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Thread: Anyone else have vintage Chinese pens they really love?

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    Member awa54's Avatar
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    Default Anyone else have vintage Chinese pens they really love? (photos added!)

    I have a Hero 600 (?) that is of unknown age (though it has a 1960s vibe), with a really well made cap and clip, as well as a gold nib and funky pea soup colored barrel and hood, it's a fantastic writer in the way the best Chines pens are, with a rigid fine nib that's smooth and wet-writing... a consistent performer, with its own sense of style (no clip design ripoffs in evidence). I wish I could find another, but it's the only one I've seen in years of patrolling Ebay.


    P9130005 by David Wimmer, on Flickr

    P9130006 by David Wimmer, on Flickr

    P9130007 by David Wimmer, on Flickr

    P9130009 by David Wimmer, on Flickr


    The other is an un-identified Wing Sung, that has a nice dark blue barrel, with a quasi-Parker cap style and real live acrylic jewels at both ends! This pen also has the feel of an older piece, with excellent F&F and a solid feel that many of the current Chinese pens can't match. It came to me from Japan with a sooty smelling load of sumi gumming up the hood, collector breather tube and feed, the original steel nib was a mass of rust pitting, though it still wrote a smooth line. I ultrasonic cleaned all the important bits and stuffed a gold plated steel nib out of a brand new Hero 100 in it (the new 100s are a weird amalgam of useless garbage and true excellence, the cap is still well made, with an improved clip profile that actually comes *out* of your pocket without a struggle, but the nib is now steel and the barrel is too wide, so the cap can't seat on the section and the point dries out).
    Again, a fantastic, solid little sort of Parker ripoff, that just plain writes well all the time and looks good doing it.


    P9130002 by David Wimmer, on Flickr

    P9130003 by David Wimmer, on Flickr

    P9130004 by David Wimmer, on Flickr


    In my experience the older pens are better fitted and function more consistently than the post-1990 Chinese pens I own, my sample is *quite* small though, so maybe I just caught a break twice? Do any of you have vintage Chinese favorites, or horror stories?
    Last edited by awa54; September 13th, 2019 at 08:42 AM.
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    Default Re: Anyone else have vintage Chinese pens they really love?

    LOL, I guess that's a resounding "no"...
    David-

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    Default Re: Anyone else have vintage Chinese pens they really love?

    Quote Originally Posted by awa54 View Post
    LOL, I guess that's a resounding "no"...
    If that is the case then I would suggest you post some pictures of these pens so that we can learn from this...er.... lack of information?

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    Default Re: Anyone else have vintage Chinese pens they really love?

    I don't know about "love" but I have several that are very good writers and are in my usual rotation. There's a Crocodile - rather heavy but a nice nib, 2 Lanbitou 3059s and a couple of Jinhao 992s, very cheap pens. I use one for Baystate blue, the other for red ink. The latter pens have been heavily used for acouple of years without a single problem - never a skip nor a hard start.
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    Senior Member azkid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone else have vintage Chinese pens they really love?

    I don't have any vintage Chinese pens but had heard some good things. I'm not really sure what to look for besides old Hero pens. I'd love to hear more about what to watch for.

    I have had several new Chinese pens, though. The ones I like the best so far are a Wing Sung 3008 and a couple of Jinhao 51A pens.

    And now I have a vintage Parker 21 Super with a new Hero nib that looks promising.

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    Default Re: Anyone else have vintage Chinese pens they really love?

    Quote Originally Posted by azkid View Post
    I don't have any vintage Chinese pens but had heard some good things. I'm not really sure what to look for besides old Hero pens. I'd love to hear more about what to watch for.

    I have had several new Chinese pens, though. The ones I like the best so far are a Wing Sung 3008 and a couple of Jinhao 51A pens.

    And now I have a vintage Parker 21 Super with a new Hero nib that looks promising.

    Interesting... I'd think the other way around would be the more adventageous mod. performance wise. I bought a few stainless 21 super nibs from David Nishimura years back to both replace a damaged 51 nib and to practice stub regrinds on, they were really nice writers, indestinguishable from a gold 51 nib, the stub turned out well too and is installed in an aerometric 51.

