10 July 2011

Honest Pen

Past April I spoke about a strange Spanish pen by the name of Presidente. Actually, the only detail speaking of Spain on that pen was the engraved sign on the barrel: “PRESIDENTE / Registrada”. The rest screamed Japan out loud. Well, not just Japan but Platinum.

The Spanish Presidente pen. The brand was registered in Spain by Doroteo Pérez y Pérez in 1959.

The Honest 60 model by Platinum from 1956.

Today’s pen seems to be the actual Platinum relative to that Spanish pen. It is the Platinum Honest 60 pen from 1956.

The Honest 60's inscription on the barrel. Very different to that on the Spanish Presidente.

The top jewel, however, is the same on both pens.

Apparently, this Japanese company released the Honest model in 1955 with a bulb filler (according to Ron Dutcher, of Kamakura Pens). In 1956, the pen was marketed as the Honest 60 with a cartridge/converter system: “Good bye, ink bottle” was the pen’s motto at the time. This pen was, in fact, the first Platinum’s cartridge/converter model. In 1953, the ten year durable nib had been introduced and, therefore, the10 years imprint. The number 60 made reference to the company’s goal to become one of the top ten pen companies by year 1960.

The black pen on the back is the Honest 66 from 1960. On the front, the Honest 60 (1956).

This ad was taken from the Platinum's website. It speaks of the Honest 60, but the pen shown is the later model Honest 66. The date Christmas '60 is correct for the later 66 model.

The Platinum Honest 66 (P66-100) model. A mayor difference with the older 60 model is the smooth barrel on the 66 versus the stepped one on the 60.

In 1959, Platinum realized that goal could not be accomplished and put it off to 1966. And a refurbished Honest pen –the Honest 66 model, code number P66-100— was released.

The Honest 60, disassembled.

The Honest model here shown is the cartridge/converter model from 1956. And this filing system is the basic difference with the aerometric Spanish relative. The rest are mere cosmetic differences. Even the steel nib is engraved in the same way: “PLATINUM / (Company logo) / 10 YEARS / HONEST / (JIS logo) 11”.

The Platinum's Honest 60 steel nib.

Then, how did the aerometric Presidente become Spanish? How did the bulb filler or the cartridge/converter system become aerometric? Was the aerometric some sort of production test for those pens finally sold in Japan? I have no answers for these questions, but at least here we have the obvious relative to that not-so-honest Spanish pen registered by some Doroteo Pérez y Pérez in 1959. And the quest for information continues.

(Navy Gold 200 – Pelikan 4001 Royal Blue)

Bruno Taut
July 9, 2011
[labels: Presidente, Platinum, España, Japón]


Kostas K. said...

Great detective work Mr Taut!
I have two versions of a pen, same as the Presidente, one has the globe and S*N on the cap (older?), the other doesn't. They are aerometric and both come from an Italian (not 100% certain about that, though) firm called Joker. Both pens have written "Joker 60" on the nib, "inspired" from the Platinum 60?. Were these illegal copies of the Platinum? Or was Platinum producing generic pens (or parts) for small European manufacturers, much like Chinese manufacturers do today? Maybe Joker continued producing them in-house and gradually abandoned all the Platinum logos?
No answers, just more questions...
Ps. Your blog is excellent.
Kostas K. Athens, Greece

Bruno Taut said...

Thanks, Kostas, for your praising comment. Now, my answers.

--I think I need to write a short chronicle on Platinum logos. The summary, according to Ron Dutcher, is that the old logo --the S*N in the globe-- was changed in 1963 for the new one --the stylized P. However, I have some exceptions to that rule--pocket pens from the 1970s with the old logo.

See these pics for examples:

1. Old logo, up to 1963: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_aQ69G8Wh9To/TIOKTatrIxI/AAAAAAAAArw/7-EGQdaCxtk/s1600/IMG_2474-blog.jpg

2. New logo, after 1963: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_aQ69G8Wh9To/THEl6_VVH2I/AAAAAAAAAnY/mmSVdLOyvTE/s1600/IMG_1031-red.jpg

3. Old logo in a post-1963 pen: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_aQ69G8Wh9To/S83QgoExR0I/AAAAAAAAADY/wKv-8i-eyZ8/s1600/IMG_0382-cr2.jpg

By the way, the Nakaya logo is just a small variation on the old Platinum one.

--(Possible) Italian Platinum pens. That is truly interesting, and I need to know more. Could you please email me to katsura.rikyu at gmail dot com ? Thanks.

Thanks again for your comment.


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