Another hooded-nib series from Hero, famous for continuing the Parker 51 style -- as in the '616' -- for almost 70 years now (see the Pen World article on the subject here). This time, these slim beauties are done in pastel colors. Interestingly, they match up quite closely with the Private Reserve pastel ink colors, and hence the names I've given to each one (with the exception of the non-pastel Onyx!).
Note: If you habitually post your caps when writing, this model isn't for you! Due to the lacquered, sloping barrel end, the inner cap holding onto the barrel is a 'hit or miss' affair -- with the emphasis on miss! I rarely post a pen cap and have average male hands (well, I think they're quite beautiful, but I'm talking about size here ) and the unposted pen is a comfortable fit for me, as there's no danger of the pen being too short for my hand. However, be forewarned if you like to post your caps.
In addition to the usual Hero logo and Chinese characters for 'Shanghai Hero' beneath the spring clip -- and the model number of 868A on the opposite side -- the cap is further imprinted on the side with 'Hero Pen Company of .... (put in Chinese characters here for Shanghai)', as well as a none-too-subtle 'Ingenious Design and Exquisite Workmanship'...if they do say so themselves!
Removing the slip cap, which re-seats with a secure click, displays both the hooded nib and the all-metal section. Metal sections can often be a bit slippery when writing, but the circular indentation (which is what captures the rim of the inner cap when closing), actually provides some finger purchase for greater security.
I'd describe the steel nib as being closest to a western fine in width.
The pens come with a piston slide-style filler for bottled ink, which includes an ink-agitator spring inside. It will also take International-style cartridges, such as those from Private Reserve. As with all new pens, I recommend 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/filler 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
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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: September 20th, 2022