Jump to content

The Fountain Pen Network uses (functional) cookies. Read the FPN Privacy Policy for more info.  To remove this message, please click here to accept the use of cookies






Photo

Asa Azaadi Review

asa azaadi review prithwijit schmidt conway stewart bock

  • Please log in to reply
27 replies to this topic

#1 Prithwijit

Prithwijit

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 314 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 20 December 2015 - 09:23

IMGP1362.JPG

 

Introduction

Often in life one learns to appreciate the value of something only after the object is long gone. In my case, something along the same lines happened for Conway Stewart pens. One fine evening in July of 2015 I chanced upon a store selling off the last few Conway Stewarts they had in stock and I was mesmerised by their beauty. One look at the price tag however quickly brought me back to my senses. Modern CS pens were never known to be on the value end of the price spectrum and the huge custom duties and other applicable taxes in India meant that they were well outside my grasp.

I was however acutely aware that CS pens would soon not be available anywhere anymore and was desperate to get a piece of the pie. Once back home, I resorted to trawling the internet and found the source for last few CS blanks being made available from their liquidation sale by Vince Coates (www.theturnersworkshop.co.uk). With the help of fellow FPNer Kapil Apshankar (@springrainbow) I managed to source some materials in sufficient quantity to make a few pens. I did not bother receiving the material in hand and instead had those sent directly to Mr. Subramaniam of www.asapens.in with full faith that he would help me make something nice out of them. I also found out that CS essentially used Bock 250 nibs in their pens and grabbed a small collection of nib units as complete triple system from www.beaufortink.co.uk.

We worked on a design that was original and yet paid homage to CS and especially their flagship model Churchill. Once the outline was worked out, we launched the pen in the “Fountain Pen Pals India” WhatsApp/Telegram group on August 15th where it was received with incredible enthusiasm. After some ups and downs, we stabilized at around 30 orders within the group. That’s quite an achievement considering the fact that at that point of time, the group has fewer number of members than 30. While everybody didn’t necessarily book one Azaadi, there were quite a few members who opted to get more than one.

Since it was launched on 15th August which happens to be India’s Independence Day, it was only fitting to call the pen “Azaadi” which means “Independence” in Hindi. It was also a cheeky repartee to Churchill whose opinions about Indians and the notion of Indian Independence weren’t necessarily very appropriate.
 
Design

I knew that I wanted an original design which would not be a rip-off of any existing Conway Stewart model and yet should provide some kind of a homage to the brand. We all know that the concentric circles on the cap filial of Churchill gives it a distinctive crown like look and decided to incorporate a similar crown in black ebonite in the pen we designed as a homage element.

Other than that, it is a solidly utilitarian design that combines the best of the breed in a number of areas. Size-wise, we designed it to be approximately the same size as a Lamy Safari and fitted it with the section design from ASA I-Can / I-Will in black ebonite which is a personal favourite for the comfort it offers. The end of the barrel is also made using black ebonite and the barrel end was also tapered a bit as another homage clue to the CS Churchill. The clip used was a special vintage ball clip made of brass which is quite unique in itself.

Design wise it’s a classic with simple straight lines for the cap and with only a slight tapering of the barrel. The top of the cap and the bottom of the barrel are flat and polished. The body of the barrel and the cap are polished smooth and shiny. The concentric golden bands on the cap add a touch of flair. All in all the pen was designed to be regular sized, light and robust with the two ends having design cues that pay homage to CS.

 

ASA Azaadi Design Study - Non Flush Watermarked.jpg
Final CAD drawing of the pen design that went into production

 

 
Since we didn’t have CS blanks for all, the pen was launched with the option of using a broad set of acrylic materials. Unsurprisingly, the pearlescent acrylic blanks used in the ASA Rainbow turned out to be the most popular.  We were pleasantly surprised how the shine of the acrylic blanks was nicely complemented by the muted colour of the ebonite components helping offset the monotony. The materials and colours complement each other and their interplay enriches the design whether posted or unposted.

 

 IMGP1350.JPG

 

 IMGP1351.JPG

 

IMGP1363.JPG

 

Size and Balance

At 140mm capped, this is the perfect size for an EDC (Every Day Carry) pen. The shape of the pen and especially the section design is also meant to accentuate the feeling of comfort. But nothing beats the feeling in hand once you start writing with it and realise the comfortable. Needless to say, the pen is well balanced and provides comfortable writing for extended periods.

Nib

While I did get a set of different bock nibs, the quantity available wasn’t sufficient to satisfy 30 orders. Hence the pen was launched with two nib options excluding Bock. One could get a Schmidt (Model FH 452) nib in F/M/B or else go for a Jowo/WIN nib (Model 12-56) in EF/F/M/B/1.1/1.5 tip options. Since I already have a considerable collection of Jowo nibs, I opted to get the pen with a Schmidt nib with a broad tip in golden finish. From a design standpoint, the clip nib and bands complement each other quite nicely thanks to the golden colour.

