Full disclosure: I no longer own this pen. You’ll say, “Whaaat? How could you review a pen you no longer own, P?” Well, the answer is that I had this post saved in my drafts for what turned out to be nine months. And unfortunately, my poor Serwex Special 101 got lost to the swirls of time. By that, of course, I mean I left it behind in class and someone must’ve either scooped it up or thrown it away. Which is really a shame for them, because I remember very clearly that I needed to refill it when I lost it. So godspeed to whoever picked up my leaking pen. But onto the review.
I purchased the Serwex Special 101 from Fountain Pen Revolution, a distributor of Indian fountain pens. Unfortunately, it appears that the Serwex 101 Special is no longer available on the website. Bummer! Luckily, there are other Serwex pens available in price range, and each of them are pretty darn cheap; the Serwex 77TR appears to be nearly the same pen, other than the fact that the details are gold instead of silver. The nib is not gold; it’s probably coated steel or something to that effect (I’m not an expert on these things). It’s a bit of a scratchy writer–honestly, anyone who expects Nakaya-level writing amazement out of a $6 pen needs to sit down–but I think that if you’re someone who is interested in trying nib grinding, you might want to pick up one of these pens. For something like $9 (including shipping) you can’t really go wrong. You may need to finagle with the feed, but the feed and the nib are friction-fit into the section, which means you can pull both out with ease. This also means it’s super easy to clean, if you want to just take apart the entire pen and dump it in some water.
In hand, the pen felt… good. Not perfect, but good. It’s very lightweight because it’s mostly plastic, but once you put ink in it it’s a very decent weight. Speaking of ink, this pen can hold a lot. It’s an eyedropper, so this seems like a duh statement, but honestly: you’ll be writing for a month with this pen. I, unfortunately, cannot give you exact measurements, but from my own experience of using this pen for approximately a year, I found it to be a pretty decent writer. Yes, you had to apply a little bit more pressure for it to write consistently, and yes, the nib was scratchy, but I found both these issues diminished over time as I used it more and more often.Here it is, in all its nib-creepy glory!
You may notice two things: the clip is bent at a very strange angle, and there is a piece of tape on one part of the cap. The clip is extremely weak. You know that magic trick where you bend a spoon? That’s kind of how the clip works. I’m fairly certain that it’s softer than a paper clip. I never clipped the pen to anything, but if you’re someone who does that, be careful. The piece of tape covered a breather hole in the cap. I’m not sure why there’s a breather hole in the cap. I found that the hole simply made my nib dry up a lot faster than it should have. I slapped on a piece of tape and my pen was no longer drying up after spending a night not writing.
Overall, I think this pen is a decent starter pen (if you know what you’re doing!), or perhaps a good workhorse if you’re the kind of person to bring a pen everywhere. It will leak if you’re not careful, but a little silicone grease and frequent fillings may help. Not once in carrying it around for a year did it crack: the plastic is surprisingly thick and hardy. Would I suggest it for someone who wants a world-class writing experience? Nope. Would I suggest it for someone who just wants a dang pen they don’t need to care about all the time? Yep!
Here’s a written review on Rhodia Dotgrid, if that is something you would like:
The Serwex Special 101 is no longer available, but you can browse the collection of Serwex pens here.
I am in no way affiliated with or sponsored by Fountain Pen Revolution: just a happy customer!