DUKE '209' Flighter Dual-nib
Although I've carried the 209 Flighter in the past (with both a conventional western nib and a Chinese calligraphy nib) -- this is the first kit I've found that allows you to have the best of both worlds in one package.
A slim, mid-sized pen, it measures 5-1/4" capped, just shy of 5-3/4" posted and 4-1/2" with cap held aside.
The pen has a curvaceous spring clip, and by the center cap band, which is simply engraved with 'DUKE' and '209'. The bottom of the barrel has a graceful sweep to its shape, added a distinctive silhouette to the design.
Although silver in appearance, both nibs nibs are marked as 22KGP (gold plated steel) and I would rate the western nib as a light-medium, meaning that it falls between a typical western fine and medium in size.
Included in the kit is a Chinese calligraphy nib, or 'art' nib. As can be seen from the upward sweep of it profile, this type of nib bears no relationship to a western-style calligraphy nib. This nib should be thought of more as a 'metal brush', designed to approximate the brushstrokes used in traditional Chinese calligraphy. Although words can indeed be written with this style of nib, it should in no way be considered a regular writing pen, and works best when held more like a traditional Chinese calligraphy brush, as illustrated to the right. Even to describe the point as a 'light-medium' doesn't really mean too much in a conventional fountain pen sense. The thickness of the line laid down varies by how close to the tip of the nib contact is made with the paper. Touching the very tip gives the thinnest line, while moving back from the tip broadens it.
Unscrewing the all-metal threads of the section from the barrel, one finds the included piston converter for bottled ink (It will also take International-style cartridges, such as those from Private Reserve). The converter includes a little agitator ball to help prevent adherence of the ink to the plastic walls of the cylinder, but it's still recommended to run a dilute solution of dishwashing soap (two or three drops to a small bowl of water) through a new pen a few times, followed by water only. Step one is effective at removing manufacturing oils that can tend to make the ink less than enthusiastic in heading from the converter to the nib, and step two removes the traces of the detergent you've used...which tends to have the opposite, diuretic effect.
IMPORTANT SERVICE NOTE: Every nib that ships from His Nibs is closely examined under high magnification and tuned or adjusted if needed. About 85% of modern nibs need some adjustment out-of-the-box from the manufacturer for an optimal writing experience. Most commonly, the tines of the nib are misaligned -- which would cause scratchiness at the minimum; the slit between the tines is partially or fully closed -- which would starve the nib of ink and at best cause skipping; or the slit between the tines is too wide -- which will either again cause skipping, or conversely, flooding. There are other factors -- such as separation of the nib from the feed -- that are inspected and repaired before any pen leaves the Palace.
The only 100% guarantee of course comes when the pen is actually filled with ink and written with for the first time, but our pre-shipping inspections and tunings have eliminated 99.99999 (my finger is getting tired) of the frustrations that a customer experiences when first using a new fountain pen. Although this can be time-consuming on occasion, it affords our customers a much more pleasant experience when receiving a fountain pen from His Nibs -- and saves us the frustration of dealing with returns!
Ordering Procedures & Returns
International customers, please note, we will not falsify shipping documents
Please send your order and shipping address (along with any questions) to:
We will email you back with your order total (PA residents please add 6% sales tax)
Credit cards, for the quickest fulfillment of your order, are accepted through PayPal, a secure site allowing you to use your credit card without us even seeing the information. If you'd like to make use of this credit card service, please let us know when you email your order and address, and we'll email you the appropriate Request for Payment, and instructions for the simple payment procedure (you don't need to join PayPal to use it).
If you would like us process your credit card directly instead, then please email us:
1. Card # (dividing this number in two, between two emails, will
If you'd rather pay by money order or check, kindly make payable to:
ship via insured Priority Mail
Warranties and returns
If an item proves to be defective, in most cases the manufacturer's warranty will apply. However, please email us first so that we can determine the easiest way to resolve the problem to your satisfaction. In the case of fountain pens -- which are a bit more individualistic than other writing instruments -- what may at first appear to be a defect (hard starting or poor flow for example), can in almost all cases be resolved with a few simple 'tweaks' to the nib, which we'll be happy to guide you through or perhaps suggest returning to us for adjustment.
Should you wish to return a non-defective item within 3 days of receipt because it doesn't suit you for some reason, again please email us and we'll arrange an exchange, credit or refund (minus any shipping/insurance charges), if the item is returned in an 'as new' condition. If you've dipped a fountain pen to try its writing characteristics, kindly clean off any ink residue prior to shipping -- to save us both a nasty surprise .
We want you to be happy with your purchase from HisNibs.com and hope to have you join the ranks of our many long-term, repeat customers!
Revised: March 10th, 2014