utilized their service, producing some of the best pens ever made in India. I knew all those, seen a few examples, but never had a chance to acquire any of them. Then an FPNer (Hari) shown interest in these pens, and I started searching for them.
Here came the harder part. I was amazed to know that these are exceptionally hard to find. Being handmade, the numbers built were very less, and here people prefer them more than an original Duofold, because they are much more sturdily built.
I saw three 'Big Red' and a 'mandarin' last month, but none of these.
Then a few weeks ago, a dealer shown me the body of this pen, i.e he had only the body and the cap without nib, feed, clip, button, J-bar or sac. But these are much easier to find than the body, so I bought it, and started searching for the other parts.
This is an exact replica of a 'Big Red', and it is in unused condition. This is the best example of these pens I have ever seen.
As it is a Duofold replica, I started looking for the rest of the parts from a duofold. The button, J-bar, feed I found quite easily(trashed Duofolds are not very hard to find), but perfect nib and clip is not something very easily and cheaply found. Still I managed to find an excellent nib & clip. I found the clip only yesterday, so didn't have time to photograph it.
So now I have a complete pen, an excellent example of vintage Indian handicraft... and I completed this with a lot of effort from my part..... so this pen is special for me ... now about the performance.
The pen is 14.1cm long capped, 17.5cm posted, in a word, it is an exact replica of a Duofold Big red. If you don't look for the imprint, it is impossible to differentiate from the original. So, for me it is beautifully balanced uncapped, and the weight is quite right for me.
I installed a comb feed ( I find them more reliable) from a Duofold, and a Duofold senior nib. The nib has a reverse
oblique/italic ( I don't know the name properly) cut, and I don't like italic/oblique nibs, but thankfully, for me, it lays down a very wet medium+ line. Nothing less than what you expect from a Duofold. I am using this pen at home for more than ten days, and it never hesitated to start or skipped.
The filling system is a button filler, very reliable and quite good ink capacity.
The only difference of this pen with a Duofold is that is does not have the two breather holes in cap. But I have not found any problem because of this.
The cost of this pen is irrelevant here, as I don't think a price/performance comparison is applicable here. This is a very special pen for me.
I photographed the pen with a junior for size a colour reference. I was having difficulty to photograph the nib, so I photographed it separately.
I hope you enjoy the story and review, and please excuse me for my awful photography.
Edited by bluemoon, 15 November 2008 - 06:59.