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The Wality 69T – Another Pretty Decent Indian Eyedropper Pen



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The Wality 69T fountain pen I’m reviewing in this post came to me along with a number of other pens, ranging in price and quality, that were provided to me free of charge by Kevin of www.JustWrite.com.au, in return for an impartial review. If I understand this correctly, Wality pens are made by the Airmail Pen Company, based in Mumbai India. Founded in 1951,Airmail are one of the oldest pen manufacturers in India. I’ve been keen to try this pen out since it arrived – but only grabbed it out and inked it up in the last couple of days. I have to say, it’s a pretty simple pen – but even so, it’s nice to look at, and a pleasure to write with.

 

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1. Appearance & Design – Swirled acrylic and chrome accents – a nice combination

The first thing I noticed about the Wality 69T was the cap, which is made of an attractive orange-swirled acrylic. Removing the cap reveals a sturdy grip section made of the same material.. The chrome accents on the cap (the clip and finial, and the ring near the base of the cap) are of a much higher quality than the Serwex 101 pens that provided my first introduction to Indian eyedropper pens, while the barrel is significantly larger in diameter.

I was also quite impressed by the barrel of the pen: machined from a solid piece of clear acrylic, and hollowed out to create the ink reservoir, any scratches or scrapes from the machining process would be hard to miss – but the interior and exterior surfaces seem nice and smooth.

http://i.imgur.com/RfH4qx3.jpghttp://i.imgur.com/v52JVDy.jpg

2. Construction & QualityVery solidly constructed – won’t break easily

Though made entirely of acrylic, this is a sturdy pen. The thickness of the barrel walls mean you’d have to stomp on the pen pretty hard to get it to crack – and though the pen cap might not stand up so well to that kind of treatment, it’s certainly not fragile. The cap threads are well-machined to avoid discomfort. The clip is nice and springy, well suited to grip tightly to a shirt or jacket pocket. All in all, I was pretty impressed – everything about the 69T says that though the materials aren’t pricey, the workmanship is solid.

3. Weight & Dimensions – Comfortable dimensions for a medium-to-large hand

The Wality 69T weighs 22g uninked – substantial enough that you know you’re holding a pen (!), but light enough to be comfortable for longer writing sessions. At 130mm uncapped (146mm capped), the pen is a good length for writing with unposted – which is just as well, as the cap looks VERY awkward sitting on the end of the barrel. The diameter of the grip section is around 11mm (substantial without being too large!) – all of which adds up to a very pleasant feel in the hand.

http://i.imgur.com/nmbC9fx.jpg

4. Nib & PerformanceA fine, smooth nib with a hint of feedback

This is not the first time I’ve encountered a Wality nib – it’s my second! – but in all honesty, I have to say so far so good! The nib is pretty firm, laying down a fine line with a minimum of line variation. I’d probably like it to be just a little wetter – and maybe just a little smoother – but even without adjustment this nib is pretty good.

http://i.imgur.com/3zZYfxW.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/eeUrU0y.jpg

5. Filling System & MaintenanceAn Eyedropper pen, with generous ink capacity

If I wanted to fill the ink reservoir to the base of the threads, I reckon I could fit about 2-2.5ml of ink into the 69T – which by any standard is fairly impressive. The grip section threads a fair way into the barrel (~1cm), and the tolerances on the threads are tight, meaning that silicone grease is an optional (though advisable) extra when it comes to avoiding leakage. Piston converters might have a greater market appeal – but are a heck of a lot fiddlier to clean and maintain!

http://i.imgur.com/kjruW6A.jpg

6. Cost & Value – Pretty good bang for your buck

At AU$17.95, the Wality 69T is starting to get up there a bit in price – towards the upper end of the lower range, if you know what I mean! Even so, I think it’s pretty good value for money: Wality seem to know what they’re doing with their nibs, and though the design of the pen is fairly straightforward, it’s very well made.

http://i.imgur.com/5G423oS.jpg

7. Conclusion

I’d be more than happy to recommend this pen to anyone wanting to dip their toes into the Indian pen market. It’s not as elegant and refined as the Ranga Duofold I’ve reviewed recently (now THAT’S a beautiful pen!), but it’s less than half the price, and took a lot less ‘fiddling’ (actually, no fiddling at all!) to get it writing well. There are cheaper Indian pens out there – I should know, I’ve got several in my collection! – but I’d rank this above the Serwex and Camlin eyedroppers I’m comparing it to, especially when it comes to the quality of the nib.

