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  1. This pen is sold by Gem and Co in Chennai. I first noticed this with my friend Jai (Shrujaya). After a long wait finally I could buy one. Stock Gama 1mm nib. It writes very well. Sheaffer Ebonite feed. This cigar version that I called the Gama Himadri was bought in 2014. I had done a DIY section threading for JoWo and M800 nib units. JoWo and Gama nibs. cheers Hari
  2. Hi Everyone, I'm thinking about getting my first Indian ebonite pen and the Gama Eyas seems perfect for me. The only problem is that I want the glossy finish instead of the matte black. AsaPens only has the latter, so where online can I order the glossy version? Thanks for any suggestions!
  3. Can anyone give me some idea which particular example of the Gama pens I have just bought? Two of them obviously have their OE nib. I do not know about the pen with the two-tone nib. Is it a replacement for the original Gama branded item?
  4. I got very curious when I saw Gama Ezhuthani on ASA [https://asapens.in/eshop/fountain-pen/gama-ebonite-pens/gama-ezhuthani-ebonite-desk-fountain-pen?sort=p.price&order=ASC]. There are some nice pics in this thread : https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/267615-ezhuthani-desk-pen-from-gama/ does anybody know how such desk-pens were used (placed) on the desk traditionally [in India, or elsewhere]? Does it just lie flat on the table (if so, what prevents it from rolling)? Or does it stay on dedicated cap-holder? Or in a cup-pen-holder along with other pens? If any of you regularly use such desk-pens, how do you place it on your desk? [if you use such a pen] Do you like using desk-pen, and if so, what aspect attracts you to a desk-pen? [if you use such a pen] Does it feel imbalanced while writing with a long desk-pen? Is the increased length of the pen a specific design feature for any functionality, or it is an aesthetic feature? Are such long desk-pens unique to India or are there other traditional non-Indian vintage models with such designs?I think there is something intrinsically very attractive about this type of pen; even when considering the practical difficulties in carrying it around.... Requesting everybody who have used such desk-pens [whichever model it is] to please share your experiences.... Thanks.
  5. Hi, Five years ago, I went to Gem and Co and got this wonderful pen among several others. However, I forgot to ask them the name Or the material of this pen. Do you know what this pen is made of ? What is its name? I only see the name "Gama" embossed on the barrel. This pen is eyedropper filled and writes wonderfully. No skips, no burps - just a consistent thin line. To me it seems like plastic but i am not sure if it is some kind of acrylic or resin. Can any of you confirm? Do you have a model of this pen? The nib also says G GAMA FIVE. Thanks in advance
  6. mehandiratta

    Gama Airborne

    The pen I’m about to review to review always amazed me by the looks. It has been reviewed by Hari here on FPN ) So following is my review of the pen with my inputs and writing samples and close up images. DESIGN : One of the most beautifully designed pen I’ve come across. Very slim profile pen. Easily fits in the pocket. Long cap rounded at top with gold plated clip which really complements the pen color. Made of ebonite, comes in 5 colors shiny black, matte black, green rippled, brown rippled, and light brown rippled. This pen comes with stock gold plated nib which again complements the design. I believe brown and gold color really go along very well. The pen cap opens with 5 turns just like many Indian ebonite pens. The clip is bit flexible and as mentioned earlier is good plated with no inscriptions, looks wonderful. The top of the cap is rounded and the bottom of the barrel of pen tapers down to sharp narrow rounded profile. The pen size is comparable to Pilot Metropolitan in length but in thickness this pen is of slim profile. Below are the images of pen compared to metropolitan and Gama Kuyil. I would say I love the design of the pen. For more details and handwritten review and handwriting sample. Please follow my blog LINK
  7. Came back from Chennai, here's what I got The pens are all Gama pens except the first one which I found out was a Baoer Skywalker pen. I got all of the Gama pens from NSC Bose Road, the Baoer was from a store called Variety Pen in Pondy Bazaar, T Nagar. Unfortunately there was a shop I wanted to go to, called Pen Point there but the shop was closed. Perhaps I went on the wrong day. The Jinhao ink (150 rupees) was obtained from the aforementioned Variety Pen, the Camlin Scarlet Red (20 rupees) was actually in a shop called Jinnah Stationery in Pondicherry. The Waterman Absolute Brown (425 rupees) I got from Makoba on Nungambakkam High Road. Nibs were from Krishna Mart on NSC Bose Road as well. Got 1 Wality nib and 3 #5 nibs, all for about 125 rupees. The Baoer pen was 290 rupees and the Gama pens were all less than 200 rupees each. P.S. I was looking for Daytone Blue-Black but no shop had it. More images:
  8. 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
  9. "Dark am I, yet lovely, daughters of Jerusalem, dark like the tents of Kedar, like the tent curtains of Solomon." Song of Solomon(1:5) Black like the last night of the "Nightfall" of Issac Asimov and dark like coal tar with a clip flowing like milky way from the infinite darkness of the infinite space, this is an extremely gorgeous and attractive pen. This pen reminds me of the black coat of a lawyer, which means nothing but business. This classic Cigar shaped design with a continuous flow from barrel to section, the uniformity of the design and the monotone steel coloured nib and the steel clip, speaks of nothing but business. It is a pen with Executive looks. It is a design full of gravity and wisdom. The more I think about it the more I find that it is a very well thought of design for a hand-made pen. What we find is not mere art, not mere uniformity of and seductiveness of curves. Rather we discover efficiency. The Revolution is a regular size pen. The cap comes out is exactly 2 and a half turns. The clip is quite tight but due to its unique curved design it gets in a shirt pocket effortlessly but firmly and comes out equally easily.Word Gama is engraved with a cursive italic font at around middle of the barrel. Usually one would not even notice it. When one does, it just adds to the beauty of the pen. Where the cap comes out in just few turns, the section takes a lot many turns to come out. This has been done apparently to avoid any leak when the pen is being used as an eyedropper. The pen is almost as heavy as Pilot MR. However, in case of ebonite, the weight is more uniformly distributed. Therefore the centre