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Guider Jumbo


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#1 hari317

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Posted 23 October 2008 - 14:13

Introduction:

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.

First Impressions:

"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.


Pen Appearance:

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.

Overall Conclusion:

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.

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#2 Abhik

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Posted 25 October 2008 - 07:18

Hari, does this pen starts putting few unwanted drops of ink when it is half full? I find this problem with all Indian hand-made pens, Guider-Ratnam et al!!
Is there any remedy for this behaviour?
Coming back to your review of 'Jumbo'- do you find this pen proportionate and attractive? Personally I feel approach for manufacturing these size and the other 'match box size' is rather gimmicky!!
I understand that these manufacturers do not have a wide market base. Question is 'do they pay enough attention to fit & finishes?'
You have mentioned that you changed both nib & feed with Walty's & 'Seaffer's respectively. Now, those two are the very basic members of a writing instrument. How can a small manufacturer be negligent about those items?
I also feel the attention these manufacturers are getting now through you, Jai, Steve and Stasree, and other members from this forum, should utilise properly to update their quality and finishes.
Thank you Hari, for sharing your experience.
Abhik.

#3 shrujaya

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Posted 25 October 2008 - 14:07

Abhik...well put...yeah, the pen makers should make that extra effort, no question about it...I have conveyed this to the Guider people and they have promised to see what they can do...Hari and I were discussing the other day, that it is Guider who has expanded his business and Ratnams still prefer to do it the old fashioned personal way and keep it small and compact...and suddenly their pens are getting noticed...and I dont think they are, currently at least,in a position to cater to an international clientele who have used time-tested fine international brands... these hand made brands are located in small towns and their machinery is also very basic...and they are just about able to meet the standards for the prices they are quoting (Hari) ...i am sure transport and material procurement is a big hassle... and the pen makers will have to jack up the prices if they have to reach even a slightly higher level...and their traditional client base is in India and the pen makers will lose out on a big chunk of this base if prices are increased...for me at least, these pens symbolise a kind of romance with the past...the fact that in spite of onslaughts from ball pens, gel pens, chinese FPs, etc., they have managed to hold on to their small businesses and making a living out of it through word of mouth publicity...all these years...

Already so many FP brands in Andhra Pradesh in India have closed shop...and when I was searching for some brands, I spoke to some of the the owners of pen brands who had shut down their units and asked for at least one sample of their brands for my collection and they said they didnt have even one...and then I wished I had started my collection earlier... and the gleam I see in my friends' eyes when I show off my Indian FP collection is sometimes worth the whole effort...

Jai


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#4 hari317

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Posted 25 October 2008 - 16:24

QUOTE (Abhik @ Oct 25 2008, 12:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hari, does this pen starts putting few unwanted drops of ink when it is half full? I find this problem with all Indian hand-made pens, Guider-Ratnam et al!!
Is there any remedy for this behaviour?


A better feeder with nice buffering is the solution. I suggest you refill the moment you start noticing overflow. I think this is a property of any eyedropper pen with higher ink capacity. Alternatively reduce the ink capacity to approx 2ml by filling the barrel with wax.

QUOTE
Coming back to your review of 'Jumbo'- do you find this pen proportionate and attractive? Personally I feel approach for manufacturing these size and the other 'match box size' is rather gimmicky!!


It is a matter of personal preferences, I like these Giant sized pens and regularly carry them to work, the higher ink capacity is an added bonus. Definitely I find these pens attractive. However I have received comments from some people asking me if I were carrying a "Pestle" biggrin.gif

QUOTE
I understand that these manufacturers do not have a wide market base. Question is 'do they pay enough attention to fit & finishes?'
You have mentioned that you changed both nib & feed with Walty's & 'Seaffer's respectively. Now, those two are the very basic members of a writing instrument. How can a small manufacturer be negligent about those items?


The fit and finish can be definitely better, even fundamental aspects like the inner cap, breather hole placement, feeder etc. can be improved. However I would like to stress that the existing level of finish, performance etc. is commensurate with the price the manufacturer charges. The reason I bought these pens is simple: I could not find a pen of these dimensions available in materials like Ebonite/Celluloid in a similar price range elsewhere. With a little bit of DIY modification these pens make champion writers. But this is only my personal opinion. YMMV.

QUOTE
I also feel the attention these manufacturers are getting now through you, Jai, Steve and Stasree, and other members from this forum, should utilise properly to update their quality and finishes.


Maybe, but I am too small a customer for my unasked for suggestions to have any effect on manufacturers from whom I buy maybe one pen in a month.

I remain enthusiastic about Indian pens, there are manufacturers who produce soundly engineered pens.

Warm Regards,
Hari

Edited by hari317, 26 October 2008 - 14:35.

