31 July 2011

Joker 60

We concluded on a previous chronicle that the Spanish pen Presidente was in fact a small variation on the Japanese Platinum Honest 60 from 1956. That conclusion, however, opened a number of other questions and the search for more information continues.

Thanks to fellow stylophile Kostas K, I learned of another possible variation of the original Honest 60. That is the Joker 60. Little we know of this brand, but a quick search in the Net points out at Italy as the country of origin.

The Joker 60, capped. It looks like a real Platinum pen. Picture by Kostas K.

The Joker 60, disassembled. Picture by Kostas K.

The Joker 60 is, again, an aerometric filler very much alike to the Honest 60. But there are some additional differences between them. The Joker 60 nib, for instance, is imprinted with the name of this company and with the word PLADIUM, and there is no sign of the original Japanese company. However, this apparent misspelling has already been reported on these chronicles as belonging to a Platinum shiro nib from the 1950s. Therefore, it is reasonable to consider this nib as made by Platinum.

A music shiro nib by Platinum with the "PLADIUM" imprint.

The Joker 60 nib, in "PLADIUM". Picture by Kostas K.

A second, major, difference in the Joker 60 is the wide clutch ring at the end of the section. This wide ring shows an important difference with respect to both the original Platinum Honest 60 and to the Spanish relative. These two pens show a very characteristic shape in the barrel --albeit not unique at all. This ring, then, implies that the manufacturing mold of this Joker was different from those of the Japanese and Spanish Platinums.

The Joker 60, uncapped. The metal ring belongs to the section and is covered by the cap when closed. Picture by Kostas K.

A third difference can be seen in the section: the nib mouth is different from that in the Honest 60, which abounds in the idea of these two pens being separate models, albeit related.

Nib and section of the Joker 60, on top, and of the Platinum Honest 60. There are some obvious differences in the way the sections expose the nib. (Authorship of the pictures as stated on the watermarks).

Finally, the barrel is engraved with the name of the Italian company. As a result, the only obvious sign of the Platinum origin of this pen is the logo on the cap jewel.

The cap jewel in the Joker 60. Picture by Kostas K.

There exists, Kostas K reports, another Joker pen with some additional differences: its cap has no logo, and the feed and the connecting piece between barrel and section are black. Their nibs are identical; i. e., both show the Joker and the “PLADIUM” imprints.

Everything on these Joker pens smell Platinum despite the small differences with respect to the Honest 60, as was the case with the Spanish Presidente.

The two variations of the Joker 60, side by side. The one on the left has the old Platinum logo on the cap. Picture by Kostas K.

There are also news, yet to be confirmed, of some Platinum pen very much alike to the Honest 60, but implemented with an aerometric system. Ron Dutcher has spoken of a previous Honest 60 pen released in 1955 with a bulb filler.

In view of all these facts, I dare to formulate a hypothesis: The Honest 60 was initially released in 1955 as a self-filler pen, either as a bulb-filler or as an aerometric. The next year, Platinum changed it to become the first cartridge/converter pen of the company. Then, I suggest, Platinum got rid of the remaining self-filling pens by selling them in other markets and through other companies, such as Presidente and Joker.

And the quest for information continues.

My great appreciation to my friend Kostas K.

(Kaweco Sport – Diamine Amazing Amethyst)

Bruno Taut
July 27, 2011
[labels: Presidente, Platinum, Joker]

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