of gravity lies at almost middle. Ebonite pens usually feel better than pens of other materials. Same goes with this pen. What I also notices is that the construction is sturdy. The walls of the section and barrel are really thick.The nib is large. Only a tad smaller in size than the section. Moreover, there is no step from section to barrel. The uniformity of the transition and the size of the nib makes it possible to hold the pen from almost any place. The section is thick enough to be held comfortably and not too thick to hold. The pen feels substantial but not humongous.The pen posts firmly and securely. Not using the pen even up to 24 hours I didn't notice any drying. I chose a fine nib. I like fine nib more than medium or broad nibs. This nib is good. It is a JoWo nib. It looks classy and is outright beautiful. It does not skip even while writing fast. It does not fail. It doesn't dry easily. On scale of nightmare;scratchy;correctable;smooth;super smooth; and ooolalalaaaa!!!, I would call it smooth. The nib is smooth and fine. But less smooth than say a Schmidt fine and a Lamy fine or a Pilot medium. What you feel is not feedback. It feels as if the pen has some affinity with paper. However, going by reports of some of my fellow FPN members the report of M nib is excellent. You may preferably go for medium if you want a nib that writes super smooth. However, even if you go for fine I won't say that you got a bad deal. I have been using this pen for three weeks now and I have had no issues with it. In fact the pen is being used ever since I bought it. While writing you would surely enjoy it. That is the best part. The pen feels like 'The Pen'. Good balance and good grip. Posted or unposted the pen feels just right and looks seriously beautiful. Good pen for long duration of writing. The pen offers little flex. My fellow member Anup Ji had to once use pliers on the nib!! Yes! It's that hard. Thankfully that also means that you can't damage the nib by normal wear and tear. Which is a good thing. Being a triple filler, the pen offers a lots of variation in filling. The pen takes standard converter, standard international converter and comes loaded with a Schmidt K-5 converter. The pen can also be used as an Eye Dropper. I have used this pen with all these options and they all work as they should be. At present the pen is being used as an Eyedropper.Because of advanced threaded nib, I never faced problem of burping or leakage in this pen. Which is a very good thing. For around Rs. 2000/- I got a very attractive ,prim and proper , executive looking pen which is very strong, sturdy and durable. I also got a three in one filling system and a nice Jowo nib. I got a pen that can be used as an Eye Dropper and will not face burping issues. I got a schmidt converter. I think the deal is really a great value for money. Here comes the score board. Looks:- 4.5/5 Build:- 5/5 Engineering:-4.5/5 Nib and Writing:- 3.5/5 Balance:- 5/5 Value for Money:- 4.5/5 Conclusion:- This is a really nice pen. I purchased it from ASApens.in(NAYY). The customer service was excellent. I got this pen with my son's name engraved. I am very sure that he will use it. The pen has the potential of lasting for a very long time. I am a happy and satisfied user.
  10. Kindly treat this post as an extension to my first review/documentation of the model Gama Kambar from Gem and Co., a pen shop and pen manufacturer based in Madras, India. https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/264032-the-gama-kambar/ This pen is the latest avatar(I call this the Kambar Mark-II to keep track of the evolution) of the Kambar concept of an oversized pure flat top design. Gem has acquired some blow hole free Indian BHR rods in the large diameters and they decided to make a few such pens out of the rod stock. The Dimensions are as under(dimensions in brackets are of Kambar Mark-I for the sake of comparison): Capped: 165mm (161mm) Open: 153mm (150mm) Section dia: same at 13mm-15mm, tapered. Section's gripping length: same at 22mm Barrel dia: 17.5, steps down to 15.4mm (18mm no step) Cap dia: same at 19mm Essentially the pen has been made slightly longer and the cap thickness has been increased at the cost of a step in the barrel diameter. Onto some pictures now: http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af39/hari3171/GamaKambar/mark2brushed/IMG_9793.jpg L-R: 2 nos Kambar MK-II, Kambar Mk-I, MB149 http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af39/hari3171/GamaKambar/mark2brushed/IMG_9794.jpg http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af39/hari3171/GamaKambar/mark2brushed/IMG_9795.jpg Mk-I and Mk-II with stock nibs. http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af39/hari3171/GamaKambar/mark2brushed/IMG_9797.jpg special Mk-II for M800 nib unit shown with stock Mk-II http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af39/hari3171/GamaKambar/mark2brushed/IMG_9801.jpg closeup of the M800 nib unit as installed. http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af39/hari3171/GamaKambar/mark2brushed/IMG_9798.jpg same special Mk-II now installed with JoWo #6 nib unit shown with stock Mk-II http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af39/hari3171/GamaKambar/mark2brushed/IMG_9799.jpg showing the entrails with JoWo #6 installed. http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af39/hari3171/GamaKambar/mark2brushed/IMG_9800.jpg Closeup of the JoWo as installed. Interesting developments and pen design tweaks taking place at Gem and thanks to ASApens.in , despite my large physical distance from Gem and company, I am able to get to buy their new offerings from time to time, almost hot off the oven. Cheers! Hari
  11. So, it is your first purchase from an Indian company (other than fountain pen revolution which you didn't like very much) and you are looking at the these 4 big names: Ranga, Wality, ASA, and GAMA. Which do you buy to ensure a wonderful writing experience? An experience that will keep you coming back for more. How much is too much for an ebonite pen? If you want a eye dropper that you can carry and won't leak and it seems that ASA's Athlete looks like the best option with its particularly long feeder, but does it really matter? Do you prefer (like me) to grip the pen rather high or rather low? If given the option between nib makers JoWo, Schmidt or and generic, which do you choose? And finally, if you have the option to upgrade the pen (and thus the price) into a converter/cartridge, do you? Thank you to anyone who takes the time to answer these burning questions Ideally, you have had some experience with more than 1 of these companies' pens so as to be able to make a comparison, but if not I am still interested in your experience any of the pens!
