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An Unexpected Encounter with an Old Friend – A Short Review of the Artex Fountain Pen

Posted by on Jan 29, 2014

One of the pleasures of student life, especially if you had been a school student in Calcutta in the 70’s of the last century, was the colourful fountain pens that you were allowed to use in your high school days. So fountain pens make me nostalgic and till this day I have not been able to ignore them. Indeed I fall in love with one fountain pen or the other almost every day. The pens I refer to here are not expensive at all. These are all fountain pens made in India with brand names like Artex, Flora or Camlin. In my student days these pens used to cost a single Indian rupee while now you can get a pen for a price of below fifty rupees.

 

artex-fountain-pen-indiaSo, it felt marvellous when this morning, on visiting the local stationery and pen shop in Garia, Calcutta with the specific purpose of finding what fountain pens they have in their stock, I was offered a Chinese Hero for Rs. 75 and then several Artex pens for Rs. 25 (or 40 cents) each! I spent Rs. 75 and brought three Artex fountain pens with me back home.

Artex Fountain Pens

Artex Fountain Pens

These are eyedropper fountain pens made of plastic except the clip, the cap ring and the nib and feel quite lightweight when you take one in your hand. But the ink tank has quite a large capacity. The tip or sometimes the entire cap and the extreme bottom portion of the barrel are usually black in colour.

Artex Fountain Pen_Kolkata_India_2

The clip and the cap ring as well as the bottom of the cap are golden and  “ARTEX ® 1120” is written in gold just above the golden ring at the bottom of the cap.

Artex Fountain Pen_Cap

 

The barrel is fire brick red or  gray-blue in these two pens while the bottom of the barrel in one pen is black.

Artex Fountain Pen_barrel

The nib is made of stainless steel and is medium tipped although the words ‘ARTEX Fine Tipped” are engraved on it.

Artex Fountain Pen_nib

 

Still, I believe, this medium would be more of a fine line width compared to western pens. My Artex writes smoothly (no skips, no restarts!), the nib is smooth and I reckon it is an excellent buy considering its decent price and smart appearance.

Artex Fountain Pen_writing sample

I must say I have not seen Artex fountain pens for a long time, certainly not in the last two decades and it was a pleasant surprise to find them again. It can’t get cheaper than this, can it?

Artex Fountain Pen photograph

From L to R: Artex® 62, Artex®220, Artex® 27 HS and Artex® 551

I bought these Artex fountain pens in Kolkata this year for a price of Rs. 30 each. These are made entirely of plastic with some metallic parts, especially in the caps. The pens have steel nibs and they write well and are quite durable compared to their price!

Artex fountain pen image

Artex Eyedropper Fountain Pens

An Artex fountain pen doesn’t cost much. Yet it works quite well. Do you know of other such brands? Perhaps you used them decades ago? Use the Comments feature below to write about them.
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