29 December 2017

Madrid 2017 (II)

The Madrid Pen Show of 2017 –its 14th edition—took place over a month ago, on November 17th to 19th. As I had announced, I attended it and these are some of my reflections and conclusions.


The event is, according to numerous sources, the leader of its class in Europe. 63 dealers, some of them with more than one table, offered their products to about 1500 visitors along the three days of the show. The typical expense can be traced between EUR 200 and EUR 300 per visitor, which makes a total business in the order of EUR 400,000. The average business per dealer is, therefore, around EUR 6000. Of course, these numbers are just approximate—save that of the number of dealers!


The Madrid Pen Show is also the major celebration of the very active Spanish pen community. The community provides most of the social aspect of the party, as the following video shows.


My thanks to Mr. José Riofrío, author of the video.


Some new people could be seen on the floor during those days. On one hand, some younger dealers offering both new and vintage pens as well as some paper products and other accessories. On the other, I could also see some foreign visitors, adding an additional layer to the international expansion of the event. This should not be a surprise—after all, American shows attract visitors across state lines...




On their side, locals seem to have understood the value of having such an event at their footsteps: knowledge, pens, better prices through competition… The contrast with the very parochial Japanese pen scene –a country where the pen industry is still strong and the community is very active— is startling.


Romillo Nervión – Sailor Blue Iron

Bruno Taut
Nakano, December 29th 2017
labels: evento, Madrid

07 December 2017

The Obvious Connection

Years ago, fellow stylophile KostasK and myself described the pen brand Joker. After some research, we concluded that Joker was a Greek brand that marketed Japane-made Platinum pens.

The Platinum origin of those pens --just a couple of models-- was clear almost from the very begining by comparing some details: the obvious similarity with some Platinum models, the logo on the clip,...

Today I am showing another proof of the link between Platinum and Joker: the box of a Joker where both names coexist peacefully.


A Joker pen with a Joker box. Or is it a Platinum box? On the barrel, simply "JOKER".


The Platinum counterpart. On the barrel, "PLATINUM / TRADE (platinum logo) MARK / 10 YEARS PEN".

On top of that, boxes like this one were obiqutous in the Japanese industry in the 1950s. Many a brand used them, although displaying different designs.


A collection of boxes of Japanese pens from the 1940s and 1950s.

This box by Joker and Platinum contained a Joker pen fashioned after the Parker 51. This same model exists branded as Platinum, although with some significant differences. Tha main one lies on the nib--the Platinum nib is tipped whereas the Joker is merely folded. There are some other cosmetic variations: different engravings and a non-plated cap on the Joker pen.



The Joker nib is gold-plated and untipped. The engraving is not branded: "OSMIRIDIUM / 30".


The Platinum pen implements a "10 years" nib with the inscription "PLATINUM / 10 YEARS P-B / (JIS Logo)". It is tipped, and was likely to be gold-plated.

If only, the box of this Joker pen shows a clear connection between that brand and Platinum. But this is a connection Platinum said to know nothing about.


Sailor Ballerie - Sailor Red-brown

Bruno Taut
Nakano, November 11 2017
etiquetas: Joker, Platinum
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