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#5 MrRogers

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Posted 26 October 2008 - 22:17

Hari, 2 questions as I have 2 jumbos on the way.

1) to fill an ED, does the section unscrew from the barrel, or must you pull out the nib and feed?

2) Second, I dont keep any extra nibs or feeds on hand. What nib and feed from a new inexpensive pen might you recommend to replace the nib and feed on the jumbo? Another poster had success with a pilot 78g. Any other recommendations?

MrR

#6 AllWriteNow

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Posted 26 October 2008 - 22:39

The following procedure for filling and priming an Indian ED may be helpful:
1.The first thing to do is to thoroughly rinse the barrel and section in running water and dry them.
2.Apply silicone grease on the section threads and screw and unscrew the section a couple of times to let the grease penetrate.
3.Fill the ink into the barrel using a ED or a syringe upto the level where the threads end (you should be able to see the threads; where the threads end you see the ink level).
4.Now screw in the section carefully halfway.
5.Invert the pen now(nib pointing down into mouth of open ink bottle) and screw in the section fully (ink will drip into the bottle while screwing in), the excess air in the barrel will force ink out through the feed priming it.
6.Now tighten the section fully and wipe point to remove excess ink.
7.This procedure needs to be followed only when a dry pen is being filled.


These were posted by Hari some weeks ago.
You need to try nibs and feeds to find one that fits.

Even if I didn't sell it to you. I'd rather you are happy.
If you want some additional help email me at your convenience.

Steve
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#7 hari317

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 02:07

QUOTE (MrRogers @ Oct 27 2008, 03:47 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
1) to fill an ED, does the section unscrew from the barrel, or must you pull out the nib and feed?


The section will unscrew.

QUOTE (MrRogers @ Oct 27 2008, 03:47 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
2) Second, I dont keep any extra nibs or feeds on hand. What nib and feed from a new inexpensive pen might you recommend to replace the nib and feed on the jumbo? Another poster had success with a pilot 78g. Any other recommendations?


The steel nibs are a gamble, most of them are OK, may be you will not need to replace them. I suggest you try the stock nibs first to see if you like them, even the stock feeder, if it works, it is best. Fill and prime as per the procedure which is quoted in the prev post. In case you find problems, I think you can inform the seller first.

The nib and feeder from an inexpensive Sheaffer NN or a Sheaffer cartridge pen (1970's) should fit the Jumbo well. The ideal choice for a nib will be a 35mm long nib, you can try to approach nib sellers like docnib (no affiliation, just have observed nice nibs for sale) to see if they have a nice nib of that size.

Once you have the Jumbo set up and running, it will be a real pleasure to write with esp. if you like bigger and fatter pens.

Do keep us posted.

Regards,
Hari


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#8 MrRogers

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 02:09

Thanks steve. I appreciate that.
MrR

#9 offbase

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 12:33

No offense, but, c'mon! Defective materials, inconsistency in sizing, nibs that need immediate replacement, and feeds that were obsolete a hundred years ago? Not to mention lack of any control for flow or air pressure? What's the point of buying this pen outside of liking its size and wanting to basically rebuild a pen? I'd rather spend the money on an early 20th Century waterman or other eyedropper and get better quality and technology in a proven instrument. India may be lagging behind the U.S., Japan & Western Europe technologically, but not by a hundred years -- they have nukes, for crying out loud!

#10 MrRogers

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 19:31

Well, I can finally chime in as I have just received my order from Satish this afternoon which consisted of a Giuder Jumbo and Midsize mottled brown ebonite pen.

The jumbo is really a massive pen, which I like. It is well balanced and fits nicely in the hand. The finish is not perfect but certainly more than acceptable. Someone posted about some micro-abrasives that they used to polish the pen but I don't find it necessary with mine. This pen holds an enormous amount of ink; approximately 4cc's by my estimation.

In terms of performance, my jumbo writes very well actually. It lays a superwet line of aurora black on rhodia paper and is very smooth. I asked Satish for fine which is exactly what I got, perhaps a little bit on the medium side. My only complaint is that it takes 5 full turns to uncap the Jumbo which can be a bit laborious.

The mottled brown ebonite pen is another story. Finishing is quite nice but I'm having problems getting the pen to hold any ink. I filled it with Lamy blue, following Steves instructions above but as soon as the pen is inverted, it leaks one drop every 5 seconds until the pen is empty. I played with the feed and the nib appears to be ok, but none the less it leaks uncontrollably unless turned upside down. I suppose I'll have to play with some new nibs and feeds and see if it will correct the problem.

Stay tuned.

MrR

Edited by MrRogers, 17 November 2008 - 21:43.


