Monday, December 14, 2015

Kato 2000

Kato Kiyoshi, the thinking head behind Kato Seisakushô pens, died in January of 2010. This company was Kato’s last endeavor after a life of turning pens here and there, in Europe and in the Middle East. His legacy passed onto Mr. Onishi, a former worker in Kato Seisakushô company.


Kato Seisakushô's model 2000.

Onishi and Kato share a taste for anonymity and for celluloid. The lack of external markings and the irregular distributions of these pens –both Onishi’s and Kato’s— poses a number of problems on the side of the buyer. And that is what happened to me when I saw the pen I am presenting today: How many Kato’s pens remain unsold? How do we distinguish them from those made by Onishi? Is there, in fact, any real difference between them?

Today’s pen –I was assured by knowledgeable sources— belongs to the last series produced by Kato Kiyoshi and, therefore, dates back from 2009. In fact, the size and the shape match the records of the model 2000 of Kato’s pens.


This model 2000 is a cartridge-converter pen, and it implements a 14 k gold nib. As in the case of the model 800F, already described on these Chronicles, the nib inscription is very non-descriptive: “SUPERIOR / 14 K / LIFETIME / GRATIFY / JAPAN”. However, the size and dimensions of this nib are the same as those of the big size nibs made by Sailor, which is not surprising by now. But contrary to the usual Sailor policy, these nibs implemented by Mr. Kato are not engraved with any dating code.


Nibs and feeds of the Kato's model 2000 (left) and of a big size Sailor nib (right).


Two Kato Seisakushô's models: 800F and 2000. Note the differences in the nib size.

The celluloid of this pen deserves some additional note. Traditional celluloid was a family of compounds of cellulose nitrate and camphor (plus dyes and some other agents). Modern celluloids were developed later and substituted the former in some applications, film stock to name just one, due to the instability and flammability of the old compound. However, some high end pens, particularly by Italian makers, still use some variations of the classical formulation. And this seems to be the case of this Kato Seisakushô’s pen: it has a very distinctive camphor smell, very noticeable inside the cap and inside the barrel.

These are the dimensions of this pen:

Length closed: 144 mm
Length open: 125 mm
Length posted: 163 mm
Diameter: 15 mm
Weight: 23.0 g (with converter, dry)

Both Mr. Kato and Mr Onishi can be seen on the following video in the series “Masters of the Fountain Pen” published by VirtuThe3rdTV on YouTube:



My thanks to Mr. Sunami.


Parker 51 demi, vacumatic – Private Reserve DC Supershow Blue

Bruno Taut
Madrid, December 13rd, 2015
etiquetas: Kato Seisakushô, Onishi Seisakushô, Sailor

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