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  1. Samrat

    Gama Forever Review

    Hello everyone, Last time I reviewed the Gama Kuyil in detail, which is in the mid-price range for Gama products. Today I'll review one of their entry level fountain pens, the Gama Forever, which cost about half of Gama Kuyil, but functionally have similar usefulness and appeal. The history of Gem and Co., the producer of Gama brand of fountain pens is discussed in the review of Kuyil. The Forever is a smaller model from Gama, with minimal design elements. Why I like this pen- It’s a small but effective pen for everyday use. The price is very much affordable, even for a student. The built quality is very good and it will last long with proper care. Cons- It's an eye-dropper pen, so many things can go wrong. Eye-droppers are always for advanced users, as there might be occasional leakage, burping and other messy issues during initial handling and in some of the copies. The nib is a standard dual tone nib of Indian fine category, so limited nib choice. The ebonite looks good, but minute impurities and defects might be there. Also as these are hand turned pens, there might be some asymmetry in shape. 1. Appearance & Design: It's a Parker Duofold like pen, though much simpler in design. Parker Duofold was a very successful pen for the company. Basically Duofold was designed with the idea of changing the mundane black rubber design of fountain pens prevalent during that period, thus having a pen body of red rubber and making the section, clip screw and barrel end with standard black rubber. This contrast of red and black colour, coupled with a useful size, great ergonomics and balance, were instrumental to the success of Duofold design. Later more colours and material were introduced; other sizes and permutation-combination of different trims and design aspects were marketed as well. Interestingly the particular red rubber used to make Parker Duofold was termed "Pompeiian Brown" by the company. The success of Duofold in the 1920s inspired almost all major manufacturers like Waterman, Conklin, Sheaffer etc. to launch their own orange/ red / brown version of flat topped dual coloured 'Duofold' copies/inspired models. So it’s not surprising that even to this day, manufacturers don't look beyond this design when they want a relatively small, useful but attractive fountain pen. Gama Forever is no different in this respect. The Gama Forever It’s a flat topped cigar shaped medium sized pen with slight tapering towards both ends. The top of the cap is a bit thicker than the bottom of the body. I bought the light brown/yellow coloured ebonite with red ripples. As expected, both the ends have black coloured polished finial of about 7mm thickness and the section is black as well. The black portion at the bottom of the pen is flushed with body and there is no gap between them. The top black finial is acting as a screw to hold the clip ring,there is a minute gap between the top finial and the body of cap. Personally I like Kuyil like flushed finial which conceal the cap ring. The pen has gold coloured trims. The pen sports a simple ball end clip, made of brass. It's Gem's old stock, these clips are not made today and they'll be used till the stock lasts. There are two rings at the lip of the cap, each about 1mm. thick and separated by a distance of about 3 mm. The section gently tapers towards the nib, just before ending it has a flaring part for finger rest, which is a typical design feature among Gama pens. The body has Gama written on it, the letters have crisp margin. The nib is dual tones Indian fine nib with only ‘Iridium tipped’ and Germany imprinted on it along with some basic designs. It appears to be the same nib which have been branded ‘Gama’ in their latest models. Construction & Quality: The Gama forever is a well-made pen. The ebonite wall is quite thick, which is a common attribute of Gama pens. The polish of ebonite is good and the ripples look beautiful. On minute inspections, the ebonite has many impurities or small spots, but this being a low priced pen this is expected and these are not causing any problem with the overall look. There is no defect or rough area on the ebonite. The clip is sturdy and functional, but the gold colour fades with some usage. The trim is made of vintage brass material from their old stocks. The rings at the lip of the cap occasionally become loose and may require some effort to realign and re-position them, when these get dislodged. There is no leak from the junction of section and body. The cap easily sits with the body with about two and half rotations. The section screws on the body relatively easily without much tightness. Overall the construction is very good for the price; this pen will last long if proper care is taken. 3. Weight & Dimensions: It’s a lightweight medium sized pen. The dimensions are as follows Length of the pen: 145 mm Length of uncapped pen: 135 mm Posted length: Diameter of section: 11.5 mm Due to flaring up at the end of the section, the diameter at the end surface is 13 mm, but the area where fingers will grip the pen is 11.5 mm. Maximum Barrel diameter: 14-15 mm Section length: 18 mm Nib length: 25 mm. Ink capacity- about 3-3.5 ml I use the pen without posting. These pens typically don’t post deep, so the length increases disproportionately when posted. The balance is very good and long writing sessions with the pen is very comfortable. It’s basically an EDC pen for rough usage with some good looks of a hand turned Indian ebonite pen. From right to left: Pilot Metropolitan, Lamy Safari, Gama Forever and Gama Kuyil, all capped Lamy Safari and Gama Forever, uncapped 4. Nib & Performance: The nib is very good performer. Its Indian fine grade, meaning line width between Japanese fine and European fine, though I don’t think there is any strict criteria followed while making these nibs. It’s a smooth wet writer with some feedback. Burping issues might be there in some copies or in case of sudden temperature or pressure changes such as in flight. I didn’t face any issues as such till now. I would like to see them providing different nib grades with this pen. One can contact Mr. Subramanium of ASA pens or Mr. Pratap of Gem and Co. for customization. 5. Filling System & Maintenance: This pen is an eyedropper. Probably makers can modify to allow other filling systems, but for a cheap entry level pen, such efforts are not much fruitful. There are other much glamorous Gama models to go for customization. 6. Cost & Value: This pen is valued at INR 675 ($23, £18) in ASA website. It’s an affordable workhorse pen with great value on the long run. The build is solid, nib is a great performer in its default variety and ink capacity is good. 7. Conclusion: I would love to recommend this entry level ebonite pens to advanced fountain pen users for its looks, feel and usefulness. It’s a pen that would feel very comfortable in hand, appear as a quality product and would be a reliable everyday use pen. For those users who entered the fountain pen world recently with limited experience of eye droppers or hand turned ebonite pens, this might be a good first buy to experiment with an Indian ebonite pen. ASA website ASA Whatsapp no of Mr. Subramaniam - +91 9176607660 ASA email- asapens.in@gmail.com, unik.services@hotmail.com No of Mr. Pratap- +91 9884209055 my other reviews (In no particular order): 1. ASA Swan 2. ASA Writer 3. Ranga Thin Bamboo 4. Krishna Butterline Stub nib pen 5. Guider Egg- acrylic and ebonite 6. Kanwrite Desire 7. Kanwrite Heritage 8. Franklin Covey Lexincton Black 9. Gama Kuyil
  2. PenBoutique

