Wing Sung 618

Mitochondria are my favourite organelles. They have their own DNA, which is independent of the genetic material within the rest of the cell. The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is passed down to you from your mother. As it’s independent, if you use the mtDNA from a donor, the individual would technically have three parents.


Wing Sung is a Chinese brand that makes, what I consider, decent pens but also at a decent price. I have tried a number of Wing Sung pens, but this is actually the second one that I’ve added to my collection; the other is the 235 and you can read that review here. The 618 is on the expensive side for a Chinese pen – and by that I mean it costs about £10 – and that’s including price of shipping! However, what you get with that, for lack of a better term, premium is a piston filler and I believe Wing Sung is the only Chinese company to use pistons on a number of their models (I word it like this because there is another company, Lanbitou, who make a pen with a piston: the 3059, but I don’t think they make any others). Shipped with the pen is a converter full of silicone grease, which I personally find far more useful than what TWSBI offers.

Wing Sung 618 fountain pen review

Design

As well as using pistons on a number of their pens, Wing Sung also quite like to make as much of the pen transparent as they can. This includes the feed, such as on the brother to this pen, the 659 (so many numbers..!). When using a light ink in the pen, it looks really cool (I currently have it inked with Diamine Autumn Oak because Autumn’s coming, yo).

Wing Sung 618 fountain pen review

I’m fascinated by the design of this pen, and I have a nice little analogy for it, and I hope the text at the very top of this review doesn’t seem so random afterwards. There are three brands that I can see within this pen: Parker, TWSBI and Sailor. The nib and the clip are very much like what you’d find on Parker pens, and in particular the 51 in regards to the nib (I go into more detail about this in my review Attack of the Clones where I look at various Parker 51 style pens). The piston and demonstrator nature of the pen gives it a very TWSBI styled vibe. Finally, you have the cap band and that reminds me of Sailor.

Wing Sung fountain pen

So this is my analogy:

The Wing Sung 618 is the love child of a TWSBI Eco and a Parker 51 but with the donated mitochondria from a Sailor 1911. 

You can buy this model in 4 designs. I have the clear demo with gold trim but you can also buy it with silver trims and recently a blue demonstrator or red demonstrator which are the new designs that have recently been released. I think that aesthetic makes it feel even more like a Sailor as I think of the 1911 demonstrator model – though that’s a c/c and not piston. I think this is a beautifully designed pen.

Nib

Another thing that Wing Sung do that other Chinese manufacturers don’t is offer a gold nib – and only for ~£30 more. I’ve never used one of these nibs but I know on other models it’s 14k and with the 618 you can get a 12k nib. I’m reviewing the standard steel nib, however.

Wing Sung 618 fountain pen review

I believe there is only one nib grade and even though it’s not marked on the nib, I would say that it’s a fine. It’s pleasant to use and very well tuned. The feed keeps up well, even during fast writing and the line it puts down is quite wet.

Wing Sung 618 fountain pen review
Normal writing on the top with a second line of fast writing. Ink used was Diamine Autumn Oak on Fabriano 90gsm paper

However, if line variation is something you’re looking for in this nib then you’ll probably be rather disappointed. You can just about squeeze some out but it’s really not much and I’d describe the nib as a nail – which is something you’d expect from a hooded nib like this. You can reverse write with it though – it gets a bit scratchy but it isn’t unbearable (actually quite a nice feedback, come to think about it). Because it’s a hooded nib I wouldn’t expect the gold nib version to be much more forgiving, but as I said I haven’t used it so I might be wrong there. I do know, however, that Parker 51s are quite stiff.

