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The ‘Himalaya’, From Fountain Pen Revolution

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#21 J_MM

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Posted 28 November 2016 - 12:44

Thanks.

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#22 genis09

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 05:57

Sorry to semi-necro this post; however, there are very few places where I have seen the Himalaya reviewed.

 

How would you compare the Himalaya to other pens in this price range, such as the TWSBI Eco?

 

Also, has it held up in these past few months?

 

Thanks!



#23 Helen350

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Posted 14 January 2017 - 22:33

Sorry to semi-necro this post; however, there are very few places where I have seen the Himalaya reviewed.

 

How would you compare the Himalaya to other pens in this price range, such as the TWSBI Eco?

 

Also, has it held up in these past few months?

 

Thanks!

 

All of my FPR pens have held up well:  Treveni Jr. Acrylic, Treveni Jr. Ebonite, 2 Jaipurs, 1 Jaipur Demonstrator, and 1 Indus.  I do have a minor issue with the Demonstrator, but have been extremely happy with the others.  Each of them has the 1.0 stub nib.   The Himalaya Taj Mahal (an acrylic pen) arrived today.  Have prepared it and inked with Diamine Burnt Sienna.   Will be putting it through some paces over the next 7-10 days, and trusting that it will perform nicely.  The 1.0 stub is smooth.  The converter is a screw in one.  Weight 16g.  It is a light weight pen.  Normally I prefer pens with just a bit more heft, however, I do enjoy my FPR pens.  The Jaipur weighs 17g; Treveni Jr. Acrylic & Ebonite 18g.

 

I own (2) TWSBI Eco's, and love the feel of them. They are a demonstrator type pen.  If I had to compare the Himalaya, I would compare it to "The Mighty Roo" - Kaigelu 316 ($19), since they are both acrylic.  The Mighty Roo is a heavier pen (47g--made in China), but it not only looks beautiful, but such a smooth writer.  I do not cap the Kaigelu 316 when writing.  After all is said and done, it will be a matter of personal taste:

 

FPR Himalaya - Taj Mahal

fpn_1484430695__fprhimalaya.jpg

                                                          

KAIGELU 316 (The Mighty Roo)

fpn_1483504950__mightyroo1317.jpg



#24 genis09

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 03:42

Thanks for the feedback. :)



#25 Jamerelbe

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 06:16

I answered @genis09 via DM a few days ago, but for anyone interested in my answer to the question, Himalaya vs TWSBI Eco, here's the answer I gave:

 

=====================

 

I very much like my Himalaya - so much so that when I lost the original pen I bought a replacement [Taj Mahal / white], and then another [Saffron / orange]... So I now own two, both in the acrylic.

 

I think the material these pens are made from is very attractive (especially the Saffron / orange), and it seems to be pretty sturdy. Both pens write very well, and you have the option of using the built-in piston-pump filler, or removing it and filling the pen barrel.  

 

I really find it hard to make comparisons / recommendations with pens: the Himalaya is great, it writes comfortably, posted or unposted, and the nibs are extremely easy to swap in and out if that's your thing (it is for me!) - plus the replacement FPR nibs are such good value for money.

 

A couple of things to consider, though - comparing specifically with the Eco:

 

(1) The Eco is definitely longer (maybe 1cm?), and will fit more comfortably in most hands if you prefer to write unposted.  On the other hand, the Eco gets unwieldy and somewhat back-weighted if you try to post the cap, whereas the Himalaya is a comfortable writer either way. [It's about 1cm longer than the TWSBI Diamond Mini, which I find too small to comfortably write with uncapped.]

 

(2) The Eco is a demonstrator pen, so you can see your ink without having to unscrew the barrel - and it accommodates (I think) around of 2ml ink on a full fill.  The Himalaya's ink reservoir only takes maybe 0.8ml (I'm guessing this!), so you'll have to refill more frequently.  In "eyedropper" mode the ink capacity is ~3ml - and given the translucence of the barrel (if you go with an acrylic pen), you'll be able to tell how full your pen is.

 

(3) In terms of disassembly / reassembly for maintenance and cleaning, the Himalaya is definitely more straightforward - but TWSBI do provide a wrench for disassembly.

 

(4) FPR nibs are easily available and completely interchangeable [I'd recommend asking them to swap in a chrome nib at the outset - I think it fits better with the chrome 'furniture' of the pen, but they ship by default with a two-tone gold/chrome nib]; TWSBI don't sell replacement nibs for their Eco pens, and alternatives are a little hard to find these days.