  12. hari317

    The Gama Supreme

    Gama is the house brand of the Gem and Co, an exclusive pens store in Parrys corner, Chennai. South India. You can read more about the shop here: link. Gamas are typically short, thick pens. My grandpa and particularly my uncle had told me about the gundu (Tamil word for fat) Gama pena when I used to pester them with questions about the pens that they used in their days... I think the name Gama has also come from the common word for strong, after the undefeated Indian wrestler Gama Pehelwan. link The pen in the review is called the Supreme and its construction befits the name Gama. It is a very big and strong pen and is very well engineered IMO. Available in two colors: Green, brown Ripple: http://i1313.photobucket.com/albums/t543/hari_317/GamaSupreme/IMG_9117.jpg http://i1313.photobucket.com/albums/t543/hari_317/GamaSupreme/IMG_9119.jpg http://i1313.photobucket.com/albums/t543/hari_317/GamaSupreme/IMG_9123.jpg ED pen: http://i1313.photobucket.com/albums/t543/hari_317/GamaSupreme/IMG_9126.jpg Well made in-situ inner cap: http://i1313.photobucket.com/albums/t543/hari_317/GamaSupreme/IMG_9124.jpg Thick construction for long life: Barrel walls: http://i1313.photobucket.com/albums/t543/hari_317/GamaSupreme/IMG_9127.jpg Section walls: http://i1313.photobucket.com/albums/t543/hari_317/GamaSupreme/IMG_9128.jpg The names are deep engraved on the barrel, perhaps by using old pantographic machines... http://i1313.photobucket.com/albums/t543/hari_317/GamaSupreme/IMG_9129.jpg http://i1313.photobucket.com/albums/t543/hari_317/GamaSupreme/IMG_9130.jpg The pen comes with a Standard Indian no 10 (35mm) IPG nib, I switched the nibs out with my favorites, Indian no 10 on one and Indian no 12(40mm) on the other. http://i1313.photobucket.com/albums/t543/hari_317/GamaSupreme/IMG_9131.jpg http://i1313.photobucket.com/albums/t543/hari_317/GamaSupreme/IMG_9132.jpg http://i1313.photobucket.com/albums/t543/hari_317/GamaSupreme/IMG_9133.jpg Some comparison of the Supreme with other Indians and one German in the stable: http://i1313.photobucket.com/albums/t543/hari_317/GamaSupreme/IMG_9134.jpg L-R: Brahmam, Deccan White MP, Gama, Gama, the puny 149. With some foreign heavyweights: http://i1313.photobucket.com/albums/t543/hari_317/GamaSupreme/IMG_9135.jpg L-R: Gama, Gama, DT Sho Genkai, DT Mikado and the 149. I know, this pic makes the 149 seem like a 144. The writing: The pen is very well balanced, i have used it for fast jotting during review meetings as well as extended writing over the last week. It has performed really well for me. http://i1313.photobucket.com/albums/t543/hari_317/GamaSupreme/IMG_9136.jpg http://i1313.photobucket.com/albums/t543/hari_317/GamaSupreme/IMG_9138.jpg Dimensions: Capped: 158mm Open: 148mm Posted: 180mm Cap Dia: 19mm Barrel Dia: 17.5mm Section Length: 22mm Section dia: 15.5mm tapers to 13.4mm Nib exposed length with the stock no 10 IPG: 22.3mm These are fully handmade pens and I have observed some piece to piece dimension variations. Cost, and most important answer to the question which most of you ask me, where to buy this from: The pen is sold by Gem at a very reasonable price considering the workmanship, materials and the size. If you cannot visit Gem and co personally, Chennai based ASAPENS (link1 link2) are doing an excellent service of making Indian brands available at Indian prices widely. My several transactions with them have been flawless. NAYY. I hope you enjoyed this review. Cheers! Hari
  13. So its been a while since I did anything on FPN. However its just been 2 days since my last purchase. Yes, I love fountain pens and with asapens.in (Subbu) in the FP community there are a lot of wonderful pens to select from. I shall probably do a more detailed post later for now I shall post a bunch of pics that I took (hastily), while explaining a bit about each of the pens under focus. I sincerely apologize for any shabby pictures. ASA Heritage: [Purchased from http://asapens.in] A few weeks ago my wife placed an order with asapens.in for a large pen. Subbu suggested us to try out his new design. I think this pen will be listed soon on his website. He sent a few pictures over and we decided to go for it with a Jowo-B nib. Below are a few pics of the heritage. As compared to GAMA Hawk. Check out the chunky section of Heritage as compared to the (relatively) puny section of Hawk. I hold the pen just below the threads and I just love the balance I get. However, for the sake of reviewing I tried holding the section close to the nib and found that the pen is a little top heavy, but for that one really has to hold it close to the nib (way down the section). If you're like me and hold the pen higher up, then you'll love the way this pen sits on your hand. This pen is slightly larger than GAMA-Himalaya(? Hope I got the name right). Interestingly, the sections of both these pens weigh the same. However, the barrel of Heritage is more heavier than that of Himalaya. Advantage? It does sit on the webbing between my index and thumb more securely. Disadvantage? It does become a little top heavy if you hold the pen closer (really close) to the nib. Observe that the Jowo-B nib is a few mm longer than the IPG on Hawk. It could be compared to the Lyle Ross Pompei http://www.pensbylyleross.com/pompey-4-cosmic-silver.html, for me just by looks the ASA Heritage wins. Note that they both come with Jowo#6. More perspective. More similarity. My top three ebonite pens (Top to Bottom): GAMA Masterpiece (Purchased from Gem and Co. Chennai), GAMA/ASA Himalaya (Purchased from http://asapens.in) and ASA Heritage (Purchased from http://asapens.in). Uncapped: Check out the ambitious 40mm. You could stab some one with it. This pen is atleast as mighty as a small dagger. Top to Bottom: ASA Galactic, Heritage and I-Can. Personally, I don't like the names but... what is in a name right? Uncapped: I love the concave section of I-can. Personally it is a little skinny for me. But my wife uses this pen and simply adores it. This is her daily user. The I-can and galactic are her daily carry pens (for now). Right now the i-can is inked up. Last week the Galactic was inked up with purple ink. The section of Galactic. Personally, I think the nib is set too deep. I just cannot write with this pen. I fatigue easily. But my wife says exactly the opposite. All said, the bock is just a wonderfully wet writer. I feel the bock is more wetter than the corresponding Jowo. I love 'em both though. The pen is stained purple. But I think it is kind of a cool look. Asa Galactic: [Purchased from http://asapens.in] The Franklin Christoph of India? We certainly believe so. I hope ASA flourishes internationally. This pen looks lovely. (In my wife's opinion) this pen is wonderfully smooth (thanks to the wet bock broad nib), it is well balanced. She feels that the nib is a little skinny for the pen but nevertheless it performs upto her expectations. As compared to the GAMA demonstrator. The Gama is slightly larger than the Galactic. However the section tapers a bit more. ASA I-Can [Purchased from http://asapens.in] Let me get this out of the way. I hate the name, abhor it. The name is not even half as cool as the pen. This pen is an absolute beauty. True, the design is classic from a bygone era (may be). But, we all love it. I don't understand why more pens do not have this section design. This is truly a writer's pen. Enough said, buy it and you won't regret it one bit. Check out the concave section, Deccan Advocate comes to mind does it not: ASA Heritage... just one more picture: ASA Heritage in the fore and I-can at the back: I love the side view of the Jowo nib/feed unit: Top to bottom: ASA I-can, ASA Heritage, GAMA Himalaya and Deccan Advocate. Personally I hate most of the Deccan pens. But the Advocate, is pure bliss to use. If you look closely at the picture you know it is beat. This is the only Deccan pen I won't hesitate to replace if anything were to happen to this one. I know a lot of people love Deccan pens, it just never worked for me (other than the Advocate ofcourse). Peace out. More pics of the same. My Deccan Advocate and GAMA Himalaya are beat, perpetually inked: A few writing samples, these are my wifes handwring: Personally I prefer the Jowo 1.1 when I just scribbling stuff (rough calculations). For me, it feels more stable. Mr. Subbu from http://asapens.in is doing us all a great service by producing these wonderful pens. Me and my wife are supporters and wish him all the best. Sometimes I wish Mr Prataph of Gem&Co. were as enterprising too. Kudos to these wonderful people who keep the art of making fountain pens in India alive. Hmmm... What will be our next purchase.
  14. kitojmanny

    Gama Forever Reviewed

    The Gama Forever is an ebonite, eye-dropper filled, Indian fountain pen. It features a flat ended shape, a girthy profile, a ball-pointed clip, and twin rings around the bottom of the cap: design cues that overtly gesture to the Parker Duofold and Sheaffer Flat Top and to their aesthetic offspring from the Pilot Lucina to the Newton Orville. This one came to me from Asa Pens and cost about $25. I should mention I found Asa’s service and delivery time quite reasonable. Included at no extra cost was a small red gift bag for the pen and an eye-dropper. The styling of the pen is simple all around, not elevating over its basic design language in materials or ornamentation. The ebonite is plain black (though ripple patterns are available), the cap and body are devoid of any text or logos, and the metal furniture (while gold in tone) lack luster. The nib is large and writes with a line I’d call Western medium-fine — mileage varying by ink, paper, and nib/feed fit. On my pen, I’ve brought the nib and feed further out of the section by about 4mm to better match (to my eye) the proportions of the pen. The engraving on the nib is fairly shallow and sparse. It features two diagonal layers of light scrawling, arching over a circle and the inscription “iridium point.” The nib won’t win any beauty contests, but the whole pen was pretty inexpensive. The clip is a bit disproportionate to the pen, I feel. I’d prefer it to be 3-4mm longer, but that only ever occurs to me when I’ve been looking at it for a long time with a critical attitude. In day to day life it never crosses my mind. Despite all the luke-warm things I’ve said here, I’m happy with the styling of the pen, largely on account of its throwback design and its minimal decoration (which feels right for the pen). Fit is commendable, and finish acceptable. The pen feels quite solid and all its functional bits are fitted with great precision. The cap unscrews smoothly with several turns (4.5, by my count). The section unscrews rather stiffly (I’d say, securely) from the body with many turns (the pen is very full right now and I’m not risking the count) and came pre-greased from Asa. I’ve had no burping or leaks since I received the pen about two weeks ago. The nib and feed need to be knocked out to be removed, as they are quite firmly set within the section. Two quibbles with the finish deserve mention. First, the metal furniture on the cap is off center — very slightly in the case of the double rings, and a bit more noticeably in the case of the setting for the clip. Second, the small space beneath the final threat on the pen body doesn’t appear to have been polished, so it’s grayish and rough compared to the rest of the pen. The pen works perfectly, and most of the time, as I noted about the clip length, these things never cross my mind. While Asa lists this pen as regular sized, I don’t believe that’s the case outside of the Indian fountain pen world. This pen is Safari-like in length and thick enough that the section diameter comes in around 14mm. Let’s call it oversized. That’s what I wanted when I bought the pen, and I’m happy with it. Having finally used a pen this size I’ve found my preference to be south of the 14mm (more likely about 11mm). When I write with the pen for extended periods it begins to feel cumbersome, but for short letters or notes it’s great. Others have found the pen to be their perfect size, and I don’t doubt that I’ll better adapt to it myself over time. The nib is listed on Asa as a number 10. At times the nib feels a bit toothy, though through a 10x loop I can’t clearly see the reason for that. I plan on trying to smooth it a bit soon, but I believe that a good amount of the feedback is a result of the nib’s design and materials. Two western fines, Nemosine and Goulet (JoWo), from my collection, smoothed in the same manner with the same materials, have never produced even approximately the same feel. While they are both smooth, the Nemosine has always transmitted more of the texture of the paper. The Gama seems further along that continuum. The nib provides no notable line variation. It lays down a nice wet line of ink that’s beautiful to watch settle onto the paper. In my overarching opinion the Gama Forever is a decent fountain pen, but not a daily driver, nothing to lust after, but something worth owning if you’re curious about oversized pens or enjoy the aesthetic. When I pick up this pen, I do so because I want to pay a special kind of attention to what I’m doing. I want to feel the paper and watch the ink pool. It’s the kind of pen I plan on leaving on the desk to sign cards and address letters and hardly ever need a refill. I’ll grab it for the fun of using the big pen. It's a novelty: fun, palate cleansing and, because it’s relatively cheap, guilt free.
