A few weeks ago I picked up an Airmail/Wality 69eb, marketed as the Airmail Ebo from Fountain Pen Revolution, because I needed some silicone grease and because I wanted to take advantage of FPR's 20 percent off sale.
I only paid 16 dollars for this pen, and I have really enjoyed it. It has been a great workhorse these last couple of weeks and has earned a spot amongst my favorites.
I really enjoy the pen's styling. Its cigar shape and ebonite body give the pen a vintage feel. Indian pens, specifically the handmade ebonite eyedroppers, have always invoked nostalgia. This pen is no different.
The Airmail 69eb is a large, but not oversized pen. Here it is next to a Metropolitan, Al-Star, and Ahab. It is a comfortable pen to use posted or unposted and is very comparable in size to the Ahab, just slightly thinner.
I have read mixed things about Wality/Airmail nibs. My nib gives decent feedback but is not at all unpleasant. Sometimes it feels like writing with a nice pencil. Sometimes I enjoy the feedback on a workhorse pen as I am usually writing quickly and the feedback helps keep my writing more legible. The nib is marked "Special Wality, Tipped Fine"
It writes a very fine line with Pelikan Royal Blue. The only other eyedropper I have experience with is an Asa I Can and that is a rather wet pen. Royal Blue tends to be a dry ink so I thought it would be a good choice. The Airmail 69eb does not seem to be a very wet writer and with Royal Blue is a great choice on cheap, absorbent paper. I scrubbed the nib and feed before I inked it and I haven't had any flow issues, hard starts, or skipping. It writes a consistent fine or extra-fine line.
The build quality of the pen is good. All of the threads are nicely cut, the nib and feed were nicely set, and the clip works fine.
Mine has some small fit and finish issues. The cap band extends below the ebonite material of the cap and is fairly sharp. Sometimes it gets caught on my pen case when I try to slip it in and I am afraid it is going to ben and scratch pen's body. Also, the threads, though nicely cut, must have a sharp edge or bur because they gathered some paper towel material when I wiped them. That is really not a big deal because they feel fine on my fingers.
Moreover, while I have read that the pen is handmade, the section is not made of ebonite. It has the feel and odor of vegetal resin. I am not sure how much of this pen, if any, is hand turned. It was only 16 dollars. I do wish the section was made of the same ebonite material as the body.
Overall, I really like the pen. For 16 dollars, something like the Pilot Metropolitan gets you a pen with nicer fit and finish, a smoother nib, and a lot less character. I really enjoy Indian pens. Perhaps it is an unfair association, but they evoke feelings of nostalgia and adventure. I bet Indiana Jones used something like the Airmail 69eb to document his travels
*This is my first pen review. I apologize for the bad picture quality and the sloppy handwriting.*
Edited by tleek, 19 April 2018 - 01:38.