Yusuf Mansoor – the grand-daddy of Indian Fountain Pen lovers picks his favourites
The average pen lover who wants to possess an India pen is at a huge disadvantage. He / she does not know what to aim for, where to look for, or even how much to shell out for the unit.
This is just an effort to help spread awareness about the excellent pens that we make – right here in India. The idea is, not only to introduce some of the biggest names in the industry, but also to hear from them about what they consider to be the front runners of Indian creativity.
As some of these pens, if not all, are of global quality – being capable of winning accolades in any forum, anywhere in the world – it would do them a world of good, if they are identified by the industry’s stalwarts. Apart from being an obvious testimonial for the pen lovers to follow, I personally feel that this exercise will also go a long way in encouraging the men who have dedicated their lives and made it their mission to put India on the global map of penmanship.
I hope this effort will end in the average pen lover, like me, to access information about the top pens in one place and will hopefully, find it convenient to access the pens of their choice.
This story is a part of this ongoing effort and coming from Yusuf Mansoor – collector, restorer, authority and above all, lover of Fountain Pens, the list is definitive to put things mildly.
Note: For our comparison, we have restricted our choice to contemporary / modern Indian Fountain pens – especially those that come fitted with third-party (even imported) nib units and filling systems (cartridge / converters). Eyedropper pens have also been included in the list as are fountain pens that are of historic standing and are still in production can also be considered.
Over to Yusuf Mansoor:
Instead of “best Indian Fountain Pen” I would like to classify best Indian pen in different price categories. I do this because it is just not fair that we compere apples to pears as India now turns fountain pens that are aimed at different segments and are offered at different price points.
Besides, as a lover of Fountain Pens, I hold them all with the same amount of affection and it is extremely difficult, like a parent, to choose one child over the others. Thus, I feel it is better to introduce the yardstick of prices in the comparison which will make it fair and still let us mark our appreciation of the efforts put in by people who have made it their life’s mission to turn the perfect pen and cater to the needs of a people wanting to be recognised as a Nation that is proud of its pen makers.
India made Fountain Pens Under INR 500:
Click Aristocrat: This pen comes in a classic Duofold design, is well balanced with Cartridge / Converter filling option and is available in multiple colours. Price wise this may be the bottom of the pyramid, but believe me, there is nothing that robs the pen of its sheer class. For beginners, there can be no other place to start than here, the Aristocrat firmly in hand.
India made Fountain Pens Under INR 1000:
Kanwrite Desire: Kanwrite has been and continues to be a brand that is widely regarded by the fountain pen loving community around the world. The “Desire” naturally boasts impeccable parentage and is another example of classic design. The high-water mark of the pen however, is the sheer quality of the nib, which also has several options on offer, each as good as the other.
India made Fountain Pens Under INR 2000:
ASA Nauka ED: This is another robust fountain pen that has everything going for it. The ASA Nauka is Hand turned, is attractive as hell and is a sheer pleasure to write with, considering the balance that has been achieved in the design and the make. It comes in both solid colours as well as a demonstrator and is an eye candy if ever there was one.
India made Fountain Pens Under INR 3000:
Both the ASA Azadi and the Ranga 8B make it into this segment, that too without a hitch. Both are extremely well-crafted fountain pens, sport classic designs and are hand turned to boot. To be honest, both the pens are virtually flawless and have the ability of blending into the hand of the beholder, to perform the task they have been created for – to write, seamlessly and elegantly.
India made Fountain Pens Under INR 4000:
Lotus Wizard and Varuna – both creations of pen maestro Arun Singhi effortlessly take up their places on the victory stand, as if, by right. Both the pens sport supreme built qualities, have classic designs that pay tribute to the days of yore, are extremely well balanced and are examples of very good craftsmanship. Both the pens from Lotus comes fitted with Jowo made stock nibs and offer multiple options for the choice of the nib.
India made Fountain Pens Under INR 5000:
Ranga 4C is another winner that is capable of walking in into any list. With its exotic ebonite blank it is a stunner to put things mildly and is also very user friendly as an instrument of writing. It too comes fitted with a generic Bock nib which speaks for itself. If I am asked to highlight one feature of the pen that I find outstanding, then I will surely point out its very good grip section, which alone gives it a competitive edge.
