Usually when you hear of a Chinese fountain pen brand that predominantly sells on eBay, you start to think of how cheaply-made and tacky the pens are going to be. However, this couldn't be further from the truth. Moonman are an organisation formed by a group of fountain pen fanatics, they source and design their own products; therefore it should come as to no surprise that the M2 is one of the best value fountain pens on the market today.
The M2 is very unique in the fact that it's one of the few fountain pens that opt for a transparent, acrylic design. Combine that with the fact that Moonman have opted for an eyedropping refill system, the M2 is a very unusual fountain pen.
The M2 wears barely any design features yet is one of the most eye-catching fountain pens you will come across. The M2 opts for an eyedropper filling system therefore the ink is stored in the actual barrel. Combine that with the fact that both the M2's barrel and cap are completely transparent, the M2 has such a unusual aesthetic. The M2 is as bold as it is stylish, the high-end and well polished acrylic barrel helps to make the pen look more premium whilst the stylish red cap band compliments the use of more vibrant ink colours such as sea blue and red.
It's refreshing to see a cigar shaped fountain pen in a time where most major fountain pen brands are changing their designs to a more tapered look. The cigar-shaped design is well-polished and sleek; there's no added decorations or any unusual ornaments. By opting for just a clean-shaped barrel, Moonman have cut costs whilst giving the pen quite an elegant look even with the ink swishing around in it.
As previously mentioned, Moonman is compromised of fountain pen enthusiasts and you can clearly see how much thought they've put into the design of the M2. The nib is made of stainless steel in an effort to keep the costs down, yet it's got an ever so slight gold tint and some very elegant-looking scrollwork across it. To further add to it's smart aesthetic, the cap and finials are well-polished and match the material of the barrel and the small red band in the middle is stylish.
The only drawback to the Moonman M2's aesthetic is the big imprinting on a red ring which surrounds the barrel, features the company name in a blocky font. This certainly interferes with the minimalistic, sleek design that the rest of the pen embodies. Depending on how much attention you pay to it will decide whether it's a deal breaker for the pen.
For such a modest price tag, it's surprising that the M2 comes in such premium packaging. The packaging is very similar to the TWSBI Eco (which was recently reviewed), it has a nice texture to it and features a bold Moonman logo; this results in a delightful unboxing experience.
Moonman's M2 weighs in at a modest 16 grams meaning it's extremely down to its fountain pen, this is largely down to the fact that it supports an eye dropping system instead of needing the components of a piston-filling system or cartridge-fitting accessories. Despite it being so light, the whole pen feels sturdy and robust, it's certainly going to take some time to do some damage to this strong-feeling pen. Furthermore, due to the majority of the pen being made of Acrylic, the pen picks up barely any scratches and any scuffing is barely visible. Similarly, due to the Acrylic material, the pen doesn't pick up any fingerprints at all meaning you can use the pen all day and not worry about it looking dirty or worn out.
Every aspect of the M2 is as sturdy as it is functional. The screw cap is tight fitted, it doesn't feel like its going to fall off when capped or posted and the ink is certainly not going to dry out with such a well-fitted cap. The nib's stainless steel feels strong whilst having a nice bounce to it whilst there's no ridges along the barrel resulting in a smooth and premium feel to it.
For the small price tag, the M2 offers exceptional build quality; it's obvious that the designers at Moonman have put alot of emphasis on the pen's longevity.
As previously mentioned, the M2 weighs in at an incredibly light 16 grams. Therefore, during longer writing experiences the pen feels as comfortable as when you begun. Furthermore, the weight distribution feels well balanced across the pen, even when the cap is posted, the pen doesn't feel top heavy and still feels fairly comfortable.
Your views on the M2's grip section are likely to come down to personal preference; it's fairly narrow and long. For those with larger hands, you may feel the pen gets uncomfortable after longer periods of writing due to how narrow it is. On the flip side, the grip section is incredibly smooth whilst avoiding being too slippery and the long grip section allows users to vary their grip.
The main reason for the growing popularity of the M2 is the writing experience it provides. It's not just a great nib for the cheap price tag, it's a great nib full stop. The same nib design comes in two sizes: a 0.38mm and 0.5mm variant, the 0.5 variant being fine and the 0.38 being extra fine. Both nibs are buttery-smooth, providing very little feedback. And you're unlikely to experience any hard starting or skipping.
Moonman's M2 is on the drier side of most fountain pens yet it still produces clean, smooth lines. Due to it being on the drier side, the ink tends to dry rapidly on all types of paper thus you don't have to worry about smudging or smearing your work.
The only downside to the writing performance of the M2 is it's lack of flexibility. This is to be expected from a stainless steel nib, those who are looking at calligraphy and want to vary their line width should look elsewhere.
One of the more unusual features of the M2 is it doesn't support a cartridge or converter filling system; instead the M2 is an eye dropper. This means that the M2 stores it's ink in the barrel. Some may view the lack of adaptability as a downside but the truth is the M2 holds an insane amount of ink. The M2 is capable of holding over 3ml's of ink, therefore even the heaviest users are going to get a lot of use out of it before even thinking about refilling it.
The process to refill the M2 is as simple as it gets, taking no more than a few seconds. You just need to unscrew the barrel, fill the chamber with your own ink and screw it back together. Similarly, cleaning out the barrel is straightforward, all you need to do is let it soak in warm water to remove any dried ink.
Included in the M2's premium packaging is a stunning glass eyedropper, therefore all that is needed to refill the pen is your own ink. The M2 have even included three silicone rings to assist you in the maintenance of the pen and keep the ink leakage to a minimum.
Value for Money & Conclusion
Priced between £15 and £25 depending on where you look, the Moonman M2 is one of the best value pens on the market right now. It's unlikely that you'll find the M2 at any high-street stationers, instead you're going to have to order from online marketplaces such as Ebay or Amazon. The M2 is an unbelievably good, eye-catching fountain pen that every fountain pen enthusiast should have in their collection.