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If I wanted to fill the ink reservoir to the base of the threads, I reckon I could fit about 2-2.5ml of ink into the 69T – which by any standard is fairly impressive. The grip section threads a fair way into the barrel (~1cm), and the tolerances on the threads are tight, meaning that silicone grease is an optional (though advisable) extra when it comes to avoiding leakage.

I have several of these, and I think they are nice pens. When fitted with Sheaffer feeds (with a coupon and a hacksaw, available for about $2 each from Michaels), they don't burp even when written empty. When I measured the ink capacity of one, filling it to the bottom of the threads with a graduated syringe, the capacity was about 2.6 ml. And you will want to keep the threads greased. At 2.6 ml, a fill lasts for quite some time. In my experience, time enough for ink to work through the threads if they are ungreased, yielding smudges of ink on fingers.

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I have several of these, and I think they are nice pens. When fitted with Sheaffer feeds (with a coupon and a hacksaw, available for about $2 each from Michaels), they don't burp even when written empty. When I measured the ink capacity of one, filling it to the bottom of the threads with a graduated syringe, the capacity was about 2.6 ml. And you will want to keep the threads greased. At 2.6 ml, a fill lasts for quite some time. In my experience, time enough for ink to work through the threads if they are ungreased, yielding smudges of ink on fingers.

 

Thanks for the advice - I was in a hurry to ink it up and try it out, so I got lazy - but will make sure I grease it up. I'm sure you're right, even half-full (of orange ink) this pen won't be running out in a hurry... Incidentally, who or where is 'Michaels'?

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Incidentally, who or where is 'Michaels'?

 

Sorry for the Americocentrism. It's a chain of art and craft stores. It sells Sheaffer Viewpoint calligraphy sets--the ones with one cap, one body, and three sections--for about US$12 or US$13, but regularly has coupons for 40% or 50% off one item.

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Are there any American vendors for these pens? I'd like to try one.

Until you ink a pen, it is merely a pretty stick. --UK Mike

 

My arsenal, in order of acquisition: Sailor 21 Pocket Pen M, Cross Solo M, Online Calligraphy, Monteverde Invincia F, Hero 359 M, Jinhao X450 M, Levenger True Writer M, Jinhao 159 M, Platinum Balance F, TWSBI Classic 1.1 stub, Platinum Preppy 0.3 F, 7 Pilot Varsity M disposables refillables, Speedball penholder, TWSBI 580 USA EF, Pilot MR, Noodler's Ahab 1.1 stub, another Preppy 0.3, Preppy EF 0.2, ASA Sniper F, Click Majestic F, Kaweco Sport M, Pilot Prera F, Baoer 79 M (fake Starwalker), Hero 616 M (fake Parker), Jinhao X750 Shimmering Sands M . . .

31 and counting :D

 

DaveBj

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Sorry for the Americocentrism. It's a chain of art and craft stores. It sells Sheaffer Viewpoint calligraphy sets--the ones with one cap, one body, and three sections--for about US$12 or US$13, but regularly has coupons for 40% or 50% off one item.

 

No worries, Australian TV is largely Americocentric, we just don't have the same retail chains... Sheaffer sell those calligraphy sets in Australia too (I've found them cheapest at Australia Post, but you can also buy them for double the price at Officeworks!). How much do they need to be cut back (roughly) to fit them into the Wality section?

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The feeds are great unmodified. It's getting them out of the sections when I make use of the hacksaw. They do not seem to be intended to be removed. I've read about people being able to get them out with just pulling, judicious use of heating, and a whole lot of patience, but I've not been able to do it.

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The feeds are great unmodified. It's getting them out of the sections when I make use of the hacksaw. They do not seem to be intended to be removed. I've read about people being able to get them out with just pulling, judicious use of heating, and a whole lot of patience, but I've not been able to do it.

 

Good to know: I've got a couple of older Sheaffer nib/feed/sections, minus the pen - this might be worth trying sometime. Thanks for the advice!