 

I think these are both great pens - I'd have no hesitation recommending the Himalaya, but you need to know what your preferences are: plain demonstrator with impressive piston mechanism, or colourful solid/translucent pen with simple [and hidden] filling mechanism?  Longer or shorter? A pen for which you can easily interchange nibs, or a pen that doesn't?



#26 J_MM

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 21:28

I purchased the  Himalaya in the Taj Mahal / white with medium nib. The material is very nice and the pen is a wet writer which I prefer. The only drawback, which is minor,  is that the distance from the section to the paper is shorter than I am used to. This may be due to the nib being set too deep but it was not snug otherwise. 



#27 Jamerelbe

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 03:32

I purchased the  Himalaya in the Taj Mahal / white with medium nib. The material is very nice and the pen is a wet writer which I prefer. The only drawback, which is minor,  is that the distance from the section to the paper is shorter than I am used to. This may be due to the nib being set too deep but it was not snug otherwise. 

 

Yes, that's a potential downside - the Himalaya has a smaller nib to start with (#5.5), and sits fairly well recessed within the grip section.  The upside is that there's not a big step-up from the grip section to the threads (for the cap) and thence the barrel - so you can hold it a fair way back without discomfort.  Of course, the further back you hold the pen, the more likely it is that you'll need to post the cap on the back - but it sits on quite snugly, so I don't find this to be a drawback.



#28 IndigoBOB

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 03:25

Thank you for this review on this pen.  

 

I've found that these dimensions have been optimal for me on other pens that are relatively similar and after seeing SBRE Brown's review on youtube and reading yours I ordered a Flex nib Himalaya with separate Fine and Medium nibs as well. 


A voice:  I'll write pages and pages, days upon days, to be able to breathe out a few lines,

I'll do whatever it takes to breathe out those few lines, where the breath breathes out on its own, in on its own,

To thine own...

...breath on its own.


#29 Jamerelbe

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 03:32

Thank you for this review on this pen.  

 

I've found that these dimensions have been optimal for me on other pens that are relatively similar and after seeing SBRE Brown's review on youtube and reading yours I ordered a Flex nib Himalaya with separate Fine and Medium nibs as well. 

 

My pleasure - I'm up 5 4 Himalayas now (3 acrylic, one ebonite), and will probably stop there, but... yes, they're very nice pens for a pretty fair price!



#30 Arkanabar

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 05:00

I'm going to add my own review to this one, and suggest that the mods add this topic to the Review Index.

 

I've wanted a pen made from ebonite, or hard rubber, for quite some time.  People say that, as with celluloid, it provides a different tactile sensation from those of plastic, resin, brass and lacquer, and so on.  Only in India are affordable pens made of ebonite, and right now, the style among Indian pen makers is to make their pens really, really big.  For me, an ideal pen is around 10mm at the section, up to around 12mm around the barrel, and short enough to clip into my shirt pockets.  I didn't want an eyedropper.  I've used eyedroppers during Lent and Advent as a penitential practice, so I know well their weaknesses, and I wanted something that I could bottle-fill.

I had three candidates in my (very limited) price range:  The Himalaya, the ASA Daily, and the ASA Spear.  The advantages of the ASA Spear are that it uses bog-standard short international cartridges and Schmidt K5 converters, probably better behavior when used as an eyedropper, and it has been available in polished BHR (I wanted to be all traditionalist with my first ebonite pen).  The ASA Daily also uses bog-standard refills and converters, is a touch shorter than the Spear, and a bit cheaper.  The advantages of the FPR Himalaya are a more affordable price and far more nib options, including XF, Flex, and 1mm Stub.  I chose the Himalaya, preferring the darker and more subdued green rippled hard rubber to brown.  I made my purchase around January 2017.

The pen arrived rolled in bubble wrap and tucked into a plastic sleeve.  Hey, it's an inexpensive pen, especially for hand-crafted.  Per the fprevolutionusa.com website (visit their site for pictures), its dimensions are:

Length capped: 13.4cm (5.2”)
Length posted: 15.2cm (5.9”)
Section diameter: 1cm (0.4”)
Body diameter 1.2cm (0.5”)
Weight (empty): 16g (0.7oz)

Capped, it's in between the length of my M200 and my Hero 616.  Uncapped, it's just a little bit shorter than the M200.  For my hand, it's better to post than not.  There are slight tapers around 30mm long at the end of the barrel and cap, both of which are slightly rounded at the end.  The cap takes about four turns and a bit to remove, which is helpful for an eyedropper.  This is not a pen for quick jotting of notes; it is for long writing sessions.

