04 July 2016

East Pen Made in Tokyo

The experimentation with fountain pen nibs is alive and well in Japan. The Nagahara family, or some advanced aficionados like Mr. Yamada and Mr. Mochizuki, an army of pen tuners who periodically meet in Tokyo and other cities in Japan… they all show that there is more to nibs than what most aficionados think. And this is not new in Japan. An obvious case in point is the Sailor development in the 1980s of an omnidirectional nib called Trident—the idea was a nib that could write smoothly in any position.

Well, that idea has an obvious precedent in Tokyo in the 1930s.

A smallish pen: 120 mm long. On the barrel: "EAST / FOUNTAIN PEN / MADE IN TOKYO".

Externally, the pen is a boring-looking copy of the Parker Duofold. The filling system is a Japanese eyedropper, like most pens of the time (around 1930) in Japan. The ebonite barrel is engraved with the brand name, “EAST”, and the text “FOUNTAIN PEN / MADE IN TOKYO”. On the clip we find a logo where we can read “Special”.

The clip displays an additional logo where we read "Special".

Then, everything changes when we open the pen.

The secret, disclosed.

This unique nib is formed by three different gold plates at 120° of each other. These plates are somehow connected at the central axes of the pen, and their ends are iridium-tipped and polished. The space outside these plates is used for the feeds.

Engraved on the nib, we can see the purity of the gold --14 K-- and something like "NOxxx". Those x are not readable. But this nib is make of 14 K gold.

The result is a very rigid nib able to write in all positions.

These are the dimensions of the pen:

Length closed: 120 mm
Length open: 108 mm
Length posted: 151 mm
Diameter: 11 mm
Weight: 13.4 g (dry)

Quite an experiment, but the manufacturing process of this nib sure was not cheap. This pen, finally, is extremely rare, and very little seems to be known about it.

Eboya Hôga – Diamine Graphite

Bruno Taut
Nakano, July 3rd, 2016
etiquetas: East, plumín, soluciones técnicas


Saltire Turquoise said...

Thanks for sharing this.

Paul Bloch said...

Informative, as ever. Ross Stutler reports that the Trident was produced following Sailor's purchase of the design from Spacer. Were there interactions between the people who produced the East model and Spacer's? Did the East just come and go, with no patent legacy? Did run-up to WWII just shut East down, or were they gone before that?

Bruno Taut said...

Thanks, Saltire Turqouise and Paul Bloch, for your comments.

I cannot answer your questions now, Paul. A lot more research needs to be done, and not much can be found about this brand named East. The search continues, as is often the case.

Thanks to both of you for your moral support.


Antolin said...

Very interesting entry, as always. There is a peculiar thing that draws my attention and that is a deep groove on the side of the feeder. Is it functional or is it a defect as a consecuence of a previous handling?

Congratulations for the blog

Bruno Taut said...

Thanks, Antolin, for passing by and commenting.

That groove seems to be functional. I need to do some more research and write a second part to this text.



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