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  1. Genai

    Ranga Markandeya

    This isn't my first Ranga fountain pen but it's the one I like more till now. I'm a fountain pen lover and my favourite ones are my ebonites. They are all hand crafted by artisans. The one I introduce you now is the new Ranga Markandeya. It's a bit special because it's not the typical "jumbo" sized pen (I like big pens but also medium sized ones), although it's gurthy externally (not too much). It's special because it's made with care and love by Indian craftsmen who know well their work. Appearance & Design (10) In my view, it's appearance is beautiful. The swirls between teal blu and orange brown in the ebonite are always very nice to watch, it's mesmerising if you turn the pen. The material is precious (rubber with sulfur, badly named as hard rubber); it's name comes from it's similarly with ebony. The design is very well thought-out. It is uncapped in one and a quarter turn. The clip is long and springy. The section is long and old fashioned in the best way because it's very comfortable to hold and it tappers up at the end preventing your fingers to meet the nib. I like the cap meets the body with the same width and it's gurthy enough for my liking. The Jowo nib (B in this piece) has one advantage: you can interchange with other Jowo nibs I'm sure you have and, if you haven't any, it's very easy and cheap to find one. It can be posted very securely but I do not recommend you to do it because with time you can damage the surface of the ebonite (if you like posting, do it with care). Construction & Quality (9) Ebonite is a precious material for me. The fountain pen is handcrafted (I give a high value to pens made with experienced hands more than inyected plastic, for example). This pen is made by artisans and well engineered. The quality of the threading is outstanding. It has long section threading to be well eyedroppered if you prefer that system with huge ink capacity. Why I don't give a "10"? Because of the micro scratches from the lathe (almost imperceptible but they could be completely eliminated). The polishing is good but not perfect. I remember that Da Vinci said "details make perfection and perfection is not any detail". Weight & Dimensions(10) It's weight is 24 grams capped and 15 uncapped, with perfect balance. It is a lightweight and comfortable pen. It measures 134 mm capped but the good point consists of it's long enough uncapped, 122 mm, very good, well done. The nib goes close to the end of the cap. I appreciate that because you can have a long enough uncapped fountain pen without sacrificing the total length in order to get relative restrained length. It's a gurthy pen but not too much, 16 mm in the middle. It tappers down in the cap to 13,5 mm and to 12 mm in the body. I feel that dimensions like the perfect ones. Nib & Performance (9) The nib is a standard broad Jowo stainless steel one, so it's performance is assured. But you can choose a Ranga or Bock if you want, even gold or titanium with different sizes and plating. Mine is very smooth and juicy, without being a gusher. Filling System & Maintenance (9) The filling system is possible in three ways, cartridge, converter and it also can be used with eyedropper. It comes with a standard Schmidt converter. The maintenance is very simple to realise due to the converter system. I like piston filling systems and eyedropper and vacuum systems with shut off valve to avoid burping but using that kind of systems you increase the price and the maintenance is not so easy. I know you have to store the pen with care and without light and to dry it well after washing but I prefer the feeling of ebonite when you touch it and it looks beautiful. Cost & Value (10) The quality/price ratio is outstanding. In my pen 79 $ including postage (64 without it). But the good point is it's value, it's a fountain pen made by hand, if you take only that into account only, it's real value is very high. Beside that it's made with care and love and perfectly engineered. I got the pen in a group buy directly with mr. Kandan M. P. He is so kind and professional and they send you the pen very fast although I don't mind to wait if they use Indian post because it's cheaper. He has told me they are going to use this way to offer free shipping. Conclusion (Final score, 57/60) I feel very happy with this fountain pen. It is beautiful and very well made, with love by artisans. Very well engineered and thought-out. I am also very satisfied with their customer kindness. I think we do well to support handcrafted fountain pens. I am perhaps a bit viassed because I do love ebonite. The price is more than right if you consider the artisan work. They are all craftsmen. They even give you one free fountain pen. It is a modest but functional one and I really appreciate that gift because it's a nice detail and remember Da Vinci... Best regards to everybody. Take care Miguel Ángel.

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