The Jinhao 15

Well, I’m becoming shameless and blatant about it now because today it’s yet another new pen.
This is a Jinhao 15, a most peculiar but quite attractive beast. People say that it’s a knock-off of the Waterman Serenite and to some degree it is. Obviously they didn’t extend the copying to what’s under the cap, as the unmistakable Serenite nib is replaced by a hooded affair.  In any case it lacks the curve of the Serenite.  I don’t think anyone’s going to be fooled by it so we have to assess the pen in its own right.
It comes in several colours. I bought three, red blue and black, because it was quite a good deal and postage was free. I’m not sure how the colours are produced  – they appear metallic and seem to be a sort of lacquer. Decidedly attractive, anyway. The clip seems strong and quite springy. The top of the cap is mirror finish metal and the base of the barrel is black plastic – to which we will return. The cap is heavy in comparison with the rest of the pen. I assume it’s brass. I’m not sure about the barrel which is quite light. Given the shape of the pen I didn’t expect that it would post but it does! It slides in over that plastic end that I mentioned before. The cap requires a bit of effort to remove and replace as a raised lip slides over the plastic inner cap. I expect that will loosen a little with time but hopefully not too much. Inside there is a very cheap but quite useful slide-type converter.
You are often advised to flush Chinese pens with warm soapy water before the first fill. I didn’t do that, I just filled it. It began writing right away with no slow starting or skipping. In fact I would describe the flow as very good for a fine nib. I don’t know if they’re all the same but the nib on the one that I have used is a European fine not that hairline fine that you get on some Chinese pens. The plastic of the section is quite slippery as it’s very polished, but it’s a grip I could get used to. As an aside there is no substitute for black hard rubber for sections. Considering how much trouble Jinhao went to to ensure that the pen would post, it isn’t really something that most of us would want to do considering the weight of that cap. It throws the pen out of balance as there’s just too much weight at the end. Perhaps it might work better for someone with larger hands.
Quality? Actually it’s surprisingly good. All the parts fit together as they should, it writes well and there are no obvious failings apart from the niggling irritant of the overweight cap. Chinese pens have come on a long way since they first started appearing in this country. These pens cost £3 each. I don’t know how they do it. If you know it’s perhaps best if you don’t tell me because I suspect that it may involve legions of eight-year-olds working on assembly lines. Being a moral coward I prefer not to think about that.




One thought on “The Jinhao 15

  1. Thank you for the good review. I am always amazed at how good these very cheap Chinese pens are despite being blatant copies of other manufacturers pens. I’ve never had any problems with Chinese nibs, they’ve always written straight away with no skips or jumps.

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