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I was very fortunate to find a used Namiki Impressions c. 1996 in emerald green today at a local brick and mortar. This pen accommodates the large Pilot CON-70 converter. I tried two different CON-70s, one of which was brand new in a factory sealed package. Neither grips the section securely. I inspected the section and don’t see anything broken (as can sometimes be the case). Does anybody have a repair suggestion for this problem? I could return the pen because the store has a liberal return policy, but an emerald green Impressions is pretty rare. I have sent pens back to Pilot and I’m sure they could replace the section, but that will take months and probably cost $100+. If there is an easy fix, I’d love to find it first. Thanks for reading, and for your suggestions!
Why the heck should I pay fifty dollars for a cheap plastic pen?—those were my initial thoughts as I fresh review after review raving about how magnificent a pen the new TWSBI was. This was 2011, when the TWSBI Mini had just flooded the market, generating a parade of followers with size rivaling those of Pelikan’s and Lamy’s. Twenty-eleven was about a year after I had begun my fountain pen collecting journey, a time when I still put my fullest beliefs in solid, heavy brass-barreled cartridge/converter pens, when I believed every-bit that weight represented quality. So I brushed TWSBI aside as a fad, partly because I didn’t believe in lightweight pens, and partly because I was scared away by the numerous pictures and posts about cracking issues, and slowly waited for TWSBI to eventually disappear, bound to the obscure edges of the fountain pen world. But it always stayed, looming so strong in the distance, reviewers raved about the fantastic pens, and TWSBI’s pens showed up on list after list of must buy pens. It would not be until 2014—a good three years later—that I would finally give in. By then, I had warmed to the idea of plastic pens. I had owned a couple plastic pens—namely a Pelikan and a Pilot 823—which I absolutely loved. I had slowly begun to understand the long-term value of a pen that was light and easy to wield, a pen that could beautiful dart between the purple lines of crisp Rhodia paper. It was November 1, 2014—that was the day I ordered my first TWSBI, a clear demonstrator 580. I had $50 in my Amazon account that was burning a hole in my pocket, and my qualms about the cracking issues had finally been set aside slightly by the commensurate posts about TWSBI’s great customer service. I figured there was nothing to lose in purchasing a TWSBI, and I figured if all went to hell, I could just return the pen on Amazon. The pen arrived just two days later, peeking out at me with its yellow envelope. And I was blown away. Reading the reviews, I had always expected the TWSBI to made of cheap Bic pen plastic. I had expected the pen to be something that I would have to replace in about a year—a consumable pen, which I so much abhorred. But the TWSBI 580 was something of a next level pen. It’s plastic bore a sort of familiar heft, and the way the plastic was molded on the barrel—the absolutely striking diamond design—blew me away. I was startled by the creativity behind TWSBI, the idea to cut the barrel a certain way so as to add some depth to the basic cylindrical design that plagued so many other demonstrator pens. In the light, it resembled the crystal bases of whiskey glasses, creating a dance of light and reflections as I slowly turned the pen in the sun. And then I lost my TWSBI 580. Just a week later, it was gone. I set it down somewhere, and that was it. It was the first time I had lost a fountain pen, and the fact that it was a TWSBI, made it that much more heartbreaking. It felt as if I was just beginning to discover a pen that could very well be everything I was looking for—and then, it just disappeared. Later that year, and into 2015, I would order a couple other pens—a Lamy 2K that was way overdue, a Visconti Homo Sapiens, among others—but I always felt my mind coming back to the TWSBI 580. Both the Lamy and the Visconti were absolutely fantastic pens—don’t get me wrong—but I always had this sense that TWSBI could do better—TWSBI could easily make the same pen at a far lower price. But I couldn’t bear—at the time—the thought of owning another TWSBI 580. The wounds of my loss were too fresh, the TWSBI was like a dog that had passed away—I couldn’t just go out and get one that looked just like it. June 3rd, I finally ordered another TWSBI. This time it was a TWSBI Mini with an extra-fine nib. I knew I would love the TWSBI Mini because it had everything I loved about the 580 in a smaller—and postable—form factor. Like last time, the TWSBI Mini came two days later. I can