30 August 2016

Madrid News

The life of brick and mortar shops is hazardous these times. In the last months, the Madrid pen scene has seen a couple of significant changes.

The first was the disappearance of a very traditional shop, Jomar, in the Barrio de Salamanca area of town.

On the other hand, Papelería Debod has become very active in the area of fountain pens. Interestingly enough, this shop is selling Twsbi products in Spain. Papelería Debod is located near Plaza de España, in front of the Egyptian temple of Debod:

Papelería Debod
Ferraz 24
28008 Madrid
Tel: 915 591 049

These changes remind us some of the big questions in the pen business today: Is the fountain pen market profitable? Are traditional shops a viable business model in the world of Internet and online shopping? I do not have any real answer, but I tend to be pessimistic.

These two changes in the Madrid pen scene will soon be reflected on the page dedicated to this city in this blog.

Pilot desk pen DPN-200 – Private Reserve American Blue

Bruno Taut
Nakano, August 29, 2016
labels: Madrid, mercado

02 August 2016


To speak about fetishism in the world of fountain pens is essentially redundant. Collecting is a form of fetishism—to favor the tool for itself instead of for the work it does or for its actual performance. Now, fetishism can go a lot farther…

As of lately, and these Chronicles might share part of the responsibility for that, some “craftsman” pens, made with old technology and in low production batches have gained some name among stylophiles. Brands like Eboya (formerly Nebotek), Hakase, Ohashido, StyloArt Karuizawa, fit in this category nowadays. But some time ago there was another master who by now holds a quasi-mythical dimension—Sakai Eisuke (酒井栄助) the leading figure behind Ban-ei pens and creator of the prototype of modern Pilot-Namiki with size 50 nibs.

Three pens made by Sakai Eisuke.

Sakai Eisuke was a master of the rokuro, the traditional pedal-operated Japanese lathe, and here I am showing one of the rokuro he used. Now, it belongs to Nikko Ebonite, and is, in actual terms, one of the two traditional lathes in service to make Eboya pens.

Ex-Sakai Eisuke rokuro.

Does this detail add any value to the pens made with it? Most likely not, but that depends on your personal obsessions re fountain pens. I, for one, was very happy to see and even touch a tool used by a great master.

The current location of the old rokuro: the building of Nikko Ebonite.

My thanks to Mr. Noritoshi Kanesaki

Oaso “Safari” – Diamine Graphite

Bruno Taut
Nakano, August 1st, 2016
etiquetas: estilofilia, Eboya, Pilot, Ban-ei