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The ‘Himalaya’, From Fountain Pen Revolution

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#1 Jamerelbe

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Posted 13 September 2016 - 13:53

Those of us who make a habit of checking out products on the Fountain Pen Revolution (FPR) website (fountainpenrevolution.com) will know that things have been fairly quiet there for a while – pens for sale as per usual, but no new updates of their product line.  All of that changed in late July when they announced on their Facebook page that they were launching a new, US-based website (fprevolutionusa.com), and a brand new pen – the ‘Himalaya’. 

I don’t know how I missed this announcement, but when a newsletter arrived in my inbox, advising that the website was now up and running – and offering a 15% discount on all purchases – I was off the mark and running.  At the time of writing this review, the Himalaya is only available from the US site, not the India-based site (which still offers cheaper postage to international customers), but I didn’t want to wait, so I ordered – and the pen arrived on 5 September 2016, a little over a week ago. 

Disclaimer: though I have received free review pens from FPR in the past, this pen was purchased with my own money – in either case, the views expressed in this review are entirely my own.

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1.       Appearance & Design

The Himalaya is available in four colours (and two materials): Saffron Acrylic, Taj Mahal White Acrylic, Green Ebonite or Brown Ebonite.  I liked the look of the Saffron Acrylic, and ordered a Medium nib with monochrome (stainless steel) finish.

 

Colour aside, the Himalaya is a fairly ‘standard’ looking fountain pen - not too dissimilar in shape and size from the FPR Jaipur, although the cap ‘finial’ is more curved, and the pen body is missing the ‘step-down’ effect produced on the Jaipur by the piston knob.  The clip and centre band on the cap look much the same on these two pen models, too.  There’s nothing ‘original’ about the Himalaya’s appearance – but (to my eyes) it’s an attractive pen.

 

LDbrKrM.jpg

 

Can I put in a word here also for the material this pen is made from?  I don’t own a lot of acrylic pens (just this one, and two FPR Trivenis), but I find the combination of translucence and pearlescence quite mesmerising.  The ‘Saffron’ acrylic used for this pen, especially, is beautiful – I can’t believe it only cost me $29 (plus postage, minus 15% discount…)!

 

 

2.       Construction & Quality

Despite the delicate appearance of the acrylic material, the pen feels quite sturdy in the hand – as far as I can tell (thus far), it’s neither brittle nor likely to crack any time soon.  Everything seems well-finished; the tolerances on the threads are excellent; the finish on the acrylic and chrome accents are all well-finished – no rough edges or discolouration.  The clip seems sturdy, and is tight enough to hold the pen firmly in a pocket, but springy enough to be flexible.  All in all, a very well made pen.

 

L6ggXtr.jpg

 

 

3.       Weight & Dimensions

I think I’d classify the Himalaya as a ‘Medium’ sized pen – longer than my pocket pens (the TWSBI Diamond Mini, Kaweco Sports etc), but a little shorter than a “full-length” pen like the TWSBI Diamond 580 or Eco, the Lamy 2000 or Diplomat Excellence A.  It’s very comfortable in the hand, though, and long enough to write with either posted or unposted.

 

sOWnwq9.jpg

 

Lengthwise, the pen is 134mm long capped, 121mm uncapped, and extends to 152mm when posted.  It weighs in at 16g (10.3g uncapped), which makes it one of my lightest pens.  The cap diameter (not including clip) is 14.5mm at its widest point, the barrel diameter sits around 12mm, while the grip section (18mm long) tapers down from 11mm diameter near the cap threads, to 9mm at its narrowest… before flaring out at the end to 11mm at the lip.  This again compares very favourably with the Jaipur (though the latter’s grip section is less tapered), and sits very well within my ‘comfort zone’.

 

 

4.      Nib & Performance

Like almost every other pen made by FPR, the Himalaya takes a #5.5 nib, available either in stainless steel or ‘two-tone’ finish, paired with a 5.1mm ebonite feed.  This makes the Himalaya extremely versatile – nibs can be easily swapped between FPR pens, and/or you can buy extras. 