The sturdy, chrome-trim clip is tight and held on with a derby.  The clip ring has tolerances just loose enough to be not quite centered.  The clip's design leaves something to be desired.  As on my Noodler's Konrad, no less than five points are bent inwards to form the ball, but unlike my Konrad, they don't come together with flush lines.  There are large gaps between those points, and one of them snagged a thread as I was pulling the pen from my breast pocket.  A simple fold, as on a Nemosine Singularity, Esterbrook J, or a Pilot Prera would have made me much happier.  The cap band is engraved "F P R".  There is no imprint.

The pen has an ebonite feed and takes any of the #5.5 nibs that FPR sells.  Mine has a 1.0M stub nib; after tweaking, it's got just a little feedback.  I haven't gotten any line variation from it yet; it writes almost exactly like my Jinhao Bulow X750 Medium.  Using Noodler's Rattler Red Eel, the line is just a little wet.  On GP Basic copy paper, the pen doesn't lay down enough ink to feather or spread, but the line glistens and even sparkles under my desk lamp until the ink soaks in.

As for the finish, it is variable.  On the middle of the barrel, it's as smooth and glossy as a mirror.  Below that on the barrel, and on the cap, lathe marks are visible.  On the grip, the finish is reminiscent of bead-blasted metal.  But in all cases, it's plenty smooth enough that I have no problem with it.  It has a feeling of traction that most of my other pens lack.

So, let's see...

Design/appearance:  I like it.  The shape is attractive and classic, the green rippled hard rubber is subtle and draws the eye without grabbing it.  The contrast between colors is a little more apparent in real life than in FPR's photography.  I generally prefer stainless, chrome or rhodium furniture to gold, and I find that the chrome trim provides a very nice contrast.  

Packaging:  Bare bones for appearance, but plenty good enough to keep the pen safe from the vicissitudes of shipment.  It was in a roll of bubble wrap almost 2" in diameter, which was in the shipping box.  That suits me fine.  I don't use the packaging all that much, especially once I start using the pen, so I'm just as happy not to be paying for it.

Fit and finish:  Admittedly sub-par, the usual weak point for Indian pens in this price bracket.  The clip ball is poorly formed and can snag pocket threads, the clip ring is perhaps 0.3mm or less off-center, the cap threads have to be engaged with a little care, or they will cross-thread, and the actual finish of the pen varies across it, though not enough to impede its writing performance or feel weird to me.  Close, long-term examination revealed a couple of tiny voids in the surface, that I think might be rightly characterized as flea bites.  I think they're due to tiny (less than 0.5mm diameter) bubbles in the rods that FPR and/or their contractors buy.

Refilling:  It's a syringe-filler/eyedropper, just like the Noodler's Ahab.  Unlike the Ahab, there is no little hollow in the plunger stem to get ink stuck in it, where it will never get to the feed, and is annoyingly hard to clean out.  I like the syringe filling system; it's faster than a twist/screw filler, it holds a bit more than an international cartridge, and it's easy to do a partial fill.

Ergonomics:  I like this pen a lot.  Its texture and material provide a different tactile sensation than the plastic pens which make up the bulk of my collection, with a bit of traction that isn't really based on texture, but rather material.  I like its weight and girth.  I could stand for it to be a little longer uncapped, but I won't complain.  And I would like it to take a single twist to uncap like my M200, rather than four.  But it's clearly a pen for long writing sessions.

Nib:  I don't know where FPR gets their steel nibs with conventional scrollwork.  The Himalaya comes with a two-tone nib by default, but I asked for chrome, and Kevin was kind enough to indulge me.  The 1.0M stub nib needed tweaking to get to the point of "it has feedback."  It doesn't produce any line variation that I can see in normal writing; when I do strokes parallel and perpendicular to the slit, I can see about a 2:1 variation.  I think I'd rather have had the flex nib.  I've heard that flex nibs from the Noodler's Nib Creaper also fit.

Writing Performance:  With the ebonite feed it lays down a perfect line of Rattler Red Eel, neither too wet nor too dry.  On cheap and basic Georgia Pacific copy paper, that ink neither feathers nor spreads from this pen.  I have also tried it with Diamine Sherwood, and again, its behavior and writing performance were very very nice.

Service:  FPR's service is excellent.  I requested a chrome nib, rather than two-tone, when I placed the order, and Kevin was happy to oblige.  He also sent me a new clip when I told him about the issue I had.  Unfortunately, it has the same issue as the first.  I squeezed the snaggy bit with some lineman's pliers, and that got the snaggy bit pushed down (and flaked off just a bit of the chrome plating).  If I decide I can't stand it, I have a spare and can try again.



