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Pen Review – ASA TransNauka

The pen I am about to review has sold in huge nos. and probably one of the best-selling pen of ASA. There was a time when I was after Mr. Subramaniam to make a demonstrator pen with screw in nib units from JoWo/Schmidt but somehow he was not able to procure the good material which could  withstand the threading to be done for those units and then we gave up.

Then one fine day he informed me that he had procured a new material and will be launching an already successful Nauka in the demonstrator version (which was named TransNauka) and I was too excited for the pen and I told Mr. Subramaniam it would sell in huge nos. and therefore I convinced him that we should do a group buy for the same on FPN  (TransNauka Group Buy) and believe me,  it was immensely successful.

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ASA TranNauka – In love with Rains

 

The group buy was so successful that he had to stop taking orders on his website for a fortnight even after the Group Buy was closed because of his limited production capability.

I have already reviewed a few pens from ASA as below:

  1. ASA Rainbow : LINK
  2. ASA Viraat : LINK (Absolutely love this fat pen)
  3. ASA Spear : LINK
  4. ASA Porus : LINK
  5. ASA Patriot : LINK
  6. ASA I-Can : LINK
  7. ASA Galactic : LINK

 

It’s been three months since I have got this TransNauka and further below is my effort to do a detailed review of the pen.


 

DESIGN : 4.5/05

There is an old age saying:

“Beauty lies in the eye of beholder”

And to my eyes, this pen is the just pure aesthetic pleasure. It’s a beauty. TransNauka inspires awe when it is inked and I believe it one-ups the already existing Nauka.

It’s simple, classic, sublime and is on the lines of Bauhaus Design movement which is a unification of art, craft, and technology. The design of Nauka was inspired by famous MORA STYLOS OLDWIN CLASSIC and in fact one of the fellow fountain pen connoisseur Prithwijit was the force behind the development of Nauka.

 

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ASA TransNauka – Uncapped

 

The pen without cap looks like it’s just one piece as the grip section merges with the barrel in such a form that there is no step down which is generally prevalent in many pens. The pen gradually tapers towards the bottom to an almost pointed end. Similarly, the pen tapers towards the grip section till it meets the threads at the top which holds the cap.

 

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ASA TransNauka – Comparative pic when pen uncapped and capped

 

The pen comes only in the brushed matte finish and personally prefer the brushed version better than the polished version as the polished version tends to develop micro abrasions and smudges and also looses shine over the period of time.

The cap of the pen unlike the bottom of the barrel is not torpedoed shape at the top rather it is like a hemispherical dome. The pen I bought comes with chrome finish ball-end clip and it also comes sans the clip. The cap is almost 3/4th the size of pen making it a very large pen.

 

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ASA TransNauka – Cap and Barrel

 

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ASA TransNauka – Cap is 3/4th of Pen when uncapped

 

I found the pen very minimalist with no branding. One thing I believe can be improved is to reduce the gap between the cap finial and nib unit when the pen is closed.

The pen is beautiful and is bang for the buck at the price and yeah this beauty is handmade.

 


 

BUILT & CONSTRUCTION : 04/05

One look at the pen and you won’t actually believe that this pen completely hand-turned. It’s almost perfectly shaped and finished from the exterior.

 

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ASA TransNauka – Lovely Finish

 

One thing I found that as much as the exterior is well finished and shaped, the interior of the barrel was not paid much attention. There are certain undulations in interior (1 or 2 places) of the barrel which result in the formation of O-rings like shape inside the barrel with ink.

I received two pens, matte brushed finish and the clear polished one. The clear polished one was all over the places with regards to finish and thus it was not launched  officially.

This brushed finish is superb barring one area with regards to barrel interior area. The brushed finish is also better because of the fact that it hides the lathe marks and also is not smudge-prone.

The quality of material used is quite good but is brittle in nature and thus one has to be careful with regards to handling (against falls). The acrylic used is the hard non-modified PMMA and apt thickness of the material are used in pen and is quite better compared to ones used in TWSBI.

 

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ASA TransNauka – Cap View showing material thickness and finish

 

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ASA TransNauka – Material thickness in Barrel and Grip Section

 

The pen is quality finished one which needs to be handled carefully and if proper care is taken it will last you ages. I love my TranNauka but I care for every pen that I own. If you are the one who keeps throwing his/her pen here and there then I suggest you go for the ebonite version.


 

 

BALANCE & SIZE : 04/05

The cap of the pen doesn’t post securely and that’s because of the design. But.. But… But… the pen is so big even uncapped @ 135 mm that there is no need for posting.

The pen is little heavy towards the nib and I believe this could have been countered by providing solid crystal end at bottom of barrel. Nevertheless, this was no issue for me, it’s a minute difference and some of you won’t even notice.

 

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ASA TransNauka – Writing with it – Unposted and Posted

 

Initially, I had trouble adapting to the grip of the pen because of gradual slope of grip section from barrel to top of nib unit but now that I am using the pen since 3 months I have gotten used to it. The grip might also be fat for some because of the design and might not be so good for people with small hands. Now for me, it was okay because I prefer big pens.

 

The pen is big yet light in weight but one thing I noticed is that when uncapped it is lighter than Ranga Bamboo Demonstrator but almost 4 gms heavier when capped and both are equal in length when uncapped but when capped the TransNauka is larger of the two.

