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Maker: Baoer.

One of the things that vexes about the elusive nature of the company is that this is a rather nice pen.  It is also, lets be honest, a very near copy of a Parker Sonnet, although it has the grace to not be one of the many near-copies of the Sonnet which claims it is a Sonnet.  While the clip might confound the passing observer, “Baoer” appears on the cap-band and point quite prominently.

As with many Chinese pens that cost more than a couple of dollars, the finish on this pen is surprisingly good.  I have read elsewhere that the plating can be a little spotty, but on my example it is smooth.  The masking on the point plating meshes well with the impression, which is a pretty good trick for a cheap pen; even high-end makers can go astray in this point.  The pen is (usually) supplied with a twist-piston converter, also branded Baoer, which is as good as those offered by Waterman or Parker.

Functionally, it is all one can hope for from a low-cost pen.  The point is stiff but smooth, and it produces ink as demanded.  It may be slightly damp for some tastes.  The section attaches to the barrel with a very sturdy-looking metal-to-metal thread, which gives one hope for the pen’s long-term serviceability.  The only concern I have with this pen is the mechanism which holds the cap to the section; it clicks on with a voice of thunder, and is rather disinclined to let go.  I hope that it will loosen up rather than breaking, but until then I have to open it with care lest flailing elbows do passers-by an injury.  A petite person may have serious trouble getting the cap off at all.  Update: while the cap isn’t getting much looser, I find after some time to play with it that it is also guilty of being vapour-permeable.  If left a couple of days, the point dries out quite thoroughly.

Production Run: Unclear, but it seems in current production.

Cost When New: No notion of MSRP, but they’re found between $7.00 and $10.00, shipping included.

Size: 13.6 cm long capped, 15.4 cm posted, 12.0 cm uncapped.

Point: Plated steel.

Body: Metal, various finishes.

Filler: Cartridge, capacity approx. 0.6 ml or 1.4 ml (international pattern); converter holds 0.6 ml.

Baoer 388; if it were a Parker, we’d call this Flighter trim… but it’s not, so it isn’t

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