Aristocrat: still reigning supreme.
Let me begin this piece with an inconvenient truth – there are two types of pen manufacturers, one, those that make pens for the collectors and two, the ones making pens for actual users. Those focusing on the collectors have it easy, for their products are hardly ever put to the grind, bought, flaunted and carefully preserved for posterity. The price realisation is good and though the customers are known to be extremely fussy about the make and size of the nib or the particular name of the material used, or even the shade of the muted swirls, in the end they do not really matter as frivolous debates actually help the maker by turning the glare of attention away from what actually matters – the ability of the pen to write.
On the other extreme are the functional pens – those that are bought by people who use the pens for their daily use, often making them the very tools that earn them their victuals. Here the realisation is low as price is often the determining factor and the only thing that really counts is the functionality – the ability of the pen to accompany the owner through the rough and tumble of life. Jowo or Schnider? Who cares? Nicco ebonite? What the hell even is that?
Well, to be fair, I know I am guilty of stretching things a bit too far by over simplifying, but even those who will agree to disagree, I hope, will get the drift of what I am trying to say. Now let’s get back to the functional pens segment.
The one pen that rules the roost in this end of the market is the Aristocrat from Click. As a matter of fact, I will go to the extent of unequivocally proclaiming that (and I am sure that my peers in the fountain pen fraternity will agree) the best entry level fountain pen in India is the Aristocrat from Click. It is. And it has been the best since the time it was launched around 2016.
But why? How do I justify my claim? Why are actual fountain pen users and lovers so enamoured with the Aristocrat from Click? The answers are not far to seek.
For one, the Aristocrat has a grip section that is most suited for Indian hands. This is the reason why it is such a pleasure to write with the pen. Why, even after prolonged use, the Aristocrat never causes finger fatigue.
Secondly, the Aristocrat is a no-nonsense pen in the real sense of the term. It is easy on the pocket and easier to use. Besides, it can be subjected to the harshest conditions, used in the most careless manner by the roughest of the users and it still continues to do what it was built for – write beautifully, its sturdy built defying all reasonable tests it is put through.
Thirdly, one has to comment on the seemingly endless number of options that the Aristocrat provides, pampering the user and addressing every possible need that a potential fountain pen user may have. It comes in four nib options: Fine, Medium, Broad and Flex (an Ultra Flex nib is on the cards). In terms of filling system too it is pretty versatile being a three-in-one taking cartridges, converters, apart from being capable of use as an eye dropper filler. With a number 35 nib and the long cartridges with twice as much ink capacity as the standard ones, the combination is deadly.
Fourthly, and some experts opine, most importantly, the Aristocrat has a long drying time when capped. Simply put, when the pen is not in use and is capped and kept away, the nib-feed does not dry out as fast as most pens do, which is a genuine plus, plus in its favour – a reason for its continuing popularity.
Fifthly, from a pure aesthetic point of view, the Aristocrat is pretty pleasing to the senses. Its lines are straight and simple, the accoutrements minimum and the feel factor palpably pleasant. Besides, with a spread of colours to choose from (eight solid and two demonstrators, with a red demonstrator about to be launched to expand the line further) one is never at a loss for options.
However, there is more to the Aristocrat that either meets the eyes or explains its enduring popularity. Wen Harsh Gagwani, the third generation to pick up the reigns at Unique Pen Industries Indore (owners of the Click brand) he was appalled by the fact that his own sister, despite having been born and brought up in a fountain pen making family did not use a fountain pen as a daily writer. The reason was simple, one that Harsh Gagwani himself related to – Fountain Pens just couldn’t take the stress of daily use, that too by young users. They needed a lot of maintenance and dried out in no time when left capped. The young Harsh Gagwani had taken up the challenge of solving all three problems and make a pen that his sister would use. The year was 2012.
The rest like they say is history. The Aristocrat may have sought inspiration from the classic fountain pens of yesteryear, but it relied heavily on Click’s decades old experience in the in the industry – the result being a pen that was hundred percent Indian. Designed and Made in India, by an Indian entity for the Indians. Suffice to say, Harsh Gangwani’s sister has never used any other pen for her daily writing since then.
I had started by differentiating the daily users from the collectors, a “myth” that is again something that the Aristocrat has shattered. Today there is a vibrant group of collectors who collect only Aristocrat Fountain Pens (all colours, with all nib options making a set) and going by the popularity that the pen now enjoys among the young, the new entrants in the world of fountain pens, their numbers are steadily on the rise. No nonsense and vivacious, the Aristocrat Click is as much the chosen one among the first-time users today as they were of elders who may have graduated to collecting more pricey pens but still consider the Aristocrat their first love, their daily writer, their go to pen!
For More information: http://www.uniquepen.in/