 

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ASA TransNauka – Weight – Capped and Uncapped

 

Few specification of the pen are as follows:

  • Length of pen (closed) – 160  mm
  • Length of pen (open and unposted) – 135 mm (including nib)
  • Length of pen (open and posted) – 176 mm
  • Length of Cap – 78 mm
  • Maximum Dia of Cap – 21 mm
  • Maximum Dia of Barrel – 14 mm
  • Dia of Barrel ( Near Barrel Bottom) – 8 mm
  • Maximum Dia of Grip Section – 13.5 mm
  • Minimum Dia of Grip Section – 11 mm
  • Weight of Pen with Cap – 27.9 gms (inked)
  • Weight of Pen without Cap – 17.13 gms (inked)

 

 

Below are the pictures of the pen  in comparison with others :

 

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ASA TransNauka vs Pilot Custom 823 vs ASA Patriot vs Lamy Safari – Capped

 

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ASA TransNauka vs Pilot Custom 823 vs ASA Patriot vs Lamy Safari – Uncapped

 

As clear from above pics its a bit fat compared to others.


 

 

NIB : 3.5/05

The pen can be bought in a variety of #6 sized nib options from JoWo or Schmidt and in various point widths. The one I have here is JoWo Steel 1.1 Stub nib in Black Oxide finish.

 

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ASA TranNauka -Nib Shot in Rain

 

The nib is a screw in nib unit and easily replaceable. The nib that I got was a lemon and was scratchy out of the box. I had to tune it and now it performs the way I want.

 

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ASA TransNauka – JoW0 1.1 Nib in Black Oxide Finish

 

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ASA Nauka vs Pilot Custom 823 vs ASA Patriot vs Lamy Safari – Nib Comparison

 

Advice to people if you are buying the pen from ASA do avail the option of pen/nib testing this might delay the pen delivery but pen and nib will be checked for writing before dispatch and yeah there are no extra charges for that.


 

 

INK FILLING MECHANISM: 05/05

It can take international long or shot cartridges, international converter and can be used as an ED also.

The pen looks best when eye dropper-ed and I applied silicone grease to the threads before using it as ED pen.

 

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ASA TransNauka – Using as an ED Pen

 

Ink capacity as an eye dropper is 4 ml and will vary with every pen as it is handmade one.

Below are the images of handwritten review of the pen sample writing:

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ASA TransNauka – Handwritten Review – Page 1

 

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ASA TransNauka – Handwritten Review – Page 2

 

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ASA TransNauka – Handwritten Review – Page 3

 

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ASA TransNauka – Handwritten Review – Page 4

 

 

CONCLUSION: 21/25

The pen was bought at group buy price of Rs. 2200 and it was a steal at that price. And now the prices have increased yet it is a value for money option.

Beautiful pen but I won’t recommend this to people with small hands.

What I Like:

  1. Beautiful Design
  2. Handmade
  3. Quality Finish- Exterior
  4. Good Balance and Size
  5. Good Ink Capacity
  6. Well Priced

What I don’t Like:

  1. Internal Barrel Finish
  2. Poor OTB Nib

 

 

HOW TO BUY :

The pen was bought via group buy on FPN and there will be another group buy in near future for the same.

Simultaneously who don’t like waiting for group buys can buy directly from ASA website : LINK.

And the last I checked its available on pre-order only with waiting for 4 weeks.

 

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Word for Wednesday : 06 July 2016

In rotation today is  Pilot 78G – B Stub Nib inked with Lamy Turquoise Ink. This ink is my all time favourite Turquoise ink and it was also my first turquoise ink.

Pilot Stubs are more like Cursive Italics and have amazing line variation.

The word of the day is : Attenuate

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Regards

Vaibhav Mehandiratta

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Word for Wednesday : 22 June 2016

Another Wednesday and another word for the day.

Today I am using my beautiful Gama Airborne which is inked with Rohrer & Kilngner Verdura. The nib is Ambitious and it is a wet writer eyedropper pen. This pen is an homage to Eversharp Skyline.

The word of the day is : Phlegmatic

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Regards

Vaibhav Mehandiratta

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Word for Wednesday : 15 June 2016

This Wednesday I am using my new ASA TransNauka which fitted with 1.1 Black Oxide JoWo Nib and Inked with Iroshizuku Yama-Budo.

 

The word of the day is : LOQUACIOUS

 

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Regards

Vaibhav Mehandiratta

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Pen Review – Ratnam Tarpoda

Ratnam Tarpoda (Big Size) was one amongst  my mass-order purchase through my dear friend Pradeep who was travelling to Rajahmundry last year. I have bought lot of pens from different manufacturers and I have varied experiences across the three brands of Rajahmundry.

For those who don’t know, Rajahmundry is one of the major city of Andhra Pradesh in India. And city consists of few of the oldest fountain pen manufacturers in India like Ratnam, Ratnamson, and Guider.

Ratnam Pen Works ( KV Brahmam & Brothers) is the first “Swadeshi” Fountain Pen Company of India and was established in 1932. It was started by Kosuri Venkat Ratnam and is currently being run by one of his two sons, Siva Ratnam. They also manufacture handmade gold nibs including conical shape gold nib. Most of their pens are made of ebonite, however they also make silver metal pens and also gold plated silver pens. I have yet to see acrylic pen from them.

The review is about their big size ebonite pen , Ratnam Tarpoda.

