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Fountain Pen Revolution Release A ‘Himalaya V2’

fountain pen revolution himalaya acrylic indian fountain pens ultraflex steel nibs

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58 replies to this topic

#1 Jamerelbe

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Posted 25 November 2019 - 12:55

This will be my third review of what’s essentially the same pen, so it’s going to be briefer than the previous – a little over a month ago, the folks at Fountain Pen Revolution (fprevolutionusa.com) announced that they were releasing yet another iteration of the ‘Himalaya’.  Having gotten advance notice of this (via Instagram or Facebook I think?), I contacted Kevin and asked if he would let me know as soon as they  were available for sale – then ordered a couple.  The pens arrived late last week, and I’ve been tinkering with them ever since.

 

The original Himalaya came with an ebonite feed, a ‘push-piston’ converter, and was designed to accommodate FPR’s standard #5.5 nib.  I accumulated 5 of these (4 acrylic, one ebonite) – if that’s any indication of how much like them – but always felt there were two things that would make them better:

  1. The push converter can get a bit ‘sticky’ – if you want to prime the feed a little for flex writing, it’s easy to push too hard and end up with a jet of ink!
  2. Though the #5.5 nibs are great, and don’t look out of proportion to the pen body, I like the look of a #6 better.

FPR’s first update to the Himalaya (earlier this year) delivered on that second ideal – lengthening the cap slightly to accommodate the longer nib – but also came with gold-plated ‘furniture’ (clip, cap band and nib), which I’m a bit less keen on.  The V2 update returns to chrome fittings, but also introduces a twist-style converter that give greater control when trying to prime the feed.


So, what do I think of the pen?  Unsurprisingly, I’m a big fan.

______________________________________________________________________

 

Appearance & Design

 

The Himalaya V2-Chrome is available in a wide range of colours – eight acrylic and two ebonite.  I wasn’t enamoured of the new Candy Pink/Red option (I’m sure others will love it), but the Vermillion Red-Orange looked amazing, and I’d been thinking of pulling the trigger on a Jade Smoke for some time – so those were my choices. 

 

loWjkFv.jpg

 

As with the #6 Himalaya, the main difference is the larger #6 nib, which necessitates a slightly longer cap.  Other than that, the attractive tapered styling of the original is conserved. I’ve always like the look of the pen, so the conservatism as to the overall design is a big plus.

 

I’m really impressed with the quality of the acrylics that are used to make these pens.  The finish is not *quite* as highly polished as it might be on a higher-end pen (hey, it’s a $35 pen not a $350 pen), but the depth and ‘chatoyance’ is just amazing!

 

qGcgm9y.jpg

 

 

​​Construction & Quality

 

The fit and finish on these new pens is absolutely consistent – as per the previous iterations.  Threads are smooth and comfortable in the hand.  The caps on my previous versions provide good protection against ink dry-out, and I’m confident the same will apply to the V2.  I *definitely* prefer the chrome finishing to the gold – but that’s purely a matter of personal preference.

 

One small downer was the FPR branding on the clip band: the engraving was fairly shallow, and the right ‘leg’ or downstroke on the ‘R’ was largely missing. I understand FPR have invested in their own engraving machine recently, so that issue may resolve itself in the near future. 

 

5pLoMR7.jpg

 

nyVGHQm.jpg

 

 

 

Weight & Dimensions

 

As with its predecessors, the Himalaya fits solidly in the ‘Medium’ sized category – longer than my pocket pens (the TWSBI Diamond Mini, Kaweco Sports etc), but a little shorter than a “full-length” pen like the TWSBI Diamond 580 or Eco.  It’s very comfortable in the hand, though, and long enough to write with either posted or unposted.

 

As these pens are individually machined, there are slight variations in their ‘vital statistics’.  Lengthwise, the Vermillion pen was 138mm long capped, while the Jade Smoke pen was about 0.5mm shorter.  Uncapped it was 127mm, and ~16mm posted.  My digital scale isn’t working today, but the FPR web page indicates that it’s around 16g empty.

 

The cap diameter (not including clip) is 14mm at its widest point, the barrel diameter sits around 12mm, while the grip section (18mm long) tapers down from 11mm diameter near the cap threads, to 10mm at its narrowest… before flaring out at the end to 11mm at the lip.  These measurements are very similar to the gold-trim #6 Himalaya – and a bit longer than the original. 

 

All three versions of the Himalaya are comfortable in the hand for long writing sessions – the light weight and the girth of the grip section combine to make this a very pleasant writing experience. 

