You Know When it Clicks

The Mighty Fountain Pens from Click Pens


Fountain pens may be a fetish in 2021. In stark contrast, the era of the 1990s wasn’t kind to either fountain pens or their makers. And unlike most of the manufacturers who faded into the books of our long-forgotten history, a few not just survived but flourished and sailed through the turbulent tides of time. One such story of the might of the fountain pens and the determination of their makers is of the Gagwani family, the owners of Click Pens. They couldn’t be happier sharing their experience with me. Harsh welcomed me to meet him at his workshop — an offer I was not going to reject. Amidst the prevailing circumstances of COVID-19, I couldn’t have expected any warmer welcome.


The Timeline

The first-generation of Gagwanis, Shri Gokuldas Gagwani, came to Indore, Madhya Pradesh and set up a manufacturing unit that acted as OEM for local, national brands. His brush with the renowned Wilson Pens made it relatively easier for him to look into the whole process with a keen and observant eye. For a considerable part of the then-growing business, Click Pens continued to bring industry-first innovations, like India’s first Matt-finish writing instrument and were amongst first in India to introduce aeromatic ink-filling mechanisms. All that while the demand for fountain pens continued to plunge into the seemingly never-ending gorges.


With an undying spirit, the Gagwanis chose to continue to invest in the no-longer flourishing business units. They bought, for example, Blue Nile in 2009 and Serwex in 2015 to expand their portfolio up to over 80 models. And if this wasn’t enough, they introduced their very own — conceived, designed, and manufactured — product from Click Pens, the Aristocrat series. This, as the youngest Gagwani likes to call, the “no-nonsense pen.” He demonstrated how despite him shaking the pen, the ink didn’t spill through onto the section. But — unlike the ink — that’s not the only instance where the quality seeps through; more on it in a bit.

Click Pens also works as an OEM for some well-known fountain pen brands in the United States of America. Even though I am bound by the condition to not reveal the names, I deduce two things: one, that workmanship and consistency are top-priority for Click Pens, and two, even if I happen to buy a pen from ‘that’ brand, the Swadeshi in me will still be getting a high-quality India-made pen.


The Quality that Speaks for Itself

Through my professional experience, I realize that I can sell a product only once. That is, if the product is outstanding, it will continue to sell by itself. Aristocrat isn’t any exception; the product sells itself. Given its asking price, the construction quality is top-notch. The pen neither squeaks nor spills. It doesn’t burp. In fact, you can choose from an assortment of colors and nib choices. And, because there isn’t any harm in asking for more, the pen — entering 2021, that is — comes with a replaceable nib unit. So, you can swap any nib unit of your choice from the Falcon or Renaissance series.


All pens come with a multi-threaded design. This means, even if the threads are noticeable, they are neither obtrusive nor any pain in the opening-and-closing operations. You can pick any pen from Click. I repeat. Any pen. And it opens and closes in less than two-and-a-half turns. I have, for the comparison, a Guider Medium Ebonite. It has an equal number of threads, and it takes me about four turns, at the very least, to open or close it.

The Work and the Workshop

The workshop spans a structured, well-laid-out area where production and assembly are carried out. The storage area is well-secured and contains all parts for all current and previous models, including some old, discontinued pens made using cellulose acetate butyrate (CAB) plastic.

There is a dedicated aisle for injection molding. Aside from some industry-specific machines that I could not take a picture of, the remaining workshop area is divided equally amongst the molding, tapering-and-turning, and polishing-and-buffing sections. A part of the workshop is also reserved for the final assembly and quality-check processes. 


The Target

Success isn’t a day’s affair. You have to continue to invest yourself in it. Harsh invested himself into this business when he turned 16. And, he hasn’t had to look back since then. First Aristocrat, then Falcon, and now Renaissance. With each iteration and every model that Click Pens has introduced since they have continued to build better products. Harsh is also working on a few innovations, a couple of which, if he is satisfied with the quality (I like how he continues to focus on it), will see the light of the day “very, very soon.”


I remain one fountain pen enthusiast who will wait for more products from Click Pens more frequently. I am, at least, relieved that my purchase proposition will be a “no-nonsense” product of good quality. And — because I am speaking of quality — I will say that with sufficient references to the stories and learning from the history of Click Pens, I will know when it clicks. 🙂



One more thing! I also had a chance to buy (and try) a few pens from them. I the upcoming reviews, I will share my thoughts on and experiences with those pens.