 

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Ratnam Tarpoda

 

DESIGN : 3.5/5

Here the pen is in simple, classic shaped design with rounded finials. The pen tapers down down to rounded bottom, while the cap also tapers but just slightly to finial which is shaped like parabolic dome. It bears lot of resemblance to one of my previously reviewed pen Ratnamson 302, which is a pen from different manufacturer, though in this case the cap finials tapers more towards top.

 

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Ratnam Tarpoda – Uncapped
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Ratnam Tarpoda – Dome Shaped Top and Rounded Bottom

 

The grip section is made in black ebonite unlike the body which is made in olive ripple ebonite which is famous by name of White Tiger because of the resemblance to skin of white tiger.

 

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Ratnam Tarpoda – Capped
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Ratnam Tarpoda – Uncapped and Unposted
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Ratnam Tarpoda – Uncapped and Posted

 

The barrel is cylindrical and tapers both ways, towards the grip section and also towards the bottom end. The grip section in black ebonite gradually tapers towards the top with flared end at the top. The grip section is short and I end up gripping threads which actually are not sharp and rather they are smooth and provide good grip.

The cap is adorned with dual bands and has a stiff ball end type clip. The trims used are gold and I believe they match with the ebonite. And it opens in 4 1/2 turns.

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Ratnam Tarpoda – Cap with Ball end Clip and Dual Centerbands

 

The barrel is engraved with the branding which reads “RATNAM PEN, MADE IN  RJY, INDIA”. And it is filled some sort of gold paint which I believe is not neatly done as their is spillage of gold paint on barrel which eventually will wear off with time.

 

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Ratnam Tarpoda – Branding

 

Overall it is a classic, no nonsense, elegant cigar shaped design and you cant go wrong with that.

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Ratnam Tarpoda – Classic Cigar Design

 

Finishing can be improved a little. And most importantly the turns to open cap must be minimized.


 

BUILT & CONSTRUCTION : 3/5

The quality of material used is good and is sturdy. There is no discolouration of material. The built quality is just at par with like of Ranga or Deccan pens if not better, especially finishing. I think Branding on barrel can still be improved.

What i really liked was the alignment of cap with the barrel when it is closed in such a way that the ripple effect of ebonite carries to the cap from barrel.

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Ratnam Tarpoda – Ripple Pattern Continuation from Barrel to Cap

 

Its a handmade pen and yes there are certain anomalies like cap finial doesn’t align in line with the tapered profile of the cap. But again what do you expect from such an inexpensive pen.

 

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Ratnam Tarpoda – Cap Finial not aligned with cap
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Ratnam Tarpoda – Cap inner View

 

As far as the quality of band is considered they are better than what I had on Ratnamson 302. But yes they still need improvement.

 

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Ratnam Tarpoda – Cap Center Bands

 

One thing I really did not like was provision for 2 breather holes in the pen, otherwise it is well built HANDMADE pen at this price point.


 

BALANCE & SIZE : 5/5

The pen is vary well balanced in both the scenarios when writing with cap posted or unposted. Yes, when cap is posted at back, the rear becomes heavy and will suit the one with large hands but it doesn’t becomes unbalanced at all. The cap posts securely and it post deep. Below are the 2 images showing the length till which the cap posts, outer limit shown by thumb.

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Ratnam Tarpoda – Cap Posts Deep
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Ratnam Tarpoda – Thumb shows the length till which the cap posts

 

Below are the two images showing the length of pen when writing with cap posted and unposted.

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Ratnam Tarpoda – Writing Unposted
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Ratnam Tarpoda – Writing Posted

 

Being ebonite it is light weigh and no metal is used here.

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Ratnam Tarpoda – Weight in gms including cap
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Ratnam Tarpoda – Weight in gms excluding cap

 

Few Specifications are :

  • Length of pen (closed) – 150 mm
  • Length of pen (open and unposted) – 125 mm (including nib)
  • Length of pen (open and posted) – 165 mm (including nib)
  • Length of Grip Section – 15 mm
  • Maximum Dia of Cap – 16 mm
  • Maximum Dia of Barrel – 14 mm
  • Maximum Dia of Grip Section – 12 mm
  • Minimum Dia of Grip Section – 10 mm
  • Weight of Pen with Cap – 28.24 gms (inked)
  • Weight of Pen without Cap – 17.82 gms (inked)

 

 

Below are the few images showing the comparison of pen with others:

 

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Ratnam Tarpoda vs Lamy Safari vs Pilot MR vs Jinhao X750 – Capped
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Ratnam Tarpoda vs Lamy Safari vs Pilot MR vs Jinhao X750 – Uncapped ans Posted

 

Clearly it is not that much a big pen and hence it is comfortable for most of the users.


 

NIB: 2.5/5

Nib used is #5 friction fit with ebonite feed. Nib is Dual tone and is well articulated with certain engraving which reads ” GENIUS IRIDIUM GERMANY”. The nib on this was better than what the Guider puts on their pens but yes not to my liking and thus I ended up grinding the nib to medium Italic and it was nib which got grind easily unlike Wality nibs.

 

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Ratnam Tarpoda – Nib unit View – Top
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Ratnam Tarpoda – Nib unit View – Side
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Ratnam Tarpoda – Nib unit View – Underside

 

The problem is that the nib is available only in fine and no other choices.


 

INK FILLING MECHANISM: 4/5

The ink filling mechanism is via an Eyedropper, well you can use syringe also. Ink capacity is around 3.5 ml, which is substantial.