#31 IndigoBOB

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Posted 26 November 2017 - 00:08

I ordered an ebonite version as well.  I like the design of the himalaya very much and the idea of having a little more tactility to the section would be great.


A voice:  I'll write pages and pages, days upon days, to be able to breathe out a few lines,

I'll do whatever it takes to breathe out those few lines, where the breath breathes out on its own, in on its own,

To thine own...

...breath on its own.


#32 IndigoBOB

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Posted 26 November 2017 - 22:39

I was hoping to see if anyone could verify this, but I am always looking for pens that can take Jowo nibs.  I noticed that the Himalaya may take a TWSBI Eco nib. 

 

I haven't tested it yet because mine are in use, but I tried it with a Jinhao 992 nib, which is equivalent to an Eco Nib and it fit well.  Wrote a lot smoother than the Fine I received from FPR in a dry writing test.

 

It would kind of defeat the purpose of "affordable pens" but many $100+ pens use Jowo nibs...  And if you like the Body of the Himalaya, which is fairly unique with regards to what is out on the market now, than it may be something to consider.


A voice:  I'll write pages and pages, days upon days, to be able to breathe out a few lines,

I'll do whatever it takes to breathe out those few lines, where the breath breathes out on its own, in on its own,

To thine own...

...breath on its own.


#33 Jamerelbe

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Posted 26 November 2017 - 23:20

I was hoping to see if anyone could verify this, but I am always looking for pens that can take Jowo nibs.  I noticed that the Himalaya may take a TWSBI Eco nib. 
 
I haven't tested it yet because mine are in use, but I tried it with a Jinhao 992 nib, which is equivalent to an Eco Nib and it fit well.  Wrote a lot smoother than the Fine I received from FPR in a dry writing test.
 
It would kind of defeat the purpose of "affordable pens" but many $100+ pens use Jowo nibs...  And if you like the Body of the Himalaya, which is fairly unique with regards to what is out on the market now, than it may be something to consider.


I expect this will work - will check later this morning to confirm. The nibs are very similar in size, but I couldn't quite get. a FPR nib to sit snugly against an Eco feed when I tried. The reverse operation I expect will be easier, especially if you know how to heat set an ebonite feed...

#34 langere

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 01:11

I also really like my Himalaya.  However, when the converter got down to about a quarter of ink, it started burping on the paper.  Did anybody else find this to be a problem or do I have a faulty converter?

 

Erick


Currently in Rotation:

Platinum 3776 Ascending Dragon "M" nib running Iroshizuku Murasaki-Shibuku

Visconti Saturno "F" nib running Rohrer & Klingner Alt-Goldgruen

Cross Townsend "F" nib running Noodler's Heart of Darkness


#35 Jamerelbe

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 02:46

I was hoping to see if anyone could verify this, but I am always looking for pens that can take Jowo nibs.  I noticed that the Himalaya may take a TWSBI Eco nib. 

 

I haven't tested it yet because mine are in use, but I tried it with a Jinhao 992 nib, which is equivalent to an Eco Nib and it fit well.  Wrote a lot smoother than the Fine I received from FPR in a dry writing test.

 

It would kind of defeat the purpose of "affordable pens" but many $100+ pens use Jowo nibs...  And if you like the Body of the Himalaya, which is fairly unique with regards to what is out on the market now, than it may be something to consider.

 

I won't bother to upload a photo, but I can confirm that my TWSBI Eco F nib is a good fit.  Honestly, though, the FPR nibs you can buy with and for these pens are pretty good quality (though the stub nibs aren't very stubbish!), and they're a lot cheaper than TWSBI nibs too!  You may just have gotten a bum nib (have you checked for tine alignment, and/or tried smoothing the nib?) - mine have almost always been great writers out of the envelope... 



#36 Jamerelbe

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 02:46

I also really like my Himalaya.  However, when the converter got down to about a quarter of ink, it started burping on the paper.  Did anybody else find this to be a problem or do I have a faulty converter?

 

Erick

 

I haven't had this problem as yet - you could try re-seating the nib and feed within the grip section, a little more firmly, and see if that helps... 



#37 IndigoBOB

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 03:50

 

I won't bother to upload a photo, but I can confirm that my TWSBI Eco F nib is a good fit.  Honestly, though, the FPR nibs you can buy with and for these pens are pretty good quality (though the stub nibs aren't very stubbish!), and they're a lot cheaper than TWSBI nibs too!  You may just have gotten a bum nib (have you checked for tine alignment, and/or tried smoothing the nib?) - mine have almost always been great writers out of the envelope... 

