28 April 2019

Pilot's Small Inset Nibs

The Pilot Elite 95s was marketed on the year 95 of the Pilot era—that is, in 2013.

This pen, apparently quite successful, recuperated the design of the pocket pens on the 1960s and 1970s in Japan. But it went further on reviving the very interesting inset nibs of the 1970s, which at the time of release in 2013 was limited to a steel variation on a desk pen. So, with the Elite 95s, the inset nib recovered some of its past glory through the 14K gold of its composition.


Pilot's desk pen DPN-200.

However, in the 1970s, these inset nibs were made of 18 K gold in two different compositions—yellow gold and white gold, and the yellow variation was also rhodiated.


From left to right, three Elite 95s in all three colors, the cross-hatch Elite (1978), black Elite (1977), non-Elite Sterling silver pocket pen (1975).



Six nibs and four possibilities. The three nibs on the right belong to the Elite 95s--14 k gold. The nibs of the left, from top to bottom: 18 K gold, 18 K gold rhodiated, 18 K white gold.

These older pens were always on demand among pen aficionados, and the existence of the modern Elite 95s made that appeal even bigger.

(As a final note, I should add that the larger inset nib of the Silvern series has been continuously on production since the late 1960s. Just to prevent misreadings of my words.)


Platinum 3776 Century Chartres Blue – Rohrer & Klingner Blu Mare

Bruno Taut
Nakano, April 28th 2019
etiquetas: plumín, Pilot, mercado

23 April 2019

Japanese Parochialism

A number of stylophiles outside of Japan complain about how Japanese pen companies keep some of their products limited to the domestic market. Some even go to the extent to say that Japanese companies keep their best products for themselves—for the domestic market.

I am the first to admit that Japanese companies seem, in general, quite reluctant to accept the reality of the globalized market.


However, those limitations do not always favor the Japanese customer. An obvious example is the stub nib Pilot manufactures... for other markets. Those stub nibs are not available in Japan, and should the Japanese stylophile wanted them, online shopping seems the only option.


This stub nib for the Pilot Capless is not available in Japan.

Just like Western buyers do when craving for any Japan-only pen.

Japanese parochialism works both ways...


My thanks to Mr. Fukucho.


Sailor Profit Naginata Togi – Pilot Iroshizuku Ku-jaku

Bruno Taut
Bunkyo, March 26th 2019
etiquetas: plumín, Pilot, Capless, mercado

08 April 2019

The Case of Naginata. V. Results

On the previous Chronicle, I wondered whether the alleged virtues of the Naginata Togi nebs were real and detectable. To do so, I published a picture with seven sets of ideograms --焼肉定食, yakiniku teishoku--, all of them written by the same Japanese hand using seven different pens. Then I asked if we could find out which one had been written with a Naginata.

From top to bottom, the pens were as follows:

- Kubo Kohei nib. Unlabeled point, but it is about an MF.
- Montblanc 149 (F?)
- Henckel nib, architect grind.
- Sailor Naginata Togi, NMF.
- Pilot #5, music nib.
- Pelikan M200, F.
- Pilot Vpen, F.


The solutions to the question of last Chronicle.

The most popular answer –both on comments to my text and on Instagram-- was number 5; that is, the music nib by Pilot.

This result is surprising—either people love the results of writing with a stub nib or most of us do not really know how a Naginata nib is actually cut.

On second position came number 3 –a Henckel nib with an architect grind--, and on third, the actual Naginata Togi. This is more reasonable, as the Naginata nib can be seen as a smooth architect's nib.


The architect's grind on a Henckel nib.


A Naginata Togi nib.

The conclusion is that the alleged beautifying effects on the writing come only through practice with the Naginata Togi nib itself. But if so, many people, in Japan and overseas-- buy Naginata pens without really knowing how to use them and take no benefit of their supposed advantages.

But Naginata Togi nibs are excellent writers for whatever script, Eastern or Western. And christening a nib with an exotic name is an excellent marketing strategy.


Sailor Profit Naginata Togi – Pilot Iroshizuku Ku-jaku

Bruno Taut
Bunkyo, April 2nd 2019
etiquetas: plumín, Sailor, japonés (idioma), mercado