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Asa Gama Revolution (Ebonite Pen With C/c Or Ed Filling)

asa gama revolution indian ebonite eyedropper convertor

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#1 Miles R.

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 17:26

I recently bought my first Ebonite-bodied pen. It is not the first Indian-made fountain pen that I have bought, but it is the first one that I have bought that was not at the low end of the price scale. The pen is the ASA Gama Revolution (link to vendor's page; as I understand, "ASA" is the name of the vendor and "Gama" is the name of a line of fountain pens made by said vendor).

 

I had to wait a few weeks, during which time I assume that the pen was being made, but once it was dispatched by air mail, it arrived in about a week. It came with plenty of packaging: from left to right: outer envelope, bubble wrap, plastic envelope, velvet pouch, cellophane envelope, and inside this last, the pen itself.

 

fpn_1437152785__asa_001_packaging.jpg

 

Ordinarily, I would not have much use for a velvet pouch for a single pen, but as I have heard that Ebonite pens are bleached by exposure to light over a long period, I expect that I shall be using this one to hold the pen when it is out of use.

 

It is a large pen. In fact, I would call it a very large pen, though I know that there are larger ones. This should be evident from the two photographs that follow, in which I have placed it between a Platinum Century 3776 and a Lamy Vista.

 

fpn_1437152821__asa_007_comparison_poste

 

fpn_1437152832__asa_008_comparison_unpos

 

The dimensions, as given on the vendor's Web site, are as follows:

 

Length, capped: 148 mm
Length, posted: 170 mm
Average barrel diameter: 14.5 mm
Average section diameter: 12 mm
Average cap diameter: 16 mm

 

I got the pen with a medium nib. The nib, according to the vendor, is made by JoWo. It is plated in two colors. To my eye, this is rather unfortunate. The photographs on the vendor's site show the pen with a uniformly chrome-colored nib, which seems to me to harmonize much better with the black body and the chrome-colored clip.

 

fpn_1437152799__asa_004_nib.jpg

 

The nib, as I understand, may be unscrewed from the body for easy replacement, though I have not yet removed it myself.

 

An interesting thing about the feed is that you can actually see right through the vents to the underside of the nib. I have tried, with only partial success, to show this in the photo below.

 

fpn_1437149273__asa_5_nib_underside.jpg

 

The pen is advertised as having a "3-in-1 filling system." This means that it can be used with cartridges, with a convertor, or with the barrel filled in eyedropper fashion. This option seems to add quite a bit to the price, as fountain pens of similar materials and design are offered by ASA at significantly lower prices. Having heard of the phenomenon of "burping" to which eyedropper-filled pens are prone, I chose to pay a higher price to have the option of using a convertor. The convertor (on the left in the photo below), said to be made by Schmidt, is slightly larger than a standard convertor (on the right), though I don't know if its capacity is any greater.

 

fpn_1437152810__asa_006_convertor.jpg

 

So, how is the pen to use? I will start with the feel of it. Ebonite looks and feels on casual inspection like plastic (or perhaps I should say, like other plastics), but on closer attention seems somehow less hard to the touch than plastic, even though it is assuredly a rigid and unyielding material. To me it feels somehow more hand-friendly than most other materials. So that's one attraction.

 

The cap is not made for quick removal: it requires two and a half turns to remove and to replace. So this pen is not well suited for jotting down short notes.

 

The pen is fairly lightweight, weighing 24 grams with the cap on and the convertor installed and filled, 16.5 grams without the cap. The pen is not unwieldy with the cap posted. I myself tend to prefer to post, and tend to prefer a weight over 20 grams, but I find myself inclined to use this pen unposted.

 

The grip section is wider than those of most pens. I have never yet felt a grip section to be too wide, though I have had many pens whose grip sections were too narrow for my comfort. But for me this pen is right at the limit. I can hold it comfortably enough, but at times I find myself wishing that it were just a bit narrower. Those with smaller hands (mine are of medium size as adult male hands go) will almost certainly find this pen too thick for comfortable use.

 

I find the nib to be reasonably smooth—nothing out of the ordinary, nothing to complain about. Likewise, though not particularly springy, it yields enough to make for comfort in writing. In sum, good but not outstanding.

 

As far as starting ability goes, I have found the pen, so far, to be fairly compliant. If I have used it previously in the day, I can count on it to start laying down ink either immediately or within a few millimeters of the first stroke of the point. If it has been unused overnight, then a stroke or two is required to get it to start. I have never yet had to shake it or tap it to get it to start, though I have not yet left it unused for days at a time.

 

I have left the topic of the appearance of the pen for the end. The plain, nearly featureless design and polished finish are among the distinctive features of the pen. If you don't find these to be attractions, then this pen can be of no interest to you. Gama makes other Ebonite pens with a matte finish. That finish was not an option with this model, but that was fine with me.