#11 edbollix

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 04:09

I have 2 Guider's and love them both; great writers and very nice quality. Anyway It's good to know that when it coughs up a blob of ink all I have to do is fill it. How often do you have to grease the section threads and exactly what type of grease it used?

#12 hari317

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 06:26

QUOTE (offbase @ Nov 17 2008, 06:03 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'd rather spend the money on an early 20th Century waterman or other eyedropper and get better quality and technology in a proven instrument. India may be lagging behind the U.S., Japan & Western Europe technologically, but not by a hundred years -- they have nukes, for crying out loud!


Hi offbase, Pls find me an early waterman like you say for 7USD, the retail price at which the Guider Jumbo is sold here. At this price I am fully prepared to rebuild the pen with the end result being a pen totally tuned as per my tastes. Guider is not a representative Indian pen as far as the finish or even craftmanship goes. There are makers whose pens are excellent if I may say so, only they have not been adequately represented here. Moreover expertise in FPmaking is not an index for the technological strength of any nation. By your reasoning even using a FP will be sign of technological backwardness.

QUOTE (MrRogers @ Nov 18 2008, 01:01 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The jumbo is really a massive pen, which I like. It is well balanced and fits nicely in the hand. The finish is not perfect but certainly more than acceptable. Someone posted about some micro-abrasives that they used to polish the pen but I don't find it necessary with mine. This pen holds an enormous amount of ink; approximately 4cc's by my estimation.

In terms of performance, my jumbo writes very well actually. It lays a superwet line of aurora black on rhodia paper and is very smooth. I asked Satish for fine which is exactly what I got, perhaps a little bit on the medium side. My only complaint is that it takes 5 full turns to uncap the Jumbo which can be a bit laborious.

The mottled brown ebonite pen is another story. Finishing is quite nice but I'm having problems getting the pen to hold any ink. I filled it with Lamy blue, following Steves instructions above but as soon as the pen is inverted, it leaks one drop every 5 seconds until the pen is empty. I played with the feed and the nib appears to be ok, but none the less it leaks uncontrollably unless turned upside down. I suppose I'll have to play with some new nibs and feeds and see if it will correct the problem.


Mr.R I am glad you liked the Jumbo, as I had said, it is not necessary that you will have to replace the nib.

Have you applied silicone grease to the threads of the second pen? Check to see if the nib and feed are a snug fit in the section

QUOTE (edbollix @ Nov 18 2008, 09:39 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How often do you have to grease the section threads and exactly what type of grease it used?


Every three fillings, I use Dow Corning High Vacuum Silicone grease. Bees wax gently rubbed on the threads will also work.
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#13 offbase

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 07:31

hari wrote: "Hi offbase, Pls find me an early waterman like you say for 7USD, the retail price at which the Guider Jumbo is sold here. At this price I am fully prepared to rebuild the pen with the end result being a pen totally tuned as per my tastes. Guider is not a representative Indian pen as far as the finish or even craftmanship goes. There are makers whose pens are excellent if I may say so, only they have not been adequately represented here. Moreover expertise in FPmaking is not an index for the technological strength of any nation. By your reasoning even using a FP will be sign of technological backwardness."

Thanks for taking my text out of context and using it to reinforce your sense of national pride. Did you even read the last sentence? Note to self: never again criticize an Indian product, lest you be accused of criticizing India and Indians, in general.

Oh, and by the by, WHO made the generalizations, and WHO said that Indian pen makers in general are using obsolete methods? YOU said: "Unlike Japanese eydroppers which have an ink flow regulating knob at the rear, the Indian EDs have no such control." And: "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." Most hillariously, you concluded your review with: "A nice pen to have in any collection."

Finally, you sarcastically asked: "Pls find me an early waterman like you say for 7USD, the retail price at which the Guider Jumbo is sold here." I'll do you one better. I just bought a cheapo Schaeffer calligraphy FP with a beautiful, smooth writing nib, no physical imperfections or leakage problems, and a real feed, for $5.99 U.S. And, I don't have to rebuild it.


#14 hari317

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 08:44

QUOTE (offbase @ Nov 19 2008, 02:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Oh, and by the by, WHO made the generalizations, and WHO said that Indian pen makers in general are using obsolete methods? YOU said: "Unlike Japanese eydroppers which have an ink flow regulating knob at the rear, the Indian EDs have no such control." And: "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." Most hillariously, you concluded your review with: "A nice pen to have in any collection."

Finally, you sarcastically asked: "Pls find me an early waterman like you say for 7USD, the retail price at which the Guider Jumbo is sold here." I'll do you one better. I just bought a cheapo Schaeffer calligraphy FP with a beautiful, smooth writing nib, no physical imperfections or leakage problems, and a real feed, for $5.99 U.S. And, I don't have to rebuild it.


