Review: Jinhao - Dragon’s offspring

The Numbers:
Weight: 58g
Length (capped): 145mm
Length (uncapped): 125mm
Price: USD$21.30 on eBay
Body Material: Metal
Nib Material: Stainless steel
Filling Mechanism: Cartridge and converter
Colours: Various

Intro:
Another China made fountain pen this time by Jinhao. I must say if you are not inclined to read negative reviews, it’s time to stop now. My thanks to Sunny for loaning me this pen. With that out of the way, I think that’s about the last positive thing you will read in this particular review. Let the rage begin.

Packaging:
The Jinhao Dragon’s offspring comes in a solid and heavy wooden box. The box is decorated with Chinese characters. Opening it you will find the fountain pen and a mini wooden scroll inside. Personally I found the packaging a little heavy handed with the sheer Chinese-ness. Well it is named Dragon’s offspring or I think it would be better translated as Descendants of the Dragon so I guess that’s what Jinhao was going for. The box itself is quite heavy and can be repurposed as a pen box for the desk. The packaging is a mere preview of the pen itself.

Performance:
The Jinhao Dragon’s offspring is a heavy pen that comes in a few colour options. The one I have is the brown and gold version. The barrel and the cap is mostly a bronze colour and tipped with black finial and end cap. It is also accented with a gold clip, centre band and end rings, oh don’t forget the “nipple” at the top of the pen. Overall, this is a rather ostentatious but cheap looking fountain pen. It doesn’t comes across as classy at all. It looks like it is trying so hard to impress but it manages to fall down the hill hitting everything along the way.

Let’s start with the dragon head clip. It looks really gaudy and mediocre. As a clip, it does serves it purpose but that’s about it. The pen cap has rows of Chinese characters etched into it. These characters are ancient Chinese which subsequently changed and evolved over the years to give us the modern day traditional and simplified Chinese characters. Then, closer to the clip, there are the Chinese characters that translates to dragon’s offspring etched on the cap. Finally there is a etch of a traditional Chinese dragon curling around the pen barrel.

The cap opens and closes with a light snap. The closure doesn’t feel secure and it feels as if the cap will pop open with just a light tug. I suspect it contributed to a problem that I will discuss later. The Jinhao Dragon’s offspring is a back heavy pen unposted but the cap can be posted if you enjoy fighting the pen for control. The grip section is a regular black plastic tapering towards the nib. It is smooth and easy to hold. The step between the barrel and the grip is small but can be sharp depending how sensitive you are to such things. The Jinhao Dragon’s offspring is a cartridge and converter fountain pen. The convert it provided has a small spring inside to help agitate the ink.

The nib is large and satisfying to look at but that’s the end of it’s function. The nib dries out easily even when capped, I think in part due to the loose fitting cap. If you are working in a dry environment it will dry out all the quicker. Then once you get it going, it still hard starts. It writes wet but the constantly hard starts will mar any masterpiece you are writing.

Conclusion:
Personally, this isn’t truly a pen if it cannot function consistently as a pen. This is at best a decorative piece and nothing more. I don’t know if the pen is a lemon but as things stand now, I cannot recommend this pen to anyone. There are better gaudy pens to buy that function better.

Pros:

  • None!

Cons:

  • Unbalanced
  • Nib hard starts
  • Nib dries out even when capped
Posted on March 17, 2017 and filed under Fountain Pen, review.