 

It is my impression that Ebonite never has that "spanking new" appearance that most new pens have. At least, this pen never had it, and no amount of rubbing with a soft cloth seems able to give it such an appearance. Ebonite just doesn't get that shiny: it seems to look a bit "used" by nature. This, to my mind, agrees with its peculiar feel, so that the pen can seem on very first acquaintance as if you have already had it and used it for a long time.

 

I don't know if it is universal among Ebonite to have tiny flaws in the finish, but this pen has them. That is a feature that pushes the pen from hominess toward shabbiness.

 

What is more, the pen lacks symmetry. This is plainly visible in the clip, which is of a shape that recalls those of Pelikan pens, but its thick part extends further to the left than to the right. What is more, the cap does not align perfectly with the body. Both asymmetries can be seen in the photograph below.

 

fpn_1437149357__asa_11_capped.jpg

 

 

In summary: The pen has a distinctive design and material and is agreeable to write with. But in consideration of the flaws in its appearance and construction, I am not convinced that it is a particularly good value,



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#2 Tresconik

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 17:34

That was a nice, detailed review. Thank you for writing it :)
The JoWo nib means you should be able to use it as an eyedropper without the pen burping. Also, if you plan on ordering from ASA again, you could request the seller to fit the pen with the nib plating of your choice.



#3 Miles R.

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 17:36

That was a nice, detailed review. Thank you for writing it :)
The JoWo nib means you should be able to use it as an eyedropper without the pen burping. Also, if you plan on ordering from ASA again, you could request the seller to fit the pen with the nib plating of your choice.

 

The page for the pen did not mention any choice of nib design, so I just assumed that the nib would be like the one shown in the photos. Not a deal-breaker in any case.

 

As for the burping, I have never heard of a burp-preventing nib. How does that work?



#4 Tresconik

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 17:59

 

The page for the pen did not mention any choice of nib design, so I just assumed that the nib would be like the one shown in the photos. Not a deal-breaker in any case.

 

As for the burping, I have never heard of a burp-preventing nib. How does that work?

A fair assumption.

The heavily finned feed prevents burps. That's the main reason why I choose JoWo nibs.



#5 vig2432

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Posted 18 July 2015 - 03:08

The pen is the ASA Gama Revolution (link to vendor's page; as I understand, "ASA" is the name of the vendor and "Gama" is the name of a line of fountain pens made by said vendor).

 

Gama is not a brand under ASA. Gama is an old brand of a Chennai-based shop called Gem & Co., which has been in the penmaking business for more than 60 years. This pen, I believe is an exclusive to ASA.

 

I don't know if it is universal among Ebonite to have tiny flaws in the finish, but this pen has them. That is a feature that pushes the pen from hominess toward shabbiness.

 

Yes, It is most likely due to the manufacturing process, rather than the Finishing. AFAIK, The Revolution in ASA link you provided comes with a dual-toned nib

 

Rev-Main-228x228.JPGRev-03-500x500.JPG

 

Rev-02-500x500.JPG

This is from ASA website from the link you enclosed. You could have got a chrome nib if you had enclosed it withih a comment or sent an email to L.Subramaniam

 

HTH


Edited by vig2432, 18 July 2015 - 03:20.

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#6 J85909266

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Posted 18 July 2015 - 03:29

The lack of symmetry is what keeps me from buying Indian fountain pens. I see it all the time in reviews and nobody ever mentions it.


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#7 mehandiratta

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Posted 18 July 2015 - 05:47

The lack of symmetry is what keeps me from buying Indian fountain pens. I see it all the time in reviews and nobody ever mentions it.

they are all handmade... 

thats y


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#8 Barry Gabay

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Posted 18 July 2015 - 15:01

Miles,  Wonderful & in-depth  review.  Your written and photographed details make for a superior insight into this pen. Thank you for sharing your observations. My only Gama fountain pen is the Eyas ( with same nib as yours) which delights me every time I use it, which is often.  I must agree with Mehandiratta's comment. The lack of uniformity in symmetry, a reflection of being handmade, makes the pen all the more appalling to me.  Thanks again for your excellent review. Enjoy your weekend. Best wishes, Barry



#9 Jamerelbe

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Posted 18 July 2015 - 15:50

Miles,  Wonderful & in-depth  review.  Your written and photographed details make for a superior insight into this pen. Thank you for sharing your observations. My only Gama fountain pen is the Eyas ( with same nib as yours) which delights me every time I use it, which is often.  I must agree with Mehandiratta's comment. The lack of uniformity in symmetry, a reflection of being handmade, makes the pen all the more appalling to me.  Thanks again for your excellent review. Enjoy your weekend. Best wishes, Barry


Appalling... Or appealing?! ;)

#10 Miles R.

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Posted 18 July 2015 - 16:06

Appalling... Or appealing?! ;)

 

I had the same question!



#11 Barry Gabay

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Posted 18 July 2015 - 21:26

Sorry, must check spelling more carefully.  Recently wrote to a friend about "Indian ebonite eyed rippers." Should have checked that one too. 