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I enjoy my wality thanks for the sheaffer feed swap idea I will try with the sheaffer NOS pen I have

Pilot custom heritage 74 all nibs, 742 Fa and PO nibs, 823 F 92 F,M, 3776 FM,EF,1911F

And all indian pens

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Are there any American vendors for these pens? I'd like to try one.

 

Retrodesk used to represent Wality in the US but it appears they are defunct now, browse the site but do not buy, since apparently nothing will be shipped, as some others have discovered.

 

http://www.retrodesk.com/

 

 

In India, a webshop called asapens.in have been doing a great job of making these pens available at nominal prices to Indians and to also those abroad. So far, across multiple purchases, I have received satisfactory service from them.

 

http://asapens.in/eshop/fountain-pen/wality-fountain-pen

 

HTH.

 

Hari

In case you wish to write to me, pls use ONLY email by clicking here. I do not check PMs. Thank you.

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I don't know of any American vendors, but Kevin from Fountain Pen Revolution is an American living in India - and you can buy them from his website for US$16 plus $3 (flat rate per order) postage, http://www.fountainpenrevolution.com/AirmailWality.html.

 

 

 

Retrodesk used to represent Wality in the US but it appears they are defunct now, browse the site but do not buy, since apparently nothing will be shipped, as some others have discovered.

 

http://www.retrodesk.com/

 

 

In India, a webshop called asapens.in have been doing a great job of making these pens available at nominal prices to Indians and to also those abroad. So far, across multiple purchases, I have received satisfactory service from them.

 

http://asapens.in/eshop/fountain-pen/wality-fountain-pen

 

HTH.

 

Hari

Thanks, y'all!

Until you ink a pen, it is merely a pretty stick. --UK Mike

 

My arsenal, in order of acquisition: Sailor 21 Pocket Pen M, Cross Solo M, Online Calligraphy, Monteverde Invincia F, Hero 359 M, Jinhao X450 M, Levenger True Writer M, Jinhao 159 M, Platinum Balance F, TWSBI Classic 1.1 stub, Platinum Preppy 0.3 F, 7 Pilot Varsity M disposables refillables, Speedball penholder, TWSBI 580 USA EF, Pilot MR, Noodler's Ahab 1.1 stub, another Preppy 0.3, Preppy EF 0.2, ASA Sniper F, Click Majestic F, Kaweco Sport M, Pilot Prera F, Baoer 79 M (fake Starwalker), Hero 616 M (fake Parker), Jinhao X750 Shimmering Sands M . . .

31 and counting :D

 

DaveBj

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79spitfire

I acquired a couple of these a while back. One of them had a mis-machined feed and wasn't usable. I did the Sheaffer feed trick and it works wonders! The Sheaffer Viewpoint/No-nonsense feed is a multiple piece unit and acts (or is patterned somewhat after) the collector in a Parker pen, buffering the ink flow under changing pressure/temperature situations. You can fill the pen with that huge amount of ink and write with it for weeks without a burp.

 

My complaint with most Indian made pens (and I have a lot, because I'm attracted to pretty colors!) is the quality of the tipping material. I've had many that were great, but just as many that weren't. When I tried to smooth them or even just 'wear them in' with regular use (not abuse) the tipping falls off, or fractures after smoothing making the pen scratchy again. I've re-fitted those pens with western or Chinese made nibs and made them useful.

Increase your IQ, use Linux AND a Fountain pen!!http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk11/79spitfire/Neko_animated.gif
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  • 5 months later...

I have several of these, and I think they are nice pens. When fitted with Sheaffer feeds (with a coupon and a hacksaw, available for about $2 each from Michaels), they don't burp even when written empty. When I measured the ink capacity of one, filling it to the bottom of the threads with a graduated syringe, the capacity was about 2.6 ml. And you will want to keep the threads greased. At 2.6 ml, a fill lasts for quite some time. In my experience, time enough for ink to work through the threads if they are ungreased, yielding smudges of ink on fingers.

 

I can get a Sheaffer Viewpoint Calligraphy pen for $7.83 from amazon.ca. I will try removing the feed from that and see how it works. Thanks for mentioning this. John

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I once had a wality 70tg and the only thing I notice from it is that no matter how much grease you use the pen will still make ink evaporate so seriously I do not recommend using your most expensive ink to fill this pen lest your going to use the pen till its empty not sire if thats a fault but if you make this pen sit in too long you will realize your loosing ink without knowing it

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