After visiting China, via eBay, to get some inexpensive pens I decided to head to India to see what their pens are like. All these pens came from India and ordered through FountainPenRevolution.com (FPR). I’m trying to reduce the number of pens I have inked up, so these haven’t been used yet. This is an introduction to cover my first impressions on the pens and their build quality.
I recently reviewed the FPR Dilli which is their own branded pen, but they started out selling other brands from India and continue to do so. Shipping is a flat $3 per order to the U.S. so the pen prices below are without shipping. They also have a “Pen of the Day” on sale. Shipping was prompt and took two-weeks to reach me. No tracking number was provided but they do say they’ll provide one upon request. I did have to sign for the package which arrived via the US Post Office. A range of nibs are available for most pens although the price increases between $1 and $4 for medium, stub and flex nibs.
Serwex MB with a Flex Nib
The is the most expensive pen of the bunch. It lists for $21 (including $4 for the flex nib) but was the pen of the day for $18.50 when I ordered it. It’s also the only all metal pen of the group. The “MB” could stand for Montblanc. I’m not familiar enough with MB to recognize a specific pen, but it’s been compared to a MB pen by others.
The clip on my pen was slightly off center (more noticeable in the picture) put I could nudge it back into alignment.
The pen posts securely, more or less. The design allows the cap to snap into place over the end jewel. Unfortunately the cap still spins when posted and gravity forces the clip to turn towards my hand. I don’t typically post my pens, but if I did this would annoy me.
The pen comes with a lever convertor that I’ve heard referred to as a Parker convertor. The ink capacity is on the small side and the lever was hard to slide.
There’s also a warning that the inner cap can catch and bend the nib when capping the pen. FPR also provided an extra nib in case it does.
The pen is 5.198″ (132.03 mm) long capped and 4.742″ (120.45 mm) long uncapped.
Stephen Brown has a video review of this pen.
Chelpark Antic with a fine nib
Another relatively expensive pen at $16.00. It’s an eye drop filler and a basic pen. I assume much of the cost is from the metal on the cap. It’s a screw-on cap which is kind of nice for a low cost pen.
When I cleaned out the new pen some of the maroon dye came off on the tissue I was cleaning it with. Not enough to color the ink, but some. The opening to the feed isn’t circular like I’m used to seeing. There’s a thick plastic bar cutting the opening in half. The nib is removable and it will nned to be removed if this pen needs to be flushed for an ink change or storage. There’s no obvious way to force water through the feed.
The pen is 5.212″ (132.39 mm) long capped and 4.616″ (117,24 mm) long uncapped.
Serwex 1362 with a fine nib
This is a $6.00 piston filler with a screw-on cap. The piston may be removable but I was afraid to apply too much force and break it before I ever used the pen.
The clip is attached with a thin piece of metal and it’s easily knocked off center but it makes it easy to open the clip. Despite the thin metal there’s quit a bit of pressure and it doesn’t easily slide over pocket material.
Considering this pen is only $6 it seems pretty solidly built. The pen is 5.228″ (132.8 mm) long capped and 4.576″ (116.24 mm) long uncapped.
Serwex 162 with a fine nib
This is an even cheaper piston filler, priced at $5. This also has a screw-on cap. The piston is removable as is the nib. There’s is a plastic barrier (with holes of course) behind the nib so the inside of the pen isn’t accessible unless the piston is removed.
The pen is 5.251″ (133.39 mm) long capped and 4.626″ (117.51 mm) long uncapped.
Serwex 101 with a stub nib
This lists for $9, with $4 of that being the premium for the stub nib, It’s an eye dropper fill with a clear body.
There’s some excess plastic around the feed opening, probably leftover from the molding process. It isn’t noticeable until the pen is opened and it doesn’t seem like it would affect ink flow.
The pen is 5.363″ (136.22 mm) long capped and 4.663″ (118.45 mm) long uncapped.
Serwex 101 with a fine nib
This is the same as the above pen, except with a fine nib. The pen lists for $5 but was included free with the order. The pen appears green but this isn’t an available color when ordering the pen.
I haven’t inked any of the pens as I’m trying to use the pens I’ve already inked, but I look forward to giving these a try. The MB and the Antic are on the expensive side, compared to the other pens or the Chinese pens.The FPR Dilli seems to have a slightly better build quality than this group, even the comparably priced pens. What really matters are the nibs, and I’ve yet to use them.