  15. I recently bought my first Ebonite-bodied pen. It is not the first Indian-made fountain pen that I have bought, but it is the first one that I have bought that was not at the low end of the price scale. The pen is the ASA Gama Revolution (link to vendor's page; as I understand, "ASA" is the name of the vendor and "Gama" is the name of a line of fountain pens made by said vendor). I had to wait a few weeks, during which time I assume that the pen was being made, but once it was dispatched by air mail, it arrived in about a week. It came with plenty of packaging: from left to right: outer envelope, bubble wrap, plastic envelope, velvet pouch, cellophane envelope, and inside this last, the pen itself. Ordinarily, I would not have much use for a velvet pouch for a single pen, but as I have heard that Ebonite pens are bleached by exposure to light over a long period, I expect that I shall be using this one to hold the pen when it is out of use. It is a large pen. In fact, I would call it a very large pen, though I know that there are larger ones. This should be evident from the two photographs that follow, in which I have placed it between a Platinum Century 3776 and a Lamy Vista. The dimensions, as given on the vendor's Web site, are as follows: Length, capped: 148 mm Length, posted: 170 mm Average barrel diameter: 14.5 mm Average section diameter: 12 mm Average cap diameter: 16 mm I got the pen with a medium nib. The nib, according to the vendor, is made by JoWo. It is plated in two colors. To my eye, this is rather unfortunate. The photographs on the vendor's site show the pen with a uniformly chrome-colored nib, which seems to me to harmonize much better with the black body and the chrome-colored clip. The nib, as I understand, may be unscrewed from the body for easy replacement, though I have not yet removed it myself. An interesting thing about the feed is that you can actually see right through the vents to the underside of the nib. I have tried, with only partial success, to show this in the photo below. The pen is advertised as having a "3-in-1 filling system." This means that it can be used with cartridges, with a convertor, or with the barrel filled in eyedropper fashion. This option seems to add quite a bit to the price, as fountain pens of similar materials and design are offered by ASA at significantly lower prices. Having heard of the phenomenon of "burping" to which eyedropper-filled pens are prone, I chose to pay a higher price to have the option of using a convertor. The convertor (on the left in the photo below), said to be made by Schmidt, is slightly larger than a standard convertor (on the right), though I don't know if its capacity is any greater. So, how is the pen to use? I will start with the feel of it. Ebonite looks and feels on casual inspection like plastic (or perhaps I should say, like other plastics), but on closer attention seems somehow less hard to the touch than plastic, even though it is assuredly a rigid and unyielding material. To me it feels somehow more hand-friendly than most other materials. So that's one attraction. The cap is not made for quick removal: it requires two and a half turns to remove and to replace. So this pen is not well suited for jotting down short notes. The pen is fairly lightweight, weighing 24 grams with the cap on and the convertor installed and filled, 16.5 grams without the cap. The pen is not unwieldy with the cap posted. I myself tend to prefer to post, and tend to prefer a weight over 20 grams, but I find myself inclined to use this pen unposted. The grip section is wider than those of most pens. I have never yet felt a grip section to be too wide, though I have had many pens whose grip sections were too narrow for my comfort. But for me this pen is right at the limit. I can hold it comfortably enough, but at times I find myself wishing that it were just a bit narrower. Those with smaller hands (mine are of medium size as adult male hands go) will almost certainly find this pen too thick for comfortable use. I find the nib to be reasonably smooth—nothing out of the ordinary, nothing to complain about. Likewise, though not particularly springy, it yields enough to make for comfort in writing. In sum, good but not outstanding. As far as starting ability goes, I have found the pen, so far, to be fairly compliant. If I have used it previously in the day, I can count on it to start laying down ink either immediately or within a few millimeters of the first stroke of the point. If it has been unused overnight, then a stroke or two is required to get it to start. I have never yet had to shake it or tap it to get it to start, though I have not yet left it unused for days at a time. I have left the topic of the appearance of the pen for the end. The plain, nearly featureless design and polished finish are among the distinctive features of the pen. If you don't find these to be attractions, then this pen can be of no interest to you. Gama makes other Ebonite pens with a matte finish. That finish was not an option with this model, but that was fine with me. It is my impression that Ebonite never has that "spanking new" appearance that most new pens have. At least, this pen never had it, and no amount of rubbing with a soft cloth seems able to give it such an appearance. Ebonite just doesn't get that shiny: it seems to look a bit "used" by nature. This, to my mind, agrees with its peculiar feel, so that the pen can seem on very first acquaintance as if you have already had it and used it for a long time. I don't know if it is universal among Ebonite to have tiny flaws in the finish, but this pen has them. That is a feature that pushes the pen from hominess toward shabbiness. What is more, the pen lacks symmetry. This is plainly visible in the clip, which is of a shape that recalls those of Pelikan pens, but its thick part extends further to the left than to the right. What is more, the cap does not align perfectly with the body. Both asymmetries can be seen in the photograph below. In summary: The pen has a distinctive design and material and is agreeable to write with. But in consideration of the flaws in its appearance and construction, I am not convinced that it is a particularly good value,
  16. Hello everybody, I am pretty new to this site and don't post very often so please forgive me if this is a topic that has come up a time or two. I recently discovered Fountain Pen Revolution's website and with it the world of Indian ebonite pens. To say they intrigue me would be an understatement. I have been wanting an Ebonite pen forever and the prices really seem right on these. I was wondering if you had any particular recommendations, or warnings on picking a first pen. So far I have been looking at the Triveni by FPR, the Guider, and the Gama pens. The mottled ebonite really appeals to me. I have never owned an eyedropper, but have read that they like to burp out ink when not all the way full and I was wondering if this is a common problem? I would appreciate any feedback, thank you! -tleek
  17. 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.
