13 June 2013


In 1979 Platinum released two interesting pens. The better known was the original 3776 model designed by Mr. Fountain Pen Haruo Umeda which is still on production. The second model was not so successful—the Platinum Belage.

A Platinum Belage from 1979 with a steel nib.

The Belage was intended as a popular pen. Its price range started at JPY 3000 for the basic model with steel nib. The model with a white gold nib (14 K) cost JPY 7000. In contrast, the 3776 started at JPY 10000.

This second unit implements a white gold nib (14 K), and was made in 1981.

The original Belage won the Good Design Award given by the almighty Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry, and it was indeed an interesting design: It is made of very simple and clean lines to create a very cylindrical pen. The tail and the section are made of plastic of a smaller diameter than the body, which allows for a perfect fit and alignment of cap and barrel both when closed and posted. In fact, the cap snaps loudly and securely on both configurations. These features, save the reassuring sounding snap, remind of the Muji fountain pen in aluminum—a simple cylindrical pen designed for a perfect adjustment both closed and posted.

Later Belage models, though, had this narrower tail removed, and, paradoxically, that created a less clean design. The clip, on its side, showed a number of variations in its size and shape, not always matching the looks of the pen. On that same year of 1979, it might be worth to note, Platinum signed an agreement with Play Boy Enterprises and the Play Boy bunny showed up on some pens, including the Belage. Finally, some other Platinum labeled as Belage used a different type of nib.

The Honest-66 cartridge, ink capacity of 1.7 ml, attached to the Belage.

In short, the Belage on display today is a cartridge-converter pen, that uses a wing-flow nib in either steel or white gold. These are very rigid, but very reliable in their writing. It is a fairly large pen, and the unusually long Honest-66 cartridge (1.7 ml of ink capacity) could fit perfectly inside the barrel. However, these cartridges were long gone by the year 1979 when this pen was initially released.

A stainless steel nib of a Belage. A wing-flow nib.

These are the dimensions of the pen:
Length closed: 138 mm
Length open: 126 mm
Length posted: 155 mm
Diameter: 11 mm
Weight (dry): 21.5 g

In summary, this is an attractive and modern looking pen, well made and very reliable. I have no information on when it was discontinued.

Sailor white pocket pen (F, 14 K) – Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Brown

Bruno Taut
Yokohama, June 12th 2013
etiquetas: Platinum, Muji

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