Guider pen works is one of the major producers of Handmade pens in India. Their pens are typically made of Ebonite, Celluloid, Acrylic or Marble. The pens are hand turned on metal working lathes and hand finished. No two pens made are alike, there will be minor variations in profile and size between each pen.
This particular model under review is the called the Jumbo pen. This is the largest pen offered by Guider with a steel nib. There is at least one more model offered by them in celluloid with a Sheaffer Triumph type gold nib which is much larger than this Jumbo. As expected the asking price of that Maha-Jumbo is way beyond my reach at the moment so its review will have to wait.
My interest in this pen turned to I want when I saw the photos posted by my good friend and FPNer Shrujaya.
"Seriously huge" was the thought that came to my mind when I opened the parcel from Guider. The pen stands at 6 1/8 inch capped and 7 1/8 inch posted. The max diameter of the pen is at the cap which is around 3/4 inch.
I have a nearly identical pen from Ratnam (not Ratnamson) which I had called the Ratnam Jumbo, the Guider version is 10mm shorter than that pen. But Guider wins in the finish department. However, my Advocate pen remains un-displaced from its position as my longest pocket pen at 6 1/2 inches capped.
The Jumbo I received was well polished and had very less surface imperfections. One of the major quality problems with large diameter Ebonite rods is the inclusion of small air pockets called blow holes, very high quality pens are made with specially sorted material pieces which are found free from this defect, this rejection of material is a major contributor to the higher price by big manufacturers. Sometimes the blow holes may be revealed only after the machining has been performed.
This is the most basic shape that can be given to such a huge pen. It is like a giant rod, rounded and tapered at the ends. The clip is a Parker inspired unit. Its size is proportionate to the pen and does a good job of clipping the pen to your pocket. The pen is light weight (I have not measured) and does not make your pocket bulge out.
It is likely that people will stare at you while you unclip the pen, screw the cap out slowly and write with the pen, a size of pen which many non-pen people do not even know exist. Can be a conversation starter.
Ink Filling System:
The pen uses the age old method of filling ink directly into the barrel by means of an eyedropper or similar means. The ink capacity is a whopping 5ml from my conservative syringe measurements. Unlike Japanese eydroppers which have an ink flow regulating knob at the rear, the Indian EDs have no such control.
Nib, feed and writing performance:
I was not satisfied at all with the stock nib and feed. The stock feeder is a simple shaped rod of Ebonite with a single central air channel, the feeder diameter is 1/4 inch and length is 2 inches. The feeder has no buffering fins or fissures. The stock nib was a size 8 (29mm from tip to heel) steel unit whose smoothness left much to be desired.
(Stock nib and feed)
I immediately replaced both the nib and feed with some spares that I had on hand. I put in a nice Wality no. 35 nib (35mm from tip to heel) and a Sheaffer No Nonsense feed from a donor pen. The fitting in the section was perfect and after some minor adjustments the pen writes very well, nice and an even wet flow with a smooth medium line from the nib.
The pen may suffer from dry-out when kept unused for a few days. This may be attributed to the placement of the cap breather holes in the inner cap area. An easy remedy is to plug the holes with wax and drill new ones just below the inner cap area. If you don't want to drill new holes, always uncap the pen very slowly to avoid expulsion of ink.
A nice pen to have in any collection. The pen remains pocketable even with its mega dimensions. The stock feeder might lead to some grief but can be easily replaced with any good(and long) 6.35mm OD feeder. No complaints whatsoever at the excellent price this pen is available at, from the manufacturer.
Edited by hari317, 23 October 2008 - 15:05.