I didn’t have high hopes for the Duragraph, based on it’s lowly price, and I’d never owned a pen by Conklin before so I didn’t know if they were a solid manufacturer. However, I wanted another stub pen to compliment my Pilot 78G BB Stub, and I thought, hey it’s cheap, let’s just SEE if it can do anything!
I chose the Blue Ice color and was pleased enough with how it looked when I received it. Although it’s a holler back to the vintage Duragraph, my pen looked very modern. I have since looked for their Forest Green in Stub to get another of this great pen but in a classic look and there seems to be a run on them; they can’t be had without grossly overpaying! The usual price for these bad boys is around $45.
They come with a twist type converter that holds a fair amount of ink, good thing too, because a wide Stub at 1.1 mm (I’m guessing that’s a Broad) is a WET writer and uses up ink in the best possible way, providing color variations like shading and sheening where it gets the paper wet enough, depending on the ink of course.
I inked up with ama-iro from iroshizuku, which writes in almost the exact color of my pen, and posted the cap (posted = put the cap on the end of the pen to write). I immediately noticed my pen posted awkwardly. You see in the picture above how the end of the pen is accented with a black “hat” ending in a raised silver ring? Your logical brain wants the pen cap to cover the black completely and reach the ring but it doesn’t. there’s about 1/3 of an inch or so of black showing. The pen feels a little of balance while posted as well, like it’s too long. I’m honestly not entirely convinced it’s a design flaw and wonder if I got one from a bad batch. But the imbalance is minor and nine out of ten times I don’t post my pen any way so it doesn’t matter to me much.
Writing was a pleasant surprise! Now this is marketed as a stub so you’d expect sharp edges, but it writes like ice glides over glass.. sweetly with no feedback on smooth paper like Tomoe River and the most minor of feedback on Clairefontaine Triomphe paper; it’s nothing you’d notice if you weren’t being super observant to report on your experience later.
It’s juicy wet, smooth writing (as long as you can handle a stub) and has got pleasant weight. I was a little sad that the line variations were’t more pronounced, but that is, apparently what a 1.1mm stub looks like… if I want BB, I need to get BB.
This pen is an excellent bargain at $45. It feels like a $100+ pen and you can chose between a classic or modern look. I liked it so much I am ordering a second one, so I can swap inks but keep using this great pen.