  18. I had gone dormant from the forum for a variety of reasons. Back in action now, and no reason why I should not keep going steadily from now. Here is a brief, one-page, hand-written review of my brand new Gama eyedropper fountain pen in red and black acrylic. Excuse the low quality photos of the pen and the scan, all taken with a low end tab camera. A copy of this is up on my fountain pen blog: https://fpensnme.wordpress.com/2016/02/06/a-one-page-review-of-an-acrylic-gama/; and a travelogue on my visit to Gem and Co this morning: https://viewwide.wordpress.com/2016/02/06/a-tradition-of-fountain-pens-in-chennai/
  19. This is a question for the veteran Indian ebonite pen users. I've only used Gama and ASA ebonite pens so far. I have a few models and really like them. However, there are a number of other manufacturers such as Guider, Deccan, Ranga etc. Am I missing anything better in the ebonite pen world by only using Gama and ASA? Should I diversify? Comments welcome.
  20. I laid my hands on a new pen sold by Gem and Co in Madras. The pen appears to be a homage to the legendary Skyline pen. The Skyline was a popular pen in India with several clones already made by Indian pen companies like Wilson etc, some of which are documented here: https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/146528-indian-celluloid-pens-with-a-theme/ The pen is petite. Closed: 133mm Open: 122 with nib Posted: 153mm Section dia: 9mm tapers down to 8mm and flares up to 9mm again at the base of nib Barrel dia: 11mm steps down to 10mm for cap Cap dia: 13mm The pen is very nice to look at and gracefully shaped like the original, but is offered in Ebonite in 4 colors, I bought a set of these pens, one in each color. http://i1269.photobucket.com/albums/jj582/hari-317/GamaSkyline/IMG_0044.jpg http://i1269.photobucket.com/albums/jj582/hari-317/GamaSkyline/IMG_0043.jpg The clip is spring loaded with a lever at the top which can be depressed to open the clip up. The clip is good, but I found the tension a bit floppy. It is easy to re-tension the clip by unscrewing the cap top finial and bending the washer towards the clip. http://i1269.photobucket.com/albums/jj582/hari-317/GamaSkyline/IMG_0046.jpg The Stock pen: The stock pen comes with friction fitted yellow steel nib marked Gama, 5 year point and an extra long ebonite feeder. http://i1269.photobucket.com/albums/jj582/hari-317/GamaSkyline/IMG_0047.jpg http://i1269.photobucket.com/albums/jj582/hari-317/GamaSkyline/IMG_0054.jpg I am not a very big fan of the stock nib, it is an acceptable nib, but requires some tuning to get it to write the way I like(YMMV), so I decided to fit in a Schmidt nib unit instead. My first attempt, with the black pen, was a disaster . There is very little space. The wall thicknesses come out to 0.25mm in some places. http://i1269.photobucket.com/albums/jj582/hari-317/GamaSkyline/IMG_0055.jpg I did not give up and decided to proceed with extreme caution the next time, i decided to hack the green one. Success! http://i1269.photobucket.com/albums/jj582/hari-317/GamaSkyline/IMG_0048.jpg http://i1269.photobucket.com/albums/jj582/hari-317/GamaSkyline/IMG_0049.jpg http://i1269.photobucket.com/albums/jj582/hari-317/GamaSkyline/IMG_0050.jpg http://i1269.photobucket.com/albums/jj582/hari-317/GamaSkyline/IMG_0051.jpg http://i1269.photobucket.com/albums/jj582/hari-317/GamaSkyline/IMG_0052.jpg http://i1269.photobucket.com/albums/jj582/hari-317/GamaSkyline/IMG_0053.jpg Stock Vs Modified: http://i1269.photobucket.com/albums/jj582/hari-317/GamaSkyline/IMG_0056.jpg http://i1269.photobucket.com/albums/jj582/hari-317/GamaSkyline/IMG_0057.jpg There is not enough space in the section as well as the barrel to accept a converter. I am using the modified pen in ED mode with Pelikan black ink. It is my sole pen at work today. Gem have priced this pen very attractively (I purchased from owner of asapens). In my view, it represents a very good value for money, beautiful ebonite pen, despite some shortcomings like a slightly less springy pocket clip and the lack of an inner cap (whether it has any detriment on performance remains to be seen, I have only just begun to use the pen). Cheers! Hari
  21. 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."