Hi Offbase, now you have taken the statements from my review out of context. Yes, you may modify the note to yourself to criticise the product but not pass comments on the country of origin and its general capability.

I did mention that Indian EDs have no rear flow control knob. This is a commonly asked question about Indian EDs in general and I thought it fit to mention that in the review as well. The Japanese have always had the flow control knob on their EDs which many agree is a good feature. But this does not automatically mean that the EDs without such a device are obsolete?

Where in my review or my posts is the term obsolete mentioned? Regarding my comment about the feeder of the Guider, I am merely describing the stock feeder as accurately as possible which in my opinion is very poor, but other members like the recent buyer Mr. R seem to be happy with it. YMMV. There is no generalisation in my review. In fact in response to member Abhik's queries, I have mentioned my views.

Yes, I reiterate the Jumbo is indeed a nice pen to have in any collection, definitely mine, more so since it is set up the way I like them. and BTW I am a great fan of the Sheaffer line of pens especially the NN which I can find here new for 3USD bunny01.gif

Best,
Hari




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#15 Johnny Appleseed

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 17:06

QUOTE (hari317 @ Nov 19 2008, 12:44 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I did mention that Indian EDs have no rear flow control knob. This is a commonly asked question about Indian EDs in general and I thought it fit to mention that in the review as well. The Japanese have always had the flow control knob on their EDs which many agree is a good feature. But this does not automatically mean that the EDs without such a device are obsolete?


The ink shut-off and flow-control valve found in Japanese eyedropper pens is unique to Japanese EDs. They don't appear on US made eyedropper pens, both vintage and modern (there were a few early designs with different sorts of ink-shutoff valves, but they never worked well or cought on). It should not be viewed as a criticism of the pen.

John
So if you have a lot of ink,
You should get a Yink, I think.

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Always looking for pens by Baird-North, Charles Ingersoll, and nibs marked "CHI"

#16 Lexaf

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 16:47

Hello Hari,

I do not know what impressed me more: your excellent review or the big black Guider pen itself. You really made me want to have such a pen! Could you possibly tell me: Where and how can I obtain one (or 2)? Prices? Shipping costs? Are these coming directly from India? Is there a possibility to ship to The Netherlands? Thanks in advance for your answer.

Best regards,

Lexaf ( the Reform 1745 seller from Holland...)


#17 lenj

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 04:47

I purchased mine from the Indian Fountain Pen Store in India. They ship to the Netherlands.

I paid 30 US dollars for my Guider Jumbo.

Lenj

#18 hari317

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 07:45

QUOTE (Lexaf @ Nov 20 2008, 10:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Could you possibly tell me: Where and how can I obtain one (or 2)? Prices? Shipping costs? Are these coming directly from India? Is there a possibility to ship to The Netherlands? Thanks in advance for your answer.


Thanks Lexaf!

One FPN member from India satshere (Satish Kolluru) has set up an online shop called Indian Fountain pen store. You can try there. Other FPN member luckygrandson from USA is representing Guider. His shop's link can be found in his signature in a post in this thread. If these options do not work out, send me a PM and I will try to help you.

BTW, I have been a silent admirer of those reforms.

Best,
Hari

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated (and have not nor bought from) any of the sellers mentioned, I am just a satisfied customer of the Guider pen company.


In case you wish to write to me, pls use ONLY email by clicking here. I do not check PMs. Thank you.

#19 Lexaf

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 15:41

Thanks for the info, Lenj, I'll try to contact them!
Lexaf

QUOTE (lenj @ Nov 21 2008, 05:47 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I purchased mine from the Indian Fountain Pen Store in India. They ship to the Netherlands.

I paid 30 US dollars for my Guider Jumbo.

Lenj



#20 Lexaf

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 15:43

Thanks for the info, Hari, I'll try to contact these people!
Cheers,
Lexaf
QUOTE (hari317 @ Nov 21 2008, 08:45 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Lexaf @ Nov 20 2008, 10:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Could you possibly tell me: Where and how can I obtain one (or 2)? Prices? Shipping costs? Are these coming directly from India? Is there a possibility to ship to The Netherlands? Thanks in advance for your answer.


Thanks Lexaf!

One FPN member from India satshere (Satish Kolluru) has set up an online shop called Indian Fountain pen store. You can try there. Other FPN member luckygrandson from USA is representing Guider. His shop's link can be found in his signature in a post in this thread. If these options do not work out, send me a PM and I will try to help you.

BTW, I have been a silent admirer of those reforms.

Best,
Hari

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated (and have not nor bought from) any of the sellers mentioned, I am just a satisfied customer of the Guider pen company.








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