confidently say now that the TWSBI Mini is my favorite fountain pen. Expensive pens like Viscontis and Pelikans are fantastic, but I’ve always been plagued with the fear of losing them, and thus those pens rarely leave the house with me. Chase Jarvis has said that, “The best camera is the one that’s with you”. Similarly, my great Holy Grail pens are fantastic, but—unlike the little TWSBI—they are never with me, and therefore the TWSBI is my best pen. It is pen that is available at a price point where it will always be with me. Furthermore the absolutely stellar customer support at TWSBI means that I don’t need to worry if any problems ever arise. I can’t think of a single other fountain pen brand—not even Pelikan or Omas—where I can personally e-mail the owner and immediately get a problem fixed. If purchases are a union of trust between the seller and buyer, then I have every reason to trust the people at TWSBI. In a way, I feel inspired by TWSBI’s story. TWSBI began as a manufacturer churning out uninspiring, cheap unbranded ballpoint pens for other brands. But then TWSBI decided that it would create its own brand, that it would manufacture absolutely fantastic fountain pens at a low cost. TWSBI to me represents the classic story of trading financial security for passion. The people at TWSBI decided that they wanted to create something that absolutely delights and inspires its customers, instead of basic cheap ballpoint pens. Today, I would purchase a TWSBI fountain pen even if they weren’t good, knowing that I would be supporting a company that seeks passion. But TWSBI pens aren’t just good, they’re fantastic, which makes purchasing that much easier. And every time I pull out my TWSBI, I am reminded of the great quality and writing experience, and I’m reminded that if the desire to pursue a passion can create a fountain pen this great, then I have every bit the reason to pursue what makes me happy. In a way, TWSBI inspires me to ignore the basic securities and pursue—throw myself head-first—into whatever it is I love. And perhaps, just perhaps, I can create something as great as a TWSBI fountain pen.
Moderators- if this post is in the wrong forum, please move it to the correct one. Thank you! After using my Gama Raja for a little over a day, I've formed some tentative opinions of it. With the somewhat scarce information on this pen here on FPN, I'm hoping that my thoughts will help someone that's undecided about it. First off, I'll comment about the seller and experience I had with them. I ordered from ASA Pens, and being new to the Indian pen game I didn't know what to expect with my order (again, not too terribly much information that I could find). I couldn't be happier. The order took just under three weeks from ordering to receipt, including having Mr. Subramaniam test the pen before dispatch. It was very well packaged. I don't think that the pen would have been harmed if someone jumped on it (but I'm not willing to try ). I'm in the U.S. by the way. Upon opening the package and taking the pen out of its velvet slip and excessive (not that I'm complaining) bubble wrap, my impressions were very good. The pen is large (prior to this, the largest pen I owned was a Jinhao X-750), deep matte black, the trim is nice and shiny and golden, the pen has simple, clean, elegant looks that remind me of the Parker Duofold and other 30s-40s American pen designs. It's a very nice looking pen to my eye. Pros- -The fit and finish of this pen is superb, especially for the price. The threads, though single start, are well cut and mesh smoothly, the finish is even and well done, the polished ends are also well done, the trim is well set, the nib is set as it should be for a #6/35mm nib, and the Gama logo is nicely engraved. -The feel in hand (I have a medium mens' glove size according to Mechanix) is very good. The section is large to be sure, but it's comfortably cut with a nice, abrupt flare to keep your fingers off the nib. The pen itself, while long, is very well balanced and actually very light. It honestly doesn't feel any heavier in hand than a featherweight Lamy Safari. The ebonite feels good in the hand; it really is a warm feeling material. It doesn't feel like a plastic or metal or wood... it's unique. While the pen can be posted, the cap doesn't post very deeply, leaves marks on the barrel, makes the pen very long, and throws off the balance of the pen. -The writing, when the feed is saturated sufficiently and you're in the sweet spot, is superb. As I stated before, I had the pen tested before shipping and it paid off. After a little alignment (I was probably the cause of the issue to be honest) the pen (with the stock nib and feed) is wet, starts well with zero pressure (and I mean ZERO pressure), is very smooth