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  1. Hi there, I have some unusually small fountain pens, which were kept in my drawers for some time and now started using them. Here is the first one - Progress Bullet. It is a very small eyedropper fountain pen from a discontinued Indian brand called Progress. It has a semi-hooded nib and gold plated fittings (clip and cap band) with a GP nib. The pen writes very smooth with its folded/butterfly nib (no iridium point tipping). The nib is engraved “Platinum Easy Flow Point (BOSS) Specifications: Weight - Capped : 7.00 gm Weight - Uncapped : 5.00 gm Length – Capped : 94.50 mm Length – Uncapped : 85.00 mm Length – Posted : 108.00 mm Length – Barrel & Section : Hooded Nib Length – Section : 24.00 mm Length – Cap : 45.50 mm Diameter – Cap : 12.60 mm Diameter – Barrel : 11.75 mm Diameter – Section : 10.50 mm Filling System : Eyedropper Ink Capacity : 2.75 ml Nib : # 5 GP Stainless Steel Folded Point Feeder : 5 mm Ebonite Compared to Jinhao 159 Thanks for reading.-saji
  2. A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a NOS Faber Castell 554D Progress fountain pen, when searching for inks. It was placed inside a cellophane wrap, printed with green A.W Faber-Castell and was finally packaged inside a small cardboard box. A small pen which kind of resembled a rather compressed modern MB146, with its striped ink-windows. Since, I have an excellent experience with most of the Faber-Castell fountain pens including the reviewed ones here – Ambition, Intuition and Elemento, I went ahead and purchased the pen. Later, Faber-Castell Co. confirmed that the 554D featured in their brochure till 1960. Faber-Castell started manufacturing fountain pens in 1951, after acquiring the Osmia Company and produced fountain pens till 1975. It carried the Osmia logo [diamond-in-a-circle] till the 1960s, given Osmia’s high brand recognition in the fountain pen industry and the same logo is also present in this one. PS: I have also replicated the content in my blog, since the images are/will be reduced to a smaller thumbnail after a short-period. Below is a link to the same: A.W Faber Castell 554D Progress Review Here goes the review. PRESENTATION I like the vintage bit of packaging in the traditional way - a thick cardboard box, which has actually become thin these days. As you can see, the cellophane wrap carries the green A.W Faber-Castell name. There is a classical user-guide in German, with instructions on how to fill the pen. http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag127/soniknitr/554D/1-box_zpsrpdq2z7y.jpg DESIGN The pen is made of up plastic parts with gold plated trims. This gloss of black and dazzle of gold is still being followed in modern times. http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag127/soniknitr/554D/FC554D%20005_zpsjzk60khf.jpg The nib size and the model number are etched in golden on the barrel, just below the piston-knob. The golden cap band mentions PROGRESS on one side and FABER-CASTELL on the other. http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag127/soniknitr/554D/1-cap1_zps6bgtjvdb.jpg The striped transparency of ink windows renders a rather elegant angle to the overall design of the pen. http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag127/soniknitr/554D/FC554D%20007_zpsgnanrim2.jpg FILLING SYSTEM The piston filling system was initially clogged, as the lubricants had dried out over all these years. After the first stop of the piston knob, by rotating the piston-knob further in a counter-clockwise direction, the entire piston unit can be pulled out. I applied some silicone grease (metroark211) on the piston seal, which is made of transparent plastic, and the piston mechanism was as good as new. If you can notice a white plastic thing through the ink windows below, that’s the piston seal. http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag127/soniknitr/554D/FC554D%20012_zps1bo8gpmn.jpg It takes in a good amount of ink with the piston fill mechanism, which lasts as long as the 0.8-0.9 mL capacity Faber-Castell converters. NIB – ALL THAT MATTERS The 14k gold nib is inserted into a screw-fit sleeve unit and the unit can be easily unscrewed from the barrel. It is a vintage EF nib and has got a hint of feedback, which is duly compensated by a rather wet flow of ink. You will notice an old Osmia diamond-in-a-circle logo embossed at the centre of the nib with Faber and Castell at top and bottom respectively. The nib specifications of 14K and 58.5% follow these impressions towards the tail end. http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag127/soniknitr/554D/FC554D%20010_zpslszwp0mf.jpg PHYSICS OF IT The cigar structure of this pen makes it a somewhat comfortable companion. The only disadvantage is that the cap cannot be posted securely. Uncapped Length ~ 12 cm Nib Leverage ~ 1.85 cm Capped Length ~ 13.3 cm http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag127/soniknitr/554D/FC554D%20015_zpslarlryny.jpg Though the length is comparable to a M400, a wider grip section and post-ability of cap are the duly missed elements. Now a days, most of the fountain pens can be posted. http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag127/soniknitr/554D/FC554D%20016_zpsmqyu5iqn.jpg OVERALL This vintage 14k nib has a wet flow, with a hint of feedback like most EF nibs. The nib is quite stiff with no hint of flex. There is also a bit of line variation among the horizontal and vertical lines. It takes almost the same time (15 secs) to dry as a modern GvFC Intuition Fine nib. http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag127/soniknitr/554D/FC554D%20017_zpscgkbqxfj.jpg It was fun reviewing the 554D. Hope you enjoyed it.

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