The Parker Duofold is legendary for a reason. The pen represents one of the high points in the history of fountain pens.
The Moonman M600s is a faithful copy of one of the modern releases of the pen, the Parker Duofold Centennial.
PenHabit has a review of the MKII version of the Parker Duofold Centennial with useful size info for comparison.
|Moonman M600S||Duofold Centennial MKII|
|Inked weight capped||28.85g||29g|
|Inked weight uncapped||18.32g||20g|
When it comes to Duofold clones, the traditional answer has been the Kaigelu 316. The pen has many fans.
Size-wise, the Moonman M600S and the Kaigelu are very similar. But check the weight. The Kaigelu is much heavier. At 32g uncapped (48g capped) it's in another league. Enough so that I could never bring myself to get one.
Moonman originally released this pen as the M600 for roughly US$60 in special checkerboard acrylics and a Schmidt #6 nib.
Here I'm looking at the second release of this pen, the M600S, which has Moonman's own #6 nib and slightly more pedestrian acrylic. The M600S is under US$22 plus shipping from Taobao.
The Moonman M600S was released in three resins. Teal (my choice), brown and camouflage green. The M600S colors may not be as unique as the checkerboard options, but the brown and teal, at least, are still top notch. Honestly speaking, I'm not sure if I'm ready for a camouflage pen just yet.
The teal has plenty of variation from dark-to-light, visual depth, and sparkle. This is a pen to turn heads.
The pen itself is very well made. The nib is housed in a screw-in nib unit, the section uses metal threads and the clip is solid, as are the the various bands. The fit and finish on the pen is flawless.
The pen is not designed for eye-droppering, but that's not an issue for me. The Moonman C1 is an excellent eyedropper if that's what you're after.
The cap comes off in a generous 2¾ turns. But the threads are positive and smooth. The cap has never cross-threaded, unlike the the PenBBS 352.
The cap has a liner keep to the nib from drying, though it's tough to tell if it's a separate insert or simply milled in. The A metal fastener inside the cap holds the finial and clip in place.
A couple of FPN members reported receiving pens with bent caps! So far there's no clear explanation for what caused the warping. Excessive heat during a finishing process?
Fortunately, it seems very few pens were affected and the retailers who sold the pens are making things right. Good on Moonman and good on the resellers. After sales support has long been a questionable area for Chinese pens.
Pen enthusiasts have certainly enjoyed a crop of outstanding pens Chinese recently. The Moonman M600S fits right in.
Everything about the Moonman M600S is spot on: size, girth, weight and balance. The section is a comfortable shape and the threads are unobtrusive. Clearly, working from the Duofold Centennial dimensions makes for a great pen.
The Moonman M600S does post. The cap just fits on the end of the pen. It's snug enough to stay put. At just over 10g, the cap doesn't make the pen too heavily back weighted but the posted length is longer than I prefer.
At least for now, this is not a pen I plan to use posted.
The pen wrote perfectly first time. It is a pleasure to write with.
For this pen I picked Robert Oster Taiwan Blue, a saturated ink that flows well. The paper is a Japanese Campus B5 notebook with 64g paper that is semi-absorbent and shows off shading.
Before inking the pen, I did take it apart, including removing the nib and feed from the nib assembly. It came apart (and went back together again) easily. Not all pens are so cooperative so I consider that a good sign.
The line is between fine and a medium. It's pleasingly wet. The nib is stiff so not much line variation.
The nib in this pen is as good as those that came with the C1 and M6. I figure I could swap nibs between pens and not tell the difference. Another good sign. Moonman's new nib is impressive.
Head-to-head, I think the Moonman M600S bests the PenBBS 352. It's more substantial and better made. To my mind, the Moonman M600S is an outstanding pen and a great value. PenBBS better watch out. They have competition.
More often that not, my desk is my pocket. But everyday desk items doesn't have the same ring.