 

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Ratnam Tarpoda – Pen taken apart
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Ratnam Tarpoda – Eyedropper Filling

 

Since its an ED pen, there is a noticeable increase in the inflow when the ink level goes below 3/4th and that is when you will have to refill otherwise it will burp. Its like it will gives you warning before it burps. This pen though has not burped on me at all and yeah i ensure when the ink level goes below I refill it.

Below are the images of my handwritten review and the writing samples:

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Ratnam Tarpoda – Handwritten Review – Page 1
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Ratnam Tarpoda – Handwritten Review – Page 2
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Ratnam Tarpoda – Handwritten Review – Page 3
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Ratnam Tarpoda – Handwritten Review – Page 4

 

CONCLUSION : 18/25

I recommend this pen to every collector. Its an handmade pen from first pen manufacturer of India.

Also will recommend to the likes who love fiddling around with their pen and know how to live around and ED pen.

I bought this pen for Rs. 1000 (approx US $16 ) which included shipping last year and I believe the price might have gone up.

What I Like:

  1. Classic Cigar Design
  2. Handmade
  3. Very Good Quality Ebonite
  4. Good Balance and Size
  5. Good Ink Capacity
  6. A piece of History
  7. Value for Money

What I don’t Like:

  1. Eyedropper only
  2. Only one nib option
  3. Branding

HOW TO BUY:

They can be easily approached via WhatsApp ( Mob No. +91 98489 18904). They will send you pics and prices and you can select whatever you like. Pay via bank transfer and they ship once the payment is received.

 

Regards

Vaibhav Mehandiratta

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Tuesday Thoughts – 03 May 2016

In today’s rotation I have Ratnam Tarpoda (Big Size Ebonite) inked with Krishna Cool Breeze Ink. Ratnam Pens is oldest fountain pen manufacturer and part of Swadeshi Movement in India. The nib is self grounded to medium italic and writes super smooth.

Today’s beautiful thought comes from Nobel Peace Laureate, Mother Teresa

 

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Regards

Vaibhav Mehandiratta

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Tuesday Thoughts – 12 April 2016

The Pen in rotation is Pilot Non Self Filling Fountain Pen also known as Pilot Tank. It is an eyedropper and actually can take Con-20 converter. And it is inked with Sailor Jentle Shigure.

Today’s inspiration comes from one of the foremost Architect of America during his time, Louis I. Kahn. He was also the Architect of famous management Institute of India, IIM-Ahmedabad.

 

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Regards

Vaibhav Mehandiratta

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Tuesday Thoughts – 05 April 2016

The pen in rotation today Ranga Zeal in Matte finish Red-Yellow Ripple ebonite with Matte finish Acrylic. Using the same inked with Pilot Iroshizuku Yama-Budo.

And inspiration for today comes from one of the most iconic Architect of our times, Zaha Hadid. She was the first woman to win Pritzker Award.

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Regards

Vaibhav Mehandiratta

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Pen Review – Deccan Advocate

Deccan Pens have been into existence since 1928 when they opened first outlet in Hyderabad at Abids and has been one of the oldest fountain pen manufacturing company in India. The firm was started by Sabih Akhter Siddiqui who used to sell fountain pens door to door with the help of DURO agency which used to produce fountain pens in 1920’s. Today Deccan Pens has 32 year old manufacturing unit and they only make fountain pens.

They have now 3 stores at Secunderabad, Ameerpet, and oldest one at Abids.

Deccan Pens have been covered and reviewed lot by HARI, SHRUJYA, & JAISIRI.

And this particular review is about one of the largest selling pen from Deccan stable which is “Deccan Advocate”. There have been lot of iterations of Deccan Advocate over many years.

 

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Deccan Advocate – In the Wild

 

I must thank Rakshit who lives in Hyderabad and he helped me in getting this pen. He also is a fountain pen connoisseur and you can check his blog here. I got this pen almost 7-8 months back and have been using this only for past 2 months. So the review is about my experience with the pen for past 2 months.


 

DESIGN & BUILT: 5/5

Deccan Pens are notable for impeccable built quality and this Deccan Advocate again stamps their authority of quality built pens.

Advocate currently comes in two variants : Round End and Flat End. The model that I am reviewing is the Round end one in green ripple colour and I was told that it is difficult to get hold of the round end advocate and I was lucky enough to get this one.

 

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Deccan Advocate – In Broad Day Light

 

The pen is made of high quality ebonite and is available in black, matte black , mottled brown, rippled brown and green ripple and also olive brown ripple.

My pen is extremely well made though it was religiously inspected by Rakshit before he bought this one. The ebonite has no perforations its solid without any specks and perforations. The quality of rod is really great.

 

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Deccan Advocate

 

The pen is a simple and elegant cigar shaped pen with slight tapering towards the bottom end. There are no bands or trims used on this pen. Only metal part or thing you will see on the pen is clip apart from the nib.

The pen is very well executed and polished though you might see some marks just below the threads which is due to cap being capped and uncapped regularly and has not received thorough cleaning and polish from my side.

The grip section is made of  same ebonite material and is in concave shape. The length of grip section is 22 mm and this I beleive is quite good as it helps in good grip on the pen.

 

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Deccan Advocate – Capped

 

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Deccan Advocate – Uncapped

 

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Deccan Advocate – Round Ends

The pen cap opens in 6 turns which I am not happy with but its still acceptable as most of the Indian pens take almost around 5 to 6 turns to open.