Feel

Don’t let the price tag fool you, I am very impressed with how this feels in the hand. It’s perfectly balanced and reasonably weighted (though I might like it to be a smidgin heavier). I also enjoy the length as I tend to prefer larger pens. It does become difficult to use posted, though (at 150mm – you can find lengths and weights of the pen at the end of the review)

Wing Sung 618 fountain pen review
Autumn is coming

There are two things that I don’t enjoy about this pen, however. The first is in regards to the piston unit. I think Wing Sung was trying to be innovative and while I can appreciate it, I think it’s ultimately unnecessary. I use other piston pens and don’t need this. What I am on about is the locking mechanism on the piston turning knob. To fill you have to ‘unlock’ it by pulling it out slightly. If it is locked then you won’t be getting proper fills and the piston unit screws out. I have been told by the seller that this is for security so you don’t accidentally expel ink. I think mainly it’s to add to the accessibility, such as making it easier to clean. At any rate – I think it is more annoying than useful. Especially as it took me a day to figure it out and I had to ask the seller why my pen wasn’t filling properly. It’s a simple fix and I probably should have been able to figure it out myself. Hindsight is 20:20.

The only other thing that annoys me about this pen is that the hood will sometimes twist around as you uncap the pen. Which means you will have to twist it back round to make it flush again with the nib. It’s a minor inconvenience but one I wish I didn’t have to deal with, though far less annoying than the issue with the 235. However, what I do like is that the section is large and even though the threads aren’t sharp, you don’t have to feel them because they’re quite a way up.

fullsizeoutput_107a
Twisted Sister? Nope, twisted hood

Conclusion

I would hate to end on a negative note, because this pen really is fantastic. I’m off to university in a few days and I’m beginning to think of which pens I should take to with me (as I don’t fancy taking my entire collection) and I have a strong feeling that this one might be one of those pens that I bring with me. The large ink capacity is useful, the aesthetic is very pleasing and the way the nib writes makes it a pen that will probably ensure its place as a regular in my rotation.

Measurements:

  • Weight: 22g
  • Weight cap: 8g
  • Weight body: 14g
  • Length capped: 135mm
  • Length posted: 150mm
  • Length uncapped: 130mm

Wing Sung 618 fountain pen reviewWing Sung 618 fountain pen review

Advertisements

13 thoughts on “Wing Sung 618

  1. Lovely review! It got recommended to me by Google. Glad I read it. I use fountain pens for drawing and I like the price point and the fact it has a big reservoir. I wonder if the hooded part would make it unwieldy for drawing since I use a lot of angles. Also do you know if you can take the nib out to clean since I like to use waterproof inks from time to time. Regardless I might just go for it. And make the best of it.

    Like

    1. Well GG, Google! Thanks for reading and I’m glad it was useful!

      My drawing ability is at stick person level so perhaps what I say with a pinch of salt as I might be getting the completely wrong idea haha. I found that the nib kept up well with demands. So even if you’re at an odd angle I wouldn’t hesitate to say that it would keep up. Even if you decide to rotate the nib and write upside down it still performs well.

      I haven’t tried taking the nib out but I know with Parker 51s you can. At any rate it does look as though you’d be able to get in there!

      Like

      1. Thank you! I think I’ll definitely give it a try then. 🙂 Not much to lose anyways. Worst case scenario I’ll use it for writing 🙂

        Like

  2. You should try the Wing Sung 698 that comes in several colors plus demonstrators. It uses the same nib as several Pilots (Prera, 78G, Plumix, Pluminix, Kakuno, Metropolitan) Yeah, it has the same “lock” system for the piston as the 618, which I think is great, conversely to others like the Twsbi Eco which is “loose” and I hate that. Another Wing Sung with piston (but without the lock system) is the 3008 that uses a “Lamy Safary” style nib.
    You can see some reviews here (I’m not affiliated):
    For the 698: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djmod8F-RIM
    For the 3008: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OceheNv3WK8

    Like

  3. Found your blog while googling the Hero 616.
    Re: the locking piston knob–
    I’m subscribed to a youtube channel of a guy who goes by the name Nick Shabazz, who reviews mostly knives, sometimes watches and occasionally fountain pens. He recently reviewed a piston filler and expressed some fear over the possibility that the piston knob might get turned somehow while in his bag of gear or while he’s using it.

    I’m not sure if these locking piston knobs are a reaction to this fear or if the fear is the result of pens that have this feature. All I know for sure is that I’ve never had a piston knob turn as a result of anything but a deliberate act on my part.

    Like

    1. Hey! I think that could be an answer to the question. Though certainly, I’m the same as you – I’ve never had a piston (locking or otherwise) unscrew while in my pocket or in a bag and expel ink.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s