 

 

Nib & Performance

 

In conjunction with the release of the V2 Himalaya, FPR also offered a brand new nib option – an EF ultra-flex nib.  I’ve become a real sucker for their regular (F?) ultraflexes, so ordered both pens with the new EF. 

 

 

7YPQRlD.jpg

 

A59QzMJ.jpg

 

The ebonite feed on the Himalaya V2 is longer than for the V1, to reduce the distance between the rear of the feed and the top of the converter, and reduce the chance of the pen getting air-locked (according to FPR's YouTube video introducing the pen) - unfortunately I forgot to photograph this before inking up!

 

These pens are both very wet, and lay down a lot of ink – maybe a shade less than the F ultraflex, but they produce beautiful wide lines when downward pressure is applied.  The Jade Smoke pen wrote just a little dryer and railroaded more readily than the F ultraflex and the other EF ultraflex, but it was only recently inked, and with a pigment ink – with a bit of TLC I’m confident it’ll flex more consistently.

 

Writing with all three of my #6 Himalayas is a wonderful experience – I don’t tend to flex my nibs out much, but love the slight line variation possible with small variations in pressure, and the amazing smoothness of the nibs against paper.  I believe FPR do a fair bit to customise these pens to ensure consistent performance, and it really shows.   

 

Filling System & Maintenance

 

The new twist converter is the main point of difference between the Himalaya V2 and its predecessors, and it’s a definite improvement.  Ink is easy to draw in, and it’s straightforward to inject a small amount of additional ink into the feed to prime it for flex writing (if necessary).  The converter can be disassembled to renew the silicone grease around the piston head (the whole back part just pops off), and I like the way it screws in to the grip section to provide a secure fit.

 

q7imH94.jpg

 

I had an unfortunate accident with my Vermillion Himalaya over the weekend: I noticed some leaking of ink between the grip section and the converter, so pulled it apart to clean it. 

 

Unfortunately, I tried to reassemble the pen with wet hands, and applied too much torque when screwing the converter back into the grip section – I mean, *way* too much – and produced a crack in the threaded acrylic.  I’ve been able to apply a temporary fix with superglue, which seems to be holding for now – and Kevin from FPR has kindly agreed to send me a replacement. 

 

[Since sending out the first batch of pens, he’s begun applying silicone grease on the converter threads, to reduce the chance of leakage.  I think the damage was entirely my fault, but if the manufacturer wants to share the blame, *and* the cost of a replacement part, who am I to argue?  It serves to reinforce my impression that FPR stand behind their products with excellent customer service – so I thought it worth mentioning!]

 

 

Cost & Value

 

At US$35 (plus postage), the Himalaya is slightly pricier again than its predecessors ($29 for the original Himalaya, and $32 for the #6 gold trim version) – but it’s still an absolute steal for such an attractive pen, and very well constructed.  You’ll pay an extra $4 on top for a B, 1.1mm stub or regular flex nib, or $14 for an EF ultraflex – but its’ still excellent value, even with the pricier nibs

 

Conclusion

 

For mine, this is another ‘win’ for the Himalaya line.  Much as I enjoy my older models, I wish I could trade them in for the new.  You can’t go wrong with any of these, but for mine, the #6 nib, chrome trim and twist converter put the Himalaya V2 in prime position for future purchases.

 

p.s. If you want to check out my earlier reviews, for comparison, you can find them at:

 

 

Original Himalaya

http://www.fountainp...pen-revolution/

 

First Update

http://www.fountainp...pen-revolution/

 

IaGq44r.jpg


Edited by Jamerelbe, 25 November 2019 - 13:02.


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#2 TSherbs

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Posted 26 November 2019 - 12:27

Thanks for the thoughtful review. I love my one Himalaya. The acrylic is fantastic. I don't need flex nibs, so I am all set and will stand pat.

#3 Jamerelbe

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Posted 26 November 2019 - 12:50

Thanks for the thoughtful review. I love my one Himalaya. The acrylic is fantastic. I don't need flex nibs, so I am all set and will stand pat.

 

I may have a problem, I know - I just really love this pen, in every configuration released so far.  And though I'm not normally into flex nibs either, the soft feel of these nibs even when I use them for regular writing appeals to me.  

 

If you don't yet have a Himalaya, I'd recommend the V2 - the screw converter is that much better - unless you prefer the smaller profile nib.

 

Interested to know @Tsherbs, is yours the original (#5.5 nib) version?  



#4 Nyoko

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Posted 26 November 2019 - 20:57

Thanks for a great review! I have a few of the ultra flex nibs in the older version and they are really good, probably the best steel flex I've tried. I am curious to try to FPR 14k flex nibs.



