The Duke 209 is an extremely affordable fountain pen that comes with a fude nib.
Most sellers on eBay (from China) are selling this pen around US $10 with shipping included. That is a very good deal. The pens are more expensive on Amazon.
The fude nib is basically a nib bent near the tip. It's a specialty nib designed for Asian calligraphy, and is capable of thick and thin strokes depending on how you hold the pen instead of relying on pressure.
Previous pens that were reviewed on the blog that have the fude nib are the Duke Confucius Compound Art Fountain Pen, Hero 501-1 fountain pen, Sailor Special Script Calligraphy Pen, other Hero and Sailor pens.
The fountain pen is made of stainless steel with a nicely polished smooth surface. There's actually a black version body also. The metal grain texture goes around the barrel and cap. The spring-loaded clip is chrome finished.
The main downside with this pen is that the smooth barrel is a bit slippery to grip. This is one of the most slippery pens I've used.
At the tail end of the cap, the words 'Duke' and '209' are stamped onto the chrome finished band that goes around.
It's quite a lightweight for a metal pen. It feels well balanced on its own and when posted. Construction quality is decent enough.
Cap is the click-on type. When uncapped, it reveals the chrome finished grip. Notice the fingerprint on the chrome surface or the reflection of me taking the photo?
Design of the nib is nothing too striking. There's just the logo which looks like a crown, beneath it writes DUKE 22KGP, which I think it means 22K Gold Plated. It doesn't look gold plated to me though with the silver colour.
The fude nib of the 209 has a smooth bent curvature. The nib glides smoothly on the paper. Ink flow seems good enough to keep up with the bold ink strokes that it delivers. One thing about cheap pens is you don't really know when the feed is going to fail you. But for around US $10, it's a good risk to take.
The pen comes with a converter and two disposable ink cartridges in a simple paper box. I've read reviews commenting that the converter can be loose but not so for my case.
Here are the different type of strokes that the nib is able to produce.
In the top left box, note the thick and thin strokes from my quick sketching. In the bottom right box, the tapered ends are created with short strokes as I lift the nib from the paper. The nib can be quite broad at certain sections of the bent so it's also great for extra thick strokes, or for blocking in small areas with black.
The quality of the lines aren't too different from Hero pens with fude nibs.
On Strathmore 300 Series Watercolour Paper
The fude nib writes like a medium or broad nib. To get the thinnest stroke, you have to write with the pen vertical so that the smallest portion of the nib touches the paper. It's not among my favourite pens for writing but it is for sketching.
The Duke 209 fountain pen should appeal more to artists than writers. Although if you're adventurous enough, you can buy one to try for fun since it's so affordable. Downside is it is a slippery pen to grip.
It's a rather value for money pen. I just hope that it's durable.
I recommend getting from eBay where it is cheaper. You can also find it on Amazon.com.
There's also a double nib version on Amazon at www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00J5I12GY