This is a Guider Virat with a Sheaffer's Lifetime nib, put together by Steve, aka Luckygrandson, at allwritenow.
First Impressions (9) The only reason that I cannot give this pen a 10 is that I opened a NOS vintage Pelikan 100 once. Enough said? The point is, this pen impressed. I was not sure what I was getting into, having never seen a mottled ebonite Indian pen, but this certainly satisfied. I was surprised at the size. I was also impressed with the ebonite. The color, the swirls, very cool. Steve - can I mention the ink? Steve sent me a little sample of ink. Now that is great. I hope I do not spoil this for those of you who do not get ink, but I got some!
# Appearance & Design (9) The pen looks great. It sports a few design elements - arrow clip, two cap bands, rounded ends, single jewel. The cap threads on nice and secure, but perhaps requires too many rotations if you are going to be capping and uncapping a lot. I would rather be sure that the thing is not going to open up in my pocket! The section has ample threads to ensure that the eye dropped ink does not find its way out.
# Weight & Dimensions (10) I am comfortable with smaller pens. This comes with the territory when you like Pelikan M200s, Sailor Sapporos, Lamy 2000, etc. But I also get along well with larger pens. Sometimes. I got rid of a Pelikan M805, but I love my Edisons. I would put this pen's size in the Lamy Safari range. Bigger than a 51, but smaller than an M805. The size suits me just fine. I think that what might be more important to me is weight. While this pen is not light, it is not loaded down with brassing fittings. I think this is a function of the ebonite. The diameter is perfect for me (I can't do large diameter pens, my Delta Planet is pushing it).
# Nib & Performance (10) Vintage Sheaffer. Need I say more? Oh, I do... This nib is great. I understand that Steve works on nibs before he ships pens. If he worked on this one, the work worked because it writes like a champ.
# Filling System (10) - Eyedropper. It holds about a tank full. Seriously, I do not know how much ink it holds, because I never fill it up all the way! I stayed away from eyedroppers for a while, but now they are among my preferred filling systems. I like it mostly because I can easily clean out the pen when changing inks.
# Cost & Value (10) This pen is ebonite. It has an ebonite feed. It has a 14k nib. It is an eye dropper. Do you know that means? It means that no ink in the universe can stop it. I believe you could run acid through this thing if you wanted to etch glass. You could definitely use it with Noodlers Baystate with nothing to fear. Even if you used India ink, you can break it down and clean it out. Try that with a converter-filled Sailor. It cost me $50.
# Conclusion (9) - I can't give the pen a ten, because I have used some freaking sweet pens. Pens which define perfection. But I cannot give it an eight either, because of the value, and the indestructible nature. It is not going to be a daily writer, because I have drifted towards medium and bold nibs, but it will definitely stay close at hand!
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