 

 IMGP1357.JPG

 

Filling Mechanism

I am a stickler for pens that accept standard international cartridges and compatible convertors since in my opinion they the optimum combination of value, system longevity, convenience and widespread compatibility. It is therefore hardly a surprise that the ASA Azaadi supports the same and it comes with a Schmidt K5 convertor out of the box.  

Build Quality

The Azaadi exudes the usual hallmark of quality from ASA pens.  The fit and finish and the tolerances are fine for a handmade pen. The joints are seamless and only discernible due to colour variations. It is obvious that the pen has been made with care and a considerable amount of time has gone into polishing and buffing to ensure a very high quality of the finish. The only improvement area that I can think of are the bands used in the cap. It isn’t as if the bands aren’t fitted properly, but rather I wish ASA had access to better (read thicker) bands to go with this pen.

 

  IMGP1352.JPG

 

 IMGP1353.JPG

Writing Experience

Schmidt is a renowned maker of triple units and their systems have a large user base thanks to a number of brands that use them. Such widespread adoption wouldn’t have been possible if the nibs weren’t of top notch quality. It is little surprise then that I am very happy with how the pen writes. Being a broad tipped unit means that the nib appears extra smooth and glides over the paper laying down a nice wet line. This nib however isn’t soft or flexible and is quite rigid or nail-like. We have to accept that as a characteristic of the nib and be happy about the excellent writing experience that it provides.

Price and Value

The ASA Azaadi is poised to be one of the flagships within ASA’s line up and its price is currently perched as amongst the highest in the line. That however doesn’t mean much in cost terms since the entire ASA line is so affordable and the pens so wonderful. Personally to me the price reflects the effort that goes into making each pen and that no compromises were made in using components within the constraints of what’s available in Chennai. AT the end of the day, the pen represents great value at an affordable price point.

Specifications

Since I have the benefit of having access to the original CAD drawing, I will be quoting the specifications from that. Actual production pens are likely to have small piece to piece variances given the nature of making handmade pens. The measurements should suffice to give you a fair idea of the size of the instrument.

  Length (capped) – 140 mm
  Length (uncapped) – 135 mm
  Length (cap) – 65 mm
  Length (section) – 25 mm  
  Maximum width – 16 mm
  Minimum width – 10 mm
  Maximum section width – 12 mm
  Minimum section width – 10.5 mm

 

IMGP1366.JPG

From top to Bottom - Jinhao 159, ASA Azaadi and Lamy Safari

Conclusion

It is not very often that one gets an opportunity to be involved in getting a fountain pen design. It is even rarer to get an opportunity to direct the design and see the pen getting launched as a regularly available product in the vendor’s catalogue. For that reason alone the Azaadi is very special to me. People who have got a chance to own this pen have been very positively impressed by it’s balance, comfort and writing experience. The pen has been designed from the ground up as an EDC (Every Day Carry) pen and in my opinion it fulfills that role in a fitting and stylist fashion. I have no hesitation in recommending this pen to others and I am sure you would enjoy it too.  

 

 IMGP1360.JPG

 


Click here to check out my reviews

 

Fosfor Rajendran | ASA Santulan | Ranga Sugarcane | ASA Sniper | Fosfor Heather | ASA I-Will | Hero Glorious | ASA Azaadi | Fosfor Islander | ASA Halwa | ASA Macaw | ASA Namenlos | ASA Bheeshma

 


Sponsored Content

#2 Sagarb

Sagarb

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 645 posts
  • Location:Kolkata
  • Flag:

Posted 20 December 2015 - 11:21

Beautiful design and fantastically executed...superb photography..and the blank you've chosen..congratulations Prithwi...


Sagar Bhowmick


#3 visvamitra

visvamitra

    Donor Pen

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,458 posts
  • Location:Poland
  • Flag:

Posted 20 December 2015 - 11:29

Nice pen. I would prefer it with chrome trim though.



#4 vig2432

vig2432

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 204 posts
  • Location:Chennai, India
  • Flag:

Posted 20 December 2015 - 12:22

Superb design and nice execution. Kudos to both Prithwijit and ASA pens


Vi veri veniversum vivus vici


#5 kirki.mandrake

kirki.mandrake

    NOS (New Old Stock)

  • Member - Silver

  • PipPip
  • 14 posts
  • Location:Naples
  • Flag:

Posted 20 December 2015 - 13:56

Really very beautiful. I think it is also the most sophisticated one of ASA production



#6 amk

amk

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,863 posts
  • Location:Norwich, UK
  • Flag:

Posted 20 December 2015 - 15:30

I enjoyed the witty naming of the pen. And what a stylish little beast it is! Very much a vintage pen, or should I say a classic pen, in its looks. I particularly like the detailing on the cap top which adds a little individuality to the design.


