Paili 013/Wing Sung 3013 (Green)

As mentioned above, some Chinese pens are sold for extraordinarily low prices and this is an example. Acquired for just £3.59 including postage from China, one might expect it to be cheap and nasty. Indeed, some have reported indifferent quality control and a poor nib – some have replaced this with a Pilot nib. However, this example seems to be quite good. What is more amazing is that this is a vacuum filling pen, a copy-cat of the TWSBI Vac 700, which is one of the more complex filling systems to make. Like many far eastern pens, it comes with a fine nib (0.5mm). It’s not clear why the pen is marketed under two brand names: Paili 013 and the Wing Sung 3013.

Unfortunately, the pen has developed a hairline crack just below the cap (this is visible in this photograph by the dark area to the right of the cap) and this causes a leak of ink just where one holds the pen. At £3.59, this is not a great loss.