib.

 

Concerning the cartriges: I'm surprised you say it can take a long international cartridge. 

Does it also take 2 short international cartridges? And are there any problems if you only use 1 short? 

 

Only one cartridge will fit and securely close. The long is a slightly longer Hero version found on Taobao. It would not take the old birmingham pens long or the Kaco long either side. 

If you use 3.4mm they work but Monami cartridges are too wide. Lanbitou brand fit just right. Hero and Jinhao fit. 

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Also, I did not call it better quality because it is a brass pen. I said it is a better made and functioning pen in my opinion.  I hope someone else takes the plunge,  buys it, and gives their subjective opinion after holding and using it. 

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27 minutes ago, J120 said:

Only one cartridge will fit and securely close. The long is a slightly longer Hero version found on Taobao. It would not take the old birmingham pens long or the Kaco long either side. 

If you use 3.4mm they work but Monami cartridges are too wide. Lanbitou brand fit just right. Hero and Jinhao fit. 

Ok, I think I might have misunderstood that part of your post then 🙂

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3 hours ago, Licue said:

Unless the concept of emotional attachment to things is completely foreign to you, I don't see how this is so hard to understand.

Also my problematic pens have other "advantages":

a) they are nice to look at (at least imo) - which is not really something I can say for this retractable pen

b) I like the way their nibs write (before they start to dry out of course) - which I don't if it would be the case for this pen here

and last but not least c) I already have them. The money is already spent. (which wasn't much btw, they were 2nd hand aquisitions; obviously I'd be less tolerant with this problem in expensive new pens)

 

Let me get this straight. In principle, I would give more leeway to a rather unknown pen brand with interesting concept & design, in this price point rather than a product which is a tried and true design (filling method, material used and etc), with higher price bracket.

 

3 hours ago, Licue said:

No. I just don't agree with your point.

For me adding an (optional) cap to this pen is not silly and I explained to you why.

 

I still don't get why you would include a cap component to be included for a "cap-less" pen as a product designer. Imagine you open the cap and then clicking the knock mechanism before using the pen and doing the reverse when you want to take it away. Look, I don't know the how to solve the hard start issue for this particular pen design wise which might be applied in future iterations but I sure as hell won't add a cap to a retractable pen. Let's just agree to disagree.

 

3 hours ago, Licue said:

Only if you focus on the original design/construction.

Otherwise there already is a not-quite-working-well dirt cheap retractable fountain pen: The Curidas clone.

 

To confirm, yes I was only talking about pens with original overall design for a fountain pen.

 

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Sounds lie something to forget about .. I just do not get it , click mechanism itself is pretty mature technology, fountain pen mechanism itself is pretty mature technology , combining the two for certain do require some work but surely even I can see its not really an engineering challenge , the only part that's really asked for is a self closing seal which is certainly no rocker science.

 

And the De Facto Integral feed + hooded nib mechanism is already slim and small enough that I would think it's almost tailored for the need , guess the Mfr just take a stationary industrial design approach or even someone who never bother to check how fountain pen suppose to be

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16 hours ago, penzel_washinkton said:

I still don't get why you would include a cap component to be included for a "cap-less" pen as a product designer.

 

Well, I'm not a product designer, I'm a product user.

With the possibility of adding a cap, I could see myself actually using this pen.

Without, at best this pen is some sort of prototype.

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7 hours ago, Mech-for-i said:

Sounds lie something to forget about .. I just do not get it , click mechanism itself is pretty mature technology, fountain pen mechanism itself is pretty mature technology , combining the two for certain do require some work but surely even I can see its not really an engineering challenge , the only part that's really asked for is a self closing seal which is certainly no rocker science.

 

And the De Facto Integral feed + hooded nib mechanism is already slim and small enough that I would think it's almost tailored for the need , guess the Mfr just take a stationary industrial design approach or even someone who never bother to check how fountain pen suppose to be

 

The general technology by itself is of course a mature one. Mind you when you merge them together AND to set it at this price point, that itself is a challenge / feat on its own. Sure it might not be rocket science but it's always a tricky situation of providing engineering solution at a very limited budget, much like many engineering projects all around the world.

 

Maybe I am on my own in this thinking but to be able to see a retractable fountain pen getting into a very competitive price for general masses is something I always wanted to see, hence why I really think this is a huge step towards that possibility. Will it be a hit or will it bomb? Nobody knows...

 

1 hour ago, Licue said:

Well, I'm not a product designer, I'm a product user.

With the possibility of adding a cap, I could see myself actually using this pen.

Without, at best this pen is some sort of prototype.

 

And as I said, let's just agree to disagree.

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5 hours ago, penzel_washinkton said:

...

 

Maybe I am on my own in this thinking but to be able to see a retractable fountain pen getting into a very competitive price for general masses is something I always wanted to see, hence why I really think this is a huge step towards that possibility. Will it be a hit or will it bomb? Nobody knows...

 

 

 

Me too , I would think it would enrich us the hobbyist's and for sure push the possibility to a wider user / consumer base. This pen itself already tell us how combining the click and fountain pen mechanism being viable and within industrial know how to keep price within check. The part missing is a spring loaded or mechanically coupled seal flap which should be fairly easy , myself being an engineer I can see multiple options. Hope someone else pick up the cue and improve and develop on this. 

 

Personally I would say trying to design a functional clip that do not get into the way of writing while maintaining the ergonomic of how a pen can be hold present an even greater challenge as far as industrial design goes. 

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I will do final review Friday but as of today nothing has changed. The only thing left to do is ink up two of them with converters and see if I get the same results I have had with cartridges along the lines of sealing, writing, and hard starts. The hooded nib is no different than any other coming out of the west and if you are fude fan I am positive you could find a way to replace it with one of Bobby's custom nibs if you need the variation. 

 

I hear what Mech is saying and I have long wondered if I am just overestimating the capless demand considering more companies have not used the technology they have access to. The thing about the Shipton pen is that that inner mechanism for the feed/nib combo is not complicated but it is more a more efficient design. The cartridge is very secure and I do not see the inner burping that you get sometimes on the VP models on the inner nib mechanism. Less than two weeks is no final analysis but the pen is well made in my opinion. I wish it was in black and hopefully they do more with it going forward but at $5.50 you get a ton more than you should at this price point. The maintenance water works but I have not nor will I take it off my desk. I cannot see myself carrying that when I can squiggle and be back writing in two seconds or less.

 

I am happy we are simultaneously getting various entry points with this model from Shipton and the A1 from Majohn. There is that unidentified full #6 nib model out there in R&D on Bilibili that may attract those who traditionally would not be interested. These pens will never replace my VPs but I am in the process of buying more to hand out as "gateway" pens. I am not worried about losing one and they just work. I can get over a few squiggles and soft hard starts to have a functioning workhorse retractable on hand for cheaper paper, receipts, etc. I keep saying it but this pen comes down to tolerances for the squiggles and if you can get over the rose gold. The clip is more than functional and despite knowing I could bend it easily it has not naturally done so in multiple days of travel around the city and greater Boston metro. 

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