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13 replies to this topic

#1 ashishwakhlu

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 05:34

Hi Friends,
This is my first review of a recent acquisition, the Onyx Deccan Advocate fountain pen. You have already heard of it from Hari, but I wanted to put in a few thoughts as well. I bought the pen after seeing it on FPN and waited three weeks.

First Impressions - Unwrapped, it was the pen of my dreams, clean lines, substantial, unpretentious with the minimum of accroutments, a thin silver cap band, sturdy clip and gold coloured steel nib.

Appearance and design - the pen is a flat top with flat barrel end, a very slight taper on the barrel to aid posting (which is not needed to increase its length) the section has a waist with a flare just above the nib for comfort in holding. It is a sleek black cylinder with he threads being the only interruption in its lines. The construction is sturdy, the cap ring attached neatly. The cap tightens snugly and the clip is firm. the section screws into the barrel with 8 turns, needed to prevent leakage from the deep tank behind it.

Balance and Comfort - this is the part I like best, my hand has the general dimensions of a shovel and the Advocate extends comfortably beyond without being posted (the best feature in my mind). The balance is superb and the thick waisted section makes for extremely comfortable gripping and writing. Posting is neither advisable nor required and tends to put the balance off.

Weight and Dimensions - with a full load of 4 ml ink the pen weighs in at 30 grams, remarkably light for its dimensions. It is 6.25 inches capped, 6" uncapped and a whopping 7.6 inches posted. The barrel diameter is just over half an inch and the section diameter at the thinnest part of the waist is 0.4 inches.

Nib Performance - the pen originally comes with a(no 30) fine steel nib which is very smooth and writes a wet line on the medium side of fine. On one of my two Advocates I changed this with a size 40 Stipula 14Kt nib Hari kindly supplied. Pictures of the pen in both avtars are attached. The Stipula nib is fantastic, springy with a hint of feedback and a dream to write with. with both nibs there were no startup problems or hiccups, and if kept filled more than 1.5 ml, no blobs.

Filling system - the pen is an eyedropper filler, Deccan supply eyedroppers with the massive 5 ml capacity, but I prefer to use a syringe to tank up. With the wet line of the Stipula nib I went through 3 ml of ink in a week. The pen (like all eyedroppers) tries to blob with less than 1.5 ml on ink in the massive tank so a refill is in order at the first hint of the writing getting wetter than normal. That apart there were no thread leaks, at all. When first filled allow an hour for the feed to soak ink and seal before writing.

Comparisons - The group photo shows some other favorites, The Conway Stewart Levenger edition, Pelikan 800, Waterman Carene, Campo Marzio Design, Cross Townsend and the MB 149 which I have had for 14 years. The Advocate outsizes them and at present I use it all the time due to the novelty and sheer writing comfort. Performance wise I put it between the MB, Pelikan and Conway Stewart. Though I have to say that they are all fantastic pens. In writing comfort the Advocate gives the MB 149 a run at one 15th the cost!. I have some other vintage ebonite pens made in my city which I still use for a change.

Real Value - I write with fountain pens only (except on carbon copies) and the Advocate is like something I have been looking for all along. Comfortable, sturdy, simple yet elegant and putting ink on paper effortlessly and for a long time before requiring a refill. Its appearance and design belie its nominal cost. The eyedropper filling system (my preferred and mastered method in such pens) is maintenance free. Nib replacement is 2 dollars for the steel nib.

Downsides - I am used to eyedroppers and their whims (blobbing in particular) for over 30 years, so on the personal front the pen has no faults. But it is not a meeting (blobbing can be embarrassing if ink runs low) or travel pen, unless you want to cart along an ink filled syringe. I have no airplane experience with it, though I suspect leaks will happen due to the air in the tank. It not very easy to carry in small shirt pockets (though that is where is stays with me) and is obviously not build for small hands!

Conclusion - personally 9 out of 10, great and comfortable writer, goes from home to office and back without mishaps, I do all my professional writing and signing with it. Despite the lack of decoration and unpretentious black color it holds its own in the pageant as well. Hurrah!

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#2 scutterdav

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 06:03

Downsides - I am used to eyedroppers and their whims (blobbing in particular) for over 30 years, so on the personal front the pen has no faults. But it is not a meeting (blobbing can be embarrassing if ink runs low) or travel pen, unless you want to cart along an ink filled syringe. I have no airplane experience with it, though I suspect leaks will happen due to the air in the tank.



Great review! I've had my eye on several different Indian ebonite eye droppers. I like their simple styling a lot.