 

s9b1KeO.jpg

 

I ordered this pen with a stainless steel M nib, and inked it up with Diamine Pumpkin.  The writing experience was fantastic – beautifully smooth, laying down a fairly wet line on the page, with no skipping or other problems.  I’ve almost always been happy with the nibs on my FPR pens (the EF and flex nibs occasionally need a little smoothing), and this nib was an absolute dream.  If I was allocating points out of 10, I’d give this a 10.

 

1rNzDmS.jpg

 

 

5.       Filling System & Maintenance

The Himalaya’s filling system is the main ‘point of difference’ that sets it apart from other FPR pens.  Most previous designs either used a screw-type piston filler mechanism (Dilli, Guru, Indus, Jaipur) or were cartridge/converter pens that could be eyedroppered (Triveni and Trivine Junior).  On opening the body of the Himalaya I found a push-type piston filling mechanism, similar to (but smaller than) the system Nathan Tardif uses in his Noodler’s Ahab.  As with the Ahab, this can be removed to convert the pen to an eyedropper – but as far as I’m aware, it’s not possible to use standard international (or other) cartridges with the pen.

 

3T8Ghld.jpg

 

The push-piston mechanism is simple but highly functional, and worked well to get a full fill.  I haven’t measured this, but would guess it can hold somewhere around 1ml.  I expect the mechanism will prove to be more durable than for the Indus and Jaipur – though I understand the design of these has improved since I had a problem with the piston seal in an early model Jaipur.

 

 

6.       Cost & Value

At US$29 (plus postage), the Himalaya is one of FPR’s more expensive pens – it sits between the Jaipur and Indus (~$18-19) and the Triveni ($39-45) – but for the price, it’s excellent value.  I have trouble thinking of any other brand that would sell an acrylic pen of this quality for under $50. 

 

7.       Conclusion

In my books, the FPR people have hardly put a foot wrong with their product line.  This is not their largest pen (that honour goes to the full-sized Triveni), but it’s a beauty to look at, and *extremely* pleasant to write with.  I feel like I could be tempted to order another in the Taj Mahal White Acrylic – but am going to try and resist this temptation.  Congratulations again to Kevin and the FPR team for another fantastic product!

 



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#2 Jamerelbe

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Posted 14 September 2016 - 23:20

For anyone who's interested, here's a "line-up" of the FPR models I've collected over the past few years - with the exception of the Dilli (not my favourite...):

 

2016-09-15 09.11.09.jpg

 

From top to bottom: Guru, Indus, Jaipur (these are all also available as Demonstrators), Himalaya, Triveni Junior Acrylic, Triveni Acrylic, Triveni ebonite (original style with Serwex MB grip section).  I really like the Trivenis, though they're the priciest of the bunch - but so far I like the Himalaya even more...

 

Edited to add: Interested to know if anyone else has bought one of these yet - and if so, what your experiences are?  Would love to see your photos of the white acrylic and/or ebonite versions...


Edited by Jamerelbe, 14 September 2016 - 23:21.


#3 Lelouch

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Posted 16 September 2016 - 02:55

I did buy the Tak Mahal white Acrylic (pictures will come tomorrow, as my light is horrible) with a medium nib (came as dual tone, wasn't aware chrome/stainless steel was an option). I love it in the hand, oddly enough. Very comfortable to write with, though I tend to hold it higher, almost at or above the threads. At the very least, halfway up the section. I find the nib end of the section to be too narrow, though the flare outward does nestle my fingers rather comfortably. I love the overall size, and (as a noodlers fan) the filling system is extremely easy to use and very reliable, one of my favorites. I was very impressed by the medium nib, I didn't expect it to write as smoothly or as fluidly as it does, on the wet side, but not overly so. Very nicely tuned for both feel and flow. Sometimes like butter (ink and paper depending). The first inaugural ink was Noodlers Myles Standish Blue from last years pen show, and now it has Plymouth Wilderness. Very impressed, and may get another two (another white acrylic, and the orange one as well). Unfortunately, the inside of the cap had already been a little stained with ink, which just makes it so it's not pristinely white and pretty, though it still looks sort of nice. If I knew of some way to properly clean the inside of the cap I'd love to do so.