The cap has chrome finish clip which gives you a look of look of something between matt and polished finish but it is not polished with some sorts of coating.

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Deccan Advocate – Cap Clip

 

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Deccan Advocate – Cap Clip Side View

 

The cap clip narrows down to bottom and is quite sturdy and can easily fit in to shirt pocket firmly.

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Deccan Advocate – Inner View of Cap

 

The thickness of ebonite is thinnest near the bottom of the cap or what we call as cap lip which you can see in above picture. As the cap tapers at the bottom but it is still sturdy.

 

Below are the few images showing the comparison of pen with other pens:

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Deccan Advoate vs Lamy Safari vs Jinhao X750 – Capped

 

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Deccan Advoate vs Lamy Safari vs Jinhao X750 – Uncapped

 

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Deccan Advoate vs Lamy Safari vs Jinhao X750 – Capped (Lateral Side View)

 

Overall, its a beautiful, cigar shaped elegant pen which has impeccable built quality. Its a quality finish from Hyderabad. Yeah I must tell you that there is no branding of any kind on pen anywhere be it clip or nib or even barrel.


 

 

BALANCE & SIZE : 3.5/5

The pen is around 140 mm including the nib when uncapped and I don’t see any reason to post the cap at back and also I prefer to write with cap unposted. The pen is very much balanced when writing unposted but becomes bottom heavy when cap is posted at back, moreover it becomes uncomfortable at 184 mm when cap is posted at back, thus it is unbalanced. The pen length is 155 mm when it is capped.

 

Below are the images showing the comparison when writing posted and unposted :

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Deccan Advocate – Writing Unposted

 

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Deccan Advocate – Writing Posted

 

What I find most comfortable about the pen is the grip section which is at 9 mm and is in conical shape. It provides perfect grip. The length of grip section is also substantial at 22 mm.

 

The pen weighs around 30 gm with cap and around 20 gm without cap (with ink filled).

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Deccan Advocate – Weight of pen with cap

 

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Deccan Advocate – Weight of pen without cap

 

Few specifications are as follows:

  • Length capped: 155 mm
  • Length uncapped and posted : 184 mm
  • Length uncapped and unposted : 140mm
  • Length of grip section : 22 mm
  • Barrel Dia Avg – 14 mm
  • Cap Dia – 16 mm
  • Section Dia (Avg) : 9 mm
  • Weight with cap : 30.4 gm
  • Weight without cap : 20.53 gm

 

NIB & INK FILLING MECHANISM: 4/5

Nib currently being used on this pen is 35 mm (#6) Gold Finish Steel Nib and this is a stock nib and there was no other option of the nib on this pen. The nib is famous ambitious fine nib which is friction fit and it writes very well and is paired with good wet ebonite feed. Ink flow is quite good.

 

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Deccan Advocate – Nib Unit Top View

 

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Deccan Advocate – Nib Unit Side View

 

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Deccan Advocate – Nib Unit Underside View

 

The nib is set just a bit inside more, thus what you see is less of 35 mm nib because the grip section is bit flared up as visible from image below.

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Deccan Advocate – Nib set inside deep

 

The filling mechanism is via eyedropper and it holds approx 3 ml of ink. It has not burped on me even once.

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Deccan Advocate – Eyedropper Fill Mechanism

 

 

Below are the images of my handwritten review which shows you the writing sample:

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Deccan Advocate – Handwritten Review – Page 01

 

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Deccan Advocate – Handwritten Review – Page 02
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Deccan Advocate – Handwritten Review – Page 03

 

 

CONCLUSION: 12.5/15

I recommend everyone to have at least one Deccan Pen and buying ADVOCATE is the best pen to get hold of at reasonable price of otherwise expensive Deccan Pens.  Well yeah i did not like the combination of chrome clip with gold finish nib.

I bought this pen for Rs. 1000 (approx 16 usd) which does not include shipping as it was bought by my friend who paid for Shipping.

What I Like:

  1. Classic Cigar Design
  2. Well Finished
  3. Very Good Quality Ebonite
  4. Lot of Ink Capacity

What I don’t Like:

  1. Eyedropper only
  2. Only one nib option
  3. Combination of Silver chrome clip with Gold color nib

 

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Deccan Advocate – Close Up

 

Comments and feedback are welcome.

 

Regards

Vaibhav Mehandiratta

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Pen Review – Guider Acrylic Medium

Guider Pen Company is one of the three fountain pen companies of Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh State of India. Other being Ratnam and Ratnamson. Guider Pen is owned by G. Lakshmana Rao currently.

Guider Pen Company was started by G. Subbarao in 1946. And they manufacture the pens from various materials like ebonite, acrylic and also celluloid.

This review is about one of the acrylic pen from their stable called “Acrylic Medium“. Quite an unusual name. Right ?? I thought so. This pen came in box with cardboard sleeve with no branding.  The pen was purchased via discussion with him over whatsapp after he showed me the current stock and I selected few and ordered all in all 6 pens which was easy. However challenging part was asking names of each pen that I bought from him.

 

IMG_20160316_125947[1]
Guider Acrylic Medium – In the Wild

 

DESIGN & BUILT: 5/5

This is an exquisite looking pen from Guider. It come in various beautiful acrylic colours and I got two pens in different colours, one being green as shown in the picture and the other one being white pearl colour. This is a medium sized pen which is beautifully finished.

