Thursday, November 25, 2021

Parker Jotter and Bic in series To The Lake on Netflix

A good series, full of suspense from Netflix, To The Lake, has a few shots of the characters writing in journals or taking a few notes. The go-to ball points as always are the Parker Jotter and Bic ballpoint.

Starting with the Bic, it makes its appearance in an old Russian ambulance

Unfortunately, things end pretty badly for the crew. Not because of their ballpoint choice, I might add.

Second appearance is the Parker Jotter, used for a little bit of journaling.

It seems to be a standard version with plastic barrel, nothing fancy, but a reliable writer.

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Jinhao 992 fountain pen

The third in the bunch of AliExpress fountain pen purchases bought for $2.8 is the Jinhao 992 fountain pen. I used the fountain pen for some time now, and I am going to share my experience with it.

The Jinhao 992 fountain pen has a classic and clean look to it. It resembles Sailor and Monteverde fountain pens, but I wouldn't call it a copy, maybe inspired. Also, the design is so classic that you will find parts of this in many other pens.

The Jinhao 992 fountain pen is made completely out of plastic and comes in a bunch of solid colors, translucent or transparent. So, there are a lot of options to suit everyone's taste. For me, the classic black with silver trim was the nicest and classiest looking, so I went with it. I enjoy the look of the fountain pen and the feel in hand, but this is not quite the hole story.

It comes with a fine nib, which is on the small side, as is the entire fountain pent. It has some graphics on it, and it has Jinhao and F are also present. The 992 didn't come with the smoothest nib. It doesn't scratch the paper, it just has more feedback than I would expect from a fountain pen. The flow of the ink is what you would expect from a Chinese fine nib. Fast writing is not an issue with the pen, even though it is not a wet nib. It keeps up with no problem. It is a perfect writer on regular paper, it doesn't feather or bleed trough. Upside down writing is scratchy and extremely dry. It's not a thing that this fountain pen is really able to do it, which is a bit odd for a Chinese fountain pen.

The cap is a screw on, and it takes just a hair over one revolution to take it off. It comes with a strong clip and a trim at the point where the cap screws on the barrel. The trim has the name Jinhao on it and that is about it. There is nothing fancy about it, no motifs or shapes on it. I think the reason for this trim beside the visual aspect is the longevity of the cap. The plastic from which the fountain pen is made doesn't inspire much confidence, and I think it is easy to crack it if you tighten the cap or the barrel a bit too much. Adding a metal ring I think prevents this to happen, as it offers some extra rigidity to the plastic.

The barrel has a small cylindrical end, nothing fancy here. 

The fountain pen is rather small, and for long writing sessions is not the most comfortable. You can post the cap securely on the back of the fountain pen to make it a more suitable writer for longer sessions. I usually write without posting the cap, but because the pen is small, thin and very light I use it with the cap posted if I take more than just a few quick jots. The cap has a good airtightness, as the fountain pen sat on my desk for a few weeks without being used and started with no skips when I picked it up to write with it.

The Jinhao 992 was supplied with a converter. And if you take into account that it cost $2.8 shipped, you will see that the shortcomings of the fountain pen are not that bad. It might not last a lifetime, but for what you pay you will get a decent writer.

The addition of a converter is nice, but mine at least is not a very good performer. The ink doesn’t flow liberally inside, and often air pockets are created due to the capillarity effect. Adding something to agitate the ink inside the converter would improve its function a lot. You can add it yourself or just swap it with an international standard cartridge. The Jinhao can't be used with long international cartridges as they do not fit inside.

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