#4 Lelouch

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Posted 16 September 2016 - 02:56

My first FPR pen (though I've ordered an Airmail 70A MD, 69EB (brown), and Camlin Trinity from their India website).

#5 Jamerelbe

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Posted 16 September 2016 - 03:40

My first FPR pen (though I've ordered an Airmail 70A MD, 69EB (brown), and Camlin Trinity from their India website).

 

Congratulations on your purchase - I'll look forward to seeing your pictures!

 

I think you've made a good choice: of all the FPR pens I've accumulated over the years (I've got quite a few!), the Himalaya would have to be nicest looking - and in terms of durability, I'll be *very* surprised if it doesn't outlast the Gurus, Indus's, and Jaipurs...  

 

The two-tone nibs come standard with these pens, and have a bit more of a 'bling' factor I suppose - but I always prefer the plain, especially if the rest of the pen's "furniture" is chrome / stainless steel.  I don't know why they don't give you a tick-box option to choose a different colour (maybe I should suggest it to them?): I just make sure I ask for what I want when I place my orders...



#6 Seele

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Posted 16 September 2016 - 14:55

Jamerelbe,

 

I also have quite a collection of FPR products, the Himalaya sure seems great, so I am waiting for it to be listed on the international site...

 

While you have stated the syringe filler is similar to that of the Ahab, I wonder if it incorporates the breather tube fitted to the back of the feed and accommodated by the hollow plunger shaft. Compared to many pens using syringe fillers the breather tube makes filling a lot more effective.


No, I am not going to list my pens here.

#7 Jamerelbe

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Posted 16 September 2016 - 15:23

Jamerelbe,

 

I also have quite a collection of FPR products, the Himalaya sure seems great, so I am waiting for it to be listed on the international site...

 

While you have stated the syringe filler is similar to that of the Ahab, I wonder if it incorporates the breather tube fitted to the back of the feed and accommodated by the hollow plunger shaft. Compared to many pens using syringe fillers the breather tube makes filling a lot more effective.

 

Thanks for asking - no, there's no breather tube incorporated into the filling mechanism, just the push filler.  It took me 3-4 plunges to get a good fill...  It's also somewhat smaller in diameter, which means its ink capacity will be lower than for the Ahab.

 

I believe the pen should become available on the international site, though I didn't get a definitive answer as to when.  I was just a bit impatient - and had a couple of other items that made the 15% discount a worthwhile trade-off!



#8 S-V

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Posted 16 September 2016 - 21:12

Pics of white acrylic. Beautiful pen, should've asked for a chrome nib.

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#9 Jamerelbe

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Posted 17 September 2016 - 00:42

Pics of white acrylic. Beautiful pen, should've asked for a chrome nib.

 

Yep, I think chrome looks better when the rest of the furniture is chrome - still a fine looking pen, though!  

 

[If you place another order with FPR, a replacement nib is only $3 for EF, F and M, or $7 for flex, B or stub.  Or you could ask them about a nib swap, maybe?]

 

Edited to add: I've always found Kevin to be pretty good with after-sales service, so if you're not happy... I'd say drop him a line and ask what your options are in terms of replacing the nib!


Edited by Jamerelbe, 17 September 2016 - 00:43.


#10 S-V

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Posted 17 September 2016 - 09:42

Thanks,

I might probably order a spare nib/feed.



