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  1. Carene in French means “hull” of a boat. The streamlined design of Carene looks like the hull of a racing yacht. The silver cap with engraved lines look like waves and the gold furniture complements both black resin and silver cap. The barrel finial is beautiful hull shape in gold with a black resin jewel. The 18k inlaid nib is a smooth writer. The gold clip and capband with Waterman crest as well as Waterman engraved on enhance the ridged cap. At 33.4 gms and 5.69” it is a mid sized nicely balanced pen. The spirit of waves, the hull of a boat and inspiration from the ocean inspired me to pair it with J Herbin 1670 Blue Ocean Ink. It is a luxury to be indulged in, in terms of visual, tactile and writing quality. I am absolutely besotted by my Carene.
  2. eytim

    Syahi Imperator

    Review: Syahi Imperator I attended the DC pen show last month as I have done for the past several years. I enjoyed it immensely, seeing and speaking with dealers that I have come to know and respect over the past 12 years. I sought and found several hard to find vintage pen parts for several pens that I am restoring and examined and wrote with many of the new pens on the market. My collection is 60 % vintage and 40% modern. My pen acquisition goals for this show, which I accomplished, was to acquire four specific modern fountain pens. Three Italians and one Japanese. I was also intent on acquiring a new pen that I would categorize as part of the genre of small manufacturers/ bespoke/custom that have grown over the past five years to the hobby’s and user’s great benefit that offer numerous choices for pen body materials,various filling mechanisms, attempts at development of flex nibs and most important for me interchangeability or use of screw in nib units such as JOWO. I was wowed by such craftsmen and companies such as Franklin Christoph, Kanilea, Jonathon Brooks, Herbert Pen Company, Heinz etc. They were all there and I told myself that I would definitely purchase such a fountain pen at the show and if overwhelmed by the plethora of choices then I would take the descriptive materials home and order one when I arrived home and could review my options. Once I had acquired my three Italian and one Japanese pens I set aside time to walk around and sample these custom/small manufacturer pens and speak to their creators. In the back of the smaller room of the show I passed by a small table for Syahi pens manufactured in India and manned by a young man. Syahi (“Ink” in Urdu-syahiindia.com) manufactures wood pens. I was not looking at the time for a wood pen but thought I would go for some of the great custom acrylics ( to be honest though I initially didn’t jump at the acrylics of some of the custom or small manufacturers because after a while they kind of looked alike and while I enjoy the interchangeability of the Jowo or Bock nibs they used there was nothing unique about the nibs). The Syahi pens were displayed beautifully and branded and packaged extremely well but I was prepared to pass them by. The young man who manned the table Sanay Shah (the co-owner and developer of Syahi) was an earnest and extremely articulate man passionate about pens in general and of course his Syahi pen in particular which he developed. He is an engineer by training. I sat down and he asked me what type of nib I was looking for? I told him that I was looking for a modern flex or semi flex and I had tried the Aurora and Wahl and FC and several others. My expectation of course was not that they would write like a vintage flex but wanted to explore this new category of modern flex that one sees advertised so much now in the marketplace. I took out a vintage Wahl Flex and a Waterman 54 flex that I had and wrote with it and Sanay enjoyed that and loved the flex. He then convinced me to try his Syahi with a steel semi-flex fine nib. Sanay explained the detailed thought and design that went into every aspect of Syahi pens and it became apparent to me how his engineering background contributed greatly to this pen. He had already modified the design of his pens several times and was very eager to receive feedback from people. He was clearly intent on developing his line of pens into a top tier pen company. Once I held this pen I realized that this was no kit pen and in my view was unique and even at this stage of its development (only several years old) should be considered at the top of this genre of small manufacturers/bespoke pens. Ø The pen is made from rich woods. I chose to try the Imperator model made of Wenge wood. The pen is coated in natural oils to prevent splitting and Sanay was familiar with the kiln dry process and choosing the highest quality woods. There are also pens that he carries made from Ipea and other luxury woods. Ø The fit, finish and tolerances of the pen are excellent. To my mind the pen is classy, rich and stunning. Ø This is a custom designed pen in every respect. The nibs are custom manufactured for Syahi and are screw in units complete with a housing. These proprietary nibs cannot be used in non Syahi pens. Ø The feed is custom designed and I understand an ebonite feed is in development. Ø The pen is nicely balanced and not heavy but not too light. Perfect for my taste. Ø Thought was given to the converter and a screw in converter is supplied as used in such pens as Cross Peerless and other high quality pens. Ø The furniture of the pen is available in 24K gold plated or brushed brass. Ø The pen comes in a luxurious leather pen sleeve with flap in a simple but silk material lined box. Ø The aspect of the pen that really hooked me on this pen was the imaginative design of the semi flex steel nib. The nib slit is cut almost the entire length of the nib. The semi flex nib is in my opinion the best currently available semi flex steel nib on the market that provides significant line variation and importantly very little if no railroading at all. The semi flex nib even affords significant “snap back” which is an attribute not common if found at all in modern steel production semi-flex nibs and even in most modern gold semi-flex nibs. The flow is excellent as well. Clearly it writes best with a converter and less so with a cartridge as most pens do. I was unable to try the Fine semi flex 14ct nib as Sanay sold them out at the show but I bought one and am eagerly awaiting it. I suspect the gold version of the nib will be even better than the steel version which says a lot. I tried at the show the Wahl Deco Band 18 ct Flex and Aurora 88 18ct Flex and they were both excellent writers ( a flex that uses other than cc fill will most times write better than a cc fill) though of course no comparison to vintage flex. These pens however are 900$ and 650$ respectively and to my mind if buying only for the flex cannot be justified. The Syahi can accommodate all of the proprietary nib units which can be purchased separately. I believe the Syahi proprietary steel semi flex nib writes nearly the same as those pens and as I said I am fairly confident that once I try the 14ct semi flex Syahi nib I will find that the Syahi writes the same or better than the Aurora and Wahl modern semi flex nibs. I can foresee the next iteration of the pen and future models being even better because of Syahi’s intent on innovation and improvement. Ø The price of Syahi pens offers tremendous value. The steel version is $ 159 and I paid $249 for the 14ct semi flex version. Overall though this pen got me excited because I could see what commitment and skill level Sanay brought to the development of Syahi pens and not just the pen body. The entire pe, its design and execution is of high quality. Thought and innovation are built into this pen line. Even the choice of luxurious woods is a novelty as to my mind there are not many luxury wood production fountain pens on the market. Though I can foresee purchasing an acrylic or celluloid type pen from some of the small manufacturers that I enjoyed viewing at the DC show I think perhaps my next acquisition in this category will be another Syahi. I cannot recommend it enough.Please note that when I communicated with Syahi after the show regarding the 14ct gold nib that I ordered I was told by Sanay that their website is not fully functioning yet and that my inquiries should be sent to info@syahiindia.com. All of my inquiries were promptly responded to.





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