#5 Jamerelbe

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Posted 26 November 2019 - 21:53

Thanks for a great review! I have a few of the ultra flex nibs in the older version and they are really good, probably the best steel flex I've tried. I am curious to try to FPR 14k flex nibs.

 

Thanks, my pleasure - there are forum topics on FPN devoted to the "flex mod" FPR have used, so it's not original to them (and they acknowledge that) - but I don't have a dremel, nor the technical skills, to modify my own nib - and these work really well!

 

I'm likewise curious to try out the 14k flex nibs, but it's a lot of money to shell out and I haven't quite gotten there yet.  Maybe one day... but not in 2019!



#6 gillum51

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Posted 27 November 2019 - 07:16

I'm like you, I have about 4 of these and I will be getting this latest version.  A quality pen at a reasonable price with good customer service if needed.  I've been a customer of FPR for some time and have never been disappointed.



#7 Jamerelbe

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Posted 27 November 2019 - 15:11



I'm like you, I have about 4 of these and I will be getting this latest version.  A quality pen at a reasonable price with good customer service if needed.  I've been a customer of FPR for some time and have never been disappointed.

 

I think I might have to stop accumulating Himalayas for a bit - I've accumulated these over time, but still...  :yikes:

 

fpn_1574867391__the_himalayas.jpg



#8 Intensity

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Posted 27 November 2019 - 15:28

Thanks so much for your review! I love FPR Himalaya pens and will be getting the new ultra flex in EF but in my preferred #5.5 size.

My only gripe with these pens is that only 2 colors of ebonite are available. Id love for them to be available in more, including some like teal and orange ripple. Also the fragrant vegetal resin converters.

“I admit it, I'm surprised that fountain pens are a hobby. ... it's a bit like stumbling into a fork convention - when you've used a fork all your life.” 


#9 Jamerelbe

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Posted 27 November 2019 - 22:26

Thanks so much for your review! I love FPR Himalaya pens and will be getting the new ultra flex in EF but in my preferred #5.5 size.

My only gripe with these pens is that only 2 colors of ebonite are available. Id love for them to be available in more, including some like teal and orange ripple. Also the fragrant vegetal resin converters.

 

Don't disagree with you there - you could always email and ask if there are plans to expand the ebonite range!

 

The Triveni has a wider range of ebonite options, and the Junior version is quite similar in size to the Himalaya - but a bit more 'blocky' in appearance, somewhat more expensive, and relies on a plastic feed.  Oh, and it only (now) comes with a #6 nib (the older versions were #5.5).  I like the Trivenis, and have a few of them also, but it's more 'blocky' (less tapered) and quite a bit more expensive...

 

[Edited to add]

Because I can't resist taking pictures - these are my newer (#6 nib) Trivenis:

 

fpn_1574894836__the_trivenis.jpg


Edited by Jamerelbe, 27 November 2019 - 22:49.


#10 Intensity

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Posted 27 November 2019 - 22:55

The problem with Triveni is the plastic feed as opposed to the ebonite of Himalaya. One of the attractions of Himalaya pens is the ebonite feed. Triveni Jr Ebonite is sold out too, and some colors have been sold out for a long time.

“I admit it, I'm surprised that fountain pens are a hobby. ... it's a bit like stumbling into a fork convention - when you've used a fork all your life.” 


#11 Jamerelbe

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Posted 27 November 2019 - 23:30

The problem with Triveni is the plastic feed as opposed to the ebonite of Himalaya. One of the attractions of Himalaya pens is the ebonite feed. Triveni Jr Ebonite is sold out too, and some colors have been sold out for a long time.

 

Agreed - I find the flow of the plastic feed quite generous, but the ebonite feed is better.

 

The Trivenis have been getting more and more expensive (I think the manufacturer/supplier keeps raising his prices) - so that it's no longer competitive with the Himalaya.  The only real advantages to the Triveni are (1) its capacity to take ink cartridges if that's your thing, and (2) the easy swappability of nib units between this pen and the Darjeeling.  Oh, and the wider range of ebonite options, when they're in stock...



#12 TSherbs

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Posted 28 November 2019 - 00:02

Kevin owes you a free pen on the frequent user plan!

#13 Jamerelbe

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Posted 28 November 2019 - 00:08

Kevin owes you a free pen on the frequent user plan!

 

Strictly between you and me (?!), he's *done* that from time to time (or offered me a small discount) - but since I like to support his business (and for my reviews to be as ubiased as I can make them), I prefer to avoid asking.  The full-size Triveni in the picture is an example, though, of Kevin's generous approach to customer service: there was a problem with the smaller teal-and-black pen (which I was eventually able to fix) - but the moment I raised the problem with him, Kevin sent me out a replacement (minus a nib, but I had spares).



