× My Say News & Politics Life Sports Cars Motorcycles Bicycles Cameras Technology Money Travel Entertainment Health Fashion Relationships Stories About Scrivinor
Learn about Scrivinor


Wing Sung 699 - Poor Man's Pilot 823


EDC
EDC
Join to follow...
Follow/Unfollow Writer: EDC
By following, you’ll receive notifications when this author publishes new articles.
×
Don't wait! Sign up to follow this writer.
Scrivinor is a privacy-oriented writing platform. Unleash the power of your voice. It's free!
Sign up. Join Scrivinor now! Already a member. Login to Scrivinor.
Mostly pens
4K   7   3  
2019/07/25


When I first started to get into fountain pens, I was pretty much in awe of the YouTuber Pelahale. His depth and breadth of knowledge was astounding. I'm sure many have seen his "Heartbreaking Pens of Staggering Genius" videos on Aurora 88 and Parker 51 pens. For the longest time I was determined to add a PFM to my collection. I finally did get myself a vintage Aurora 88.

I remember watching this video on high-end Japanese pens and learning about the Pilot Custom 823. Pelahale called it the true user flagship in the Pilot lineup. He liked the larger ink capacity of the vac filling mechanism. The opinions stuck in my head but I was not ready to spend anything close to that money for a pen so it went no further.

Japanese Premium Fountain Pens pelahale — YouTube

Wing Sung has released the Wing Sung 699, their version of the Pilot Custom 823. It sells on Taobao for under US$15 for the steel nib version. A 14K gold nib version is around US$60.

PenHabit reviewed of the Pilot Custom 823 and included the dimensions of the pen. The Wing Sung certainly resembles the 823 and according to the numbers, the size is essentially the same.

Wing Sung 699 Pilot Custom 823
Length capped 149.5mm 148mm
Length uncapped 132.5mm 131.3mm
Length posted 167.5mm 164mm
Section diameter 10.9 - 11.9mm 10.9 mm
Barrel diameter 13mm 12.7mm
Inked weight capped 30.05g 29g
Inked weight uncapped 20.55g 20g

The 699 vac filling mechanism works well. Pull the plunger out, put the nib in ink and depress the plunger. The negative pressure draws ink into the barrel. A couple of repetitions gets the pen quite full.

The flaring is internal to the barrel so there's no bulge like the Wing Sung 3013 or TWSBI Vac 700. The pen has a beautifully svelte look to it.

The 699 has a shutoff valve, aka airplane mode. When the blind cap is fully tightened, the plunger seals the section and cuts off ink flow to the feed. To write more than a paragraph or two, you need to loosen the blind cap to enable ink flow. For vac-filler users, this is par for the course.

The plunger threads into the barrel but there are no flat spots on the blind cap threads to fit at tool. Fingers were enough to unscrew the mechanism.

The nib and feed are friction fit and come out of the section easily enough. The pen doesn't use a screw in nib collar. The steel nib model is available only in Fine. The 14K gold nib version has Fine and Medium nib options.

What is interesting is that the 699 nib is larger than the nib in the Wing Sung 626/627. By total length, the nib is just shorter than a PenBBS nib.

Wing Sung 627, Wing Sung 699, PenBBS F, generic #6

But when compared breather hole to the tip of the nib, they are about the same.

As for nib swapping, the story doesn't look very hopeful. The 699 feed is smaller in diameter than a PenBBS feed. A PenBBS feed won't go into the section. It may be possible to force a PenBBS nib on the 699 feed but the fit would be tight. It might go on but never want to come off again. The effort could damage the section.

A standard #6 nib doesn't fit at all.

Would a Pilot #15 nib fit?

The Wing Sung 699 is certainly a handsome pen. The Wing Sung logo appears at the top of the clip. The cap band is the most ornate of any I've come across recently with interesting rectangular cutouts along the top edge. The engraving on the cap band reads Wing Sung 699  Made in China.

The cap comes off in a single turn and includes a cap liner to seal then nib. The threads are fine, engage positively and haven't shown any tendency to cross thread.

The cap posts perfectly, both with the blind cap closed and open. Inside the cap, a series of vertical ridges grip the end of the barrel when posting. They also add a subtle design interest to the cap.

The gold rings at the top of the finial and the blind cap have a single ridge that adds to the overall sophisticated look of the pen. There's also a gold ring between the section and the barrel.

The pen is offered in two variations based on the section: an opaque near-black section that matches the blind cap and finial cap and a semi-transparent section of the same material as the barrel.

Wing Sung appears to have made an early release of this pen with just 100 examples. I purchased one of that lot. Since that time, more have become available and the price has gone down. My original example was RMB 160 or just over US$23. I've now ordered a second for only RMB 96, or just under US$14 (plus shipping).

Why a Second Pen?

I ordered a second identical model mainly to see if the minor flaws in my first one have been corrected. I ran into a couple of odd things with this pen.

