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Fp Review: Airmail 58Sl

airmail pen company india eyedropper

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2 replies to this topic

#1 Amberjack

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Posted 25 December 2014 - 00:29

Hi folks,

 

This is my first attempt at a pen review, so thanks in advance for your patience as I fine tune how I'll do these in the future.

 

I'm an airmail fan - that is, I enjoy the research and study of the impact of early aviation on the transport and delivery of the mails.

So, it seemed a natural that when I learned about the Airmail Pen Company in Mumbai, I take a closer look at their products.  Airmail Pen Co. was started in 1951 in (then) Bombay, India.  While I have not had the pleasure of visiting the Sub-Continent, I'm told that Airmail Pens are quite popular there.

 

Though they are available in a few locations, I went to Fountain Pen Revolution and quickly found a few attractive models to try.  As it happens they were running a 50% off sale (try to get that from the Montblanc dealer in the mall!)...which brings me to the first solid 'Pro' about Airmail pens - the price.

 

The pen I am reviewing here is the 58SL in dark blue and cream swirl and retails every day for USD $15.  Yep, fifteen.  Count 50% off of that and I paid a grand total of $7.50 for this pen.  Shipping was $3, from India to the US.  Now to found out what you get for your money...

 

Airmail58slD_zpsc97ce672.jpg

 

The pen itself is attractive, made of plastic (acrylic?) with brass or brass plated clip, jewels and jewelers band at the cap base.  Time will tell how durable these treatments are but they make a nice first impression.  The fit and finish of this and other Airmail pens I have is adequate to very good, certainly above expectations based upon the price.

 

The 58SL is a screw-cap, eyedropper pen and the threads are cut precisely without slop or excess.  Being an eyedropper, this pen holds a lot of ink.  I measured just over 2.5ml in the thick-walled barrel.  There's also a very nice, striped, ink-view window.

 

e9728069-c6b3-484f-91fc-7facee570668_zps

 

The pen posts well and balances nicely.  It's lightweight, as it has no cartridge, converter, sac or piston but sits well in the hand.

 

This brings me to the nib and feed, the heart of any pen.  I ordered a Fine point, but XF, M, B and Fine Stub are also available.

 

Airmail58slG_zpsbad845e4.jpg

 

While I wouldn't call this a flex-nib by any stretch, it does have some line variation.  The nib provides a little more feedback than I like on Clairfontaine 90g paper but judicious work could smooth that out some.  The nib and feed are friction fit, which makes swapping nibs simple.  If I can't make this nib perform for me, I can just try another.

 

Here's a quick writing sample.  The nib is basically a nail, but applying reasonable force can thicken up the lines a bit.  Ink is Parker Quink Blue-Black, my test ink as it's tops for flow and lubrication if a little dull in the color department.

 

Airmail58slE_zps0ce0e751.jpg

 

So, to sum up...

 

Pros

Price

Fit and Finish

Execution (machining, tolerances)

Price

Ink Capacity

First Impressions

Price

General Appearance

 

Cons

Smell - funky plastic odor

Nib - nothing special but the fact that I can easily swap another nib makes this a moot point for me.

 

Notes

No box, the pen comes wrapped in bubble wrap.  This is somewhat of a plus for me as I'm not big on boxes but some folks may want one.  

 

I've just received this and the other Airmail pens I bought so I'll report back with my impressions after a few weeks of use.

So far, this pen has really impressed me - primarily because it was so inexpensive.  Put a nice mid-century Schaeffer 14k nib on this pen and you really have a winner and for much, much less than you might spend elsewhere.

 

Jack

 


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#2 anup

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Posted 27 December 2014 - 08:28

Very good & to the point review.

The Airmail demonstrator FPs dont have smell.

Their monotone nib is generally scratchy. Their Dual Tones (which are not stock nibs) are excellent. But yes, you can put any nib to make the pen write awesome.

I put my savings to test

Lamy & Pilot FPs the Best

No more I even think of the rest

(Preference Fine and Extra Fine Nibs)

Pen is meant for writing - not for looking :-)


#3 mehandiratta

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 08:53

good review.... hope to see long term review on the same....


vaibhav mehandiratta                               

architect & fountain pen connoisseur 

 

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