    Napkin Pretiosa New!

    With a precise mark like a pencil and an exclusive and elegant design, FOREVER PRIMA is a writing instrument, that writes with no ink and no refill. FOREVER is completely hand made in Italy and is designed by Sergio Mori the designer. In 2012 a FOREVER Prima prototype pen got a special mention at Grandesign Etico, an award dedicated to innovation and ethics in design projects. Contact us to place your order. Suport@penboutique.com 410-992-3272 or 1800-263-2736 Penboutique.com
  3. Introduction and History. When it comes to handmade pens, there is always a "human vibe" attached to them that i cherish. There is so much history behind each pen you purchase. History; Because anything handmade requires art, requires skills and an eye for detail to be consistent in each product that is put out in the market. And those qualities do not come overnight. It requires years of experience. The companies that manufacture hand-crafted items are usually small-scale and the people who are involved in running such companies have to go through many ups and downs contantly to keep the company functioning. The struggle to survive in a world of speed and mass production is ever lasting for these small scale manufacturers. So, when you buy a pen or any hand-made product for that matter, not only do you support these small companies, but also, you give an ode to the skills and craftsmanship (which are usually passed down through generations in a family) of the makers of such products. The Gama "Forever" pen is one such product. Here is the description of the Gama brand I took from the ASApens website.http://asapens.in/eshop/fountain-pen/gama-ebonite-pens "Gama is the inhouse brand of Gem & Co, pen specialists since 1920's. Gem & Co is part and parcel of pen manufacturing heritage of Chennai, India. Started by Mr. M.C. Cunnan and Mr.Venkatrangam, the present owner Mr.Pratap Kumar is the 3rd generation in the family business house. Five decades, back they were sole importers of pen spares from Great Britain. Independent India saw the birth of brand Gama, Over years Gem & Co has remained true to their core business, i.e. Pen Specialists." Pen Review. I purchased the pen about a week ago from http://asapens.in/eshop and recieved it this morning. I usually buy my fountain pens from them. And no, they do not give me any commission or additional service to say that. It's just that the customer service of Mr. Subaramaniam (The owner of the e-shop) is impeccable. Usually the whole process of purchase is smooth, but if there is any problem, you can be sure that he will take care of it. Now, if you are still here and reading, and not bored to a yawn, let's start the pen review! The Gama "Forever" Fountain Pen. The review is divided into following sections. 1.) The packaging / presentation 2.) The material and finish. 3.) The Nib and the Section. 4.) The Filling Mechanism. 5.) Measurements and size comparision. 6.) Writing Sample 7.) CONCLUSION Note: This is a full ebonite bodied, medium sized hand-made fountain pen with a classic square design profile. I chose the "Shiny Black" finish, but it comes in 3 other finishes at the time of this review.(As listed on the ASApens site.) 1. Green-Black mottled. 2.Light brown-black mottled 3.Dark Blue-Black Rippled. The packaging / presentation: Apart from the usual Mail packing, the pen comes in a branded velvety pen pouch which i liked. It is a relatively thin pouch but the pen was in a plastic sleeve which was bubble wrapped and the whole pouch itself was bubble wrapped too. As for the usual daily carry or storage, i think the pouch can provide a decent amount of protection from scratches from normal rubbing against other items in a bag or a drawer. However, it may not stand against sharp or pointy objects. Overall i like this minimalistic yet elegant presentation. The material and finish. As i said, the whole pen is made of hard rubber/ebonite (except the metal fittings of course. Says captain obvious) and hand-made. The ebonite on this pen really feels and appears decent in quality and is quite thick. The polish however, I think could have been a little better. It is "shiny" no doubt, and maybe i am being nit picky, but a little more bling could not hurt anyone. I really like ebonite as a pen material because it is a semi-natural material unlike acrylic or "precious resin" (which is still plastic). It feels smooth and warm to touch. It is something you really have to touch to know how exactly it feels like. It is smooth yet offers a very nice grip. It kind of "absorbs" oil/sweat