"The pen arrived and is certainly an attractive specimen. I have an imitation centennial made by Hero which wasn't too good. The Jinhao looks a lot better. As regards its size, it is closer to the International (the smaller model) than the centennial. Its cap is smaller than that of the international. I can't use Jinhao's pens for spare parts for Parker, but it is certainly a nice pen in its own right. Many thanks."
C. S., Israel
Let's get the initial question out of the way as much as possible. Are these made from celluloid *, as opposed to another form of plastic? Not having a chemistry lab in the palace, I can't definitively say one way or the other. There's a real mystique that's grown up around this material and its use in pens. Celluloid -- or its allied formulations -- is not the rare substance that some seem to think it is in pen manufacture. I have no reason to doubt Jinhao's claim, and the large majority of the stock I received have that distinctive camphor order inside the cap, which I've always associated with vintage celluloid. So, I vote 'yes'!
For those of you that are Parker fans, the Jinaho Celluloid series is quite reminiscent of the design of the Centennial Duofold -- at a small fraction of the price, of course.
The pens measure 5-3/8" capped, 6-5/8" posted and 4-7/8" with cap held aside. They're fairly slim pens, so fit well in all hands.
I've named the first version Cortina, as the appearance is very similar to that of the retired pen series of that name by Monteverde (shown to the left), which like the Jinhao, was designed to recall the striations in natural rock, with each individual pen being quite unique in appearance.
Here we have the cap and clip of the Cortina celluloid, displaying Jinhao's new logo, a stylized representation of a horse, chariot and two charioteers. This was inspired by the terracotta warriors found buried with the first Qin emperor of China, in the city of Xi'an.
All three versions are more transparent than opaque -- allowing one to discern the brass fittings beneath (especially true of the Jasper), but this is least true of the Blue, as its pearlescent sheen masks the effect and fools the eye.
The translucence of the celluloid is most apparent with this version, not only allowing a glimpse of the brass fittings and ink converter in the barrel, but even of the nib beneath the cap! You'll have to take my word for that last, as I couldn't quite capture that in my photographs.
The Celluloid series pens have a screw cap which posts securely on the barrel-end through friction. The rounded cap band is simply engraved 'Jinhao', with no further adornment. Unscrewing the cap displays the two-toned, 18K gold-plated steel nib, which I'd rate as a light-medium, falling between a typical western fine and medium, but slightly more to the medium end of the spectrum.
Unscrewing the all-metal threads between the section and barrel displays the piston converter for bottled ink, which contains an agitator screw to help keep the ink from adhering to the the converter walls (not shown in photo). It will also take International-style cartridges, such as those from Private Reserve.
As with all new pens, I recommend to run a dilute solution of dishwashing soap (two or three drops to a small bowl of water) through a new pen a few times, followed by water only. Step one is effective at removing manufacturing oils that can tend to make the ink less than enthusiastic in heading from the converter/filler to the nib, and step two removes the traces of the detergent you've used...which tends to have the opposite, diuretic effect. A gift box is included.
IMPORTANT SERVICE NOTE: Every nib that ships from His Nibs is closely examined under high magnification and tuned or adjusted if needed. About 85% of modern nibs need some adjustment out-of-the-box from the manufacturer for an optimal writing experience. Most commonly, the tines of the nib are misaligned -- which would cause scratchiness at the minimum; the slit between the tines is partially or fully closed -- which would starve the nib of ink and at best cause skipping; or the slit between the tines is too wide -- which will either again cause skipping, or conversely, flooding. There are other factors -- such as separation of the nib from the feed -- that are inspected and repaired before any pen leaves the Palace.
The only 100% guarantee of course comes when the pen is actually filled with ink and written with for the first time, but our pre-shipping inspections and tunings have eliminated 99.99999 (my finger is getting tired) of the frustrations that a customer experiences when first using a new fountain pen. Although this can be time-consuming on occasion, it affords our customers a much more pleasant experience when receiving a fountain pen from His Nibs -- and saves us the frustration of dealing with returns!
Ordering Procedures & Returns
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Warranties and returns
If an item proves to be defective, in most cases the manufacturer's warranty will apply. However, please email us first so that we can determine the easiest way to resolve the problem to your satisfaction. In the case of fountain pens -- which are a bit more individualistic than other writing instruments -- what may at first appear to be a defect (hard starting or poor flow for example), can in almost all cases be resolved with a few simple 'tweaks' to the nib, which we'll be happy to guide you through or perhaps suggest returning to us for adjustment.
Should you wish to return a non-defective item within 3 days of receipt because it doesn't suit you for some reason, again please email us and we'll arrange an exchange, credit or refund (minus any shipping/insurance charges), if the item is returned in an 'as new' condition. If you've dipped a fountain pen to try its writing characteristics, kindly clean off any ink residue prior to shipping -- to save us both a nasty surprise .
We want you to be happy with your purchase from HisNibs.com and hope to have you join the ranks of our many long-term, repeat customers!
Revised: September 14th, 2014