DUKE 962 series
"Norman: just received my order of a Baoer Sonata and a Duke 962. Both are excellent with very smooth nibs and both
write well. I'm a bit of aficionado of not-too-expensive fountain pens, and I have to say the Duke 962 is my favorite. Far better
than Lamy or Nemosine. Indeed, it's as smooth and slick as my Waterman Phileas FP. (By comparison, the nib on the 962 is
very slightly wider than the Waterman FP.) The Duke 962 would make a great gift for anyone. One advantage of the 962 is that
it takes international size cartridges, so you have a wide variety of inks you can use in it as opposed to the limited proprietary
selections of Waterman or Lamy. I currently have Diamine Oxblood in it. The Baoer Sonata is very good as well. One very minor ding: it takes international cartridges as well, but the chamber barrel is a little longer than two short cartridges--so you have to push the cartridge in, just screwing the nib section on to the barrel won't pierce the cartridge. And, if you're using two short cartridges, it rattles a little. No big deal, and not applicable at all if you are using a long cartridge or the piston filler. I'm very happy with both, and would recommend either to anyone wanting a good serviceable pen for a very reasonable price. Hard to believe these pens are only $20 and $25."
L. G., Aiken, SC
"Norman, the pens and ink arrived today exactly as promised. The finer point on the Pilot pen is perfect for my special project requirements. The DUKE pen is beautiful and smooth. Thank you for working with me to match my needs to the proper instruments and for the recommendation on the Private Reserve ink."
J. W., San Diego, CA
"Norman, I wanted to send a quick note to say
thanks for the latest pens and ink. The Moka is a very
fun pen, and a great note-taker with that fine nib. The one I've fallen in
love with is the Duke 962—it's such a slim, understated design but very light,
with an amazingly smooth nib. I can't get over how easily it writes! It's
found its way into my shirt pocket for the last two weeks, which is a long
time for me. I may very well have to buy more of those before long!
"Just wanted to let you know that the pens arrived
and I'm very impressed with the quality given the price. These are my first
non Pelikan pens, and I'm really pleased with the nib on the Duke. It's
incredibly smooth and performs far better than I expected a $25 pen to. The
pen is quite handsome as well!"
These Duke pens appear very different due to their very distinctive patterns-under-lacquer. It's something of an optical illusion that held side-to-side, they seem to be different models. The Autumn Impression tricks one into thinking that it has a greater girth than the Woodgrain, all due to its more flamboyant and busy coloration. I also have a very hard time believing that the Woodgrain isn't made of wood, as the apparent grain and coloration is very convincing.
These slim beauties measure 5-3/8" capped, 6" posted and 4-5/8" with cap held aside. So, although slim enough to fit in many organizer loops, the pen is certainly of a size to fit the largest hand with posted cap.
The understated trim on these pens really allows the patterns to dominate. The single, fairly wide cap ring is engraved with 'DUKE' on the clip side, '962' on its opposite side, and tastefully separated with interlocking, normal and reversed 'D's.
The clip sports Duke's crown logo, as well as it's design connections to Germany, with 'GERMANY' engraved on its top. The only further adornment comes at the caps pinnacle, where a yellow or white, iridescent pearl adds a nice warmth to the overall pen design.
This model employs a slip cap, which reseats securely with a satisfying click, and removing it reveals the appropriately proportioned steel nib. I'd rate the model's nib as a light-medium, between a typical western fine and medium (although shaded perhaps to the fine end) and is identical to that used on the Duke Bamboo and Pearl Waves models. The nib reprises the Duke logo and name.
The photographs should speak for themselves in this case, but to me the Autumn Impression has an abstract painterly appearance, with the design somewhat reminiscent of brush strokes. It's easy to visualize the pattern unrolled onto a canvas and placed upon on wall.
The Woodgrain really seems like it was made from the trim of a luxury car's dashboard and fits in perfectly when I take it for a spin in my Jaguar. Ok, that last part isn't quite accurate. It would fit in perfectly if I had a Jaguar.
The included piston converter, for bottled ink, has a wire agitator to help prevent ink adherence to the converter's sides...but 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 converter a few times (outside of the pen!), 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 to the nib, and step two removes the traces of the detergent you've used...which tends to have the opposite, diuretic effect. The pen will also take International-style cartridges, such as those from Private Reserve. 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
International customers, please note, we will not falsify shipping documents
Please send your order and shipping address (along with any questions) to:
We will email you back with your order total (PA residents please add 6% sales tax)
Credit cards, for the quickest fulfillment of your order, are accepted through PayPal, a secure site allowing you to use your credit card without us even seeing the information. If you'd like to make use of this credit card service, please let us know when you email your order and address, and we'll email you the appropriate Request for Payment, and instructions for the simple payment procedure (you don't need to join PayPal to use it).
If you would like us process your credit card directly instead, then please email us:
1. Card # (dividing this number in two, between two emails, will
If you'd rather pay by money order or check, kindly make payable to:
ship via insured Priority Mail
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: February 16th, 2017