29 March 2012

5 mm.

Not so long ago, I spoke about the second generation of Pilot´s Petit-1. Sometime along 2011, should we remember, this pen had been modified in two ways: reducing the number of colors from 14 to 5, and adding four notches to the barrel to secure the cap when posted. Now, quite unexpectedly, some new changes can be seen on this pen and we can speak of a new generation of Petit-1.

Two are the visible changes:

3rd, on top, and 2nd generation, on bottom, of Petit-1 pens. Note the longer barrel of the newer pen.

First, and more visible, the barrel is now 5 mm longer. As a result, the cartridge can be stored inside without actually inking the pen. This makes the packaging of this pen easier for Pilot—the pens are now sold without any bag. The sealed cartridges carry a plastic piece to avoid inking the pen accidentally. The instructions, mostly how to remove this safety piece and how to ink the pen, are written on a sticker attached to the pen. However, these extra 5 mm in the barrel are not enough for the pen to use regular Pilot cartridges nor any of the Pilot converters.

All three generations of this pen: 3rd on top, 1st on bottom. Note the yellow plastic piece on the cartridge of the third generation. It prevents accidental inking of the pen.

The packaging of the three generations of Petit-1. Newer on top, old on bottom. The first generation was inked before delivered.

The second variation is on the number of colors and variations this pen is available. The second generation was found on five different body colors that did not necessarily match the eight inks available in the cartridges that are specific for this pen. This third generation is available in eight colors, shown on clip and barrel, matching the available inks.

The new eight colors of the 3rd generation Petit-1. They match the existing line of ink colors in the Pilot Petit line of pens.

The price –JPY 210— has not changed. It is the same as for the nominally disposable Vpen (Varsity in some markets) with which the Petit-1 shares the nib.

These are the dimensions:

............................2nd generation.................3rd generation
Diameter: .......................13 mm.................................13 mm
Length closed:............. 104 mm.............................. 109 mm
Length open:.................. 90 mm ................................95 mm
Length posted:............. 128 mm ..............................133 mm
Weight (inked):................. 9.9 g .................................10.4 g

It seems this longer barrel obeys mostly to the simplification of the packaging, but at the same time it makes this pen more comfortable to use.

(Fit de Bayard – Sailor Jentle Doyô)

Bruno Taut
(March 27th, 2012)
[labels: Pilot, mercado]

25 March 2012

Size 10, by Waterman

Nibmeister Yamada is an avid, and brilliant, collector of early Waterman pens. His collection includes a couple of units with size-10 nibs—and unusual and spectacular nib. The pens are eyedroppers (model 20) with a large ink capacity.

Another view of the impressive collection of early Watermans of Mr. Yamada.

The two pens with size-10 nibs.

The two nibs have different engravings.

The 500-yen coin has a diameter of 26.5 mm, a bit over one inch.

In a sense, these Watermans would be the inspiration for the Japanese jumbo pens of the 1930s. However, their purposes were probably different—a symbol of status on the American pen, and a way to ease the grip in the case of the Japanese tools.

My thanks to Mr. Yamada.

(Aurora 88 – Pelikan 4001 Blue Black)

Bruno Taut
March 23th, 2012
[etiquetas: estilofilia, Waterman]

20 March 2012


A Japanese pen, with a name of a Greek philosopher, and whose logo is a Jewish symbol… Such were Platon pens.

Platon Bungu company was founded in 1919 by Toyozô Nakayama with the initial name of Nihon Bungu Seizô. The company produced assorted stationery goods including ink and pens with several filling systems, mostly made of hard rubber (ebonite). In the 1930s, its catalog included pens made of celluloid. Platon Bungu stopped its activities in 1954.

The inscription on the nib says "WARRANTED / 14 K / GOLD / (Platon logo) / PLATON". Hidden in the section a number 5 shows the size of the nib.

This Platon pen has its name engraved only on the nib, made of 14 K gold. As for the rest, it is an eyedropper with shut-off valve made of ebonite with some decoration on cap and barrel.

This pen dates, probably, from the 1920s.

My thanks to Mr. Niikura.

(Muji aluminum pen – Diamine Teal)

Bruno Taut
March 4th, 2012
[labels: Platón, Japón]

13 March 2012

At the Museum (IV)

(As seen at the Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Modern Literature).

On this chronicle I am presenting the pens that belonged to another female writer –NAKAZATO Tsuneko (中里 恒子, 1909-1987). She was the first woman to be awarded with the Akutagawa price in 1938. However, the price had just been established in 1935.

Nakazato´s pens. At least, those shown at this exhibit.

The golden nib of the New Clip jumbo pen.

Her pens, as shown at the Museum of Modern Literature in Yokohama, were mostly Western, with the sole exception of a New Clip jumbo (manufactured by Fukunaka Seisakusho), with an ink deposit suitable for a very long novel. The rest were a Sheaffer snorkel, a Pelikan 120, and a couple of identical French-made Watermans.

The Pelikan 120. Nominally, a student pen.

The snorkel in the feed of the Sheaffer pen.

The two identical French Watermans.

A user or a collector? It does not really matter… User she was, and successful at that! Collector, maybe.

(Aurora 88 – Pelikan 4001 Blue black)

Bruno Taut
March 11th, 2012
[labels: New Clip, Waterman, Pelikan, Japón, evento, estilofilia, Sheaffer]

11 March 2012


Despite being mostly unknown outside Japan, SSS pens was one of the leading manufacturing companies in Japan before the Second World War. “The only perfect pen in the Orient”, such was its motto, stopped its production in the 1950s.