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Guider Acrylic Medium – Uncapped

 

The pen is classic design with Parker style arrow clip and two centre bands. The trims used are golden colour and they beautifully complement with the green acrylic. The fit and finish of the pen is amazing with no visible lathe marks and even the two bands are equally placed.

The pen is thickest at the centre of barrel  apart from cap and tapers down to rounded bottom.

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Guider Acrylic Medium – Capped

 

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Guider Acrylic Medium – Uncapped

 

The cap clip has conical dome shaped crown above the clip band in the same acrylic.

IMG_20160316_085417
Guider Acrylic Medium – Top Crown Shaped End and Rounded Bottom

 

The cap has no breather hole like many Indian Pens. The pen opens in 2 & 1/2 turns which is unlike many ebonite pens made in India. I see the momentum going towards less threads now. Branding is only done on the clip and the nib.

 

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Guider Acrylic Medium – Uncapped : Close-up showing the clip in vintage Parker style

 

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Guider Acrylic Medium – Cap Top View Showing Branding on arrow clip

 

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Guider Acrylic Medium – Cap Side View showing the centre-bands

 

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Guider Acrylic Medium – Cap Inner View

 

I really like the built quality of the pen, acrylic used is strong and it has taken one or two falls and yet nothing has happened, however I need to be more careful as it is acrylic. Beautiful product from Guider and full marks to Guider on turning this beauty.

Below are few images showing the comparison between Guider Acrylic Medium with other pens:

IMG_20160316_084341
Guider Acrylic Medium vs Jinhao X-750 vs Lamy Safari – Capped

 

IMG_20160316_084150
Guider Acrylic Medium vs Jinhao X-750 vs Lamy Safari – Uncapped

 

Pen is just slightly bigger than Lamy safari by almost 7 mm .

Kudos to guider for such a beauty.


 

BALANCE : 3.5/5

The pen is around 125 mm including nib and fits perfectly in my small hands. The pen is very well balanced when writing unposted. The pen cap doesn’t post deep and thus making it a large pen when cap is posted at back at 173 mm and honestly, to me it feels a bit uncomfortable and awkward even though it is surprisingly balanced. i would have preferred more if the cap would have posted more deep.

 

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Guider Acrylic Medium – Writing Unposted

 

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Guider Acrylic Medium – Writing Posted

 

The pen being acrylic doesn’t weigh much. Below are the images showing the weight of pen with or without the cap.

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Guider Acrylic Medium – Weight without the cap and with ink filled

 

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Guider Acrylic Medium – Weight with the cap and with ink filled

 

Few Specifications of the pens are as follows:

  • Length of Pen – Capped  = 146 mm
  • Length of Pen – Uncapped including nib = 125 mm
  • Length of Grip Section = 18 mm
  • Length of Barrel = 91 mm
  • Length of Pen – Cap Posted = 173 mm
  • Dia. of Barrel @ centre = 13 mm (avg)
  • Dia. of Cap = 14 mm (avg)
  • Dia. of Grip Section = 10 mm (avg)
  • Weight of Pen including Cap and Ink filled = 23.53 g
  • Weight of Pen without Cap and Ink filled = 14.47 g

 

 

NIB & INK FILLING MECHANISM: 3/5

Nib is #5 Gold Colour Steel Nib which writes fine and was a big, bigg, biggg disappointment. I will actually give only one mark for the nib for actually being there. The feed is ebonite.

I actually grinded the nib to oblique italic to suit my handwriting and now it writes like a dream with amazing ink flow via ebonite feed. I am actually really fortunate that nib grind turned out to be blessing in disguise for the shitty nib provided along with this pen. I have been writing with this pen for past one month and it has not burped on me even though i have been careful of topping up the ink when ink level goes really low.

 

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Guider Acrylic Medium – Nib Unit Top View

 

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Guider Acrylic Medium – Nib Unit Side View

 

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Guider Acrylic Medium – Nib Unit Underside View

 

The pen holds approx around 2 ml , an advantage being of an eyedropper fill mechanism.

 

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Guider Acrylic Medium – Eyedropper Ink Filling Mechanism

 

I wish the nib could have been better.

Below is the handwritten review showing the writing sample also:

hand1
Guider Acrylic Medium – Handwritten Review -Page 1

 

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Guider Acrylic Medium – Handwritten Review -Page 2

 

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Guider Acrylic Medium – Handwritten Review -Page 3

 

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Guider Acrylic Medium – Handwritten Review -Page 4

 

CONCLUSION: 11.5/15

I recommend this beautiful pen to people who can tune or change the nibs on their own, not that the nib is difficult to change, it actually is an easy job provided you have a standalone spare nib and also to people who don’t mind using the Pen with euedropper fill mechanism.

I bought this pen for Rs. 1000  (approx 15 usd) including shipping  which was not a bad deal.

What I Like:

  1. Classic Design
  2. Well Finished
  3. Beautiful Acrylic Material
  4. Lot of Ink Capacity

What I don’t Like:

  1. Bad Steel Nib

 


 

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Pen Review – ASA Rainbow (ED)

ASA Rainbow
ASA Rainbow

 

The review is about a pen which was launched on Whatsapp Group of 20 members at that time and I believe was first of its kind launch for a pen. Approximately 50 odd pens were made and beleive me on this all got sold out within half an hour. So beautiful were they to look at first site. They were RAINBOW.

