There's a direction connection between the new PenBBS 471 pocket pen and the PenBBS 469 double-ended eyedropper.
In a nutshell, take a PenBBS 469, chop it in half and you have the new pen. With a couple of changes, the fully-formed PenbBBS 471 emerges:
The PenBBS 471 can be assembled in a couple different ways depending on your mood:
With the ring on the base you can put two 471 pens back to back for a home-brew 469!
Sadly, my 469 caps won't thread onto the 471 base (on either side) so can't swap in that direction.
The 471 cap does fit on my 469, however.
Of the three, the second it my favorite. I like the look of the pen with the ring in the middle.
In a lot of ways, the ring is what makes this pen. It's cool!
Unfortunately, in ring-in-the-middle configuration, you wind up with the hollow end of the cap exposed. When you write with the pen you see something of an abyss staring at you from the back of the pen. Not the best look.
There's also the issue of sound. We're all familiar with the sound a pen makes when affixing or removing the cap. Screwing the cap open side out onto the base of the pen is completely different, higher pitched and hollow sounding. The first thing that popped into my head was Lego pieces. Go figure.
The pen is light enough so it doesn't really matter where you have the ring, or if it's not there at all.
The size difference with the ring also doesn't make much difference.
The ring does make a good base for standing the pen on end. Being metal, it's sturdy and the larger diameter keeps the pen stable. The ring also has flat spots along its edges (15 to my count) so the pen doesn't tend to roll around when it's on its side.
The cap goes on and off off in 2¼ turns. It's kind of a lot, but given that getting the pen ready to write takes two steps, the pen isn't really designed for speedy deployment.
I found the cap goes on and off smoothly and isn't prone to cross threading.
Attaching the cap to the base, however, is a different story. With or without the ring, things didn't work particularly well when trying to get it on quickly. It requires some deliberate attention. Fumbling with the back of the pen when you want to make a quick note is a drag.
As delivered, the F nib was disappointing with poor flow and not overly smooth. Writing with more pressure helped, but the nib needed attention. At first, I thought it might be the ink, but turns out not.
Flossing with a nib tool and a bit of micomesh time did the trick.
The nib now writes like a champ. Good flow, smooth and a comfortable line. I like it.
Bottom line? the PenBBS 471 is like a little jewel. A bauble of sorts. At least when closed.
Assembled for writing, it's as big as a PenBBS 355! And less than two grams lighter. Surprise!
If anything, the PenBBS 471 writes better than it should. The balance is comfortably forward, and while there's a bit of a step from the barrel to the section and the barrel is unergonomically straight, neither is really objectionable. Once it got some attention, the nib proved satisfying. No complaints at all.
And like the 469, it's my favorite kind of eyedropper - it's never burped.
I can honestly say I wasn't planning on adding a pink/purple pen to my collection. But it does fit my recent interest in purple inks. Plus I'd been avoiding the more exotic acrylics that so many people love about PenBBS and was feeling a little remiss.
So the new release was a chance to splash out on one of premium colors without dropping a ton of cash. At a shade over US$20 plus shipping on the PenBBS taobao flagship store, the 471-39SF is an easy yes.
It also gave me a chance to try out the F version of the new PenBBS round nibs, an experience that has eventually proven positive. I count myself fortunate that PenBBS matched the F-nib versions with silver trim. I'm not quite ready to go for the gold look of the M versions.
I can understand if folks will give this pen a miss but if you're looking for something a little different for yourself or a friend, the PenBBS 471 is the kind of divertissment that can keep things interesting. Enchanting even.
More often that not, my desk is my pocket. But everyday desk items doesn't have the same ring.