30 April 2020

Against Inks

I had never done this before, but hanging out with some other pen aficionados –or should I say ink hoarders— made me create an inventory of my inks.

According to it I have 86 ink bottles of 71 different inks totaling 4.1 liters. Well, a bit less as some of them are open and I have inked some pens with their ink.

Some of my inks.

Anyway, what do 4 liters of ink mean? If I were to use 100 ml of ink per year –a generous amount—it would take me 40 years to use them up. 40 years!

So, why bother? Why spending so much money in a consumable product that is also perishable? Why bother with the inks of today when tomorrow there will be new and more attractive colors?

And more inks.

Behind this unreasonable accumulation of many of us (and I am just an apprentice on this field) lies the trend of smaller and smaller inkwells (::1::, ::2::). People, or ink aficionados at least, buy ink colors and ink labels –similar colors with different names and manufacturers— rather than milliliters of usable ink.

But, how much ink can we consume in the rest of our lives?

Ôhashidô, music nib – Sailor Blue

Bruno Taut
Nakano, April 30th, 2020
etiquetas: tinta, mercado

20 April 2020

10 Years

Exactly 10 years ago, on April 20th 2010, I started this blog.

Along this time I have published 659 texts where I tried to describe some old pens and analyze some new ones. I also ranted now and then on the situation of the pen market. I plan to continue doing this—I still enjoy this activity.

A 10-Years nib by Platinum from the mid 1950s.

And I hope to keep on having some readers out there.

Thank you very much for your support over the years.

Pilot Capless 1998 – Akkerman #8 Diep Duinwaterblauw

Bruno Taut
Nakano, April 20th, 2020
etiquetas: metabitácora

07 April 2020

Curidas. 3. Analysis

Then, how is this pen? And by “this” I mean the Platinum Curidas, about which I have spoken endlessly since January (::1::, ::2::, ::3::, ::4::, ::5::). And not only me—the hype Platinum created around this new pen inspired many an aficionado to publish his own impressions on it. So, is it possible to write anything new?

1. Appearance.

The Curidas is a capless pen with a very large push button made primarily of plastic, and it implements a removable clip. The nib is made of steel.

These are, once again, the actual dimensions of the pen:

.Platinum Curidas 2020.

Length closed (mm) 153
Length open (mm) 140
Barrel diameter (mm) 13.5
Weight, dry (g) 25.5
Ink deposit (*) (ml) 1.1/0.6
Nib points EF/F/M
Price (**) (JPY) 7000

*: Capacities of proprietary cartridges and converters.
**: MSRP price without taxes.

The removable clip addresses a regular complaint among users of other capless pens, and in particular of the Pilot Capless models. It is in the nature of these pens for the clip to be close to the nib. This location is inconvenient for some users and removing the clip might be the strategy they might choose with the result of Platinum gaining some additional buyers.

The pen, the clip, and the tool to remove and to reattach it.

Removing it is relatively easy following the instructions (and video) and using the tool, both included in the package. However, fellow pen connoisseur Inky Rocks have reported some problems doing that to the point of cracking the central guiding notch. So, careful operation is advised.

There is a second function, I found, for the clip—it informs you of the right orientation of the pen. Without it, the lower notch is more visible and gives the false impression of being the reference point to grab the pen correctly, but by doing so the nib will appear with the feed facing up.

Two notches on the body. The one on the top is the guide for the clip. The one on the bottom protects the position where the retracting mechanism is anchored when the nib is released.

The clip also serves as a guide to know where the nib is placed and in which orientation.

2. Construction.

The pen is externally made of plastic and is held together by a metal ring. The thread opening the pen is metal-to-plastic, which is often a vulnerable point that can affect the durability of the tool. This thread sometimes becomes loose during normal operation of the pen. I reckon, though, that this might be caused by my fear breaking the pen.

The releasing mechanism seems and sounds robust, but it is not particularly smooth or soft or silent. At times, the movement of the nib can be rough enough to splash ink drops inside and outside of the pen.

As is suggested by the length of the push knob, the movement of the nib is also long–about 30 mm. This detail allows for a larger portion of the nib exposed when writing, and a better view of what is being written. The drawback is the long button, which makes the pen to look disproportionate.

3. Nib and Writing.

Three are the nib points available to this pen: EF, F, and M. I tested extensively only two of them, F and M, and my words are mostly about them.

Two of the three nib options on the Curidas: F and M. There is also an EF nib.

Preppy and Curidas's nibs side by side. The Curidas's seems an evolution of the Preppy's.

The nibs are related to those present on a desk pen now discontinued, the DP-1000AN, albeit with minor variations on some parameters. This desk pen was well-known in the Japanese market after many years in the catalog of the brand. seem derived from those in the Preppy family of pens (Preppy, Prefounte, Plaisir, etc.). However, the Curidas units are narrower and sport a proper breathing hole, although this is a misnomer and its presence is merely cosmetic.

These steel nibs on this pen do their work perfectly. Reasonably smooth and with a perfectly controlled flow.

The F point is very thin –probably about 0.3 mm, as that is the figure Platinum usually associates to F—, and seems perfectly symmetric. Smooth, ma non tanto.

Writing test of a Curidas with an F nib.

On the contrary, the M point (about 0.5 mm) is a bit stubbish, which adds a bit of character to its performance. This point is a lot smoother than the F.

Writing test of a Curidas with an M nib.

The nibs are quite resistant to drying up. Platinum, on its marketing, explains that the pen is designed creating a small chamber for the nib that is sealed when retracted. Inky Rocks tested this feature with inconclusive results, particularly when compared to the performance of the Pilot Décimo.

The weight of the pen, around 25 g, might seem on the heavy side, but the pen is well balanced and is quite comfortable over extended periods of writing.

4. Maintenance.

The nib unit is easy to extract from the pen and, being a cartridge-converter, cleaning it is not difficulty. Further disassembly of the nib does not seem easy at all, but it is not necessary for regular use.

As for the pen body and mechanism, not much is needed save for the occasional cleaning of ink splats—an easy task when the nib is not in place.

5. Cost and value.

The price of this pen in Japan is JPY 7000 (plus tax), and can be found for less at discount shops. For that price you get a retractable pen with steel nib and a reliable mechanism.

It is also less refined that other similar pens, but they are also more expensive.

6. Conclusions.

In summary, these are the more relevant characteristics of the Platinum Curidas:
– It is a correct pen with very reliable nibs.
– Its mechanism is also reliable albeit a bit inconvenient given its dimensions—long knob, long displacement.
– Original looks that might drive some users away.
– Plastic body. Not the sturdiest in the market.
– Removable clip that might attract those dissatisfied with other capless pens.
– Contained price at JPY 7000 in Japan.

Platinum Curidas, F nib - Diamine Teal

Bruno Taut
Nakano, April 5th, 2020
etiquetas: Platinum, capless