Too many pens, too little time!

http://fountainpenlove.blogspot.fr/


#7 Prithwijit

Prithwijit

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 314 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 20 December 2015 - 16:35

Beautiful design and fantastically executed...superb photography..and the blank you've chosen..congratulations Prithwi...

 

Thank you Sagar for the compliments. Looking forward to your artistic and aesthetic photo renditions of the Azaadi when you get yours.

 

Superb design and nice execution. Kudos to both Prithwijit and ASA pens

 

Thank you Vignesh. Appreciate that you like the design.


Click here to check out my reviews

 

Fosfor Rajendran | ASA Santulan | Ranga Sugarcane | ASA Sniper | Fosfor Heather | ASA I-Will | Hero Glorious | ASA Azaadi | Fosfor Islander | ASA Halwa | ASA Macaw | ASA Namenlos | ASA Bheeshma

 


#8 Prithwijit

Prithwijit

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 314 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 20 December 2015 - 16:42

Nice pen. I would prefer it with chrome trim though.

 

Hi Visvamitra,

 

Someday you must tell me why and how you come to choose this FPN handle.

 

One of the challenges of being a small time maker of custom pen maker in India is the acute shortage of good available trims in reasonable quantities. I was not too keen on using a chrome or gold plated steel clip on such a nice pen since there is always a possible risk of plating wear and rust. Hence I opted to use one of the vintage all brass ball point clip that ASA had access to. To match the other trims with the clip, we opted for brass rings and golden nib.

 

Regards,

 

Prithwijit


Click here to check out my reviews

 

Fosfor Rajendran | ASA Santulan | Ranga Sugarcane | ASA Sniper | Fosfor Heather | ASA I-Will | Hero Glorious | ASA Azaadi | Fosfor Islander | ASA Halwa | ASA Macaw | ASA Namenlos | ASA Bheeshma

 


#9 Prithwijit

Prithwijit

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 314 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 22 December 2015 - 03:58

Really very beautiful. I think it is also the most sophisticated one of ASA production

 

Thanks. Yes I believe it ranks amongst ASA's best till date.

 

I enjoyed the witty naming of the pen. And what a stylish little beast it is! Very much a vintage pen, or should I say a classic pen, in its looks. I particularly like the detailing on the cap top which adds a little individuality to the design.

 

The cap top detailing is the homage part and you are right it is indeed the most distinguishing aspect of the design.


Click here to check out my reviews

 

Fosfor Rajendran | ASA Santulan | Ranga Sugarcane | ASA Sniper | Fosfor Heather | ASA I-Will | Hero Glorious | ASA Azaadi | Fosfor Islander | ASA Halwa | ASA Macaw | ASA Namenlos | ASA Bheeshma

 


#10 J85909266

J85909266

    Fountain Blade

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 798 posts
  • Location:OH
  • Flag:

Posted 22 December 2015 - 04:08

I like it. Honestly, I might even purchase, were it available. I did not see it when browsing the ASA website.


Fountain pens forever and forever a hundred years fountain pens, all day long forever, forever a hundred times, over and over Fountain Pen Network Adventures dot com!

 

- Joe


#11 mehandiratta

mehandiratta

    Museum Piece

  • FPN Super Moderators

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,492 posts
  • Location:Gurgaon, Delhi NCR
  • Flag:

Posted 22 December 2015 - 12:20

wonderful pics... and pen does look classy



#12 sanyalsoumitra

sanyalsoumitra

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,094 posts
  • Location:Kolkata
  • Flag:

Posted 22 December 2015 - 14:12

fpn_1450793503__img_0062.jpg



#13 Prithwijit

Prithwijit

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 314 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 22 December 2015 - 15:19

I like it. Honestly, I might even purchase, were it available. I did not see it when browsing the ASA website.

 

Hi,

 

I have received a couple of inquiries like yours on how to purchase the pens since it's not listed on ASA site yet. I approached Mr. Subramaniam to clarify and I got the following response.

 

For any product to be listed on the site it must a be a regular line and produced irrespective of orders (aka made to stock). The Azaadi is still being made on order basis (aka made to order) and hence he hasn't listed it yet. Should there be enough interest, he will list it like a regular product and maintain inventory. 

 

In the meanwhile, anyone who wished to procure the pen can do so by dropping an email to ASA at unik.services@hotmail.com. The requester must specify the following in the order details -

  • Colour Choice -
    • [1] Cherry Swirl
    • [2] Midnight Blue
    • [3] Cracked Ice
    • [4] Fiery Orange
  • Nib Choice -
    • [1] Jowo in F / M / B / 1.1 / 1.5
    • [2] Schmidt in F/M/B

Please refer to attached image to understand the colour options.