    I'll try to post some pictures, but it might be a few days.
    Last edited by awa54; September 6th, 2019 at 01:33 PM.
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    Senior Member azkid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone else have vintage Chinese pens they really love?

    Quote Originally Posted by awa54 View Post
    Interesting... I'd think the other way around would be the more adventageous mod. performance wise.
    Agreed, but this was a repair. The original Parker nib was destroyed and I wanted to try the cheaper option rather than putting a ton of money into a low cost pen.
    Last edited by azkid; September 13th, 2019 at 10:56 AM.

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    Default Re: Anyone else have vintage Chinese pens they really love?

    Quote Originally Posted by azkid View Post

    Agreed, but this was a repair. The original Parker nib was destroyed and I wanted to try the cheaper option rather than putting a ton of money into a low cost pen.

    Q/C aside, the good Chinese nibs are actually very solid performers, the stainless alloy isn't as corrosion resistant as Parker's (or maybe Asian inks are just more corrosive?) and finding anything broader than a fine is *highly* unlikely... but in many cases the writing characteristics are indistinguishable.
    David-

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    Default Re: Anyone else have vintage Chinese pens they really love?

    I have a bunch of Hero pens, that through daily use look way older than they actually are. So, not vintage by any means, yet a colleague returning from China saw my "granddad's pens" and told me that some vintage models fetch high prices in China.

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    Default Re: Anyone else have vintage Chinese pens they really love?

    I have a couple oversized Wing Sung 590 that are cheap as chips but lovely writers. I also have a Huashi 90, similar to the 590 but a bit less cheap, writes even nicer.

    Both have large (presumably steel but?) soft nibs, not semi-flex but approaching it.

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    Default Re: Anyone else have vintage Chinese pens they really love?

    I have a pen that is in the Parker style something like a Flighter. It's called a Rocket pen that I think was made in the 1980's but I am not entirely sure. At least one person has recognized it on FPN before.
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    Default Re: Anyone else have vintage Chinese pens they really love?

    Pics are up!

    [bump]
    David-

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    Default Re: Anyone else have vintage Chinese pens they really love? (photos added!)

    BTW, I have been using the Hero nib Parker 21 all week. It is a very nice writer, now that it is flowing how I like, and if it in any way falls short of the original, it certainly isn't by much.

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    Default Re: Anyone else have vintage Chinese pens they really love? (photos added!)

    Quote Originally Posted by azkid View Post
    BTW, I have been using the Hero nib Parker 21 all week. It is a very nice writer, now that it is flowing how I like, and if it in any way falls short of the original, it certainly isn't by much.

    I'd be willing to bet a few bucks that it's a fine or even extra-fine nib, so if you prefer a medium, broad, or stub, then it falls short by a mile... if you like fine nibs, then I'd bet those couple of bucks again, that most of us couldn't tell the Hero from a Parker "octanium" in a blind test.

    Again though, Parker doesn't turn out many duds in the nib department, while China collectively has frequent hiccups in Q/C, not that you wouldn't expect that in light of the asking price of many Chinese made pens. The good news is that if you ever get a lousy Chinese tubular/Parker clone nib, it's cheap and easy to replace, since a 5 pack of them off Ebay is under $10, which also makes it easy to be daring with smoothing and re-profiling attempts.
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    Default Re: Anyone else have vintage Chinese pens they really love?

    Found the pictures (really bad lighting and correct model name of the pen. Rainbow Flighter 811.

    Rainbow Flighter 811 by Ivan Romero, on Flickr

    Rainbow Flighter 811 by Ivan Romero, on Flickr

    Rainbow Flighter 811 by Ivan Romero, on Flickr
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    Default Re: Anyone else have vintage Chinese pens they really love?

    I still keep a Hero 600 that I got as a 7 year old. OMG, I was so enthusiastic about that pen. And to be honest, i still am ...

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    azkid (September 25th, 2019)

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    Default Re: Anyone else have vintage Chinese pens they really love?

    Quote Originally Posted by pasenow View Post
    I still keep a Hero 600 that I got as a 7 year old. OMG, I was so enthusiastic about that pen. And to be honest, i still am ...

    What color is yours? You're the first person I've encountered who knows the model, let alone owns one!
    David-

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