ASA Pens “Nauka”
Fountain Pen Review
- Review Ink: Iroshizuku Fuyu-Syogun Grey Ink
- Review Paper: Exaclair FAF Pad
- Description: An ebonite fountain pen from Indian brand, ASA with a custom nib grind.
- Nib: Steel with black coating & broad architect grind
- Filling Mechanism: Cartridge/Converter/Eyedropper
- Measurements: 6.1″ capped, 5.7″ uncapped, ignorantly long posted
- Color Options: A whole bunch.
The ASA Pens “Nauka” is a collaboration between the Indian brand ASA and pen professional J.J. Lax Pen Co. It’s a large, black, ebonite pen that’s loaded up with a #6 steel nib. I opted for the fully blacked-out version with a custom architect grind. I had the pleasure of seeing the pen last year at the Long Island Pen Show, and it was a total impulse buy. It’s pretty well documented that I’m a sucker for all things matte black, so it’s no surprise that I ended up leaving with this pen in my pocket. Let’s dig into this interesting pen from a lesser-known brand.
Appearance & Packaging:
ASA’s Nauka is a long, cigar-shaped pen that terminates in pointy ends. The cap is bullet shaped, with a slightly less dramatic point at the end. On the body, there’s a gentle curve from the grip section to the middle of the body, and another curve from there to the pointed end. The cap threads are located just behind the nib. I thought this was an interesting choice. I’ve found that it doesn’t get in the way of writing at all and actually makes a pretty solid barrier between your fingers and the feed – preventing inky fingers.
Along the body, you’ll notice a hairline style finish that adds some texture to the pen. It looks almost like the brushed finish on the Lamy 2000, but a little bit more rough around the edges. The ebonite body is not without its own little imperfections either. There are a few pits, holes, and the occasional splotch of non-black material. I think it gives the pen character. At around $60, I can’t complain too much. Nothing noted put me off from buying the pen. Packaging was non-existent. I purchased the pen at a show and simply threw it in my pocket and off I went.
Nib Performance & Filling System:
Part of what led me to the pen was wanting something with a custom grind on it. I’m a big fan of architect nibs, and that’s what I wanted for this one. We started with a broad steel Jowo nib, and eventually ended up with a smooth, wet writing monster. The cross strokes are bold, and the downstrokes are thin. This grind adds some flair to your handwriting (I really like it with mine). Since I had the pleasure of sitting down and getting the nib ground and tuned specifically for my hand, it’s hard to say how it would perform for others. The nib work from J.J. Lax is excellent, so I’m sure you’ll have a comparable experience should you go that route. Either way, I’ve never had a problem with stock steel Jowo nibs, which is what the pen comes with stock.There are three ways to fill the ASA Nauka. Cartridge, converter, or eyedropper. The ample threading on the grip-to-body transition makes for a secure eyedropper pen. I’ve been using mine with a Schmidt converter, and it works great. The ink flow of the feed and converter keep up with the broad architect grind with no issue. It’s cool to see a pen that’s designed to be completely filled with ink. I’m sure a little bit of silicone sealant on the threads can be applied for peace of mind.
In hand, the ASA pens feels great. The ebonite body is lightweight and the larger size of the body makes it comfortable and balanced to hold. As mentioned above, the threads are located at the front of the grip instead of in the transitionary area from grip to body. In my opinion, this is an excellent way of keeping the cap on the pen. Unless you really choke up on the pen when writing, your hands should never touch a rough thread when writing. Now that I think about it, I’ve never really had a problem with threads interfering with my writing experience. If you have, sound off in the comments about what threads have bothered you. I’m curious to know.
- Comfortable lightweight body
- Broad architect grind is excellent
- ALL BLACK EVERYTHING
- Finish is a little inconsistent
- Some imperfections in the material
- Cap doesn’t post (does not bother me, but this may be a dealbreaker for some)
Out of all the pens at the 2018 (yes, it took a full year to get a review of this up) Long Island Pen Show, I walked home with this one. That should say something about the pen for sure. The idea of getting a new custom nib grind is what initially drew me in (J.J. Lax sells these at his table) and when I saw a matte black ebonite pen, I was sold. If you’re looking for something that won’t break the bank, the ASA Nauka should definitely be on your list of pens to consider. On ASA’s website, they’ll run you a hair over $60. Thanks for reading! If you have any experience with ASA pens, let me know in the comments below.