I was lucky to get one of these FPs as they seem to be already gone as you read this. Full brass construction makes it my heaviest writing instrument to date. The nib is identical to the other PenBBs models and writes like the one in my black plastic companion in the last post, i.e. quite smooth, a bit hard, skip-free, broader than a European fine. It can be unscrewed for flushing and replaced with a roller ball insert that I have not tried yet.
The 350 can still be had in aluminum and if you like the general design, you better act fast. The brass will, of course, leave a certain smell on your fingers after an extended writing session. The aluminum versions will be just as tough and could be well suited for banging around in your EDC backpack. The caps take a tad more than a full 360 degree turn to remove, a nice detail.
If PenBBs will offer more nib variations, this 350 will not be my last one.
Many people have noted that the quality of Chinese pens has been improving. The 308 from the PENBBS label ( also a Chinese pen forum ) is a good example of this trend. The steel nib is nicely decorated, inscribed as F, yet writes somewhere between a fine and a medium. It can be unscrewed for cleaning easily.
The plastic of the pen body, section and cap feels very solid, with smooth threads. There is an O-ring fitted so eyedropping this model seems to be a possibility. The converter seems of solid quality, it remains to be seen how it will hold up.
My sample of the 308 ( cap rings still say 266 on many, as parts are used up from this slightly different first model ) writes very nicely with no scratch or skipping whatsoever, but I would call it a somewhat hard nib.
The pen is quite a bit larger than a Lingmo Lorelei, with perfect ergonomic features, making my shiny black model look almost plain. There are many other colors available, quite a few of them being regularly sold out, which is no wonder as the pen can compete with western models for three times it´s price tag, easily.
Variations of the PENBBS models include fancy acrylic versions, several desk sytle pens and models that piston-fill. However, they all seem to use identical nib in F or EF. More variation is needed here.
Convinced by the quality of my 308, I have already ordered a 350 model in brass and can´t wait for it to arrive, though I later learned that it borrows quite a bit from the Namisu Ixion.
This week, the next Lingmo has arrived. It is just as nice a writer as the first one, so QC does not seem that big of an issue if I dare say so after two samples in my posession. It just happens to write a tiny bit broader, yet is not quite a European medium.
This one, interestingly, does not have the rubber O-ring between barrel and section to keep the two parts from unsrewing when you uncap the pen.
I love it, though the transparent model might be better suited for those important business meetings that we all attend these days 😉
You be the judge with these comparison shots :
Chinese fountain pens are getting better. This steel-nibbed Lingmo also comes in some very nice packaging. It writes with a not too fine line and my sample is VERY nice, if not quite as smooth as my Pilot Prera. The plastic body does not feel cheap at all. The Lorelei obvisously wants to mimic Sailor pens from Japan.
I have yet to figure out what cartridges can go with it. Neither Pilots nor Internationals seems to fit, so you might be stuck with the included converter that works quite well. I could imagine that original Sailors might fit.
I have included a size comparison shot with my Pilot 74 demonstrator. The Lingmo is a rather small pen with a slim section. People with big hands might have a problem with it.
Being quite impressed with it, I have already ordered a second one of these in acrylic blue. I hope the quality control works well on these pens as they are quite eye-catching.
Another gold-nibbed Pilot has joined the family and it is just as amazing as its dark blue counterpart. Pilot nibs are great and prove that you do not need to spend that much money to get into the gold-class. These pens can be had for under 100 dollars at your doorstep shipped from Japan, even including customs fees and taxes. This is a demonstrator transparent model. Granted, there is not much happening in a cartridge/converter FP and it looks a bit silly with the cartridge in it, so I will set this one up for a converter. As it is, there is almost enough room for an emergency cash bill in the clear plastic barrel 😉