ASA Rainbow - Posing
ASA Rainbow – Posing

This happens to be an ED model and the updated model with C/C mechanism is soon to be launched at  ASA Pens on 23rd September.

My other review of ASA pens are as follows:

  1. ASA Spear
  2. ASA Galactic
  3. ASA I-Can
  4. ASA Porus
  5. ASA Patriot
  6. ASA Viraat

Rainbow is first multicolored acrylic pen from the house of ASA Pens.


DESIGN & BUILT: 4 / 5

It’s a simple classic cigar shaped pen with rounded bottom and top. Actually nothing is much happening on the design front. it though is a small pocket sized pen. It is actually the material which is doing all the talk.

ASA Rainbow - Swirled Acrylic Material
ASA Rainbow – Swirled Acrylic Material

The pen will to begin with eventually will come in following colors when launched.

  • Cherry Red (in pic above)
  • Midnight Blue (Blue and Dark Blue swirls)
  • Black Pearl (White and Black swirls)
  • Fiery Orange (Orange and Black swirls)

The color yellow with green swirls might be added later which is being reviewed.

ASA Rainbow ED
ASA Rainbow – Cherry Red and Yellow Swirl

To begin with what i really like about this pen is its size and girth. It is small pen but not that slim. Lovely part is the grip section which is the thinnest portion in whole pen. It’s so wonderful to grip and write with this pen.

ASA Rainbow - Pocket Sized Pen
ASA Rainbow – Capped
ASA Rainbow - Uncapped
ASA Rainbow – Uncapped
ASA Rainbow - Rounded Top and Bottom
ASA Rainbow – Rounded Top and Bottom

The pen has silver trims. Actually the pen has only clip as a trim and a nib. No other metal parts were used. its a minimalistic design pen. The clip is sturdy and stiff and not springy at all. fits shirt pockets easily.

The pen cap has no breather hole unlike many other Made in India pens. The cap finial is threaded and can be taken out easily also.

ASA Rainbow - Cap View
ASA Rainbow – Cap View
ASA Rainbow - Cap inner View
ASA Rainbow – Cap inner View
ASA Rainbow - Tear Drop Clip
ASA Rainbow – Clip

Built is amazing and is well finished and polished pen. however i have to add one thing this pen is acrylic and requires maintenance and care to ensure no scratches just by throwing pen on desk or anywhere else.

Below are the few images of the pen showing comparison with other pens.

Gama Kuyil vs Pilot 78G vs ASA Rainbow
Gama Kuyil vs Pilot 78G vs ASA Rainbow
Gama Kuyil vs Pilot 78G vs ASA Rainbow - uncapped and posted
Gama Kuyil vs Pilot 78G vs ASA Rainbow – uncapped and posted

BALANCE:  5/5

I love the fact that the small pens don’t have to be necessarily slim and this really goes down well with me. And i love ASA Rainbow also because of its girth too.

Its very well balanced pen and feels amazing in your hand whether you write with cap posted or not at the back.

ASA Rainbow - Writing Unposted
ASA Rainbow – Writing Unposted
ASA Rainbow - Writing Posted
ASA Rainbow – Writing Posted

The cap posts very securely and also posting does not add to that much heft. This one is aptly balanced pen.


NIB AND INK FILLING MECHANISM: 3.5/5

Our first feedback for this beautiful pen was to make it C/C mechanism pen because ink filled in barrel changes the color of the barrel and darkens it and thus it will be soon launched with C/C mechanism on 23rd September.

The nib on the pen in question is Fine-Medium Ambitious 35 mm nib (#6) and is chrome finish. I love the ambitious nibs of size 35 mm and 40 mm. This nib writes with welcome feedback and writes wet. I love the way it writes. The nib has got certain springiness to it.

ASA Rainbow - Nib Unit top View
ASA Rainbow – Nib Unit top view
ASA Rainbow - Nib Unit side view
ASA Rainbow – Nib Unit side view
ASA Rainbow - Nib Unit bottom view
ASA Rainbow – Nib Unit bottom view
ASA Rainbow - Nib Unit angled view
ASA Rainbow – Nib Unit angled view

Though the upcoming pen with C/C filling mechanism will come in following nib options:

  • Schmidt monotone F Nib
  • Schmidt monotone M nib
  • Schmidt monotone B nib

This pen has an eye dropper fill mechanism and hold good 3 ml of ink. The feed is made of ebonite and fitted very tight and securely. The removal of nib will require knockout block as the nib is friction fit.

ASA Rainbow - Eye dropper fill
ASA Rainbow – Eye dropper fill

I recommend people to buyers is to chose pen with option of fountain pen testing at checkout which takes time but you get the pen which writes good out of the box and this facility is being given by ASA pens free of charge.

Below are the few images showing hand written review and also certain specification,

ASA Rainbow - Page 1
ASA Rainbow – Page 1
ASA Rainbow - Page 2
ASA Rainbow – Page 2
ASA Rainbow - Page 3
ASA Rainbow – Page 3

Conclusion : 

This is a beauty and I am sure it will outsell any other model ASA pens has launched because this pen has it all going for it when its launched in C/C mechanism. However i would not recommend using this pen as ED as the barrel gets discolored because of the ink not that the ink burps.

Go ahead save some money to buy this one. I recommend it.