Nowadays, SSS pens are relatively easy to find in the second hand market in Japan. They are not regarded as high quality, and their prices are affordable.

The pen I am showing here is a small one. It implements a size 1 nib made of steel and is gold plated. Its most interesting feature is the filling system—a blow filer. The pen tail unscrews from the barrel to allow access to the top part of a rubber sac. Inside it, a snorkel eases a more efficient filling.

The pen combines plastic and metal as the construction materials. It is well made and does not look cheap. Its price, the sticker says, was JPY 350. My estimation is that this pen was made after the War, in the late 1940s or early 1950s.

The size 1 nib made of steel. The inscription reads "S. S. S. / RUSTLESSPEN / IRIDIUM / POINTED / -<1>-".

These are its dimensions:
Diameter: 9 mm.
Length closed: 124 mm.
Length open: 108 mm.
Length posted: 143 mm.
Weight (dry): 8.4 g

(Muji aluminum pen – Diamine Teal)

Bruno Taut
March 7, 2012
[labels: SSS, soluciones técnicas]

08 March 2012


NOTE added on December 11th, 2012: My interpretation of how this hybrid pen worked was totally mistaken. A (more) correct explanation can be read on this newer chronicle: Nomikomi-shiki (呑込式).

Early Pilot pens used a variety of filling systems: eyedropper, lever, plunger, safety… Today´s report is on a pen with an interesting hybrid filling system.

This Pilot pen, closed and open.

On this pen, the barrel is attached to the section by friction. Inside, a transparent cylinder, screwed onto the section, works as the ink deposit. Its filling was performed with an eyedropper (or, nowadays, with a syringe). The feed, a very long feed, goes out of the section well into the ink deposit, almost all along its length; and this creates a problem: how much ink should we pour into the cylinder without overflowing it when inserting the feed? But this might have been a very minor inconvenient at the time.

On this picture, the barrel is detached from the section. The ink deposit, with the feed inside, is now exposed.

This filling system is indeed original and advanced for its time. It seems a hybrid between an eyedropper and a refillable cartridge, and the fact that the barrel could easily be disassembled from the section makes this pen really innovative for its time. The barrel is engraved with the old company logo –the N encircled by the lifebuoy--, which shows this pen was manufactured before 1938. And indeed this pen was marketed, according to the data available at the Pen Station (Pilot´s pen museum in Tokyo) in 1938.

The long feed, exposed, enters the ink deposit, the orange cylinder, that screws onto the section. The slits on the feed are clearly visible on the picture.

As for the rest of the pen, not much of interest can be said. The nib is a size 2 made of steel; the cap screws onto the barrel when closed, and it does not post securely; the clip, in steel, is not engraved with the company name, contrary to the usual policy of Pilot.

The nib is made of stainless steel. The clip, on the back, is not engraved.

These are its dimensions:
Diameter: 13 mm.
Length closed: 134 mm.
Length open: 119 mm.
Length posted: 166 mm.
Weight: 16 g.
Ink deposit: 1.9 ml.

(Muji aluminum pen – Diamine Teal)

Bruno Taut
March 7, 2012
[labels: Pilot, soluciones técnicas]

06 March 2012

Waterman's Music

Wagner meetings, I have already mentioned on these chronicles, are always a wonderful opportunity to see great pens in the hands of passionate stylophiles.

The impressive collection. Or part of it...

Nibmeister Yamada is the happy owner of an impressive collection of early Waterman pens. Among them, a model 54 (a lever filler, 5) with a wonderful music nib in size 4.

The Waterman 54 and its nib.

This three-tined nib is really flexible and remarkably wet. The slits are quite subtle, and it takes some attention to realize this is an unusual nib. There is one single breathing hole half-way between the tines, and that makes the nib to have a very normal look.

A sample of the ways of this wonderful nib.

My thanks to Mr. Yamada.

(Aurora 88 – Pelikan 4001 Blue-black)

Bruno Taut
March 4, 2012
[labels: Waterman, evento, plumín]

05 March 2012

At the Museum (III)

(As seen at the Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Modern Literature).

YOSHIYA Nobuko (吉屋信子, 1896-1973) was an active, and popular, novelist between the 1910s and the 1970s. She specialized in romance novels and was a pioneer in class-S—a very Japanese genre in which a primary argument are strong bonds between girls. She herself revealed her homosexuality in her novel Two Virgins in the Attic (Yaneura no nishojo, 屋根裏の二處女, 1919).

The Parker 51 with her name engraved on the barrel.

A large number of her pens were on display at the exhibit. Some, indeed interesting: from a Parker 51 engraved with her name to a lever filler in green celluloid by Waterman to a safety pen with a silver overlay by the same company.

A Waterman lever filler in green celluloid.

A Waterman safety pen in red hard rubber with silver overlay.

However, the pens that attracted my attention the most were two frankenpens: an all Montblanc pen with body (model 12) and cap not matching, and an improbable combination of a Montblanc 252 body with a Platinum cap. I guess she was really attached to these pens. Maybe they were excellent writers and she kept using them after having misplaced the caps…

A Montblanc 12 with a mismatched cap.

The impossible frankenpen--a Montblanc 252 with a Platinum cap.

Whether Yoshiya was a collector or a user we do not know. A total of eight pens of her were handled to the museum, including those two chimeras. Enough to choose among!

(Muji aluminum pen – Diamine Teal)

Bruno Taut
March 3rd, 2012
[labels: Montblanc, estilofilia, Japón, evento, Waterman, Parker]