A little bit of history In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, a succession of European countries established footholds in the East Indies, and eventually consolidated to the point that a small island off the coast of one continent ‘owned’ a whole sub-continent half way around the globe. Dark deeds were done. Eventually the mists cleared, and India was left with the aftermath of the old Empire, and there were one or two advantages; the railways, English language, the civil service…. OK, maybe not the civil service, but you get the point – it wasn’t all bad. Then a few decades later, a nice chap from Arkansas was travelling in India and found another curious carry-over; people were still using fountain pens – and making them, too. Kevin was so impressed he set up a business to bring these craftily-created pens to an international audience, and so the Fountain Pen Revolution was fomented. The Jaipur is the latest in the line of FPR specials, and when United Inkdom was asked to put them through their paces we gladly took delivery of several different colours and nibs so that we could test the whole range.
How it looks The Jaipur is available in two main costumes; business suit or party frock. The plain-coloured version looks suitably formal, and includes an ink window which gives a functional view of what’s in the fuel tank. The demonstrator comes in a range of finishes, all of which shout ‘this is a pen for having fun with’. The two-tone nib pulls off the clever trick of fitting in with either message.
How it feels The natural resin is warm and comfortable to the touch – and ever so slightly fruity to the nose (but you get used to that pretty quickly). It’s a fairly light pen of a comfortable size for the majority of users.
How it fills Now here’s a novel thing; these are hand-made piston-fillers. They look like nothing else, and the workings visible in the demonstrator body in particular appear almost organic. If the famed Pelikan is a CD, this is the 78rpm vinyl alternative. But it all works, can be dismantled for cleaning, and holds plenty enough ink. Being made by humans rather than laser-guided robots, the Jaipur can experience the occasional minor leak, so it’s perhaps not going to be our top choice for a pen to take to work – but when used at home, a quick wipe with a tissue is all that’s ever required before getting down to writing.
Crucially, how it writes… Extraordinarily well. The standard round-ended nibs are firm and impressively smooth, and would be a good introduction to the difference a fountain pen makes, should you need to convert anyone languishing in the slough of ballpoint despond. The flex nibs are justly famous as the most affordable flex that money can buy; they produce line variation without enormous effort and no special expertise is required to get started; even some of our reviewers who are not usually flex fans were almost won over!
Pen! What is it good for? This is a seriously affordable pen, so it’s fairly good for beginners (occasional dribbles notwithstanding), and the ink capacity makes it a strong contender for an artist’s pen too. As a low-risk way of trying out a flex nib, it’s unbeatable; the cost is so low that there’s really nothing to lose, and if you’re at all unsure about whether you’ll like it you can ask for a standard firm nib to be included in the package – the feed is a simple friction-fit affair so swapping them is a straightforward operation.
VFM These pens give you a chance to play, tinker and experiment, to have fun writing and to support sustainable employment in a developing economy, all for about £16. There is really just no reason to quibble – all our reviewers consider the Jaipur brilliant value.
If this isn’t quite your cup of tea, but almost… Have a mooch around the FPR website and size up a few of their other models; there is quite a range, and most offer the same options as regards nibs. For flex enthusiasts on a budget, there is little on offer elsewhere which really competes.
Our overall recommendation Just buy one already! If you enjoy getting to know how a fountain pen works, want to give flex a try, or just want something a bit different in the pen-pot, there’s just no reason not to. These are not hi-tech over-produced pens, certainly, but if something does go wrong FPR’s customer service is fast and friendly. Aside from preparing you for a minor ink leak here and there, we really have no reservations!
Where to get hold of one Direct is the only way; head straight to Fountain Pen Revolution’s site and fill your boots.
This meta-review references:
- Scribble Monboddo’s hand-written reviews of the fine nib and flex Jaipur
- Ian Hedley’s text-and-photos review of the medium nib and flex Jaipurs
- Ruth Hanson’s video review
Thanks to Kevin and the whole family at Fountain Pen Revolution.
Giveaway! Two lucky readers were given a chance to win a Jaipur in the colour of their choice (with their preferred nib, too) in this week’s piston-powered bonus bonanza (is that a tautology?). We asked entrants to drop us a line in the comments box with their wildest ideas about what the next clever product from FPR should be called, and some of them were very creative indeed! We picked two winners – Mike Church and Rai Toffoletto – via random.org on 15 November, and Kevin will get the booty winging its way as soon as we have their delivery details.
48 thoughts on “FPR Jaipur fountain pen review”
A beautiful region, with beautiful tea. And doesn’t it just roll off the tongue?
I’ve been eyeing these for a while now. Thanks for the nice review!