ASA Rainbow
ASA Rainbow
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Pen Review – ASA Viraat

ASA Viraat - Standing Tall
ASA Viraat – Standing Tall

The review is about my second oversized pen ASA Viraat that i bought along with the Gama Supreme which I will be reviewing later.

This happens to be custom job that he did for me and supposedly upcoming model in growing list of ASA Pens.

My other review of ASA pens are as follows:

  1. ASA Spear
  2. ASA Galactic
  3. ASA I-Can
  4. ASA Porus
  5. ASA Patriot
ASA Viraat
ASA Viraat

DESIGN & BUILT: 4.5 / 5

This pen comes in two ebonite colors like black, light brown rippled, dark brown rippled. The pen in review is light brown rippled often called as White Tiger Ebonite.

ASA Viraat - Top View
ASA Viraat – Top View
ASA Viraat - Uncapped
ASA Viraat – Uncapped

Built wise its a amazing, thick and the quality of the ebonite used is top notch. No qualms about it.

Also there are two option of finishes available for this pen, Polished and Matte. Matte being new finish on the colored ebonite from ASA Pens. I am using the Polished version which can be seen in the image below.

ASA Viraat - Polished version. Look at the shine
ASA Viraat – Polished version. Look at the shine

The thickness of material is amazing. Its built like tank. Throw it here and there and forget. No damage will happen to this tank like built pen. The pen is fat and average thickness of pen is 15 mm, with maximum thickness at 16 mm around center of barrel and then barrel tapers down to bottom to 14 mm.

ASA Viraat - Capped Pen View
ASA Viraat – Capped Pen View

Compared to Gama Supreme it is smaller by 4 mm in length. The pen is around 160 mm in length which is quite big.

The cap is @17mm dia at bottom and @16mm at cap finial. The clip is quite stiff and sturdy. Also there is a band at the edge of bottom of cap called lip band. All the trims are in silver chrome finish.

I personally dont like the lip band but that doesn’t discount from the fact that it is well executed pen. Some people may like this some may not.

ASA Viraat - Cap with silver trims
ASA Viraat – Cap with silver trims
ASA Viraat - Inner Cap View
ASA Viraat – Inner Cap View

The grip section length is small though. The pen is flat top and bottom design with certain amount of tapering towards at either ends.Overall its a simple design for a pen but in big proportions. Quality is top notch.

ASA Viraat - Flat Top and Bottom
ASA Viraat – Flat Top and Bottom
ASA Viraat - View of Grip Section and Cap Bottom
ASA Viraat – View of Grip Section and Cap Bottom

Below are the few images showing its comparison with other pens.

ASA Viraat vs Gama Popular vs Oliver F27 vs Parker Frontier
ASA Viraat vs Gama Popular vs Oliver F27 vs Parker Frontier
ASA Viraat vs Gama Popular vs Oliver F27 vs Parker Frontier - Side View
ASA Viraat vs Gama Popular vs Oliver F27 vs Parker Frontier – Side View
ASA Viraat vs Gama Popular - Barrel Thickness
ASA Viraat vs Gama Popular – Barrel Thickness

Few vitals are that the cap opens in 4 turns and the grip section is 13 mm thick.


BALANCE:  4.5/5

The pen of these size are generally heavy but being ebonite its light weight. But because of its size there is just a little amount of welcome heft which make you feel that you are actually holding a big pen.

The cap posts securely at back but i don’t think that is required.

As mentioned earlier the grip section is small though and might be hassle for some. who hold the pen a bit higher.

ASA Viraat - Writing without cap posted.
ASA Viraat – Writing without cap posted.
ASA Viraat - Writing without cap posted.
ASA Viraat – Writing without cap posted.

As you can see the pen is quite big, thus no requirement of posting the cap at back. Also you can see the grip section being small in length and my grip touching the threads which actually are not sharp and provide slip resistance. Actually this thick section takes some time getting used to.


NIB AND INK FILLING MECHANISM: 05/05

Now the pen is fitted with Broad Bock nib. Oh man l love this nib. Lovely. Lays down perfect wet line that broad nib is supposed to do.

ASA Viraat - Nib Unit Top View
ASA Viraat – Nib Unit Top View
ASA Viraat - Nib Unit Side View
ASA Viraat – Nib Unit Side View
ASA Viraat - Nib Unit Bottom View
ASA Viraat – Nib Unit Bottom View
ASA Viraat - Nib Unit Angled View
ASA Viraat – Nib Unit Angled View

Pen is an eyedropper filler. And hold approx 5 ml of the ink. Feed is made of ebonite. And following nib options are available.

  1. Bock Fine Nib
  2. Bock Medium Nib
  3. Bock Broad Nib
  4. Ambitious 35 mm Medium Nib
  5. Ambitious 40 mm Medium-Broad Nib
ASA Viraat - Pen taken apart
ASA Viraat – Pen taken apart
ASA Viraat - Ebonite Feed
ASA Viraat – Ebonite Feed
ASA Viraat - Ink Barrel
ASA Viraat – Ink Barrel

Below is the handwritten review showing the writing sample and ink drying tests.

ASA Viraat - Page 1
ASA Viraat – Page 1
ASA Viraat - Page 2
ASA Viraat – Page 2
ASA Viraat - Page 3
ASA Viraat – Page 3
ASA Viraat - Page 4
ASA Viraat – Page 4

Conclusion:

This pen is for the serious buyers who actually are on lookout for oversized beauties. And this is one of them.