on April 14, 2014
I will have to admit, after over 10 Fountain Pens I seem to be slightly addicted. Browsing the hotspots for Fountain Pen information I kept running across references to Chinese Fountain Pens, with Jinhao being a manufacturer that seemed to get lots of positive reviews. In looking at Jinhao's Pens that have been reviewed I kept being confronted with this, the Jinhao 159 "Dreadnaught." People praised it's looks and its heft, and with a #6 Nib you could change this for any number of NIbs found all over the Internet. So I pulled the trigger and ordered one.
This was Fulfilled by Amazon and I got it in 2 days via Prime Shipping. This was received in a Bubble Mailer that looked like it might have been run over on a corner. Opening up the package I found a blue cardboard box, slightly crushed on one side. Inside was this Pen in a plastic bag. Pen had a Converter included which appears to be very nice. Compared favorably with a Lamy Converter.
This Pen is BIG. If you have small hands or don't like bigger Pens stay away. Try another model of Jinhao. While big the Pen seemed to have good heft but not heavy. The cap is a Screw-Type and has plastic threads. These seem to be of good quality but time will tell how they fare. The Section is screwed onto the Body via metal threads and has a nice feel. The body of this Pen seems to be made of lacquered Brass. The Section is plastic coated and is fully round. it's quite comfortable to hold for a longer writing session. Posted this Pen is big, but not huge. I have a Faber-Castell BASIC Fountain Pen and it's longer posted, although the 159 is bigger around.
The NIb is advertised as a Broad although the NIb itself is not marked with any size. Right out of the box with a 30x Loupe this NIb looked good! The Tines were a slight bit too close for my personal desires so I widened them a little bit.
So, how does this Pen write? Actually, fairly well! The Nib lays down a smooth bold line, and the NIb feels pretty smooth. I have an occasional hard start, but leaving the pen on paper for a tenth of a second gets the ink flowing and from there you can write till the Pen runs out of Ink!
In conclusion, if you're wanting to try a Chinese Pen, and have interest in the 159, give this a try! At the worst you'll end up with a nice body to put a #6 NIb of your choosing onto. Otherwise you'll end up with a very nice Pen that looks much more fancy than it is!
on April 6, 2014
Make no mistake, this pen is intended to duplicate the Montblanc Diplomat. This it does well, for 2.5% of the price of a Diplomat. This is a huge pen, but it is a grand writing instrument. It is very smooth and lays down a consistent line. With Noodlers Heart of Darkness ink, it is a very pleasant writing experience. Like all good pens, you need to spend a little time tuning it to your hand, but it wrote well out of the box.
on June 30, 2014
Attractive, well finished enamel or lacquer finished brass bodied pen, with steel (not necessarily stainless) #6 standard width nib.
The 159 is a very heavy (49.7 grams), large, threaded cap pen. Course pitch threads means 3/4 of a turn opens or closes the pen. A Montblanc knockoff in the most general way. The cap posts but makes the pen very top heavy and most users will not post the pen. Converters is slight upgrade from the completely clear standard Jinhao converter, and holds an adequate supply of ink, but not as much as a standard long cartridge.
As with most Jinhao pens, the clips are very tight, and need to be sprung a little to easily clip on and off most shirt pockets. Getting them to clip over jeans, or a sport coat inner pocket may be more problematic, but they can be adjusted with a forceful grip, and I've never broken one.
I've collected more than 40 Jinhao pens over the last couple of years, and whether sold as fine, med, or broad, they all ship with exactly the same standard nib. The actual measurement across the nib tipping material varies from .77 to 1.1mm, actual ink stroke is variable between .6mm to .8mm, but seems to bear no relationship to the advertised nib size. All Jinhao nibs I have worked on can be adjusted to "broad" with micromesh. I've had less success reducing the nibs to "fine".
With minor nib smoothing, and removal of "Baby Bottoms", the nibs all seem to write well, but have little "springiness" and so adjust for alignment with moderate pressure using only the fingernails. The down side to this is that they also go out of alignment with little pressure as well. That being said, all but the ham-fisted should be pleased with this nib. Both mine delivered with chrome nibs, with gold accents.
When the nibs are replaced with better quality stainless nibs such as Jowo, Knox, Bock, etc, write very well. Nearly all of the feeds (plastic) I have encountered perform very well after cleaning with toothbrush and detergent. Nib and feed are friction fit, and keyed to fit in only one position.
Those preferring large, heavy, pens will not be disappointed, and the pen is executed well enough that it should cause "pen envy" in all but your more experienced fountain pen user friends.