  22. thatotherguy1

    Thoughts On Gama Raja

    Before I start this review, let me say that I am unable to post pictures, but my Raja looks just the same as the one that ASA sells, so you aren't missing anything super different. Also, I'm no professional reviewer, just a hobbyist. There are relatively few reviews on this pen aside from Hari's excellent posts, so I'm hoping to help someone that is interested in Indian pens, particularly Gamas, decide whether or not to take the plunge (or, given the price, the dip). I have, for full transparency, posted a thread on this pen after a few days of use in the India forum, but I've used this pen extensively since then, so my perspective should be different. I hope you enjoy the review, and I welcome constructive criticism First Impressions I bought this pen from ASA Pens, which is based in Chennai, India. I didn't have any need to e-mail Mr. Subramaniam or anyone else, so I can't comment on that aspect of the customer service, but the buying process was painless and the pen showed up on my doorstep three weeks or so after I ordered it. Considering the shipping was free (and the pen was competitively priced to boot) and it had to literally make its way to the other side of the world- I'm in the U.S.- I consider that pretty good. If I recall correctly, the pen was packaged in a mylar bag (I might be wrong on that) with a LOT of bubble wrap. This thing could probably have been kicked across the room by a professional football kicker with no ill effects, though I wouldn't try it. The pen comes in a velvet pouch with the Gama logo in white ink. Along with my pen, I got a spare Indian single-tone nib and a disposable plastic pipette- nice additions, though I haven't used them. The pen seemed really large to me on first feel- I was used to a Safari- but it seemed well made and very nice. Feel in Hand This pen is large. The section is about 12 mm, the barrel is 13, the cap 14 (all according to the ASA site). It's 14.8cm long (ASA). However, due to the ebonite construction, it is very light and well balanced. The common saying that ebonite feels weightless holds true with this pen. It all but disappears in the hand. While the pen is very light, it is noticeably heavier when you fill it with ink- I'll explain why in a bit. Nib and Feed(s) This pen comes with a two-tone steel Indian made fine nib, which is the rough equivalent of a Western extra-fine in line width. Quality seems to be notoriously inconsistent with these, so keep that in mind when I comment about mine. Mine wrote smoothly enough, provided you were in the very narrow sweet spot. When you got out of that sweet spot, it got pretty scratchy pretty quick. I took a few moments with a fingernail buffer (bought for this purpose, not shared with anyone- that probably wouldn't go over well) and smoothed it out. Now it writes like a dream and the sweet spot issues are alleviated. The steel the nib is made of is very thin, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. In normal writing, it adds a little bit of pleasant springiness to cushion your hand, and it gets interesting when you put some pressure on it. This thing flexes better than the Ahab I tried from a buddy. Mind you, it's NOT a flex nib. It's not marketed as one, nor is it marketed as a semi-flex, so flex at your own risk. BUT... this thing goes from extra fine to a solid medium, maybe even a broad (I usually stick to fines so I have no broad experience) and can resume its extra fine state well enough. I have bent the nib enough that it contacted the inside of the cap, but it was easily fixable and I was pushing the nib farther than I had pushed it before or since. It isn't going to even keep up with your vintage semi-flexes, but there's definitely enough flexibility to add some nice expression to your writing with a little care. I replaced the stock feed with a Sheaffer No Nonsense feed from a Viewpoint. There was nothing wrong with the stock feed- it kept up well and flowed great- I just wanted something to keep my papers clean when the pen got low- the Viewpoint feed can buffer the ink that would have otherwise been burped onto the page quite well. Comfort The pen is superbly balanced and light. With a smooth nib, I've written for long stretches with no issues. If you like larger sections, you won't have an issue. Posting makes the pen back heavy, too long and scratches the barrel. Quality When you think about the quality, keep the price in mind. This isn't a Pelikan. It isn't a Montblanc. It's got nothing on Nakaya. But for a $25 pen, it's really quite impressive. The machining is well done and consistent. The threads, while single start on both the section and for the cap, are well machined, mesh smoothly (with a dab of silicone grease) and are tight. The finish is nicely done. The polished ends and section are nice and shiny. There is one small polished streak where there isn't supposed to be from where the clip ball rubbed during installation and one of the trim rings is a bit wonky. There was a bit of plating wear on the ball of the clip. Other than that, no issues whatsoever. Miscellaneous The ink capacity on this thing is HUGE. I measured about 4 mL last time I checked. I write a LOT and this thing lasts me two and a half weeks consistently between fillings- I do write it dry, however. Don't put an ink that you don't love in this pen. It'll be there a while. That's why there's a noticeable difference in weight between this pen empty and full- there's a ton of ink in there. This pen takes #6 nibs, should you choose to swap the stock one with another from a different maker. The clip is nice and stiff but not too bad- it can still be used easily. I hope you all liked the review. Sorry for the long windedness of it all... hopefully I made up for the lack of pictures Thanks for reading. TL;DR- Great pen for the price. Some quirks and issues, but worth a shot.
  23. 1. Appearance & Design = 7 To me, this pen looks like an homage to the Parker Duofold, but on a minimal scale. Gama did not do straight line knurling on the cap or bands at the tail of the pen, like the Duofolds have. Gama also used a generic big-ball clip, similar to a Pilot clip. It's derivative and economic, but still classic.The material is a beautiful beige/black mottled ebonite, not as glossy as acrylic but very glossy by ebonite standards. The seams between the different pieces are very smooth, although the hardware (clip and cap bands) leave something to be desired.The Gama name is engraved on the side of the barrel. The engraving does not appear to be from a laser, but a machine, and it is subtle but well done.It came with a generic two-tone nib, which I replaced with a Knox two-tone nib and a later overfeed modification. The overfeed detracts from the aesthetic, but I'm leaving it in place because it is practical.I deduct 3 points for the sloppy cap bands and clip attachment. If those could have been symmetrical and flush like the other joints on the pen, I think the appearance would have been a perfect ten.2. Construction & Quality = 8 The execution of the cap bands is sloppy, with one side being too deeply inset, while the other side sticks out quite a bit. The attachment of the clip piece is also asymmetrical. Capacity seems to be a hair over 3mL.With some eyedroppers the section can fit too tightly, but Gama made this pen just right. As a result, I don't have any trouble removing the section to fill the barrel, and there is no danger of leakage.The ebonite is of very good quality, and has held its luster very well over the first month or so of my usage. The gold coloring on the clip will eventually wear off, but it seems to be holding up pretty well for now.Threading seems to be good--only 1 to 1.5 turns to remove the cap. However, I have noticed the cap will go on slightly crooked unless I leave it 1/8 turn looser than its tightest position.I already deducted points for the sloppy cap band and clip