Discussion of Chinese pens draws heat that may have more to do with politics than pens. Taken purely on the basis of how well and dependably they lay ink on paper, Chinese pens have come a long way in the last few years. I have Chinese pens that are so reliable that one may be the only pen I carry on a particular day. That’s not to say that there aren’t some Chinese pens of poor quality; they’re mass market products and at the price they are offered they can’t receive the inspection and quality control attention that we assume pens ten and twenty times their price receive. Of course we may not always be correct in that assumption but that’s a subject for another day.
It was something of a red-letter day when Chinese piston fillers arrived on the market. Not all of them have been perfect – some have been subject to cracking – but the Wing Sung 698 seems to be about the best of them with few faults reported that I have seen. In some packaging the word “Hero” appears and it may have been that the pen was designed by Hero which has since been taken over by Wing Sung. The pen seems a little unsure about what it is; the packaging says “Wings 698” and the clip is inscribed “Lucky”. But what’s in a name? It’s the pen that matters.
Mine came in a plastic casing with a converter filled with silicone grease to lubricate a piston – rather a nice touch. I’ve read that some packages come with an extra nib, an EF. Mine didn’t, it just had the fine nib I had requested. This Wing Sung nib, together with the feed, gives excellent ink delivery. No skipping or hard starting and the nib is smooth with just enough feedback to avoid being slippery. The pen has a locking knob to avoid ink-spilling accidents once the pen has been filled. It works well as does the piston filler. The pen has good ink capacity. It does what it’s meant to do and it does it very well.
There isn’t much to say about it aesthetically. It’s a very plain pen. Such trim as there is, is in chromed metal, though the tassie appears to be made from some plastic which emulates chromed metal. At the time I bought mine, the transparent version was all that was available. I’m not fond of these “demonstrator” pens and they do tend to stain. Now there is a black one available. For the information of those who post their pens, I find it back-heavy in that configuration. Just above the section there are the barrel threads. Depending on how you hold your pen, your fingers may come in contact with the threads. They’re not sharp. I don’t find this bothersome but some people may.
The cost is ridiculously little for such a good pen. Amazon charges £23 for the pen and its packaging. It’s available on eBay UK for £14.59 with the packaging and some sellers offer it at £9.99 without. As the packaging confers little benefit and you can find silicone grease anywhere, the latter is the better deal.