Excellent value for the money.
on May 5, 2014
First of all, all fountain pens will skip now and then. Even expensive ones with gold nibs will skip. Welcome to 19th century Victorian technology. Nevertheless, this Jinhao 159 works as well as any of my others, which is either a credit to Jinhao, or a condemnation of Sheaffer, Parker, Cross, et al. The 159 is well built, well finished, delightfully heavy and large. I'm not a writer - I don't keep a journal or a diary, I use my pens to doodle, write checks and sign receipts and invoices, notes to self and to-do lists, and for me, this pen is a pleasure to use. For the ridiculously low price, it is a genuine bargain.
on December 25, 2014
This is very nice for the price. It is big, yes, and the nib is adequate (it is as nice as the Cross Aventura's nib that I have, but the Ancient Gray dragon Jinhao pen I got outdoes it by quite a bit...). I don't have any experience with the Montblanc 149 to compare it, but, again, for the price, this one is quite nice.
on April 15, 2014
I love heavy pens and this one is a joy to use. It feels very solid in my medium - large hands. I write for hours on end in a daily journal and have always found it comfortable (even for these long periods). The nib is very smooth and has a medium line. I rarely have to prime it...even after sitting for a few days. The converter works well...but not as well made as a waterman converter. For the price, I am beyond thrilled with this pen.
on January 1, 2014
I'm new to fountain pens, and I bought this after a discussion with a friend, who is a collector of antique fountain pens. His contention being that the finest fountain pens in the world were manufactured between 1920 and 1950 in the United States. That may be true, but the cost to start collecting those is astronomical. The Jinhao 159 aka The Dreadnought, is styled after the Montblanc Meisterstuck and is available for a fraction of that cost. The 159 is classically styled, has some serious heft to it, and writes very smooth. I cleaned it upon receiving it, filled the converter with Waterman ink and I was off and running. My biggest complaint is that it doesn't post perfectly when you write. But at this cost, that's just whining on my part. I'll definitely be back to buy other products from Jinhao.
on September 15, 2015
You've got to be kidding, right? At this price this may well be the finest writing instrument ever produced in the history of humanity. Every time I use one of these I can't help but reflect what an awesomely productive world we live in, when for literal pennies we can mass produce an instrument like this. Along with, oh say the Kindle or a Samsung Note 4, products like this humble fountain pen define an age when free markets have permitted a degree of production, and consumer choice, undreamed by all previous generations of mankind, and resulting wealth of consumer choices. Bravo Producers! Bravo distributors! Bravo Amazon! Even if human folly should bring this all crashing down (and killing golden geese is an old human community tradition) tomorrow, it's glory will endure forever! This is a very straightforward traditional fountain pen design, with a plastic material case, a very standard hard plastic feed and collector, and a steel, precious metal coated, split breather hole nib. It's a utilitarian object with direct design references to the 1st generation of widely produced fountain pens in the 1920s and 30s. It has no muss, no fuss, but the quality control is impressive, the quality of the feed, collector, nib and fill adapter ('International' screw type) is remarkable given the price point. Fountain Pens today are largely Fetish Objects, and as such there's little value to this one, except in the sense above, as testament to a civilization that is at the brink of realizing the age-old impossibilities of ending structural famine, widespread absolute illiteracy, uncontrolled infectious disease and (in large part) even the scourge of war. As an small, iconic totem to the capitalist free market's capacity to 'provide the goods', humble and workaday, to the mass of mankind at a low enough price that anyone can have what only a few scant generations ago would have been luxury beyond reach of all but the elite this item may be the most Fetishistic of all the Fountain Pens ever produced, and the most aesthetically esoteric. As an everyday working pen, it definitely works, reliably, well, at a price less than a tithe, even less than a percent, that of fancier versions that effectively work no better!
on March 9, 2014
This pen is attractively finished and writes smoothly most of the time, but it sometimes skips when starting a stroke (tried with Parker Quink black and Noodler's Forest Green). Also it is uncomfortably heavy. While some might like a massive, ponderous writing instrument for a feeling of 'solidity', I find it somewhat uncomfortable for more than signing checks and other brief tasks.
on April 20, 2014
THIS PEN FEELS AND WRITES WITH THE LOOK OF A QUALITY PEN AT A MUCH REDUCED PRICE. THE PERCEIVED VALUE IS OFF THE CHARTS. NIB IS SMOOTH WITH JUST ENOUGH BITE FOR ALL PAPER CHOICES.MUST BUY FOR ALL FOUNTAIN PEN LOVERS!