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Gama Forever Reviewed

gama gama forever india ebonite eyedropper

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17 replies to this topic

#1 kitojmanny

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 02:21

The Gama Forever is an ebonite, eye-dropper filled, Indian fountain pen. It features a flat ended shape, a girthy profile, a ball-pointed clip, and twin rings around the bottom of the cap: design cues that overtly gesture to the Parker Duofold and Sheaffer Flat Top and to their aesthetic offspring from the Pilot Lucina to the Newton Orville. This one came to me from Asa Pens and cost about $25. I should mention I found Asa’s service and delivery time quite reasonable. Included at no extra cost was a small red gift bag for the pen and an eye-dropper. 

 

The styling of the pen is simple all around, not elevating over its basic design language in materials or ornamentation. The ebonite is plain black (though ripple patterns are available), the cap and body are devoid of any text or logos, and the metal furniture (while gold in tone) lack luster. The nib is large and writes with a line I’d call Western medium-fine — mileage varying by ink, paper, and nib/feed fit. On my pen, I’ve brought the nib and feed further out of the section by about 4mm to better match (to my eye) the proportions of the pen. The engraving on the nib is fairly shallow and sparse. It features two diagonal layers of light scrawling, arching over a circle and the inscription “iridium point.” The nib won’t win any beauty contests, but the whole pen was pretty inexpensive. The clip is a bit disproportionate to the pen, I feel. I’d prefer it to be 3-4mm longer, but that only ever occurs to me when I’ve been looking at it for a long time with a critical attitude. In day to day life it never crosses my mind. Despite all the luke-warm things I’ve said here, I’m happy with the styling of the pen, largely on account of its throwback design and its minimal decoration (which feels right for the pen). 

 

Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 10.18.11 PM.png

 

Fit is commendable, and finish acceptable. The pen feels quite solid and all its functional bits are fitted with great precision. The cap unscrews smoothly with several turns (4.5, by my count). The section unscrews rather stiffly (I’d say, securely) from the body with many turns (the pen is very full right now and I’m not risking the count) and came pre-greased from Asa. I’ve had no burping or leaks since I received the pen about two weeks ago. The nib and feed need to be knocked out to be removed, as they are quite firmly set within the section. Two quibbles with the finish deserve mention. First, the metal furniture on the cap is off center — very slightly in the case of the double rings, and a bit more noticeably in the case of the setting for the clip. Second, the small space beneath the final threat on the pen body doesn’t appear to have been polished, so it’s grayish and rough compared to the rest of the pen. The pen works perfectly, and most of the time, as I noted about the clip length, these things never cross my mind. 

 

Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 10.02.54 PM.png

 

While Asa lists this pen as regular sized, I don’t believe that’s the case outside of the Indian fountain pen world. This pen is Safari-like in length and thick enough that the section diameter comes in around 14mm. Let’s call it oversized. That’s what I wanted when I bought the pen, and I’m happy with it. Having finally used a pen this size I’ve found my preference to be south of the 14mm (more likely about 11mm). When I write with the pen for extended periods it begins to feel cumbersome, but for short letters or notes it’s great. Others have found the pen to be their perfect size, and I don’t doubt that I’ll better adapt to it myself over time. 

 

The nib is listed on Asa as a number 10. At times the nib feels a bit toothy, though through a 10x loop I can’t clearly see the reason for that. I plan on trying to smooth it a bit soon, but I believe that a good amount of the feedback is a result of the nib’s design and materials. Two western fines, Nemosine and Goulet (JoWo), from my collection, smoothed in the same manner with the same materials, have never produced even approximately the same feel. While they are both smooth, the Nemosine has always transmitted more of the texture of the paper. The Gama seems further along that continuum. The nib provides no notable line variation. It lays down a nice wet line of ink that’s beautiful to watch settle onto the paper.

 

Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 10.00.08 PM.png

 

In my overarching opinion the Gama Forever is a decent fountain pen, but not a daily driver, nothing to lust after, but something worth owning if you’re curious about oversized pens or enjoy the aesthetic. When I pick up this pen, I do so because I want to pay a special kind of attention to what I’m doing. I want to feel the paper and watch the ink pool. It’s the kind of pen I plan on leaving on the desk to sign cards and address letters and hardly ever need a refill. I’ll grab it for the fun of using the big pen. It's a novelty: fun, palate cleansing and, because it’s relatively cheap, guilt free.


Edited by kitojmanny, 30 December 2015 - 02:26.


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#2 bizhe

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 05:28

Nice to see an old omg as well!

#3 visvamitra

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 06:46

Excellent review. Personally I don't like this design.



#4 Prithwijit

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 12:40

Hi EoC,

 

Congratulations on acquiring a lovely pen. I have the same pen in brushed finish with a Conklin stamped Bock nib and love the resulting pen. I also cant help but notice that you are trying out Indian made pens. Hope these simple unpretentious and basic but reliable writing instruments win you over.

