Earlier this year I was browsing on the ASA website and came across the Beena fountain pens at the heady price of $12.00 USD for a pack of two. I was intrigued and went ahead and ordered a pack, they were labelled as new but also old stock from the 1980’s or thereabouts, this did not put me off if anything it was nice to have the chance to acquire a little piece of Indian fountain pen history.
A couple of weeks later they arrived carefully packaged and once opened I found the pens in a small zip lock type pouch and being curious I took one of the pens apart to see what I had got. Essentially what you get is a pocket-sized lightweight plastic pen that is nicely made, and despite being stored for around thirty years this pen worked like new.
The pen has a brushed aluminium styled plastic cap with a black finial and a serviceable clip, the barrel and the section are black plastic with a polished finished. Near the end of the barrel is a slim silver ring, that matches the one on the section, this is important because it divides the twist mechanism from the rest of the barrel and this is the fun bit. Twist it one way and the nib retracts then twist it the other way and the nib pops up which means it’s just a matter of personal choice when you are not using the pen whether you store it retracted or up.
It is supplied with a short international cartridge and given the retractable option of this pen this is probably the largest ink reservoir it can use, I doubt there is a suitable converter.
So, after much playing around I dipped the nib and tested it, I opted for GVFC India Red, and I was very happily surprised. I admit I had expected a scratchy nib but what I got was a very smooth writing experience quite comparable to more expensive pens I own.
If you want a pair of fun little pens that offer a good writing experience and can still find stock, then I would say buy them; they are definitely worth $12.00.
Disclaimer: The pens were purchased with my own funds at retail price. The opinions expressed in this review are my own; and I am not connected with either the retailers or manufacturers in any way.