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.