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69

Maker: Airmail.

If I were an uncharitable person, I might say that this pen is the company’s attempt to create an analog to the enormous and expensive Montblanc 149.  However, that is rather like accusing a small car company of trying to emulate Ferrari becuase they offer things with four wheels and red paint.  There is a limit to the number of possible shapes to pens, and the Wality 69 just happens to fall into the large, cigar-tapered camp.  There are rather more serious efforts to make things that look like Montblancs; this is at most an hommage.

It is very much a prime example of Indian pen making;  very old-style hard-rubber feed (which in a warm climate is less apt to play up than it is nearer the poles), body plastic is not fantastic but is certainly good enough, and when it comes to writing  (feed limitations aside), it’s a champ.  It’s at least as good as Sheaffer’s Javelin in most respects, and at a much lower cost.

The feed, though, is a serious drawback.  It is not unknown for people to turn garage-mechanic on these pens, refitting them with a feed from a NoNonsense or Viewpoint, which coincidentally enough is just about exactly the right size.

If you are inclined to get one, I recommend the eyedropper versions.  The pistons tend to lose their seal, which allows ink to dribble out at either end; another serious drawback.  Despite these two objections, for a pen of this price I find I do still recommend it.

Production Run: Currently in production.  Since when, can’t say

Cost When New: It cost me $5.99 in 2008.

Size: 14.6 cm long capped, 16.7 cm posted, 12.8 cm uncapped.

Point: Plated steel

Body: Plastic.

Filler: Eyedropper (capacity unknown) or piston, capacity approx. 1.6 ml

Wality 69 – big pens need not cost the world

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