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Airmail 69Eb (Ebo)

airmail wality ebonite indian eyedropper review

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#1 tleek

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 17:14

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. 

Pen 1.jpg

 

 

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. 

Pen 3.JPG

 

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. 

Pen 2.jpg

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  :)

Pen 4.JPG

*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.


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#2 sdbruder

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 23:31

Really cool description but that would be way better with the pictures :)



#3 tleek

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 01:16

Really cool description but that would be way better with the pictures :)

Fixed it!  :D


Edited by tleek, 19 April 2018 - 01:39.


#4 gillum51

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 06:26

nice review.  i have three or four in different color ebonite. i have found the Wality nibs to be OK overall, nice feedback but sometimes a bit dry. the shape of the pen and design of the hardware, particularly the clip, gives the pen a retro feel.  mine haven't burped much either.  



#5 bugsydog55

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Posted 20 April 2018 - 23:41

I have the same pen and it's green brother.  Got mine from a seller in India.   The nib on the green one was just awful and even had the tipping fall off.  Tried smoothing it into a stub but it was futile, the nib chose to cut paper rather than write on it.  Did replace it with a #6 Jinhao loose nib that I had.  The pen now writes wonderfully with a great line-the feed does a very good job.  Did not have this problem with the brown one but have had similar issues with their resin pens.  Some are great from the start while others need to have the nib thrown away and replaced.  I am OK with this because I love the look of their pens.  And part of this wonderful hobby involves tinkering with those pens that don't cooperate.  It is worth the effort.



#6 Dip n Scratch

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Posted 22 April 2018 - 10:26

Is that the actual size of the nib? A #6, or is it a #8?

Ebay seller (in India) claimed it was #8.

I have had an example of this pen and the nib can be awful. The tines were misaligned.

I hope they are not always that bad, because the pen can't have been inspected properly before sale. This was discovered after I finally got the ink come through the feed, but it didn't write properly.

I have #6 Bock and Jinhao nibs around intended for a Jinhao X750. I could savage a Jinhao 59, for it's nib if it was the right size.



#7 hari317

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Posted 22 April 2018 - 11:27

The Indian designation for this nib size is no 8. This nib is 28mm long and is designed for a 6.35mm diameter feeder. A sheaffer NN nib and feed is a perfect replacement.

On the other hand, a western no 6nib is 35mm long and is designed to sit over a 6.0mm diameter feeder. It can be shoehorned to fit in this section but care must be taken to set the nib in deeply to avoid conflict with the inner cap.
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#8 bugsydog55

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Posted 22 April 2018 - 12:39

That is true, hari.  I was trying out nibs that I had that were looking for homes and that one did the job.  As you said, it did have to be pushed back to allow the cap to fit properly. Since i have some other Indian nibs I may give them a try.  Would a Super Serwex #6 work in this pen?  I have sveral other Airmail/Wality pens that I haven't inked yet but am eager to try out.



#9 hari317

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Posted 22 April 2018 - 12:51

Just measure the replacement nib from tip to heel using an ordinary scale. If its 28mm it will fit. If its longer then set it in deeper.

Edited by hari317, 22 April 2018 - 12:52.

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#10 Dip n Scratch

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Posted 10 September 2018 - 08:38

A Shaeffer NN nib & feed would cost a sum close to that of the Airmail pen.

Well, it does on ebay uk anyway.

What's the best Indian nib & how can I get hold of them in the UK?

At least one would be the exact fit. even if they are not so smooth as something off a Chinese pen or from Europe.



#11 antiquepens

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 00:20

Airmail 69 Ebonite is so far the best design i have seen for an ebonite pen in India.  But their nibs,  some times their feeds are also not upto the mark.

 

But with the right replacement of feed and nib,  ebonite is an awesome FP to carry around.



#12 dan in montreal

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 03:11

I have a variety of these in acrylic and ebonite and they are daily writers. FPR have replacement nibs which are ok, but I have found that when tuned correctly, the Wality/Airmail feeds and nibs can be quite good. Mine don't burp (although I do not use them until they run completely empty). I have a couple of Sheaffer feeds around, but I've decided to stay with the ebonite feeds and they have been steady and reliable. I really enjoy the no-frills quality of this model and its size and weight suit me perfectly.

I have several Guider, Gama and Asa pens, but I keep coming back to these.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: airmail, wality, ebonite, indian, eyedropper, review



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