Lotus is a new brand to the Indian handmade pens scenario. It has carved a niche for itself, crafting high quality pens from high quality materials. They are priced well for what they offer. I got one after great thought and I'm happy to say its worth all the hype it has been getting.
Design and Material
I knew I had to get a Lotus. I knew I had to get a Lotus in the Honey Dew Celluloid. But what I did not know was which model to get. Finally, I decided on a design based on the Churchill, and I couldn't be happier. I am a huge admirer of the Churchill by Conway Stewart but since that pen isn't affordable for me, I got one made based on it. This design for some reason shows off the Honey Dew material much better than any other design (in my opinion).
It is a flat shaped pen with a small taper towards the end on the barrel. The top finial has ridges on it which I love. The first trim ring appears just below it and then comes the clip. Then there's a wider trim ring above the cap lip. Right where the taper begins on the barrel, is another trim ring. And then the last one is at the section threads. I asked for all brass trim but some of it was gold plated but it wasn't hard for me to sand it down and polish it so that now all's just brass. The clip originally had a pseudo diamond like end which I shaped into a sharper diamond shape. The Honey Dew celluloid is a beast in itself. It's a deep black with flame like orange and red flecks. It looks like a flame caged in the belly of a pen. The only branding is done on the clip and on the nib (the branding on the clip got sanded off while I was removing the gold plating). In sunlight, the pen looks like it's gonna ignite. I love the way this pen looks.
Construction and Quality
The Lotus Churchill is the best made Indian pen I have in my collection but I still feel it can be improved. The polishing is great but the finishing is where things go a bit off track. There are a few lathe marks here and there and the section has a poor polish. I'm pretty sure this isn't captured in my pictures though. But not all's bad. I would rate their making miles above many makers in India (with due respect to all). The quality of materials seem pretty good and only time can tell how it'll all hold up. The trim rings are all nice and thick.
One thing I would say is that the nib unit was screwed in too tight and that caused the feed to crack inside the unit while I tried to unscrew it for cleaning. I couldn't take screw out the unit since there was nothing protruding that would let me unscrew it. Lotus was prompt to offer a new section but I managed somehow managed (with tips from some of my friends) to screw the cracked unit out by using a knockout block to first get the broken feed out and then use a screwdriver to remove the collar. This deemed the unit useless but the nib was unharmed. I just took a new unit and slathered a ton of silicone grease and now it screws and unscrews just fine.
It's a good old CC. Uses any international converter. Mine came with the Schmidt K5. It is a convenient mechanism and works well. I also put in an agitator ball from a cartridge just so that I won't end up with any air gaps inside. You can see a hint of the metal part o the converter in the following photo.
This is no small pen. It borders on the oversize and that's exactly what appeals to me. Its tall enough to be used unposted and the balance is pretty much perfect. I would prefer a tiny bit more heft. Maybe a metal threads insert at the section might help. The section first has a taper towards the nib and then a small flare up. It is gently curved and is very comfortable to hold.
Ah, the most important part of a pen. I'm have to say that this was the most disappointing part for me. Lotus offers stock grinds with their pens and I had asked for a #6 JoWo gold tone CI with the intention of making it a two tone nib and was very excited for it. What I received was a flimsy stub that had a triangle shape and a TON of scratch. Under the loop, I could make out the tines being off alignment and once I had aligned them, it wrote okay. It was still feedback. I had to then grind the nib to make it write the way I liked. I couldn't make a cursive italic out of it due to the shape but managed an uber smooth stub. I was much happier but for some reason, the nib doesn't seem to connect with the pen. I'll be getting a regular broad at some point and use that in this pen. The #6 nib is a good match but it does deserve a bigger nib, but I don't really have the funds for that so I'll live with this.
(The stub I ground)
Its a pen that I love. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good quality celluloid pen. It does have a few flaws here and there, but nothing that couldn't be fixed.
Edit 1: I forgot to mention that the material is see through at the orange flecked parts.
Edited by Aditkamath26, 10 July 2019 - 19:43.