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Dollar 'calligraphy' Pen Review


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#1 mcmc

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 18:35

There's another Dollar review thread around here, well-written and with great photos! But thought I'd also toss in my experience with the Dollar Calligraphy / Arabic pen, and in a little more detail:

Dollar calligraphy pen (3) 2.JPG

Despite the name, the Dollar Calligraphy Fountain Pen does not, in fact, cost a dollar. But it doesn't cost much more than that, about $5-6. For those not privy to this great budget pen from Pakistan, the 'Dollar' company has been making fountain pens for many decades in that part of the world, and many in and near the Asian subcontinent have grown up using these pens in school.

The Dollar company makes several versions of regular fountain pens, but today we are considering the 'Calligraphy' pen, which has some interesting features not often found in pens here, and definitely not at the same price point.

One awesome feature of this pen is that it is piston-fill (just like the Pelikans, yeah!), with a blind cap and the piston knob hiding beneath. The pen therefore has a large ink capacity, almost 2~3 times that of other conventional cartridge converter pens. It also has a nice ink window (the black band just behind the section in the picture above - looks black because of the black ink within). Btw, the cap is a screw-on type, nice.

The nib tilts down to the left, like a right-oblique (er, left-oblique, depending on who you talk to!)? I thought it was just a very severe right-oblique, so tried to write in the standard nib position for that, and had mixed results. Then I read somewhere, that these pens were designed like an 'Arabic script' nib (which come in many different shapes), and turned out that was true! In other words, the pen is designed to be written with the nib turned 90 degrees from the way we normally hold fountain pens - i.e., the edge of the nib is intended to sit on the paper in a vertical orientation (line).

This makes for a uniquely writing calligraphy pen. You can tell it's a calligraphy pen, either a cursive italic or even almost like a stub, with good line variation - but there's a subtle different due to the 90 degree offset orientation. Here is a writing sample, with hatches and line-width samples too:

Dollar calligraphy pen (5) 2.JPG

Note at the bottom of the sample, I have tried to replicate the text that was below the logo. Once can see even in that (very poorly done I'm sure) imitation, how in Arabic/Urdu/etc. type scripts (please note I am not trying to offend anyone here, but using terms that I think best describe it) this nib orientation really works well. It looks very capable of producing the right kind of script that I see in middle-eastern magazines and shops.

The pen runs for around the eponymous dollar, in Pakistan and India, but is not readily available here - except, of course, via the wonderful user 'smeden' here on FPN =)

It's a great pen, very decently solid construction, especially at this price point, and provides a writing style/look not readily available with other pens. The nib itself is very smooth and smeden actually inspects the pens before shipping them out. Comment back or shoot me an email if you have any q's about this unique international pen!! Will post another Dollar pen review in the future.

More pics here: http://thepennywrite...pen-review.html

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#2 hari317

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 18:48

Thanks for a nice review and the pen produces beautiful lines.

The pen runs for around the eponymous dollar, in Pakistan and India, ...


This pen is not available/sold in India AFAIK.

Best,
Hari
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#3 smk

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 19:28

Thanks for a very well written review.

I have several of these pens and do dabble in Arabic calligraphy. This nib though is not really sharp enough to do proper calligraphy with - this nib would be akin to a stub as opposed to a sharp italic.

Its a nice pen nonetheless and I enjoy writing with it.

Salman K.

#4 mcmc

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 20:47

Thanks for a nice review and the pen produces beautiful lines.

The pen runs for around the eponymous dollar, in Pakistan and India, ...


This pen is not available/sold in India AFAIK.

Best,
Hari


Hey Hari! Thanks for the comment! =) Indeed, the pen writes smoothly and beautifully.
Oops, thanks for the heads up. I'd thought I'd read about someone who grew up in india, who wrote with this pen...on another blog altogether in fact, someone was reminiscing about their childhood. I'll look into it! Could be that their dad or someone did business in Pakistan and brought some back...?


Thanks for a very well written review.

I have several of these pens and do dabble in Arabic calligraphy. This nib though is not really sharp enough to do proper calligraphy with - this nib would be akin to a stub as opposed to a sharp italic.

Its a nice pen nonetheless and I enjoy writing with it.

Salman K.


Cool - thanks for the feedback Salman! Would be neat to see some of your Arabic calligraphy =) I kinda see what you mean, as the transition to thin lines is not super-pronounced. Do most who do Arabic calligraphy in a serious sort of way, prefer sharp/crisp italics?

#5 smk

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Posted 07 July 2010 - 11:49

Cool - thanks for the feedback Salman! Would be neat to see some of your Arabic calligraphy =) I kinda see what you mean, as the transition to thin lines is not super-pronounced. Do most who do Arabic calligraphy in a serious sort of way, prefer sharp/crisp italics?


Arabic calligraphy requires changing the nib angle for certain strokes and the transition does need to be pronounced. You don't want that much sharpness for daily writing (which the Dollar Qalam is made for) as it'd slow you down.

