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Wing Sung 612

May 14, 2011

Wing Sung 612 in teal with fine nib

I’m going to add a category here … because ever since my hand wrote the first letter, I had a rather strong affinity for fountain pens. Not entirely sure how I ended up with a small collection.
I made first forays into the world of writing with a fountain pen= and ink staining your fingers. No rollerball pens, no pencils. Fountain pens.

My penmanship is horrific and I remember the days of being a left handed person, being drilled by teachers to use the right hand, yet the love of ink on paper remained.

Something about the process of ink being put on paper- maybe some of us used to be those people carving things in stone- so maybe many lifetimes later we still appreciate ink on paper? Who knows.
I often wonder why some love ink so much.

While my eyes may roll in delight, dreaming about the perfect Mac- nothing beats that conversation you follow with your hand, your pen.

A poem written on shiny pages, inviting you to fill the pages.
Do you remember receiving a handwritten letter by your grandparents, do you remember writing a love letter that would make you say, Rumi, Shakespeare and Neruda- move over, for you have not seen passion yet?
Do you remember the most important letter you might have written?

See, pens ink and paper do just that to me.
I love ink stained blotters, ink stained fingers, leather pen holders and the hunt for decent paper. They are the physical tools that help me to sit, dream, waste time and paper and forget it all, simply writing, whatever wants to be written.

And so I chose a seemingly cheap pen to start these thoughts. Literacy and writing used to be the elusive knowledge of a very few. You were literate, you knew how to write- chances were, you were the keeper of knowledge.
Things changed- literacy rates grew, people wrote. Mass production of paper, beautiful hand crafted glass dip pens a thing of the past. (I must have spent some serious time at some court with my love for ink, pens and perfumes)
And only now the very act of writing with one’s hand seems to die out yet again- being a cherished rarity. Granted, Europe, Australia and North America differ much from Asia- where fountain pens remain an every day tool.

The Wing Sung is not your costly Pelikan, make no mistake about it- but what a wonderfully pleasant shock to write with it.

Japan, China and Germany all have their very own specific affordable writing instruments- and I love reading up on the companies producing these pens.
Apparently Wing Sun pens have not even been produced for a number of years- with With Sung having been bought up by the larger company Hero- or so internet folklore says.

Either way these pens float about the internet on plenty of sites- and I literally got mine to reach the minimum order limit- because I was buying a nib for one of my wonderful Pelikan pens, the German Nirvana of Pens. If you’re lucky, you should pay next to nothing.

At first glance- the impression of simple will overcome you- and the cap doesn’t exactly help anything. Not visually, nor will it keep the nib from drying out.
The pen is a so called aerometric filler- very similar to an eye dropper. Easy. Most people think of ink bottles as an annoying and messy relict of the past- I can’t get enough of them. But to those of us who do spent a few hours writing until we smear the pages- bottled ink proves to beat gel point pens or cartridges. Bottled ink makes sense in every way- financially, environmentally.
Refill your pen just a few times- you might understand why those monks painstakingly filled those volumes, one by one, by hand. You start to appreciate the service done to mankind to assemble volume after volume.

When you buy a Wing Sung in a fine nib- you get a fine nib. You’ll learn the difference between even a cheap Chinese fine- and a European fine nib.
In 99% the European nib will be considerably wider as its Asian counterpart, rooted in different writing requirements.

The Wing Sung lays days down what aficionados lovingly call a wet line. A wet writer and a fine nib do not have to exclude one another. Once that ink starts flowing it flowed reliably for me, no sudden rushes, no skipping.
I actually do write left and- and right handed. Either way this little every day workhorse was a pleasure to hold.
It seems to hold a decent amount of ink, as far as I could tell after a few hours of writing.

Modeled after a the legendary American Parker 51- this little clone does the job. I was able to fill more than 10 pages pages without tiring- and that is why a fountain pen beats those papermate things you’ll encounter everywhere.

Your regular pen requires a lot of pressure- one literally has to push the ink into the paper- while a fountain pen is designed to glide over the paper. A decent fountain pen will literally let you write for hours, and I simply cannot do that with anything but a fountain pen.

Granted, for longer sittings I will always reach for my Pelikan- but the Wing Sung surprised me pleasantly. A decent everyday writer.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Sam permalink
    June 20, 2012 2:44 pm

    Still loving the Wing Sung 612 after a year, I hope! Just in case you are not aware of it, the name literally means “Eternal Life”, quite appropriate for a fountain pen. By the way I am also building a collection of 51 homages by Hero too, even though I have always been a Montblanc user I did use 51s for a long while, thus the fascination.

  2. June 22, 2012 3:37 pm

    Hi Sam,

    Yes, indeed still loving the Wing Sung! I do notice a bit of a ‘start up’ time, but I consider that quite acceptable in that price range.

    Thanks for the “Eternal Life” info- great to read and know!

    I’m more of a Pelikan user- so the Wing Sungs, Lamys and Noodler pens are my ‘temporary refuge’ from the world of Pelikans.

  3. Sam permalink
    June 22, 2012 11:01 pm

    I am glad that you are enjoying it; I often find that I enjoy the simpler, no-frill things more than those with all the trimmings, but I am not going to forsake my Montblancs. I also did some digging and found that the 612 series started in February 1961 and was the main product of the company, and its production exceeded two-third of the company’s output by 1990.

    Once I have finished my investigation into the Hero hooded nib series I will look into the Wing Sung ones; have to be careful that there are some fakes around! The Guanleming (or Guan Leming) pens are appealing and evocative too: the firm was founded in 1926 in New York City, but moved to Shanghai two years later and became the second oldest maker there. Eventually it was acquired by Hero, but apparently they are still making pens at the Hero facilities.

  4. Emma permalink
    June 25, 2012 8:04 am

    The very first pen and the very first fountain pen gifted by my father in year 2 when I had my pen licence. Used very little during the first year of its life but when I took it out after almost 10 years of being lost among my possessions it still worked so very well. It gave me 4-5 years of everyday use until a tragic accident that left the pen, and my heart, broken. Tried to satisfy myself with a Hero 330 but it was never the same…

  5. Suman permalink
    October 22, 2016 8:44 am

    Is it possible to open and adjust the nib? cause the filler and the nib is slightly rotated..

    • Samuel Tang permalink
      October 22, 2016 9:49 am

      Suman,

      At an online forum I described a method to fix this, here it goes;

      The section hood is screwed into the connector, and a sealant is used to hold it in place. To break the bond you need to get some hot water – it feels hot to your finger but not unbearably so – in a cup, to the level that it covers the entire section but not high enough to reach the ink sac.

      Put the pen in – with barrel removed. Expel the air in the section so that the hot water fills the inside completely. Let it soak for about 20 minutes, changing water to maintain temperature. This high temperature water bath would soften the sealant so that the section hood can thus be screwed off. Use a pin to scrape off the residual sealant from both threads: it would be like rubber cement.

      Then the collector assembly can be taken out of the connector, and the nib/feed taken out of the collector. You can then give everything a good wash, and reassemble it: it is helpful to re-align the nib/feed in the collector, to make the slit in the collector placed at the bottom, opposite the nib.

      It would take a few trials to accurately set the collector in the connector so that the section hood would be in the right position when screwed in. Apply silicone grease (I got mine from my local scuba shop) to the threads and reassemble properly.

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