The Nib

The tipping was decidedly uneven. Under the loupe the nib was not a pretty site. After a fair amount of micromesh work, the nib wrote well enough, but still represented sub-par QC.

The Plunger

The final half turn of the blind cap caused the plunger to skew to the side of the barrel. Until that last bit the plunger stayed nicely centered. As far as I could tell, this had no effect on how the plunger sealed (or how the pen wrote) so wasn't a real concern. But it's hard to believe that's how it's supposed to work.

Cosmetics

The cap and barrel both had a couple of small flaws that you don't usually see on PenBBS or Moonman pens. Spots. In other words, the finish on the plastics wasn't perfect. Just 99.9%

I should receive the second pen (and a replacement nib for the first pen) in a couple of days. It will be useful to compare.

7.26 Update

The second pen and replacement nib arrived. Both new nibs look good.

All good on the nib front

The new pen also passes muster in the other two areas I found. The plunger doesn't skew during the final turn and the cosmetics are excellent. I haven't found any flaws. Good news!

In the Hand

L-R: PenBBS 456, Wing Sung 699, PenBBS 309, Moonman M6

In short, the Wing Sung 699 is superb in the hand. I love the size, weight and balance. It is equally comfortable posted and unposted. The section feels natural and the threads are unobtrusive to the point of being nearly non-existent. You can hold this pen any which way. This is a very nice pen.

The feed certainly keeps up and the pen writes a wet line. The nib did take work to make it usable - and it is still not perfectly smooth - but I am hoping that the next examples will be better. (Note: They are.)

Conclusions

The Wing Sung 699 is a pen for aficionados. Truth be told, it's not that convenient to open the blind cap every time you want to write more than a few lines. And the blind cap tends to rattle when it's open. Wing Sung warns that if you pull the plunger back too far with the pen full of ink, you may get an unhappy surprise when you push it back in.

So I'm not sure if this is a pen to gift a newbie. On the other hand, the Wing Sung 699 is designed after the Pilot Custom 823 and the Pilot pen is one of the towering greats. In the right hands, there's a world of fountain pen enjoyment to be had.

Are you all in for this pen?

8.28 Update

Clear Version, Silver Trim and M Nib

Wing Sung has released a clear version of the pen with silver trim and a silver M nib. There is also a brown version with silver trim and a silver M nib.

The medium nib is smooth and just a bit springy. It's an excellent new option for this pen.

 


Scrivinor™ is a unique multiple pen name blogging and forum platform. Protect relationships and your privacy. Take your writing in new directions. ** Join Scrivinor **
Scrivinor™ is an open writing platform. The views, information and opinions in this article are those of the author.


Article info

This article is part of:
Categoried:

Tags:
Dated:
Created at: 2019/07/25, updated at 2019/08/28.


Share this article on:
About the Author

More often that not, my desk is my pocket. But everyday desk items doesn't have the same ring.




Comments
EDC
1
EDC
Join to follow...
Follow/Unfollow Writer: EDC
By following, you’ll receive notifications when this author publishes new articles.
×
Don't wait! Sign up to follow this writer.
Scrivinor is a privacy-oriented writing platform. Unleash the power of your voice. It's free!
Sign up. Join Scrivinor now! Already a member. Login to Scrivinor.
Mostly pens
2019/08/01
1  

Useful comparison of the gold and steel nibs in this video. In short, not much difference.

WING SUNG 699 ssonsssons — YouTube

 

Jetson
2
Join to follow...
Follow/Unfollow Writer: Jetson
By following, you’ll receive notifications when this author publishes new articles.
×
Don't wait! Sign up to follow this writer.
Scrivinor is a privacy-oriented writing platform. Unleash the power of your voice. It's free!
Sign up. Join Scrivinor now! Already a member. Login to Scrivinor.
2019/08/05

My 823 is easily the best writer in my collection so this interests me. It doesn't make sense to me though that WS continues to not follow the PenBBS example of using the #6 standard. I think they would sell many more pens if they did. Particularly because their nibs are very hit and miss and all of them require skills, as you noted, to get right. The nib on my 626 came out fine, the one on my 698 was swapped by me almost immediately. Too malleable and would not stay aligned. At least that one took a standard #5. Their latest cheap vac filler, like this clone 823, is also proprietary. Thats too bad. Until their nibs become at least a decent as PenBBS, I will avoid those models. BTW, I am a huge Pelahale fan too. Wish he would start posting again.1

EDC
3
EDC
Join to follow...
Follow/Unfollow Writer: EDC
By following, you’ll receive notifications when this author publishes new articles.
×
Don't wait! Sign up to follow this writer.
Scrivinor is a privacy-oriented writing platform. Unleash the power of your voice. It's free!
Sign up. Join Scrivinor now! Already a member. Login to Scrivinor.
Mostly pens
2019/08/05
Jetson, on 2019/08/05, said:
It doesn't make sense to me though that WS continues to not follow the PenBBS example of using the #6 standard. I think they would sell many more pens if they did.

