My first experience of Airmail/Wality was many years ago when I bought one of the huge Wality eyedroppers. I wasn’t impressed. It had a tendency to blob and the nib/feed assembly didn’t deliver ink very well. Being one of those who never learn by their mistakes, I ordered a different Wality, a small piston filler with a decorative cap. It worked perfectly. I have it still and I often use it.
A couple of weeks ago I thought I’d have a poke around the site and see what they have on offer these days. I was quite taken with this 75P and ordered it. It was $16 – whatever that is in British money – and it came quite quickly. As you will see, I think it’s excellent value for the very little money one has to outlay.
It came in a padded bag with some bubblewrap around it – not the best packing I’ve seen but considering it got here undamaged it was okay. The pen itself is attractive and well-made. The chrome plated clip will grasp a pocket well and the cap, which appears to be anodised aluminium, has the word “Airmail” in what I take to be a bright red paint which matches the rich Post Office red of the barrel and section. The clutch cap snaps in place securely. The nib, as with many Indian nibs I have seen, has very shallowly stamped lettering and decoration. It tells me it’s an Airmail Special Tipped. The pen is a cartridge/converter filler and it is supplied with the converter in place. A slight complaint – the nib/feed unit was somehow blocked when it arrived. It wasn’t evident what was causing the problem; I simply pulled the nib and feed out, give them a brisk wash and replaced them and that seems to have been enough to solve the problem. It writes well now and the nib behaves rather better than its appearance would suggest. It’s a nice European-size fine.
This is quite a small pen at 12.5 cm so it’s not for those among us who require a baton to write with. I should say it’s perfectly adequate for most people. It’s about the size of a Swan SM 100/60. I can’t understand how they can keep the cost so low. After all, this isn’t an absolutely basic pen: there are two different metals in the cap, topped by a nice red finial, and there is a chrome plated band on the barrel. All of this has a cost over and above the most simple pen. It’s attractive and well-balanced and with such a nice tight-fitting cap it would make an excellent carry-around everyday user that would not affect the bank balance too adversely if it were to be damaged or lost.
I haven’t had all that many Indian pens so I can’t make a generalisation about them, but if this one is anything to go by they are well worth attention and investment.