Having recently won a giveaway from Fountain Pen Revolution, I am holding back and letting others have a chance. But I totally agree with the review-What are you waiting for? Terrific basic (piston filler!) pens with good choices of nibs. The flex nib really is easy to enjoy right off.
Pondichéry ! That town always rings a bell ! Adventure and exotism it was…
I remember was I was a child, trying to find on the globe were was that town, and how far it was, how I could get there, via Europa? via Africa?
Thanks for the giveaway
What about the Dharma?
Since Diwali is tomorrow, let’s go with that!
The Kaprekar, after the self-trained mathematician.
Madras for colorful, Mulligatawny for chunky
City of Portuguese and Indian roots.
The Sitar because I like the music it makes!
Maybe Gandhi? It would be a nice homage
I am using FPR pens mostly for freehand drawing. Being an artist I am amazed by quality of flex nibs. Very good product!!! Thank you Kevin!
The suggested name: consonance
They could call it the Diwali and make it bright and look like lights. Or even better call it Holi and they could make it tiedye or different colors.
The Kalpana – after the first Indian woman to go into space!!
FPR Yoga sounds good… for me! 🙂
We’re dealing with ink here and ink flows. So I would suggest naming it for one of India’s great rivers. The “Narmada” has a nice ring.
What about the Varanasi? One of the holiest and most interesting places in India.
The Kali! Creator and destroyer.
Khubasurata. Simply Beatiful, that what these pens are!
A flex nib is always an eye candy….
Diwali and have it be pretty colors! 🙂
The Bhindi Masala — a nice wide barrelled, but shortish pen shaped like okra would be fantastic (it’s also my favourite Indian dish 🙂
I think a good name would be “The Delhi” or perhaps “Ganga”. Would so much like to try the flex nib.
I think the pen looks like it would fun to write with so I think it should be named Malini or Ameeta after two friends who are Indian and fun.
Love love love flex! Heaven in your hand.
Smooth-o-caster gets my vote. Most Indians I’ve met are pretty smooth (and Indian pens are the smoothest).
I would name the next one Gurgling Ganesh. You know that neat sound as you make the ink gurgle from one end to the other so you can watch it.
Anamudi-for a mountain in India. Sounds like stylish sophisticated and slightly exotic pen. It should be crimson and gold.
They should call one the Prince Dakkar. Pm
Perhaps a pen that’s more ergonomic? Then call it Kama Sutra!
The kali-ma, because i just watched temple of doom
Someone wrote FPR “Kali” up there and that was exactly my first thought! Maybe it can be a higher line with interesting colors & materials for the body with a nice piston-filler mechanism! Thanks for the Giveaway
Next pen should be called desire!
I was in the airport at Manama, Bahrain looking for something to eat. My associates headed to the Starbucks but I wanted something I could not get at home. A few meters down the concourse I noticed as crowd of South Asian fellows gathered around a small kiosk selling tea flavored with spices and sweetened with rock sugar. I sat with these fine people, ate curry that was bright yellow and drank a wonderfully perfumed khaki colored tea. That meal stuck with me. I would like to see FPR recreate that meal in a pen!
The tabla like a drum.
The Siddhartha. On it’s way to becoming a classic, like the novel.
Ghandi… he’s the reason India still uses them!
I like Ashanti for a pen.
How a about FPR Taj or FPR Devi? Anyway I own an FPR guru with flex nib and its absolutely brilliant. I used it to draw and the flex helped with line variation
How about a set of three pens: yellow, red and green, all named after curry! Oh yum!
I am a fan of Nilgiri tea. Also Assam.
I dream of having a FPR pen like the Jaipur, but with #6 nib and a long section. Those really help me to hold the pen for a long time as I have big palm, thick fingers and sweaty to top it off. I love to write and I write long and a lot every day, thus a comfortable and fairly large section like 1cm diameter is a good help for me. So far I have not found a pen that really fit my hand. I love how FPR nib write, already own some of them but like I said. I just wish to get something better than my current pens. Long section is very much like my Hero 901 or some Nakaya pens. God permit I can get the every day writer that I longed for from FPR. Thank you and God bless.
Thank you uniteinkdom for this lovely review. I’ve always suffered terrible hand cramps after writing with thin ballpoints for a long time and am looking forward to switching over to fountain pens now that my work involves more writing.
If anyone can just clear some questions after reading the article that would be of great help to me. The article mentioned there may be occasional leaks, I was wondering if this has became an issue for a lot of the Jaipur users so far. I was also wondering how much ink approximately this pen can take as I was thinking about a large volume of ink so the ink won’t run out after writing a couple of pages. Finally, I had previously considered the TWSBI Eco but eventually didn’t follow through with it after hearing of tragic cracking issues.