18 February 2013

Ultra (III)

At the time of speaking about the Super Ultra 500 (::1::, ::2::) I mentioned that despite its limited commercial success --it was in the market for just a couple of years-- the Chiba Shigeki’s design had a great impact among Japanese pen manufacturers. Many a pen company released its own version of the Ultra pen with innovative and original ways to mimic the elegant nib design of the Pilot pen.

A typical example is the following pen by Ryo. Not much is known about this company. It was located in Nakano, Tokyo, and belonged to a company named Otani.

The decoration on the section is limited to the upper part. This picture corresponds to the Ryo Ultra with gold-plated steel nib.

This Ryo pen is equipped with a 14 K gold nib, quite springy, that is partially hidden inside the section. And this is decorated with a gold-plated damascene in the shape of the Pilot Super Ultra inlaid nib. This decoration, however, is limited to the upper part of the section. The filling system of the pen is aerometric. Its overall quality is quite high. These are its dimensions:

Length closed: 136 mm
Length open: 123 mm
Length posted: 154 mm
Diameter: 11 mm
Weight (dry): 14.3 mm
Ink deposit: 0.8 ml.

Its original price was JPY 1000, in sharp contrast with the JPY 5000 of the Pilot original. Ryo also marketed another version with a gold plated steel nib.

On top, Ryo Ultra with steel nib. On bottom, with 14 K gold nib.

Pilot and Ryo, side to side. The differences are clear.

All in all, these are interesting pens. They show the existence of an active pen industry around 1960s struggling in a very competitive market.

Twsbi Diamond 530 – Sailor 土用 - Doyô

Bruno Taut
Machida, February 8th, 2013
etiquetas: Pilot, Japón, Ryo

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