 

Azaadi in Rainbow Colours - Numbered.jpg

 

 

Regards,

 

Prithwijit


Edited by Prithwijit, 22 December 2015 - 15:24.

Click here to check out my reviews

 

Fosfor Rajendran | ASA Santulan | Ranga Sugarcane | ASA Sniper | Fosfor Heather | ASA I-Will | Hero Glorious | ASA Azaadi | Fosfor Islander | ASA Halwa | ASA Macaw | ASA Namenlos | ASA Bheeshma

 


#14 Sanjay13leo

Sanjay13leo

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 59 posts
  • Location:Bangalore
  • Flag:

Posted 12 February 2016 - 04:53

Pictures and the description are clear to mention and lay emphasis on details and craftsmanship of his hand made beautiful pen. Though made in limited number gives joy to holding on to a beautiful crafted handmade pen to that compared to large scale production. It is a eye candy pen for sure. Enjoy the beautiful pen my friend until the next beauty is carved out

#15 Sanjay13leo

Sanjay13leo

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 59 posts
  • Location:Bangalore
  • Flag:

Posted 12 February 2016 - 10:30

Here are some of the pics of the prototype version of Azadi

Attached Images

  • image.jpeg
  • image.jpeg
  • image.jpeg
  • image.jpeg


#16 Prithwijit

Prithwijit

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 314 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 13 February 2016 - 04:43

Here are some of the pics of the prototype version of Azadi

 

Hi Sanjay,

 

Thanks for sharing these. If my memory serves me correctly, then this was the first prototype that was developed and which you snagged. It would be great if you can share side by side pictures of the original prototype and the production version of the pen. We can then see the evolution of the design from the initial concept to the eventual design.

 

Regards,

 

Prithwijit


Click here to check out my reviews

 

Fosfor Rajendran | ASA Santulan | Ranga Sugarcane | ASA Sniper | Fosfor Heather | ASA I-Will | Hero Glorious | ASA Azaadi | Fosfor Islander | ASA Halwa | ASA Macaw | ASA Namenlos | ASA Bheeshma

 


#17 sannidh

sannidh

    Finding Eternity

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 988 posts
  • Location:The Milky Way
  • Flag:

Posted 13 February 2016 - 05:51

That's one of the beautiful looking pens..Congrats PC dada  :thumbup:

How is the weight/balance of this pen posted/unposted? (comparable to 1911?)


You have come to earth to entertain and to be entertained - P.Y

 

Some Pen & Paraphernalia Reviews


#18 Dickkooty2

Dickkooty2

    That Dick in Hood River

  • FPN Supporter - Platinum

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,474 posts
  • Location:Hood River, Oregon, USA
  • Flag:

Posted 13 February 2016 - 09:48

A wonderful review of the Asa Azaadi with great pictures. I stupidly mistyped the name of the pen when I ordered one. Imagine my surprise when I received a video from Amazon of Aziz Ansari. But he had great reviews as well!

 



#19 Prithwijit

Prithwijit

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 314 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 13 February 2016 - 14:05

A wonderful review of the Asa Azaadi with great pictures. I stupidly mistyped the name of the pen when I ordered one. Imagine my surprise when I received a video from Amazon of Aziz Ansari. But he had great reviews as well!

 

 

Hi Dickkooty2,

 

I had to watch the video and it does seem interesting. Have you received your Azaadi in hand yet. If so, how has been your experience ?

 

Regards,

 

Prithwijit


Click here to check out my reviews

 

Fosfor Rajendran | ASA Santulan | Ranga Sugarcane | ASA Sniper | Fosfor Heather | ASA I-Will | Hero Glorious | ASA Azaadi | Fosfor Islander | ASA Halwa | ASA Macaw | ASA Namenlos | ASA Bheeshma

 


#20 Prithwijit

Prithwijit

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 314 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 13 February 2016 - 14:08

That's one of the beautiful looking pens..Congrats PC dada  :thumbup:

How is the weight/balance of this pen posted/unposted? (comparable to 1911?)

 

Hi Sonik,

 

Compared to a 1911 standard, this pen is larger and a tad heavier. I find the 1911STD a bit too small for my hands to be used unposted and once posted there is a definite rearward weight bias. The Azaadi however has the right size for my hands to be used unposted and while using it as such, it is supremely well balanced.

 

Regards,

 

Chaki


Click here to check out my reviews

 

Fosfor Rajendran | ASA Santulan | Ranga Sugarcane | ASA Sniper | Fosfor Heather | ASA I-Will | Hero Glorious | ASA Azaadi | Fosfor Islander | ASA Halwa | ASA Macaw | ASA Namenlos | ASA Bheeshma

 






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: asa, azaadi, review, prithwijit, schmidt, conway stewart, bock



Sponsored Content




|