Review: Opus 88 Koloro Demonstrator

The Numbers:
Weight: 25.5g
Length (capped): 149mm
Length (uncapped): 138mm
Price: USD$120 from Pen Chalet
Body Material: Plastic
Nib Material: Steel
Filling Mechanism: Eyedropper
Colours: Clear

Intro:
Jin Gi is a Taiwanese company that specialises in making OEM / white labelled stationary since 1988. Opus 88 is their private brand.

Opus 88 fountain pens had been all the rage earlier this year and when pens were available in Singapore, they were sold quickly. I was one of the lucky few who managed to get a set.

Packaging:
My Opus 88 Koloro Demonstrator came in a simple box. It has a brown cardboard sleeve with the Opus 88 logo printed on it. Sliding it out, you will a black box underneath. Inside, is the pen and a glass eyedropper as well as a card with relevant information. There are foam inserts that secure the pen and the glassdropper inside the box. It’s a very functional packaging for the price I paid for this.

Performance:
First thing right out of the gate, you will notice is the size of the pen. It is huge. I’d say it is similarly sized to the Pelikan M1000. I do not personally a Pelikan M1000 but based on the measurements I found online, the Opus 88 Koloro Demonstrator is just slightly longer than the Pelikan M1000.

However, despite the length of the pen, the Opus 88 Koloro Demonstrator is a light pen. It is made of clear plastic accented with a matte black clip, giving it a classy look. Now a demonstrator pen just calls for a nice bright ink to show off the interior.

The Opus 88 Koloro Demonstrator is polished to a nice glossy finish on the exterior. The cap just slightly wider than the body. The black words “OPUS 88” printed on the cap just under the clip.

It takes a full 3 revolutions to get the cap off. This isn’t something I like. 3 turns is 2 tunes too many in my book but this is just a minor pet peeve. Once the cap is off you will see a very generous space on the grip and a #6 size Jowo steel nib. The grip is smooth to the touch and tapers towards the nib, ending with a slight flare. The threads are nice and smooth. The balance of the pen tips towards the nib so it helps with keeping the nib on the paper.

Since this is an eyedropper pen, to fill you have to unscrew the nib and grip and fill the pen that way. The body of the pen holds a whooping 4ml and it will last you a good long time. But this isn’t simply an eyedropper pen, it has a small seal attached to a piston mechanism to seal the ink chamber away from the feed. That makes flying with the Opus 88 Koloro Demonstrator is way safer than a regular eyedropper pen. But when you are ready to use it, unscrew the knob at the end. You just need it about 2mm of space for regular use.

Then the nib, I opted for a fine nib which in hindsight is a bad choice. The steel nib writes ok, nothing special but it is dry, very dry. And pairing a dry fine nib with a 4ml ink chamber seems like a bad idea after I’ve used it for a while.

Now, comes the cleaning. I don’t usually cover cleaning but this pen has frustrated me with keeping it clean. This is a demonstrator pen so the hope is I’d use inks that do not stain. I’ve filled it with Sailor Nioi Sumire and before that Monteverde Moonstone. Both of them stained to a certain degree and it wasn’t easy to get all the ink out even though it is an eyedropper pen. There is ink clinging to the inside of the pen barrel and cap for no reason I can figure out. Washing it with an ultrasonic cleaner helped some but there are still ink stains that just won’t go. The stains only got removed by soaking it in pen flush. The pen flush worked like a miracle but I don’t want to resort to a pen flush to clean this pen every single time.

Conclusion:
Overall the Opus 88 Koloro Demonstrator is a value for money fountainpen but the pen is just not for me. The larger size doesn’t fit my hand well, the nib coupled with the large ink capacity is also not working well for me. The nail in the coffin for me is how hard it is to keep the pen stain free. The pen is entirely serviceable but it is just not for me.


Pros:

  • Huge ink capacity
  • Lightweight for its size
  • Takes #6 Jowo nib

Cons:

  • Stains easily, harder to wash out
  • Doesn’t fit my hand
  • Dry nib

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Posted on June 29, 2018 and filed under Fountain Pen, review.