with a TINY touch of feedback and the stock IPG duotone EF/Indian fine (I've seen it called both) writes a good, firm extra fine (compared to a Lamy fine). -The ink capacity is HUGE. As someone that's used to C/C pens, I was blown away by the ink capacity. I haven't measured it, but I wouldn't doubt an estimate of 3-3.5ml. As you may be able to tell, I quite like this pen already Cons- -The stock, unmodified nib on my pen (one example) has a fairly small sweet spot. When you're in the sweet spot, it's as smooth as I've felt as of yet, about on par if maybe a little under a JoWo (which costs, by itself, more than half of the asking price of this pen), but the moment you get out of the sweet spot there's a fairly significant amount of feedback. -If the pen is agitated and warm, say in a gesticulating hand or in a shirt pocket, a little ink seems to want to burp into the cap and get on the nib. It isn't a big deal, but it is slightly annoying. This issue could probably be fixed with a new feed. -When the pen was in my shirt pocket for a while, the feed dried up somewhat. It took a bit of tapping on the page to get it started again. -It smells like tires, which doesn't bother me and will dissipate, but the smell may offend some people. -There's some minor scratching on the very shiny clip and one of the cap bands is a teensy tiny bit wonky (I'm picking at nits at this point) Overall, this pen is an amazing pen, especially for what you pay for it. I'm in love already, and I'm hooked on Indian eyedroppers now. ETA- Sorry for the long post! I tried to make everything as detailed as possible to make up for the lack of pictures.
http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c234/Towelfree/DSCN1670_zps060a7418.jpg It has been a while since I've bought the Visconti Divina Proporzione and although in the meantime I've purchased some other pens (Divina Black - yeah I like the design - and the Ripple) I'd like to belatedly share some impressions I had been looking for this pen for quite long and finally I found someone who was selling it in America, so I had to wait a bit. Also, the pen "mint, perfect conditions" arrived to its new home with the tip of the nib completely consumed in an uneven way (my nibmeister friend told me so) and since I am not a collector but a user, I sent it to assistance to have the nib swapped for a palladium one (which I learned to love). Ok, enough I took some time to take some shots of the pen along with a famous fountain pen book ("The great fountain pen book"). http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c234/Towelfree/DSCN1658_zps09d8fd32.jpg Here's the pen on the Visconti's chapter of the book (well, an old photo of the founder too!). http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c234/Towelfree/DSCN1661_zpsc2f94dd1.jpg I won't say much of a pen which can be considered (at least by me) a try classic in terms of design and symbolism. I think we all know about its golden ratio inspiration and I'm not that versed in math, so let's skip the 1,618 phi part What I love of this pen is the stunning burlwood celluloid. I've fallen in love with this pen some years ago, when I say it in Del Vecchio's pocket during my first visit to the factory. I knew back then that in due time I had to have it http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c234/Towelfree/DSCN1662_zps589aeb73.jpg It has a push/pull & touchdown filling system. Harder to explain than to actually use it Basically you extract the inner tube by pushing a button on the back know on the pen. Then you just press it again with the section immerged in the ink bottle. Simple as that. The system has been replaced on new Divinas with a more practical and less gadgety piston filler, I like them both. http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c234/Towelfree/DSCN1663_zpsc5da8691.jpg Close up of the cap. I adore the brownish swirls and how the merge with the silver stripes. The 25th Anniversary Edition has much thicker silver stripes, resulting the pen to be heavier but maybe more solid. If I didn't have different plans for the near future (I've another pen soon coming from overseas ) I'd buy the new version in a heartbeat, probably Bryant has still some left. http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c234/Towelfree/DSCN1668_zpsb1f00ff0.jpg http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c234/Towelfree/DSCN1669_zps8d0c9166.jpg A close up of the practical but still fancy ink window. Beauty lies in details. Here's a writing sample. By the way fine nib. http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c234/Towelfree/sample_zps863378b4.jpg I know, this is far from being a review but I wanted to share my enthusiasm with you all for finally obtaining a grail pen