attachment. The section shape is comfortable and well proportioned, and the threads do not bother me when gripping the pen.I deduct two points for the crookedness when the cap is closed.3. Weight & Dimensions = 10 I don't have a digital scale, but I'd say the weight/size is comparable to a Ranga Model 3 or a TWSBI Vac 700. It's a large pen with a medium weight--not as nimble as a Parker 45, but there's no filling mechanism so it's fairly light and balanced toward the nib.Dimensions:Length capped: 145 mmLength of cap: 67 mmLength uncapped: 132 mmSection at narrowest: 11 mmSection near barrel: 13 mmBody at widest: 14 mmBalance is very good. This pen could post, but I don't think it's necessary. Unposted, this could be a very good session writer.No points deducted here.4. Nib & Performance = 8 The original nib wasn't bad. It was a generic two-tone steel fine nib with very good flow. It was a little scratchy, but smoothed out with only a couple minutes of tine adjustment and circles on my buff stick. I've become a medium and broad nib convert, so I ordered a Knox B steel nib (size K35, comparable to a #6) from xfountainpens.com (no affiliation) and was able to do a very easy swap because the feed is somewhat loose-fitting in the section. I think this helps the ink flow, but it also means I didn't have to get the hair dryer to get the new nib in place. I was even able to squeeze an overfeed in there with some effort.Flow is 10/10. It's a firehose. I'm using Diamine Ancient Copper in this pen because the saturation looks so good--almost as dark as oxblood red.The Knox nib was very smooth when I received it, but I had some baby bottom issues. I had to press the nib somewhat firmly on the first stroke to get the ink flowing, and had lots of skipping due to the nib (remember, the flow was more than adequate). Baby bottom is hard to fix, but I think I've just about banished it. The Knox B is stubbish and a little springy, making this a very pleasurable session writer.I deduct two points for a scratchy nib out of the box, but I won't deduct any more because the fit of the feed and rate of flow are remarkably good.5. Filling System & Maintenance = 9 There's no better scenario than a generously flowing pen with a generously sized reservoir. This one holds about 3 mL and fills as an eyedropper.I deduct one point for the eyedropper filling because there is no ink window, and it can be a little messy.However, this pen deserves a solid nine because an ED requires almost no maintenance and delivers a lot of ink. I use an ink syringe for better control when filling, and I think I can fill it just as fast as a piston filler.6. Cost & Value = 10 I received this from a friend here on FPN, and "free" is always the best price. I think these go for around $50-70 on eBay. Edit: At about $23 on asapens.in (no affiliation) this is a steal. The equivalent Ranga is closer to $40, but I think the Gama has a nicer finish. This ebonite holds its gloss very well, and it's nice to have some accent hardware (even if they're attached somewhat askew) and a clean engraving of the manufacturer name.The machining is very good. Fit of threads is also better than the Ranga Model 3 pens I've handled, so I think that's worth the extra cost. But, the selling point for me is the flow. Gama's feed manufacture is simple, but well executed. Again, the attachment of the hardware is somewhat sloppy, but it's not a deal breaker, in my view.This is a pen that will hold up well because of negligible maintenance, provides a very good experience for long session writing (size, balance, medium weight, and ebonite material), and can be fitted with any #6 nib to suit your tastes.7. Conclusion = 52/60 Overall, I feel this is a very enjoyable pen to use and I really did not expect it to be such a wet writer. At $70, would I buy this pen? Yes--entirely because of the wet feed. Did I get lucky? I don't know. Maybe other Gama customers will weigh in on how the flow and setup was on their pens. To me, this particular pen is very worthwhile in the sub-$100 category. Edit: Available from asapens.in for $23 under other names. Very good value.I'll bring it with me to the upcoming pen show. If you'd like to test it out, just send me a message or find me in the crowd.If you're looking for a large session writer that won't fatigue your hand, and if you have even a tiny bit of ingenuity when it comes to adjusting or replacing a nib, this is worth a look. The following photos were taken with my iPhone 5c, using HDR mode. For the closeup shots, I affixed a loupe, which gives a slight fisheye effect, but provides the best level of detail. What I received from my friend: Gama two-tone, Ratnamson no. 32, and Oliver 81. A very kind gift. The original nib. Not much to look at, but it was okay. Buddy shot with the Ratnamson no. 32. Note the difference between the two ebonite samples. The Gama is swirled with a rich black, and shows more depth. Learn more about my R32 project, including some discussion of the overfeed modification, here: https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/261306-ratnamson-no-32-with-kaweco-sport-nibfeed/ Beautiful material. Another view of the ebonite. Where the threads meet the section. Note how the threads are smoothed toward the body. The section is not concave, that's just an effect of looking through the loupe. Note the size of the step at the end of the grip, which provides a comfortable and secure hold. My overfeed isn't pretty, but it fits very well. You can see how the DAC has oxidized around the overfeed. The nib underneath is quite pretty, with a little lion and everything, so I'm sorry you don't get to see it. Note the chamfer at the opening to the section. This makes it super easy to fit the feed in place. The ebonite feed is handmade, and somewhat crude, but well executed. Here you can see how flush the endpiece was finished. Another view of the endpiece. That tiny gap where you see the glue is impossible for me to feel with my fingernail. I didn't even see it until I looked at the pictures. The Gama name engraved on the barrel. Perhaps carved by a CNC machine? Doesn't look laser-etched. I kind of like it. The ball is formed from folded steel--very shiny. This is the side of the cap bands that is too deeply inset. The other side of the cap, where the bands are not inset deeply enough and do not match each other. Here you can see the side of the clip attachment ring that sticks out from the finial slightly. And here, the side of the clip attachment that is too far in. Other manufacturers create a seat so this isn't visible, but Gama took a shortcut on this part. It ruins an otherwise flawlessly flush finish on the rest of the pen.
  24. I had originally posted this as a reply to another post. Someone kindly suggested that I should create a separate post for this. Well, suggestion taken, and thank you. On my last visit to the Gem shop in Chennai to pick up a Gama Royal, I got into a discussion on Oversize pens - and I was shown this Gama Acrylic clear/see-through pen. Of course, I just had to have it. Apart from a couple of Wality/Airmail pens with clear barrels, I did not have an Indian ED Demonstrator. This one is beautiful just for the transparent section and the way in which the nib and feed clearly show through. . It is approximately the size of a Guider Zimbo and slightly smaller than a Deccan Masterpiece.. Hope you enjoy this. Cheers, Sudhir
  25. This is one of my favorite pens. It is an Indian Handmade Acrylic pen from Gem and co. The pen is called Gama Acrylic Demonstrator. Hope you enjoy the review The three gamas: Kuyil, Acrylic, Ebonite Jr. More images of the acrylic demonstrator Note that a full transparent pen is also available where one can see the nib and feed fully. I however chose a semi-demonstrator pen where the section is black. I do intend to buy the full transparent one later since I love this pen so much.

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