I thought I'd chime in on flying with ED pens. I've done it! I know they behave very well if the pen is full. I have a Vacuum fill Sheaffer Balance that I converted to an ED and it gave me no problems at all. Not a drop of ink leaked out. So fill up your ED pens and carry them on the plane with confidence. (but maybe not in a shirt pocket, just in case)

#3 italiansallion

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 06:20

nice!

#4 rahulg

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 04:34

Dear Ashish,

A nifty review of a great 'little' pen! I also have an Onyx, though my pen is at the other end of the size range offered by Deccan. My pen however has a brushed finish and is a bit smaller than a Pilot pocket pen, though it's fairly comfortable and balanced when posted. Its great that you swapped the nib, though the supplied steel nib is not bad at all either.
Its great to discover more Indians on the board, I believe we're quite a bunch by now :)

Regards,

Rahul

Edited by rahulg, 17 August 2009 - 04:35.


#5 rwilsonedn

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 17:01

Sounds like Deccan has put together quite a line of pens. Is there any way to buy them from the US yet?
ron

#6 Tsujigiri

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 20:13

Thanks for bringing this pen to our attention. Oversized pens are hard to find at a reasonable price. A couple of questions: you mentioned a group photo, but I don't see one. Is there supposed to be one in the review? And also, what ink did you use in the second photograph?

#7 ashishwakhlu

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Posted 29 August 2009 - 03:51

Thanks, I am attaching the group photo, The ink is Chelpark royal blue on executive bond, the luminiscence is due to the lights on my photography stand.

regards

QUOTE (Tsujigiri @ Aug 29 2009, 01:43 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks for bringing this pen to our attention. Oversized pens are hard to find at a reasonable price. A couple of questions: you mentioned a group photo, but I don't see one. Is there supposed to be one in the review? And also, what ink did you use in the second photograph?



#8 MYU

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 23:25

Is this model the "Onyx" or the "Advocate" but in Onyx color?

[MYU's Pen Review Corner]   |   "The Common Ground" -- Jeffrey Small


#9 ashishwakhlu

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 03:31

The company is Onyx, and the pen the Advocate.

regards

Ashish

QUOTE (MYU @ Aug 31 2009, 05:55 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Is this model the "Onyx" or the "Advocate" but in Onyx color?



#10 MYU

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 12:11

OK, thanks. I was a little confused by the inclusion of "Deccan", which is another Indian pen company. I've shifted it into the proper place in the index, under "Onyx". Is the model name just "Advocate" or "Deccan Advocate"? Also, feel free to add your images back and I'll merge them into the first posting. smile.gif

Edited by MYU, 31 August 2009 - 12:13.

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#11 hari317

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 13:51

QUOTE (ashishwakhlu @ Aug 31 2009, 09:01 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The company is Onyx, and the pen the Advocate.


Hi Ashish, isn't this the pen manufactured by the Deccan pen stores in Hyderabad? if yes, then the company in that case will be "Deccan" or "Deccan pens", the model name is the "Advocate", your pen is the variant with the cap trim ring, previous reviews by Antoniosz and Bentnib are the versions without the cap trim ring. Deccan makes a line of pens under the brand name "Onyx", but in the course of my extensive dealing with Deccan, the name Onyx has never come up in connection with the Advocate.

Best Regards,
Hari

In case you wish to write to me, pls use ONLY email by clicking here. I do not check PMs. Thank you.

#12 ashishwakhlu

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 02:53

Hi Hari,

When Deccan sent me the invoice for the pens, they labelled them as Onyx Advocate and Onyx Ambassador, that is how I got the names, not my own invention, honest injun!

QUOTE (hari317 @ Aug 31 2009, 08:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (ashishwakhlu @ Aug 31 2009, 09:01 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The company is Onyx, and the pen the Advocate.


Hi Ashish, isn't this the pen manufactured by the Deccan pen stores in Hyderabad? if yes, then the company in that case will be "Deccan" or "Deccan pens", the model name is the "Advocate", your pen is the variant with the cap trim ring, previous reviews by Antoniosz and Bentnib are the versions without the cap trim ring. Deccan makes a line of pens under the brand name "Onyx", but in the course of my extensive dealing with Deccan, the name Onyx has never come up in connection with the Advocate.

Best Regards,
Hari



#13 skipwilliams

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 03:04

Maybe they meant the "Onyx" to be used as a color name? i.e. Black?

Skip

QUOTE (ashishwakhlu @ Sep 1 2009, 02:53 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi Hari,

When Deccan sent me the invoice for the pens, they labelled them as Onyx Advocate and Onyx Ambassador, that is how I got the names, not my own invention, honest injun!


