This is the pen you never knew you wanted.
Back when I was first getting into fountain pens, I mentioned in my J Herbin: Rose Cyclamen Ink Review that I had a £20 voucher from eBay. Well, one of the things I bought with this voucher was the Jinhao 1200. I saw it online somewhere as the black and gold version and I just had to have it because of the dragon on the clip (I am going to forewarn you – I love dragons. Enchantica models, anyone? No?). While on eBay, I saw that there were actually three finishes: gold, silver & black. Originally I was going for the black, but then I realised what it was exactly that I was buying. If you’re going to make a statement, then make sure you make a statement. Curiosity killed the cat and I bought the gold one and eagerly waited as I discovered just how long shipping takes from China. This is the pen that arrived:I have a feeling that this is a Marmite pen. I’m not sure if this is purely a British term, but it basically means, like Marmite, you either love it or you hate it; there’s no middle ground here. Personally, I love it. I just think it’s so.. Entertaining. Of course, I bought it because it cost £5~ including shipping directly to the UK. If it was a £50 pen then I would seriously have to consider the purchase. It’s gimmicky and that’s what I love about this pen. It isn’t one that I would pull out during a meeting or to write in front of the Queen with, but it’s a Monday pen. A pen that when you’ve got nothing fun going on with your day, this is the thing that will spice it up again. It does a good job, I cannot fathom just how much I enjoy this pen, but I don’t enjoy it in the same way as I do, say, my Pelikan M800. It writes a medium line that I think is quite wet, which I love. I did have an issue with this pen when I first got it in that it would have the worst hard starts ever. If I left it more than an hour I would have to prime the feed again and start writing. Even then it would sometimes stop in the midst of a writing session. It didn’t help that the converter that came with the pen was a push type and was really stiff so I was concerned about shooting ink over my paper. After flushing the pen out a few times, this issue soon resolved itself. It’s a £5 pen, it really isn’t something that has put me off of buying and/or using fountain pens because of the price. I think there’s still some oil or something like that from the manufacturing process because whenever I brush over the writing with my hand (I am a lefty overwriter), I still get some smudging. I thought this may have been because of the ink, but I tried it in another pen and I had no problems.
Reverse writing is good. It gives you a slightly thinner line, but it really isn’t much. I like to use the reverse of my nib for when I’m writing down physics equations and the such like to save me using two lines for fractions or formulae. It isn’t scratchy or dry, but I never experience this with any of my fountain pens and I’m beginning to wonder if it’s because I’m an overwriter, so the position of the nib mitigates the poor ink flow/scratchiness. Maybe I’ve just been lucky with every single one of my pens.
As for line variation, I think this nib performs very well. This is a cheap pen and you can easily buy a new nib for it – I wouldn’t be afraid of flexing because if I splay the tines then it isn’t the end of the world. If you want a flex pen then you could always change out a flex nib into this pen. After getting rid of the hard starts, I found that the feed can keep up very well, so it could be a contender for a flex pen. But that’s just an assumption.
The nib is 18k gold plated, whether this is true or not I don’t really know.. But it looks like gold and whether it’s gold plated or not, it really doesn’t bother me. For a £5 pen, I think this nib has a lot of detail going for it. I have seen the 1200 model with a dragon design. Personally I would prefer that than this nib, but I can’t remember where I saw this design, sadly.
As I said, the pen is gaudy. I think part of what gives it this gaudiness is the fact that the finish looks as though it is ribbed. While it does seem that way, there is a coating that makes this smooth to the touch. I’m not sure what it is, but it gives the impression almost of an optical illusion. It’s like the Confused Skittles – you take a bite out of one expecting strawberry because it’s red, but you get lemon.
Another thing that makes it gaudy is the clip. But look at that guy! So cute. I often wear a pen in my shirt pocket, but this is one I usually refrain from because the dragon protruding seems a little silly. I usually tuck him in my inside jacket pocket where he sits and admires the world from there. I just want to pet him.
It looks cheap because he is sadly missing an eye (apparently it is a he. He looks like a George, but let me know your thoughts on that. I feel at least there should be a name for him). For a £5 pen, it’s really sad to know I’ve lost one of those 100% genuine ruby eyes….. But I have considered buying a rollerball for my brother (even he has taken a liking to the pen) and switching the caps over as a deal for getting him the pen. This seems to be something that happens often with this pen as I read. I had the pen for a good few months before it happened, which apparently is quite good. I sometimes catch myself petting him when I’m bored. Hmm..
- 48g total
- 26g uncapped
- 22g cap
- 13.2cm capped
- 12.5cm uncapped
golf club16cm posted (extremely back heavy)