I agree. Given that Moonman has transitioned to #6 nibs, there's hope. But frankly, it's a little tough trying to figure out where this Victo/Green Stationery branch of Wing Sung is going with their pens. Sometimes I think they are just working from a supply of NOS nibs they acquired when they licensed the Wing Sung brand. Also, they may not yet be focused on markets outside of the PRC.

From what I understand, the Wing Sung 3013 (and other low-cost Wing Sung pens) are produced by a totally separate group that also holds a license to produce under the Wing Sung brand. I've seen them referred to as WSE or Wing Sung Education. 

The 699 video review I posted above references this history. But just obliquely. I've yet to come across a definitive history, just this type of anecdotal material.

Perhaps Pelahale will see this and join in the conversation.

Jetson
4
Join to follow...
Follow/Unfollow Writer: Jetson
By following, you’ll receive notifications when this author publishes new articles.
×
Don't wait! Sign up to follow this writer.
Scrivinor is a privacy-oriented writing platform. Unleash the power of your voice. It's free!
Sign up. Join Scrivinor now! Already a member. Login to Scrivinor.
2019/08/06

Pelahale certainly seems value minded when it comes to pens. I've been wondering what he thinks about this new breed of $15 to $40 pens coming out of China. Not sure though if the materials would offer enough quality for him. In my opinion, he's a brilliant guy. No one has so eloquently examined the psychology of consumerism ie, collecting vs. using vs. hoarding pens, than him. Articulate, haunting, treatises. 

Another issue here and beyond the scope perhaps is the design infringement with this model. At least the 626 is a homage to a pen long out of production. I have heard all the arguments why this is acceptable and apparently even engineers don't seem to mind. I find that surprising. Perhaps they might feel a little differently if it was their product or design being so blatantly copied. 

pugoman
5
Join to follow...
Follow/Unfollow Writer: pugoman
By following, you’ll receive notifications when this author publishes new articles.
×
Don't wait! Sign up to follow this writer.
Scrivinor is a privacy-oriented writing platform. Unleash the power of your voice. It's free!
Sign up. Join Scrivinor now! Already a member. Login to Scrivinor.
The pen may be mighter than the sword, but when exceptional situation calls, ...
2019/08/22
1  

I would agree with title that the 699 is a poor man's Pilot Custom 823. I would definitely get one.

It is surprising that Green Stationery/Victo would not allow to be left behind on the vac filler trend. Compared to the Wing Sung 3013, the 699 looks more refined and well made, as expected from Green. I wonder if they would make a full demonstrator version of the 699.

It could be pointed out that Green should have thought of the issues surrounding vac fillers and addressed it similarly with how TWSBI addressed the problems with the Vac 700. If they have addressed such issues on the vac mechanism, in my opinion, the 699 can be near the level of the 823 in that respect. 

 

Compassionate Green Crocodile
6
Join to follow...
Follow/Unfollow Writer: Compassionate Green Crocodile
By following, you’ll receive notifications when this author publishes new articles.
×
Don't wait! Sign up to follow this writer.
Scrivinor is a privacy-oriented writing platform. Unleash the power of your voice. It's free!
Sign up. Join Scrivinor now! Already a member. Login to Scrivinor.
2019/10/08

After reading this article, I have since acquired 3 Wing Sung 699. It is a pleasant writer, however at this price, something has to be compromised. What I have discovered is the the "Airplane" does not "work". The plunger does not go down far enough to properly seal the the ink in the barrel. 

By shining  a light into the section, with the end cap fully screwed down, you will still see light entering the barrel through the gap between the section and the plunger. This is the same in all the pen that I have, 2 amber and 1 clear.

EDC
7
EDC
Join to follow...
Follow/Unfollow Writer: EDC
By following, you’ll receive notifications when this author publishes new articles.
×
Don't wait! Sign up to follow this writer.
Scrivinor is a privacy-oriented writing platform. Unleash the power of your voice. It's free!
Sign up. Join Scrivinor now! Already a member. Login to Scrivinor.
Mostly pens
2019/10/09
Compassionate Green Crocodile, on 2019/10/08, said:
After reading this article, I have since acquired 3 Wing Sung 699. It is a pleasant writer, however at this price, something has to be compromised. What I have discovered is the the "Airplane" does not "work". The plunger does not go down far enough to properly seal the the ink in the barrel. 
Interesting data point. I do need to release the plunger to keep ink going into the feed. I guess there continues to be inconsistency in the manufacturing of this pen.

Join the discussion now!
×
Don't wait! Sign up to join the discussion.
Scrivinor is a privacy-oriented writing platform. Unleash the power of your voice. It's free!
Sign up. Join Scrivinor now! Already a member. Login to Scrivinor.