Until then, happy writing.

Product Review: Guider Medium Ebonite Handmade Pen

I had always wanted to write with an ink pen. More so, a handmade pen. After all, anything handmade is, more often, made with a little bit of extra care. My search, as of now at least, has concluded with something that fits my pocket, budget, and requirements. It is the Medium Ebonite Handmade pen from Guider Pen Works that I am talking about. Let’s delve.

Built and Construction

The pen seems built solidly. It’s just one single piece of ebonite, crafted like a cigar with a difference that the cap is a bit larger than the body.

The top finial is crowned to extrude out of the clip. Fashion is subjective, and so is the way this pen is crafted, for it looks a lot like the Montblanc Meisterstuck. But that’s not important, anyway. This pen looks like it will age well.

The pen comes with a butter-smooth nib (spoiler alert) and a Schmidt international converter. I had seen them ship an extra nib, but I guess that’s applicable for only ED pens. Mine came with a German nib unit, which is costly. And I am more than happy with what I got.

Here are a few specifications of the pen:

  • Length of the pen (closed) – 144 mm
  • Length of the pen (open and unposted) – 127 mm (including the nib)
  • Length of the Grip Section – 18 mm

The best part is that the threads on the section are unobtrusive. If anything, they help you grip better. The pen opens in about 3 and a half turns, which isn’t bothersome either.

Nib and Nibbling

A better part of describing a pen should be about how it performs. And, we could hardly keep ourselves from talking about such great nibs. Yet, when Mr. G Laksham Rao told me that all his pens in the ebonite series came with German nibs, it lent the required food for thought. What is the use of “food for thought” if it doesn’t make you hungry to explore any further?

For such reasons, I got myself a Schmidt #6 in Broad (update: Lakshman Garu told me later that it is #5 and not #6). The nib is sufficiently wet and transfers words effortlessly on paper as it glides smoothly as a hot knife glides through butter. The nib is so smooth that it demands me to write faster. In my case, it yearned for me to nibble bites from my thoughts one after another. I wrote five long pages of nonsense the moment I picked and unscrewed the pen.

The feed is plastic. And until you reach the break-in stage for this pen, which should be as early as a couple refills, the pen will tend to skip a bit. But then it could also be because of the combination of the thirsty Broad nib, the plastic feed, and the quick-drying Parker Quink.

If you want, you can order the nib unit separately and interchange it easily by unscrewing the old one and replacing it with the new one.

The Right and the Write

The pen is a lightweight champion. Even though it is front-heavy, the weight appears to be balanced evenly throughout the section and the barrel. It is also that the weight is just right enough for you to not bother about pressing down for the ink to flow: the pen writes well under its own weight.

I ordered the pen via the WhatsApp number of G Laksham Rao himself. He shared with me the entire list of pens he made. From that collection, I selected this all-black design. He had it shipped immediately. In less than seven days, I had received my order. He has been facing issues with procuring ebonite because of the COVID-19 situation, but he confesses his honest commitment of investing 100%  of his heart and soul into fulfilling all orders he receives. In his own words, “it is a matter of pride. I cannot spoil my father’s name.” They have been making pens for the last seventy-five years, and he wants to continue to do it for as long as possible.

I am happy that I, as a customer, could be a part of his long journey. After I received my order, he gave me a call to ask if I was OK with it. He took so much care that he even asked me to return the pen to him, and he would customize it to suit my requirements. For a newbie FP enthusiast like me, that is more than I had bargained for!

Conclusion and How to Buy

The pen makes a permanent place for itself right from the first word it wrote. I’d recommend an Indian handmade ebonite fountain pen to every possible person. Only a few companies chose to listen to their customers. Still, fewer treats their customers as respectfully as Lakshman Garu.

You can just give him a call and talk to him about fountain pens. At least for me, his care and passion poured out from my cellphones microphones as he continued to describe why he had sent what he had. I could well have begun and concluded this review in one sentence: despite not receiving what I had wanted, this pen continues to receive the praise it truly deserves.

Here’s how you can order a pen from him:

  1. Go through their website: https://guiderpen.com 
  2. Choose a pen category.
  3. Give him a call or WhatsApp him on 09390163779. He usually responds immediately.
  4. Select the pen of your choice and pay.
  5. He ships the pen to you.
  6. Write away to glory.

I hope you like the review and his craftsmanship.

Happy writing.