Thursday, December 6, 2012

Matching (XII)

The controversy is always there: Is that pen original or a copy of another? Which company did father that idea? Sometimes, the answers are clear…

Platinum’s “10-years” nibs are not new on these chronicles. Those were, let us remember, steel nibs manufactured in the 1950s, at the time of the implementation of the Japan Industrial Standards (JIS) norm by the Ministry of Industry. This norm aimed at providing some reliability on the claims made by manufacturing companies about their own products. In the case of fountain pens, the problems were mostly related to the nib material.


The de-luxe "10-years" pen, as the engraving on the barrel says. The cap is gold filled and displays the sign "NK14 PLATINUM".

“10-years” pens; that is, equipped with these steel nibs; came in a number of sized and shapes. The most popular was the Honest model, already mentioned on these texts.


Parker 51 (top) and Platinum "10-Years" (bottom), side to side.


Both pens, disassembled. The section of the Platinum pen is faceted, and that is the major external difference between these pens.

Another example is this copy of the very popular Parker 51 model. This Platinum was a de luxe model given its gold filled cap, in contrast with the steel nib. The filling system is a very reliable aerometric, just like the most popular version of the American original.


Nib and feed of the Parker on top. The Platinum pen uses a different structure to hold them together. Platinum used a hollow cylinder made of plastic. The following photographs shows these parts disassembled.

The similarities with the Parker 51 are not just on the looks. Not only the nib is hooded, but also the structure of the platinum pen is very close to that of the aerometric 51—the whole pen is held together by a central ring to which both the feed and the filling system are attached. The nib, however, does not have the cylindrical shape of the American model and is kept in place with respect to the feed by means of a plastic cylinder.


The Platinum "10-Years" almost fully disassembled. The nib-feed system can be seen at the bottom of the picture.

These are the dimensions of this Platinum 10-Years and of the Parker 51 (aerometric):
Length closed: .......140 mm. ................. 139.5 mm
Length open: .........127.5 mm. ............... 128.0 mm.
Diameter: ..............12.5 mm. ................. 12.5 mm.
Dry weight: .............17.4 g. ...................... 21.5 g.

This pen, with eventual very minor differences, was marketed outside Japan under the name of some local brands. Such was the case of Italy or Greece, using the brand name of Joker, and of South Africa, branded as Hifra. But this should be the topic of a different text.

Pilot Bamboo – unknown blue ink

Bruno Taut
Madrid, December 5th, 2012
etiquetas: Parker, Platinum, Hifra, Joker, Japón

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