The Hero 612 is another very affordable pen from the giant Shanghai Hero Pen Company. The section of this hooded fountain pen is virtually exactly the same as most of the other Hero pen models in the affordable range, such as the iconic 616 and 366. As a matter of fact the similarities between some of these pens were so strong, that I was wondering whether the sections could be interchangeable!
The 612 makes use of a very slim clutch ring to join the section to the barrel, deviating from the more ample, see-through ring that doubles as an ink level window such as used on the 616 and 366. The barrel end cap is a golden, metallic “jewel”, of a traditional round pointed shape. This is attached to the barrel by a simple press fit and glue. After only two weeks in my top pocket, the gold colour has already rubbed off to expose the alluminium that the cap is pressed out of.
The cap has the same gold colour and also ends in a similar shaped “jewel” as the barrel. A thin indentation around the open end of the cap frames the words “Made in China , 612” and probably the name “Hero” in Chinese. The cap is very light, with a stapled clip featuring the Hero emblem near the top. The cap as well as the jewels on this pen definitely gives the impression of being budget orientated.
True to all the other Hero pens I have reviewed, the writing experience is very pleasant. The nib is supposedly “fine”, and ink flow is easy and controlled. Although I prefer a medium nib, this nib was very easy to write with and never failed, even when used on a wide variety of paper used in a normal office environment. I used Parker Quink, an ink that I regard as a good, affordable and available all-rounder. The ink is stored in an aerometric style reservoir, interchanging with a converter is not possible. As with all affordable pens using this system, it is quite a mission to fill the ink sac completely.
The pen weighs in at only 11 grams, making it a true lightweight. Capped length is about 142 mm, uncapped 122 mm and posted nearly 150mm. I enjoy light pens, and this Hero 612 is no exception. A combination of the light weight, plastic section and comfortable section circumference of about 11mm, makes for a positive grip without having to grip too hard.
The Hero 616 is available in the usual Hero Black, Maroon and Teal. I have found this pen to do exactly what it was designed for, providing a reliable, pleasant writing experience, at an affordable price, even for school children and students. Once again, outstanding value for money not only for the entry level fountain pen user, but also for the serious collector in need of a pen for every day office use. I do have some of these pens available for sale from time to time, they go for 12.00 AU, plus postage.