I love me a cheap pen. I mean a really cheap pen.
I recently went to order a couple new pads from my favourite supplier only to find that I was under the minimum threshold for free postage. So I scoured the site for something cheap and useful to bump it up. Would rather get something for my money than just end up throwing it into the ether on postage.
Enter the Monami Olika.
This pen cost me £3.50, that's 50p cheaper than the Preppy from the same site making this possibly the cheapest refillable fountain pen on the market.
It has a couple advantages over the Preppy and one huge disadvantage, but we'll get to that later.
First off, the 11.4mm section is rubberised with a slight central swell, gives great grip and comfort. The barrel also has a narrowing approximately mid way along it's length which I think is much more aesthetically pleasing than the Preppy.
Secondly, the Olika uses standard international cartridges and converters, another huge plus in my (someone who doesn't have at least one of every converter for every brand) opinion.
It is also available in a myriad of colours, the body colour you order defines the ink colour you get, of which three short international cartridges are included (for £3.50!)
Writing is smooth but the nib is quite squat & very stiff, I believe the correct term would be a "nail"? It's going to get the job of basic writing done but you're not going to be able to get anything but the most minimum of line variation out of it.
When I first saw the Olika I looked it up to see if it could be eyedroppered like the Preppy, the article I stumbled across said that it could, no problem.
This leads me to my main gripe.
In my haste I didn't check this. Put a new o-ring on, greased the threads, filled up a syringe with De Atrementis Document Black &...covered myself in ink.
There is indeed a small hole in the end of the barrel, perhaps this is a newer addition than the article I read?
Undeterred but slightly inky, I dripped a couple dollops of Araldite Crystal into the offending hole & sealed it up, giving myself an eyedropper for £3.50.
All in all, I really like the Olika and will absolutely be buying additional colours in the future, the green is particularly nice!
Edited by Sui-Generis, 23 March 2019 - 18:12.