#14 g33klibrarian

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Posted 28 November 2019 - 15:35

I'm seriously thinking of getting one during their sale tomorrow. What is the difference between their 5.5 steel nibs and their new #6 v2 chrome nibs? As a newbie, I can't say I've heard of chrome nibs. Also how does ebonite feel compared to their acrylic? I've read that people say it feels warmer, but I'm not sure what that means. Many many thanks!!

#15 dapprman

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Posted 28 November 2019 - 18:44

I wish they had just gone with an international standard converter.  The old one was a major weak point, could leak, would mis-thread if removed, and could fail.  New one looks like it still just screw on the section in the same way as the old one meaning you need silicon grease if you remove it.



#16 Intensity

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Posted 28 November 2019 - 19:13

I'm seriously thinking of getting one during their sale tomorrow. What is the difference between their 5.5 steel nibs and their new #6 v2 chrome nibs? As a newbie, I can't say I've heard of chrome nibs. Also how does ebonite feel compared to their acrylic? I've read that people say it feels warmer, but I'm not sure what that means. Many many thanks!!

 

They are both stainless steel nibs, not chrome.  Difference is in overall size of the nib.  Both ultraflex nib sizes now come with EF tipping.  I personally prefer #5.5 nibs for greater control, but some others prefer larger nibs for large-nib look.

 

Acrylic is very hard and a bit slippery in feel.  Ebonite is warmer, more tactile, very grippy.  Acrylic comes in more colors, with some depth/translucence.  Ebonite is hard rubber, no translucence to speak of and a more matte look (it is still polished ebonite on these pens, I just mean vs. polished acrylic).


“I admit it, I'm surprised that fountain pens are a hobby. ... it's a bit like stumbling into a fork convention - when you've used a fork all your life.” 


#17 Jamerelbe

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Posted 29 November 2019 - 01:45

I'm seriously thinking of getting one during their sale tomorrow. What is the difference between their 5.5 steel nibs and their new #6 v2 chrome nibs? As a newbie, I can't say I've heard of chrome nibs. Also how does ebonite feel compared to their acrylic? I've read that people say it feels warmer, but I'm not sure what that means. Many many thanks!!

As per the previous reply, the only real difference between the two nib is size (and therefore the size of the feed that services them).  I prefer the #6 because you can push the flex further - and I like the look of a bigger nib! - but it does very much come down to personal preference. 

 

I think the previous reply also captures some of the difference between ebonite and acrylic - the latter isn't any more slippery (in my experience), but it *feels* smoother under the fingers, and is also somewhat lighter.  Both are very comfortable in the hand - again, which is better for you probably comes down to personal preference (I like both, but really enjoy the range of colours in the acrylic).



#18 Jamerelbe

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Posted 29 November 2019 - 01:50

I wish they had just gone with an international standard converter.  The old one was a major weak point, could leak, would mis-thread if removed, and could fail.  New one looks like it still just screw on the section in the same way as the old one meaning you need silicon grease if you remove it.

 

The threading on these new converters is different: they thread into (rather than around) the bottom of the grip section.  Read my review for the potential problem with that - I *did* experience some leaking when the converter became unseated, and carelessly wrenched the thing way too tight when (after cleaning, and with wet hands, idiot that I am!) I tried to screw it back in.  

 

I don't see this as a design flaw - it's definitely a design decision.  The feeling was that the wider aperture at the top of the converter allows freer ink flow than a SI cartridge or converter, sitting on a 'nipple' at the bottom of the feed.  That, and the fact that it's extremely difficult (if not impossible) to shape an ebonite feed to accept a converter onto its base, I suspect!

 

But yes, the design means you *are* wiser to apply silicone grease to the threads between converter and grip section, and it was the absence of this that led to the leaking in mine (Kevin from FPR accepted responsibility for this and replaced it, free of charge - and told me he now applies silicone grease to those threads also before shipping).



#19 Jamerelbe

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Posted 29 November 2019 - 03:43

Black Friday Specials (available through to midnight CST Monday, 2 December) - Himalaya V1s are 30% off, V2s are 20% off - a good time to jump in, if you were already planning to!



#20 Mongoosey

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Posted 29 November 2019 - 03:44

I picked up a couple Himalaya-V2-Chromes on sale just now.

 

The Himalaya's are some of the best pens for the price and I love the ebonite feeds.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: fountain pen revolution, himalaya, acrylic, indian fountain pens, ultraflex steel nibs



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