Skip Williams
www.skipwilliams.com/blog

#14 ashishwakhlu

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 13:52

Friends Romans and Pen Lovers. The pictures for this review are here... enjoy http://s267.photobuc.....nyx Advocate/

and for another hobby of mine please visit - http://www.simplytra...hish/ashish.htm

thanks for looking.

regards

Ashish


QUOTE (ashishwakhlu @ Aug 15 2009, 11:04 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi Friends,
This is my first review of a recent acquisition, the Onyx Deccan Advocate fountain pen. You have already heard of it from Hari, but I wanted to put in a few thoughts as well. I bought the pen after seeing it on FPN and waited three weeks.

First Impressions - Unwrapped, it was the pen of my dreams, clean lines, substantial, unpretentious with the minimum of accroutments, a thin silver cap band, sturdy clip and gold coloured steel nib.

Appearance and design - the pen is a flat top with flat barrel end, a very slight taper on the barrel to aid posting (which is not needed to increase its length) the section has a waist with a flare just above the nib for comfort in holding. It is a sleek black cylinder with he threads being the only interruption in its lines. The construction is sturdy, the cap ring attached neatly. The cap tightens snugly and the clip is firm. the section screws into the barrel with 8 turns, needed to prevent leakage from the deep tank behind it.

Balance and Comfort - this is the part I like best, my hand has the general dimensions of a shovel and the Advocate extends comfortably beyond without being posted (the best feature in my mind). The balance is superb and the thick waisted section makes for extremely comfortable gripping and writing. Posting is neither advisable nor required and tends to put the balance off.

Weight and Dimensions - with a full load of 4 ml ink the pen weighs in at 30 grams, remarkably light for its dimensions. It is 6.25 inches capped, 6" uncapped and a whopping 7.6 inches posted. The barrel diameter is just over half an inch and the section diameter at the thinnest part of the waist is 0.4 inches.

Nib Performance - the pen originally comes with a(no 30) fine steel nib which is very smooth and writes a wet line on the medium side of fine. On one of my two Advocates I changed this with a size 40 Stipula 14Kt nib Hari kindly supplied. Pictures of the pen in both avtars are attached. The Stipula nib is fantastic, springy with a hint of feedback and a dream to write with. with both nibs there were no startup problems or hiccups, and if kept filled more than 1.5 ml, no blobs.

Filling system - the pen is an eyedropper filler, Deccan supply eyedroppers with the massive 5 ml capacity, but I prefer to use a syringe to tank up. With the wet line of the Stipula nib I went through 3 ml of ink in a week. The pen (like all eyedroppers) tries to blob with less than 1.5 ml on ink in the massive tank so a refill is in order at the first hint of the writing getting wetter than normal. That apart there were no thread leaks, at all. When first filled allow an hour for the feed to soak ink and seal before writing.

Comparisons - The group photo shows some other favorites, The Conway Stewart Levenger edition, Pelikan 800, Waterman Carene, Campo Marzio Design, Cross Townsend and the MB 149 which I have had for 14 years. The Advocate outsizes them and at present I use it all the time due to the novelty and sheer writing comfort. Performance wise I put it between the MB, Pelikan and Conway Stewart. Though I have to say that they are all fantastic pens. In writing comfort the Advocate gives the MB 149 a run at one 15th the cost!. I have some other vintage ebonite pens made in my city which I still use for a change.

Real Value - I write with fountain pens only (except on carbon copies) and the Advocate is like something I have been looking for all along. Comfortable, sturdy, simple yet elegant and putting ink on paper effortlessly and for a long time before requiring a refill. Its appearance and design belie its nominal cost. The eyedropper filling system (my preferred and mastered method in such pens) is maintenance free. Nib replacement is 2 dollars for the steel nib.

Downsides - I am used to eyedroppers and their whims (blobbing in particular) for over 30 years, so on the personal front the pen has no faults. But it is not a meeting (blobbing can be embarrassing if ink runs low) or travel pen, unless you want to cart along an ink filled syringe. I have no airplane experience with it, though I suspect leaks will happen due to the air in the tank. It not very easy to carry in small shirt pockets (though that is where is stays with me) and is obviously not build for small hands!

Conclusion - personally 9 out of 10, great and comfortable writer, goes from home to office and back without mishaps, I do all my professional writing and signing with it. Despite the lack of decoration and unpretentious black color it holds its own in the pageant as well. Hurrah!








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