#11 Texasshipagent

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Posted 17 September 2016 - 16:16

Have been using my ebonite Himalaya all week writes even better than the first day, using Noodlers nightshade which I find to be a dryier ink, perfecto !! Banging around in my bag, pocket, on deck, No nib creep leak in cap and no leak with the cartridge. I do think the silicon on the cartridge threads is a good suggestion you can see where it wanted to seep some, and the silicon caught it, but no less then a friction fit cartridge converter. Still can't get more than a 3/4 fill, next inking may apply a bit of silicon to the plunger in the converter. Still volume is more than standard converter.

#12 drmukherjee

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Posted 01 October 2016 - 14:02

Hi all can you guys please check these two links . I think this FRP Himalaya is the same pen as mohi acrylic tansiq

http://www.fountainp...l/?fromsearch=1
http://www.fountainp...n/?fromsearch=1
ALWAYS LOOKING FOR INDIAN PENS .. IF YOU HAVE ANY KINDLY PM ME..

#13 Jamerelbe

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Posted 01 October 2016 - 18:47

Hi all can you guys please check these two links . I think this FRP Himalaya is the same pen as mohi acrylic tansiq

http://www.fountainp...l/?fromsearch=1
http://www.fountainp...n/?fromsearch=1


Entirely possible: FPR pens are made by Indian manufacturers, sometimes based on an original design, and other times based on an existing design. In this instance, the key design change (assuming you're right, and this is the same pen!) us that the Himalaya has a removable push piston ink filling mechanism.

#14 Helen350

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 21:25

Like the looks of the F.P.R. Himalaya.  Thanks for the review.  Will make a nice addition to my FPR collection. fpn_1479935786__fprpens.jpg



#15 Jamerelbe

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 21:41

Like the looks of the F.P.R. Himalaya.  Thanks for the review.  Will make a nice addition to my FPR collection. fpn_1479935786__fprpens.jpg

 

I'm not sure I can fit all my FPR pens into a single photo - they seem to reproduce in my stationery drawer! - but I agree the Himalaya will make a good addition.  Sadly I lost my Saffron Himalaya several weeks ago - I think at a Music / Drama night at my kids' school - but I've since replaced it with a Taj Mahal (white acrylic) version.  Which colour / material option have you gone for?



#16 Helen350

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 22:04

 

I'm not sure I can fit all my FPR pens into a single photo - they seem to reproduce in my stationery drawer! - but I agree the Himalaya will make a good addition.  Sadly I lost my Saffron Himalaya several weeks ago - I think at a Music / Drama night at my kids' school - but I've since replaced it with a Taj Mahal (white acrylic) version.  Which colour / material option have you gone for?

 

Going for the Taj Mahal Himalaya.  I currently have a Jaipur demonstrator on order.  I would love to see the Jaipur in a couple of other colors, like a nice carmel brown, mustard yellow and a beautiful green.



#17 Jamerelbe

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 22:12

 

Going for the Taj Mahal Himalaya.  I currently have a Jaipur demonstrator on order.  I would love to see the Jaipur in a couple of other colors, like a nice carmel brown, mustard yellow and a beautiful green.

 

Have you checked out the new Demonstrator colours?  They now have violet, green and yellow 'translucent' pens (i.e. these are the solid colours incorporated into cap finial, grip section and piston knob).  Don't know if they're planning to do solids in these colours as well...



#18 Helen350

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 22:24

 

Have you checked out the new Demonstrator colours?  They now have violet, green and yellow 'translucent' pens (i.e. these are the solid colours incorporated into cap finial, grip section and piston knob).  Don't know if they're planning to do solids in these colours as well...

 

My Jaipur demonstrator is yellow, however, I would like to have a solid yellow Jaipur with a 1.0 stub.  I can see it in my mind's eye :wub:



#19 J_MM

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Posted 28 November 2016 - 12:01

Do you recall the number of cap turns on the Himalaya? I've found several Indian pens with 4 or 5 turns - too much for a work pen.

#20 Jamerelbe

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Posted 28 November 2016 - 12:18

Do you recall the number of cap turns on the Himalaya? I've found several Indian pens with 4 or 5 turns - too much for a work pen.

 

Just tested it - it took about 2 1/4 turns to uncap.







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