Hongdian Forest - Dark Blue

New Pen Day brings me a meme pen: The Hongdian Forest line of fountain pens had the Reddit r/fountainpens community buzzing. Apparently, for a $15 Chinese pen, it doesn’t write cheap, is quite durable, and, dare I say – looks pretty sharp.

So, naturally, for $15 I wanted to order one.

I settled on the Dark Blue variant with a Fine nib and it arrived today. Here are some pictures of the unboxing:

Initial Impressions

As you can see from the above photos, Hongdian clearly passed along the savings of packaging to customers. At the end of the day, you’re getting a $15 pen with an interesting design in consumer-friendly colors.

My writing style and paper preferences lean more towards Medium nibs and wetter inks. When I write with block caps, I’m looking for a few things:

  1. No/minimal scratching
  2. Easy starts
  3. Consistent flow

This pen – even with a Fine nib – delivers on those three criteria. The Monteverde ink flows well from this pen on my Muji notebooks, Rhoda notepads, and Clairefontaine 90gsm paper.

Will this pen be an everyday carry? Probably not, but it’ll land in my bag to transport to/from work (when we return to the office), inked with an alternate color for notes and organization of my thoughts.

Now, the real question: At $15, is this pen better than, say, a Kaweco Sport at $10 more (+ $6 for a converter)? I guess that all comes down to preference and budget. Your mileage may vary!