India made Fountain Pens Above INR 5000:
In this segment Lotus Pens are undoubtedly ruling the roost with multiple option to choose from, each vying for attention with the others. However, my perennial favourite is their flagship – Shikhar which I feel, is the best Pen above the 5k range. This pen is certainly as near flawless as it is humanely possible and is capable of being India’s proud flag-bearer as an example of superlative design that is backed by top of the line materials and is finished to perfection bearing exquisite craftsmanship.
Please note there are other makers like Guider, Deccan, Gama, Kim, Mohi, SK etc who are also great in their own ways. I will fail in my duties if I do not mention other upcoming makers – especially Constellations88 , Syahi and Magna Carta, all of whom hold a huge amount of promise and am sure will live up to the expectations that they have generated among the connoisseurs.
15 Replies to “India made Fountain Pens – the best ones are getting only better!”
Hi, nice article.
Can you do something about the adverts that are overwhelming the written piece.. too many at the moment and have disturbed the flow of the article
sure. will take up the matter with Google 🙂
I like this blog very much …. it is very informative and as I am a collector and FP lover I like truly to add few of these pens to my collection therefore I hope that the respected writer to add a link to the best selling web site for every one of them and of course first of all thank you very much indeed for this beautiful article
Sir, thank you for your kind words. Do you want the links to the individual sites, or would you rather that we provide the links to the websites that sell pens? if you want we can talk to the collectors and work towards a consensus on the best websites that deal with fountain pens. Please give us some time to work that out? thank you again for your time. please keep writing 🙂
I think your suggestion is more practical …. thank you in advance
okay. please give me some time to compile a list for you 🙂
Dear Mustafa bhai,
have just posted an entry about the best websites according to me. Please take a look. Hope you like it:)
Thank you very much
by the way I just started a poll at massdrop for best India made FPs
I hope I can get good response from community
Fountain pens are ot dated. no one uses them
PEOPLE USE BALL POINT PENS. PLEASE MOVE WITH THE TIMES
Mr. Suneel, with due respect, please go through this blog’s articles and have some knowledge about how enriched history this particular genre have to offer to this generation. And, kindly also look how much hard work and craftsmanship are attached to one single unit for the writing and pen lovers all around the globe. We as a pen lover have no objections with other types of pens, but before saying these pens are out dated please enlighten yourself first completely about it.
I have the good chance to buy and try click aristocrat and ASA daily : both of them is great smooth writer without hard starting , skipping or fussing and none of them was feedbacky or scratchy ….they reminded me truly with writing experience of Montblanc 146 ….the only drawback that I encountered with click aristocrat was the cheap quality of barrel and cap ….I loved the black matt color and the big size of ASA daily and I am using it daily since I bought it …it is really very attractive
Thank you for the article. The Indian fountain pen makers have indeed made some great improvements. However, a few things seem very off in this equation.
1. Concentration on “large” pens. For some reason, the majority of Indian FP manufacturers seem to make really large pens, larger than the average “foreign” brands. Kanwrite and Click seem more normal-sized. With most others you feel like you are holding and writing with a cucumber.
2. While there has been a great uptick in the use of materials, a similar uptick in the design hasn’t been seen. A lot of manufacturers are pushing out the same design in a different material with a different name. Innovation is largely absent. In a weird way, I like what Kanwrite is doing, they have 2 fantastic models, Desire and Heritage, and a whole lot of lesser known models in their catalog. Both the Desire and Heritage have very distinct specifications and product lines, keeping it simple.
3. Huge gap in the price segments. You have the super inexpensive Airmail/Wality (which I have a terrible experience and very low rate of success with), followed closely by the likes of Click and Kanwrite, and then the deluge of ASA, Gama and the like. Most manufacturers like Lotus, Constellations88, Ranga and Magna Carta make excellent pens but it becomes very hard for the average consumer to justify the 3k+ price. I often find myself asking “What am I getting for this price? The same approximate design, with the same JoWo/Schmidt/Bock nib and Schmidt converter? How is it any different from my previous buy or the ones that I already have? Whats the USP?”
There are a lot of Indian FP manufacturers that are relatively unknown to the “outside world”; honorable mentions include Mohi and Guider. I am really looking for a lot more innovation, lesser profusion of “models” based on the material and of course, some way to justify the price point.
Excellent article. I would definitely like to possess all, but funds do not permit. Would be happy to take some advice ,which shud be a part of collection, definitely.
A link to all the pen manufacturers would be appreciated.
My email id is email@example.com