20 July 2010

Tang Dynasty

Pen review. Platinum 18 K WG Tang Dynasty.

1. Introduction.
I bought this pen in a second hand pen shop in Tokyo. I checked it and I tested it before making my mind up. It did entice me with its looks and its smooth nib.

I guess this pen dates back to the seventies, but it is difficult to put an exact date to it.

2. Appearance and design. (8.5/10)
This is metal pen. Made mostly of stainless steel with a plastic gripping section. The body is nicely and subtly engraved. The pattern seems to reproduce some Chinese ornaments from the time of the Tang Dynasty (aD 618-907). To Western eyes, they might recall some designs by Scottish architect C. R. Mackintosh (1868-1928). So, in a sense, this could be an “art nouveau” pen—obviously non intentional.

Given the construction materials, plastic and steel, this seems to be a modern pen. Shape-wise, there is nothing really innovative.

3. Construction and quality. (8.0/10)
This is a full size pen. Basically metallic but not heavy. Very good balance either posted or unposted. The grip is correct and comfortable—the plastic section is not a problem.

These are the physical dimensions:
Diameter: 11 mm.
Length capped: 132 mm.
Length uncapped: 117 mm.
Length posted: 145 mm.
Weight: 20 g.

4. Nib writing and performance. (8.0/10)
The nib is an 18 K white gold medium. It is quite rigid and extraordinarily smooth. Therefore, almost no line variation. The ink flow is correct –not dry, not wet— and starts promptly in every occasion. Just the behavior Platinum pen consistently provides.

5. Filling system and maintenance. (9.0/10)
This is a cartridge/converter pen, and uses Platinum proprietary cartridges, but in Japan they are easily available. This might be different overseas, but there are also adaptors to use international cartridges in Platinum pens.

Refilling cartridges and using converters is economically wiser than using new cartridges. The converter is a transparent piston filler.

Not much maintenance is needed. It is easy to clean, as is the case in mostly every C/C pen.

6. Cost and value. (9.0/10)
These pens do not see to be valued in the Japanese second hand market. So, this pen has a great value: good, reliable, reasonable or even cheap in price.

7. Conclusion. (51/60 = 85/100)
This pen certainly scores very high. It performs very well in an attractive and discreet envelope. It could score higher had it a more exciting nib.

(Platinum 18 K WG Tang Dynasty – Platinum black, cartridge)

Bruno Taut
(Inagi, July 15 2010)
[labels: Platinum, Japón]

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