#12 J_MM

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Posted 18 July 2015 - 21:55

Nice detailed review. I have the Eyas eyedropper version fitted with a Shaeffer feed to remove any burping. One of my favourite pens. My clip is symmetric but I imagine there is variation in hand made productions. For me ebonite is the best material for a pen.

#13 J85909266

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 07:04

they are all handmade... 

thats y

I understand that. However, if I'm getting a handmade pen, I'll pay the extra money to get one that is symmetrical enough to fool my naked eye. If I can take one glance at a pen and see a lack of symmetry, the pen is dead, to me.

 

That said,  not all Indian handmade pens suffer from this glaring lack of symmetry. I own a very nice, Indian made ebonite pen that is perfectly proportioned, to my eye.


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#14 TanSha

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 14:18

This is a lovely review. I have been using Gama Forever Eyedropper this summer and it has been a delight. But if I may, I do have a question about the eyedroppers; I would like to change from Gama to Airmail in august ( I try to rotate my pens periodically) and would like to know if there are any precautions/correct method for cleaning and storage of the pen. 

 

I would be grateful for any tips...

 

A newbie'

Tannu



#15 sannidh

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 06:13

This is a lovely review. I have been using Gama Forever Eyedropper this summer and it has been a delight. But if I may, I do have a question about the eyedroppers; I would like to change from Gama to Airmail in august ( I try to rotate my pens periodically) and would like to know if there are any precautions/correct method for cleaning and storage of the pen. 

 

I would be grateful for any tips...

 

A newbie'

Tannu

 

You can simply clean the pen like any other with running (cold) tap water, and then wipe it with a soft cloth/earbud. Leave the pen, in open for a while to dry. One thing to note for Ebonite/rubber based EDs is that you should not use any solvents and nor you should soak them in water for long periods (the hard rubber can become permanently discoloured).

 

HTH


Edited by soniknitr, 20 July 2015 - 06:33.

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#16 manp

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 10:43


 

What is more, the pen lacks symmetry. This is plainly visible in the clip, which is of a shape that recalls those of Pelikan pens, but its thick part extends further to the left than to the right. What is more, the cap does not align perfectly with the body. Both asymmetries can be seen in the photograph below.

 

fpn_1437149357__asa_11_capped.jpg

 

 

In summary: The pen has a distinctive design and material and is agreeable to write with. But in consideration of the flaws in its appearance and construction, I am not convinced that it is a particularly good value,

Could  you post similar pictures for the cap alone? Is pen posted in this picture or closed  ?



#17 Miles R.

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 11:53

Could  you post similar pictures for the cap alone? Is pen posted in this picture or closed  ?

 

I don't know what you mean by "similar pictures"--if you need to see something specific, you will have to say what it is--but I should have mentioned that the photo shows the pen with the cap screwed on.



#18 manp

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 13:22

 

I don't know what you mean by "similar pictures"--if you need to see something specific,

Oh, I meant some thing like this.

Just to identify if the cap is the chief perpetrator towards the asymmetry. I believe these pens are turned in a lathe and the outer profile should be symmetrical about the axis of rotation. It could be possible that the inside of the cap has been drilled slanted so that when screwed to pen it becomes asymmetrical.

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#19 TanSha

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 17:10

 

You can simply clean the pen like any other with running (cold) tap water, and then wipe it with a soft cloth/earbud. Leave the pen, in open for a while to dry. One thing to note for Ebonite/rubber based EDs is that you should not use any solvents and nor you should soak them in water for long periods (the hard rubber can become permanently discoloured).

 

HTH

 

 

OK, but this leads to another dilemma... This ED is greased at the section rings, so if I try to clean it with running water, won't the grease get in the barrel? or will it also get cleaned out? I was considering spraying water inside the barrel with a syringe to clean out the ink, but that leaves the feed vulnerable to clogging. 

 

what say?

 

Puzzled,

Tannu



#20 Miles R.

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 17:20

Oh, I meant some thing like this.

Just to identify if the cap is the chief perpetrator towards the asymmetry. I believe these pens are turned in a lathe and the outer profile should be symmetrical about the axis of rotation. It could be possible that the inside of the cap has been drilled slanted so that when screwed to pen it becomes asymmetrical.

 

Well, neither the cap nor the barrel is curved: the problem is in the fit of the former to the latter. So I should describe that fit as a misalignment rather than an asymmetry (in contrast to the lopsided shape of the clip). Actually, I find that one can shift the cap about a bit from side to side even when it is screwed on tight, so that the two pieces can be made to align—when one views the pen from one particular angle; but turn it another way and another misalignment presents itself. So perhaps the problem is just the looseness of fit. It is not a conspicuous defect, in any case, though it is a defect.


Edited by Miles R., 20 July 2015 - 17:20.






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: asa, gama, revolution, indian, ebonite, eyedropper, convertor



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