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Maker: Moonman

The M2 is, appropriately, the second pen offered by the company. Like the M1, the shape is reminiscent of a vintage Sheaffer, but while the M1 had the silhouette of a Thin Model, the M2 looks more like an outsized model of Balance. Unlike the Balance, the M2 it is entirely without a clip and it follows the modern preference for a smooth line between barrel and cap when closed, putting a small step at the joint. A hundred years ago, this would mark it as a “desk pen”, one which lived on your writing desk rather than travelling about in a pocket from which it might all too easily slip.

One of the most modern features of the pen is its general transparency. The only opaque part of the pen’s body is the small red trim-ring. Apart from providing a place for the maker’s name to appear and rendering the pen visible when it’s empty, that bit of anodized aluminum also acts as a modesty panel which hides the inner face of the section. This doesn’t seem that big a deal, but this is a slightly squalid-looking area when the ink isn’t concealing it.

Happily, at least from my personal perspective, the M2 does not fall into the modern fashion of trying conflating quality with weight. There’s not really anywhere for extra weight to hide, of course, unless the trim ring were made of lead or osmium, but this means that it’s a pen well calculated for protracted writing sessions. This nature is further nourished by the enormous ink capacity inherent to a large eyedropper pen and by the fine point that is standard one the M2 (although some are sold with a spare point cut to a 1.1mm stub).

For all that it’s generally fitted with a fine point– which one could easily characterize as extra-fine– the writing experience is quite pleasant. There is a touch of springiness in the tines, which buffers the feedback common to fine pens and provides a little line variation. The step at the joint is, as mentioned above, not very large and I don’t find it a source of annoyance. I do worry slightly about persistent contact between finger and trim band when writing, but that’s because I’m old and I’ve seen some very poor anodized finishes in the past.

I have seen some examples of M2 available in which the whole section is made of anodized aluminum, colour matched to the barrel band, and in a variety of colours. Because I am slightly cynical, I worry about these pens being genuine– there are reports of knock-offs of Hero 616s, after all– although the images look convincing. I also have doubts about the wisdom of an aluminum section in an eyedropper pen. I have not had an opportunity to examine one, so there may be something clever to prevent injurious ink-to-aluminum contact; caveat emptor.

Production Run: Began in 2018 (probably– the earliest reviews I can find are from the beginning of that year, so it may have been started in 2017).

Cost When New: In early 2021, they’re going for anywhere between $15.00 and $25.00 on the various places a person in North America can get at them. If you can figure out the Shanghai Jingdian outlet on the Taobao site, you can get them for 59.00元, which is slightly less.

Size: 14.0 cm long capped, 15.5 cm posted, 12.4 cm uncapped.

Point: Plated steel. In earlier production, the impression was a generic IRIDIUM POINT, but Moonman now has branded points.

Body: Acrylic.

Filler: Eyedropper, capacity approx. 3.5 ml.

The Moonman M2 in the rare state of entirely empty. Another point of similarity to the old Sheaffer Balance is that it doesn’t really post readily– in use, you’d be better off laying the cap aside or clutching it in your off-hand.

Capped, it’s still a pen with very little to hide.



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