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PenBBS 471 - Pocket Eyedropper


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Mostly pens
2019/02/01
582   7   1  


There's a direction connection between the new PenBBS 471 pocket pen and the PenBBS 469 double-ended eyedropper.

PenBBS 469

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:

  • Add threads on the base and the top of the cap so the pieces go together.
  • Add a connector ring that fits either end to open more configuration options.

The PenBBS 471 can be assembled in a couple different ways depending on your mood:

  • No ring - The smallest & lightest option. The cap screws onto the base for a nice, small pen.

  • Ring attached to base - The end of the cap screws into the ring for a longer, more stylish pen.

  • Ring on end of cap - The fancy variation of the first option.

Mix and Match

With the ring on the base you can put two 471 pens back to back for a home-brew 469!

@beini_zheng Instagram

Sadly, my 469 caps won't thread onto the 471 base (on either side) so can't swap in that direction.

Make your own frankendropper!

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!

The flat spots along the edges are an excellent touch.

A Fly in the Ointment

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.

I can see for miles and miles.

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.

  • 86mm closed with ring (82mm w/o ring)
  • 132mm open with right (127mm w/o ring)
  • 14mm barrel diameter
Inked up and ready to go

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.

  • With no ring, the cap fits on the base with a quick ¾ turn.
  • With the ring, the caps goes onto the base in 1¼ turns.

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.

PenBBS Round F Nib

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.

Quirky But Enchanting

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.

March 4 Addendum

More of a good thing. The special Fireworks edition was a good excuse to add a second PenBBS 471 to my collection. The pen is transparent demonstrator with fireworks etched into the cap and nib.

For this pen, I chose the round M nib, again with a silver ring.

The M nib wrote perfectly out of the box. No need for tuning at all. The feel is the same as the nib in my PenBBS 355. Small sample size, but so far the new round M nibs are nicely consistent.

It's nice to have a pair of these pens. The are proving very useful to have around.


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About the Author

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



Tags: penbbs x 4 chinese fountain pens x 16 pocket pens x 1

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Long time fountain pen user, sci-fi reader & tennis player
2019/02/02
1  

I have 2 - 471s both with a medium nib, which I like a lot.  I find the metal band to be very useful in the balance of the pen when posted & adds a nice design element.  I have "noise" Issues.  It's not a 355 but for a pocket pen, of which I have many, it is a winner.

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Mostly pens
2019/02/02
1  

@cr With a pair of the pens, are you tempted to mix and match?

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Long time fountain pen user, sci-fi reader & tennis player
2019/02/11
1  

Not yet.  Have 2 more ordered, wanted more colors & to try the F rounded nib.  I continue to enjoy the 2 I have with the M nibs.

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Long time fountain pen user, sci-fi reader & tennis player
2019/02/11
1  

Forgot to add, I also used a little micro-mesh to make the nib even better.

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Mostly pens
2019/02/11
1  

@cr I've found myself toting this pen around more than I expected. And appreciating the round F nib quite a bit. I'm thinking about that nib for future pens.

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Long time fountain pen user, sci-fi reader & tennis player
2019/03/30

When do you expect to look at some recent Moonman's, M600, N3 or a LIY mountain pen?

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Mostly pens
2019/04/01

Funny you should ask. I just posted my look at the Moonman N3. It's been in the works for a few days. Nice pen!

No LIY pens on hand yet, or the Moonman M600, but I do have a Fuliwen I'm enjoying.

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