 

 

I did check the alignment and adjusted it with my 10x Goulet loupe and it was a little scratchy and significantly feedbacky.  I have a broad nibbed Himalaya-ebonite on the way, which I am actually optimistic about since I am partial to European Medium and Broad nibs to start with, and I heard the FPR nibs run a tad small.

 

Thank you for checking the TWSBI Eco nib!!  I haven't inked up the Acrylic Himalaya I have yet because I might return it and just keep the ebonite version since I like the design, but I'd like more tactility that the Ebonite provides.  I have a hard time holding the acrylic version in a way that feels more comfortable since it is a little slick for my type of grip.  If I try and hold it in a basic tripod position it is a little too narrow and close to the paper due to the smaller nib.  But I do really like the design and what they did.  I would probably keep the Acrylic version if for some reason the Ebonite version doesn't pan out.  I like flares at the end of a tapered section.  There's not a lot of pens out there like that.

 

I think the Himalaya is a solid pen and definitely worth a try.  Besides the nib so far, I am VERY impressed with what the pen offers since you can eyedropper it, the acrylic is good quality and semi-translucent, has an ebonite feed, and it feels well made as well as looks VERY lovely. It doesn't feel cheap.  And now knowing that a Jowo Eco nib can be installed really allows it to be upgraded to a higher quality pen for a still affordable price.  And heck I can always put a Jinhao 992 in it as well if the Eco nib works since they have proven congruent in my experience.

 

I really like what FPR is doing and I think they have a lot to offer.


Edited by IndigoBOB, 27 November 2017 - 05:21.

A voice:  I'll write pages and pages, days upon days, to be able to breathe out a few lines,

I'll do whatever it takes to breathe out those few lines, where the breath breathes out on its own, in on its own,

To thine own...

...breath on its own.


#38 dapprman

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 12:01

Arg - been toying with buying one of these with the flex nib for a while now but the postage costs compared to the cost of the pen have been the disuader.  With their sale now on and after reading this, one now ordered.



#39 Jamerelbe

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 12:22

 

 

I did check the alignment and adjusted it with my 10x Goulet loupe and it was a little scratchy and significantly feedbacky.  I have a broad nibbed Himalaya-ebonite on the way, which I am actually optimistic about since I am partial to European Medium and Broad nibs to start with, and I heard the FPR nibs run a tad small.

 

Thank you for checking the TWSBI Eco nib!!  I haven't inked up the Acrylic Himalaya I have yet because I might return it and just keep the ebonite version since I like the design, but I'd like more tactility that the Ebonite provides.  I have a hard time holding the acrylic version in a way that feels more comfortable since it is a little slick for my type of grip.  If I try and hold it in a basic tripod position it is a little too narrow and close to the paper due to the smaller nib.  But I do really like the design and what they did.  I would probably keep the Acrylic version if for some reason the Ebonite version doesn't pan out.  I like flares at the end of a tapered section.  There's not a lot of pens out there like that.

 

I think the Himalaya is a solid pen and definitely worth a try.  Besides the nib so far, I am VERY impressed with what the pen offers since you can eyedropper it, the acrylic is good quality and semi-translucent, has an ebonite feed, and it feels well made as well as looks VERY lovely. It doesn't feel cheap.  And now knowing that a Jowo Eco nib can be installed really allows it to be upgraded to a higher quality pen for a still affordable price.  And heck I can always put a Jinhao 992 in it as well if the Eco nib works since they have proven congruent in my experience.

 

I really like what FPR is doing and I think they have a lot to offer.

 

You might want to let Kevin from FPR know about your nib issues - he's pretty good with customer support!  I've had issues from time to time with EF nibs (though the #6 EF I bought recently was great!), but the F and M nibs have always been good for me.  The B nib is not much broader than the M, so that may be your best bet.

 

Will be interested to get your take on the ebonite vs acrylic materials - I have one ebonite 'version' of the pen, and 3 acrylics, but the ebonite is fairly new and I haven't paid sufficient attention to notice any difference in 'tactility'.  



#40 Jamerelbe

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 12:23

Arg - been toying with buying one of these with the flex nib for a while now but the postage costs compared to the cost of the pen have been the disuader.  With their sale now on and after reading this, one now ordered.

 

Congratulations - you won't regret it!  I think this is the best value/quality for money option among the FPR pens at present.  Let us know how you find it!







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: fountain pen revolution, india, acrylic, ebonite feed



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