 

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

 


#5 Prithwijit

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 12:42

Excellent review. Personally I don't like this design.

 

Hi Visvamitra,

 

This is a very old pen design and is being made for decades. As you can easily realise, it was a copy/homage to the original Duofolds and are probably of the same vintage.

 

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

 


#6 kitojmanny

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 12:53

I have the same pen in brushed finish with a Conklin stamped Bock nib and love the resulting pen. 

 

I'm curious about trying out different nibs in the pen. I've got a few lying around I might just try out one of these days. What size was the Bock you put on it? 



#7 kitojmanny

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 12:54

Excellent review. Personally I don't like this design.

 

Thanks. It's definitely not for everyone, but just the other day I noticed that nearly all my pens have some derivative of the flat top shape to them. It must be my thing.



#8 kitojmanny

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 12:55

Nice to see an old omg as well!

 

It's a great little camera. If film weren't so much more expensive to play with than digital I'd probably carry it everywhere.



#9 Prithwijit

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Posted 02 January 2016 - 13:01

 

I'm curious about trying out different nibs in the pen. I've got a few lying around I might just try out one of these days. What size was the Bock you put on it? 

 

Hi,

 

In my case it was s standard #6 bock bare nib (stamped Conklin) which was paired with the simple Raja/Forever ebonite feed in eyedropper mode. The combination was made to my wish by ASAPens who are also a reseller of Gama pens.

 

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

 


#10 RwindleIII

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 22:22

Great review.

"A great man condemns others to explicate him." -Hegel


#11 mehandiratta

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 11:59

I love this pen...


vaibhav mehandiratta                               

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#12 KublaiKhan

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Posted 15 June 2016 - 00:40

Hi! Am curious to know if ANY #35 (#6) nib will work as a replacement for the stock nib on the Gama Forever. Do all nibs of the same numbering have the same shape, size and thickness? I have an eye on nibs from Goulet but am reluctant to order one. I think FPR also sells replacement nibs for this pen, with the same #35 (#6) size designation, but my eye is still on the new Goulet nibs. Thanks in advance for the input.

#13 Scribblesoften

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Posted 15 June 2016 - 01:02

I have found that the Jowo (Goulet, Edison) fit well.  I have also found that the Noodler's #6 size nibs, both flex and standard, are a bit flatter at the non-writing end and, for me, don't fit.  I believe that ASA Pens is the distributor for Jowo nibs in India.  If you order a pen in the future you can also order a German nib.  The nib in the OP's pen looks to be an "Ambitious."  They are my favorite India produced nib. 


Edited by Scribblesoften, 15 June 2016 - 01:06.


#14 KublaiKhan

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Posted 15 June 2016 - 06:54

Thanks Scribblesoften! Appreciate the input. Will post an update if I do succumb to a new nib. My Gama Forever stock nib has been a loyal performer to date with regular flushing (this has been important, perhaps due to the simple ink I use (Bril Black, India made, at under 30 cents for a 60 ml bottle, I'm not kidding). Am mildly reluctant to upgrade this 500 rupee (US $7.50) pen (that's what I paid for it in Chennai, India) with a nib twice the pen's price. But reluctance and good sense can be overcome by gazing again at those swell pictures of shiny new nibs posted on the Goulet website; I'll be heading there in a moment. Cheers!

#15 KublaiKhan

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Posted 01 July 2016 - 00:16

Scribblesoften, thanks again for the input. I was able to put in a Knox #6 gold-tone Medium, and it works very nicely. No tip-smoothing or any other nib adjustments required, although I did heat set it. The Knox has the exact same dimensions as the stock nib and therefore, together with the feed, gives the same tight friction fit in the nib unit. Just a note to everyone: that feed and nib combo sits very tightly in the unit and you'll need to be careful pulling it out and setting it in, lest you break something. My thanks to whoever suggested (earlier in this thread perhaps elsewhere) putting the whole nib unit -with nib and feed- into the freezer for a bit, before attempting to get the nib and feed out. I did that and maybe it helped, but let me tell you, it's still as bad as pulling teeth.

#16 Scribblesoften

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Posted 01 July 2016 - 04:33

I am glad to hear that it went together well and now is writing nicely.  With some nibs that are tight in the section, it can be better to push them out rather than pull them.  Sometimes this can take some ingenuity but it reduces the chance of damaging the feed.  I hope you enjoy this pen for many years.



#17 KublaiKhan

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Posted 01 July 2016 - 05:04

Scribblesoften: That's a good suggestion. Will bear that in mind in case I am faced with a tight nib and feed again. Regards.

#18 gopool

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Posted 02 July 2016 - 01:53

Great review, thanks a lot. I was thinking about getting this pen but went with the ASA I-Can instead. After reading your review I think I'll get one also.





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