Here's an example of Arabic calligraphy from some time ago - I may have posted this before but I'm not sure so here goes:

Posted Image

#6 fiberdrunk

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 04:38

Wow, that's pretty! I can't for the life of me figure out how you did that! Thanks for posting!
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#7 hari317

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 14:51

Salman, Beautiful Calligraphy!
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#8 MSA

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 22:48

Hi

I have also started teaching myself basic calligraphy...both in English and Urdu. This Dollar Qalam (Qalam - Arabic/udru for Pen)works surprisingly well.

I grew up in Pakistan and definitely remember using Dollar pens. I dont see any difference in their quality in maybe last 25 years. About two years ago I found a few demonstrators while browsing through a local book store in Dubai for about two dollars each. A friend recently got me another two solid color pens from Karachi for about 50 Cents!

Back in those days, many students would use this pen for Urdu writing while American and Chinese pens were used for English and Maths. Also, since it has a huge ink capacity, it was widely used in pranks or spraying ink on your buddies.

A large number of students would actually cut off the tip of a regular pen in Pakistan, at an angle and then would sand it out to come up with a crude calligraphy instrument (homemade).

This new calligraphy is a relatively recent offering by Dollar Pen Industries. Reportedly, it is a very hot seller locally in Pakistan because many rural schools still pay a lot of attention on nice Urdu handwriting.

Btw Mcmc, I am really impressed with your try at Arabic handwriting.

Regards
Mohammad Salahuddin Ayubi

#9 smk

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 22:54

Wow, that's pretty! I can't for the life of me figure out how you did that! Thanks for posting!


Thanks. Its not as difficult as it seems. I just drew the outline (Allah) very lightly and did the calligraphy (some 25 of the 99 names of Allah) within the boundaries. Then did the colored ink fill with a G-nib dip pen. Came out rather nice :-)

Salman, Beautiful Calligraphy!


Thanks Hari.

#10 smk

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 22:59

I have also started teaching myself basic calligraphy...both in English and Urdu. This Dollar Qalam (Qalam - Arabic/udru for Pen)works surprisingly well.


I have several Dollar Demonstrators that I use for calligraphy practice. I have found that cheap Inoxcrom pens have nibs that fit the Dollars very nicely and are long enough to allow grinding to a left oblique for Arabic calligraphy. You might want to give this a try - they're nice wet writers and hold enough ink for long practice sessions.

Care to share some of your calligraphy?

Salman K.

#11 mattabrams2001

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 20:31

great photo!

#12 JonathanBarboza

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 01:55

I got this pen and was surprised at how smooth both the nib and piston were. Excellent for the price. At the time of this writing FPN user smeden is selling them for $7. TOTALLY worth it.

Edited by JonB55198, 30 November 2011 - 14:39.

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#13 P.E.N.S

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 16:05

I got this pen and was surprised at how smooth both the nib and piston were. Excellent for the price. At the time of this writing FPN user smeden is selling them for $7. TOTALLY worth it.


Do you know it is for 40cents in Pakistan?
My collection:-
Dollar:- Dollar 717i Dollar SP-10
Parker:-Parker Vector(M) Parker Jotter (M)

#14 Dickkooty2

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 23:29

Yo!

 

I sent a friend the 717.

 

Here is a snippet of the thank=you note in English and Urdu

 

http://s271.photobuc...t]=1&sort=1&o=0



#15 silver ink

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 09:19

i bought this for 25 rupees which would be 25 cents 2 weeks ago

 

 

5_zpsba0f5b95.jpg


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#16 bk123

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 18:44

i bought this for 25 rupees which would be 25 cents 2 weeks ago

 

 

5_zpsba0f5b95.jpg

 

That's a beautiful pen!!

I wish I can get this pen in India. But, unfortunately It is not sold here and I'm not sure if I can get this pen from Pakistan :) . Hope someday a Pakistani brother would be able to arrange these beauty to us.


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#17 hari317

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 17:51

 

That's a beautiful pen!!

I wish I can get this pen in India. But, unfortunately It is not sold here and I'm not sure if I can get this pen from Pakistan :) . Hope someday a Pakistani brother would be able to arrange these beauty to us.

 

Some British brothers helping you out:

 

http://www.ebay.co.u...calligraphy pen


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#18 Gloucesterman

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 15:53

Thanks. Its not as difficult as it seems. I just drew the outline (Allah) very lightly and did the calligraphy (some 25 of the 99 names of Allah) within the boundaries. Then did the colored ink fill with a G-nib dip pen. Came out rather nice :-)



Thanks Hari.

 

+1 very nice calligraphy!


“Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today, because if you do it today and like it, you can do again tomorrow!”


#19 P.E.N.S

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 09:41

i bought this for 25 rupees which would be 25 cents 2 weeks ago

 

 

5_zpsba0f5b95.jpg

Where do u live I know many people on FPN from PIndi/ Islamabad? 


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Dollar:- Dollar 717i Dollar SP-10
Parker:-Parker Vector(M) Parker Jotter (M)

#20 mitto

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 14:23

That's a beautiful pen!!
I wish I can get this pen in India. But, unfortunately It is not sold here and I'm not sure if I can get this pen from Pakistan :) . Hope someday a Pakistani brother would be able to arrange these beauty to us.


I bought a pack of 10 directly from Dollar Industries, Pakistan for Rs.160.00 (approx $1.60) ie 16 cents for a piece.
Khan M. Ilyas






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