off of the fingers during long writing sessions. As for the finish, I will start with the cap of the pen because it has all the accents and fittings really. The barrel is all ebonite. I will come to that later. As for the cap the finishing is quite nice overall. However, as you will observe, the finial, clip ring and the actual cap body are not flush. Although the difference is really visible only on close observation, it is still there. On the other hand, the two metal bands on the lower part of the cap are nicely set in and even. Which I really like. Gives a classic and vintage aura to the pen. The finial can be unscrewed and clip can be removed easily for those who might like that kind of configuration. The Barrel in this particular finish is turned from a single piece of black ebonite. However, the other finishes of the same model have "dual-tone" setting. Which means, they have the finial and the end cap made of black ebonite, and the cap and pen body are of whichever available finish that you choose. The Brand logo is embossed in the barrel as you can see. If you were to observe closely, you will find that the logo is not eactly centred. On uncapping the pen (which takes quite some number of turns to be honest!) you find a very symmetrical design which is pleasing to the eye. The N.o. 10 sized nib balances the bulky pen body quite nicely. The Nib and the Section. The nib on this pen came as a pleasant surprise. I did expect it to be smooth, but for a fine nib it is really very smooth and the flow is excellent. Wet and generous. Just perfect. Though some may prefer a bit drier flow, personally i love the wet flow. I can say they chose their nib well. It is an IPG nib. And, unlike what many people say, they are really not that bad. In my experience, i found IPG nibs to be good writers more often than not. Design-wise, one can find minimal scroll design on the nib. There is a circle in the centre which is devoid of any design or markings, which i think should have contained the nib grade. The section The section is elegantly tapered and decently big. It provides a nice and comfortable grip. Although, those with smaller hands may find it too big for long writing sessions. The threads are not sharp. However, the there is a slight step where the threads ends on the section. So, people with higher grip might find it a little in the way during long periods of writing. But it is not a deal breaker. The Filling Mechanism. The pen is an eyedropper filler. Personally, i really like this method of filling as it is very very easy to clean, there are no mechanical parts that if damaged, may render the pen unusable and in need of immediate service because the pen body itself acts as the reservoir of ink. And also, it has a very significant amount of ink capacity (2.5 to 2.7 ml as measured by me.) As for the common eyedropper problems that people talk about, like burping and leakage, those issues are not that frequent even when the ink is low in the barrel and i feel it is just over hyped. Measurements and size comparision. (approx.) 1.) Capped length: 140mm 2.) Uncapped: 130-132 mm 3.) Posted : 170 mm (thats huge!) 4.) Section diameter: 14 mm tapers to 12mm 5.) Barrel diameter at the widest: 15mm Here is the size comparision: The Jinhao X450 (left) Gama Forever (middle) Sheaffer 100 (right). Uncapped comparision. Uncapped it is quite bigger than the other two. Writing Sample: I inked the pen up with Parker Quink Black. Here is how it writes. CONCLUSION: I like this pen a lot. The "flaws" that i pointed out are really small and by no means a deal breaker. This is a solidly built pen made by a company over 80 years old, from ebonite, which is a material whose History stretches over more than 100 years of pen maufacturing period the world over. With the craftsmanship and experience of the pen makers of Gama, a nib that provides a writing experience worthy of this rich fountain pen culture, a simple hassel-free filling mechanism. This pen is a great buy if you like that vintage and classic look. The pen has such simple design features that there is virtually nothing that can go wrong. No complicated filling mechanism, easy to clean, easy to maintain. I think the simplicity of this pen is its strongest point. It is a classic, timeless, understated design with a powerful prescence. When you take this pen out of your pocket, it says "I am not an attention grabber, but my persona does it for me anyway. I am like The Beatles or Kishore Kumar, my era never really ends."





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