25 February 2012

No Logo

On a previous chronicle, I tried to analyze the role of Montblanc in the market of fountain pens. Montblanc, I concluded, sells a brand and a symbol of status devoid of mostly any content. The only detail that really matters on a Montblanc pen is the white star on display.

Japanese company Muji (Mujirushi Ryôhin), on the contrary, uses the opposite strategy. Mujirushi Ryôhin means “no brand, quality goods”, and indeed no brand name and no logotype can be seen on any of this company’s products.

On the left hand side of the cap a lip can be seen. It fits perfectly on the grooves on both section and barrel.

Regarding fountain pens, Muji has marketed a number of models. Many of them are remarkably similar to some made by Ohto. Currently (February 2012), there seems to be only one model available. It is a cartridge-converter pen made of aluminum. Its nib is, most likely, made by Bock in stainless steel. Its design, basically a perfect cylinder, is attractive and functional. The section is knurled for a good grip. Barrel and cap fit very tightly and elegantly both when the pen is closed and when is posted—the cap lip slides inside an ad-hoc groove in the section and in the barrel end.

On this picture, the groove on the barrel can be seen. The lip of the cap fits perfectly inside.

The cap, perfectly attached to the barrel on the posted configuration.

Performance-wise, this pen simply does its job. The nib is rigid and uncharacteristic; on the dry side, but without missing a stroke. It lays what looks like an M point, although there is an F engraved on the nib.

All in all, this is an average pen that honors the selling point of Muji: no brand, good quality. This is not a symbol of status. It is just a pen that writes correctly.

These are its dimensions:
Diameter: 10 mm.
Length closed: 13.8 mm.
Length open: 12.6 mm.
Length posted: 16.2 mm.
Weigth (inked): 20.0 g.

It costs JPY 1100 (tax excluded) in Japan.

(Muji pen in aluminum – Diamine Teal)

Bruno Taut
February 26, 2012
[labels: Muji, Ohto, mercado, Montblanc]

1 comment:

ZenKraft said...

I agree. However, I love its minimalistic form factor and use of the knurled grip. Great review.

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