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A fabulous fountain pen

I have a thing for pens.  Don't ask how or why, but I love pens.  And I especially love fountain pens.  Every Christmas, I allow myself a few pens to add to my collection.  This year, I added a few Chinese fountain pens to the list.  I did this because they look interesting, they're economical, and - in my experience - a good pen doesn't have to be expensive.

Boy, was I right.

A Wenliang 652
I've only tried one of the four pens that I bought: a Wenliang 652 stainless steel pen with a fine nib. It cost $3.90 USD and has free shipping - can't get much more economical than this!

The pen is a little heavier than typical pens (but lighter than, say, Rotrings), and very well balanced.  The cap fits snugly on the slightly recessed end (one of my greatest problems with fountain pens is when the caps don't stay on, and end up flying off - especially if I'm writing on the subway or a bus...).  It has a removable reservoir so that you can use cartridges if you prefer.  The reservoir I got looks different from the one in the images on eBay, but it still works fine.

What really got to me, though, was how smoothly it writes.  I can't recall the last time I used a fountain pen that just... floated across the paper like this $4 pen!  I charged it from a bottle of Sepia Omas ink I've had for at least a decade - I doubt that the ink made any particular difference.  Indeed, I should think ink that old might even do more harm than good.  And yet, the pen writes like a dream.

There's nothing like a good pen to help me a deliberate and attentive writer.  Seeing a fine, steady line of ink appear on the page, unskipped and unsplotched, somehow makes me think the words I'm writing are that much more important.  A good pen helps me write by giving me pleasure in the writing.

If you like fountain pens, you really should give this one a try.  (I'll let you know how the other Chinese fountain pens work out, when I get to them.)

In case you want to get a Wenliang 652 yourself, there's still 9 available on ebay as of this writing.


  1. I purchased a Wenliang 737 earlier this year. I think it is my favorite fountain pen to date. I was looking for a local source for more when I found your site- your source looks good; thank you for posting.

  2. Bought a WENLIANG student fine nib fountain pen on eBay for 6 cents with free shipping from China. It has a tiny syringe reservoir, not sure I would call it a convertor because I can't tell if a standard cartridge will fit this slim barrel. Just as you experienced, the pen floats across the paper with a smooth continuous line. Beautiful. Like it better than my HERO 616 (a Parker 51 clone) because it writes so glassily.

  3. I just purchased a pen like this but there is no ink. How do you fill it or what cartridge to purchase for it? Thank you!

    1. I use the converter that comes with it, so I'm not sure. I think it will take a Parker style cartridge, but I cannot say for certain. Sorry, but that's the best I can offer you.

    2. No worries at all. I will try to invest in some ink and fill the reservoir that way. These are great looking, sturdy pens! I got mine off eBay and paid under $1. Can't beat that price!


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