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3008

Maker: Wing Sung.

We might take from this pen that the TWSBI Diamond is a reputable and well-regarded pen now, because the Wing Sung 3008 is clearly meant to be riding its coat-tails.  At with the 233,  which is just as clear in its point of inspiration, no one is going to think they’re buying a TWSBI when looking at this pen, because there are some differences in the specifics of shape and the labelling is honest– although the maker’s name only appears in Chinese characters.  I suspect that this is meant for domestic consumption rather than export.

It is, as low-price look-alike Chinese pens go, extremely ambitious; a functional piston filler is not as simple a mechanism as a press-bar.  The integration of that mechanism with the pen is one of the points where one sees how the money has been saved; the silver collar between knob and barrel holds it in place, clinging to a very thin set of threads at the end of the barrel.  This collar is very easy to undo accidentally when turning the piston down in the initial phase of filling, calling for a degree of operator care one doesn’t see in most piston pens.  On the plus side, this arrangement makes for very easy relubrication of the seal.

However, I do find myself wondering how often relubrication will come up, because there is a troubling sense of fragility to the pen as a whole.  Those who have handled pens of various materials will have a notion of what I meant when I say the plastic feels brittle (even a ballpoint user, I think, will feel the difference between a Bic and a no-name object of similar shape).  I don’t expect that it will collapse under common use, but I would also not expect it to survive a drop that most pens would consider trivial, and I think anyone who habitually drums on the desk with the back of the pen may want to look elsewhere for a pen.

That’s not a big deal, of course; something that is cost-competitive with a Pilot Varsity isn’t the sort of thing one expects to be handing down to the grandkids.

On difference I notice between this pen and the other Wing Sungs I have looked at is the air resistance of the cap.  Unlike the 233 and the 612, the 3008 doesn’t have any penetrations of the cap that aren’t stuffed full of screw, and with the o-ring at the base of the threads on the barrel, this pen is likely to be able to rest for a few days between uses and start well.  On the subject of the cap– it is possible to post the cap while writing, but I’m not sure I’d recommend it.  It doesn’t post deeply, and it really only contacts the piston knob; apart from the possibility of moving the mechanism inadvertently, the cap may slip off and fall an unsurvivable distance.

At the writing end, one finds a point rather more like that of a Lamy Safari than a TWSBI.  This is good in the area of proving you’re not trying to fool anybody into buying a different pen than they expect.   It is possible, if one doesn’t like the point, to swap in a Lamy, although they are a slightly loose fit on the Wing Sung feed. As far as the writing qualities… well, I’ve only got one, and it shows itself as firm, smooth and damp.  I expect “firm” will be consistent, but given the quality control issues that dog the inexpensive Chinese pens as a whole, “smooth and damp” might be a little hit and miss.  I have read, while researching, a lot of people seeking direction on how one goes about enhancing flow.

Production Run: Unknown start– I will guess broadly at c. 2013, and in current production.

Cost When New: Mine cost $4.00 including shipping from a Chinese eBay vendor.  MSRP remains a mystery.

Size: 14.2 cm long capped, 17.1 cm posted, 13.0 cm uncapped.

Point: Steel.

Body: Plastic.

Filler: Piston, capacity approx. 1.5 ml

Wing Sung 3008. The mechanism comes in a variety of colours and one can have an opaque cap, too.

The absence of an inner cap does make this a more thoroughgoing demonstrator; you can really see the point and feed in there.

 

 

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