One pen, one ink

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Joined: May 25th, 2018, 11:12 am

One pen, one ink

Post by btine » June 20th, 2018, 5:22 pm

It seems I'm the only person using this forum. Well, a lot of space and I can think aloud and talk to myself.

I think I've always been a one-pen-person. In practice, I still keep several pens at hand reach, have some buried for restoration and buy new ones to try, but I'm almost there.

Once upon a time, almost everyone had to use a fountain pen at school. I used three different Heros before switching to Vectors. No, I wasn't using fountain pens all the time. As soon as it was allowed ballpoints took over. They really seemed so much more convenient at times.

My first proper pen, Parker 88, was carefully hand picked when starting university. Eventually, I gave it to my close friend who lost her. I loved it but for some reason it wasn't replaced. Well, I somehow managed to live on ballpoints and cheap supermarket nibs.

Only several years ago I decided to go for something better again. Unluckily I picked a Sheaffer VFM at my local stationary shop but soon corrected my error by buying Lamy Safari and Pilot Prera. Life restarted and here I am.

2013/14, Prera CM and Safaris F and EF

2015/16, Safari, Pilot V, Parker 50, flexible Summit, Swan L245, Pelikan M300, Swan 130, because
1 Trying new things is fun
2 Some pens keep coming back and it's just more convenient to keep them close anyway

2016/17, Pelikan 100n, 400, 100. Only two pens too many.

I would like to see if I can reduce the number of pens I use. Can I keep just one pen and one ink combination for longer? What makes a pen the perfect everyday writer? Please join me in this thread if you like.
Last edited by btine on July 8th, 2018, 8:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

Posts: 24
Joined: May 25th, 2018, 11:12 am

Golden Star 565

Post by btine » July 3rd, 2018, 6:38 pm

For many years, it seemed natural that if I wanted a pen I would just walk in to a stationary shop and pick one. When fountain pens became a hobby, suddenly finding a right one started to be much more complicated.

You think not only about the fine or medium nib, a suitable price point or a particular brand you trust in terms of quality and reliability, but begin exploring unlimited options of the physical size, aesthetics, writing qualities, captivating technical solutions and absorbing pen histories. You start looking for quality reviews and buying ever new pens to try something new.

I was given my first fountain pen in the mid 80s when starting primary school, a Hero 616, 329 or a similar model. I guess they were just readily available around and sold cheap in every stationary shop. They were even cheaper from small traders from the Soviet republics. It's funny but I can't remember any USSR made pens.

We were required to use fountain pens to practice handwriting soon after first drills with pencils. The Heros were just fine. I can't recall any blots or other issues apart from occasional hard starts after my pen was unintentionally left open.

For all these years, I have been avoiding Chinese hooded pens. I'm not sure if it's more because I associate them with pens for kids or something in the shape. Nevermind. I've decided to revisit some of the pens from my past and bought the Golden Star 565.

ImageGolden Star 565, J.Herbin Perle Noire & Hobonichi Techo by Karl Kazan, on Flickr

Golden Star 565 - brief review

Golden Star, Kin Sin or Jinxing, all refer to Venus, the planet, but the name originated from the family names of the three Korean brothers who in 1932 founded the first factory in Shanghai. The second factory in Beijing continued fountain pen production to about 2003 ( ... ics/765671).

Golden Star 565 was produced in several colours with steel and gold plated caps. At some point, it was copied and produced as Hero 565, which some find of inferior quality.

The 565 is a slightly shorter and stubbier than most Chinese pens. It's a pleasant writer but short of being remarkable in any way.

I started using it two weeks ago as my main writer to see if I could live with only one basic pen. I also wanted to recall the feel of what it was like to write with a similar pen in my school days.

At first, I kept another pen in my bag, but after a while, I have gained enough confidence to drop the backup out. My 565 has proved to be reliable and good enough for most tasks and I rather like it.

ImageGolden Star 565 by Karl Kazan, on Flickr

What's great?

The 565 doesn't appear to excel in anything. Just another alright pen. However, the price makes it rather attractive comparing to more expensive modern pens.

What's good?

Relability. The pen starts every time it touches the paper and the nib/feed doesn't dry up easily.
Portable: shorter and lighter than most. I do like smaller pens and it's really hard to find something below 135 mm these days.
Smooth, silky point; ridiculously smooth in my opinion.
Wide section. I found it hard to control at first, but now, apart from feeling comfortable, it gives that strange feeling of writing with something much bigger and a bit of luxury when paired with the very smooth nib.
Other details: really good looking cap, clip and beautiful arrow, not plated iron alloy cap resistant to scratches (the clip seems to be made of a different alloy)

ImageGolden Star 565 by Karl Kazan, on Flickr

Not so great?

Very dry writer at first. The pen needed a bit of nib adjusting for richer flow and the right ink to bring it to my acceptable level of ink colour saturation when writing.
Wobbly and very tight clip. These are likely design issues but wobbliness shows some additional manufacturing deficiencies.
Friction fit cap doesn't give a proper indication when the pen is closed securely.
Relatively small ink volume capacity: 0.5-0.6 ml.
No ink view, but it's easy to see the ink level once the barrel is unscrewed.

ImageGolden Star 565 by Karl Kazan, on Flickr

Dimensions (length/weight)

130-132 mm/17 g - pen closed
119 mm/10 g - pen open
60 mm - cap
135-145 mm - posted

ImageGolden Star 565 and Lamy Safari Petrol by Karl Kazan, on Flickr
ImageGolden Star 565 and Lamy Safari by Karl Kazan, on Flickr

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