30 July 2021

From Platinum to Lanbitou

Some time ago I made some comments about the current policy of Platinum focusing on the lower and middle ranges of the market. The recent models Procyon and Curidas, together with the well-known Preppy, do show that policy.

Platinum Curidas.

The problem is that Chinese pen companies are fighting hard for that market, and they do that with much better prices and the occasional shameless copy.

Lanbitou 3088.

The Lanbitou 3088 shows that last case very clearly. It is a blatant copy of the Platinum Curidas for a fraction of its price: about EUR 70 for the Platinum, and about EUR 5 for the Lanbitou. This, on top of the teething problems of the Curidas, are not good news for the Japanese brand.


The weak slab in the PR China's production is the distribution of its products. This is based on online channels, but some brand are slowly opening other mechanisms. But in any event, online channels are here to stay, for both Chinese and non-Chinese products, and the business of these channels is only increasing.

Platinum of Lanbitou?

So, what is the future for Platinum and other traditional brands? I have predicted that low and middle priced pens –say up to about EUR 100-- will soon become Chinese. And should Western and Japanese brands survive, they are bound to offer products with a higher added value –exotic materials, lavish decoration, innovative nibs, ...--, and an impeccable quality control.

And all that is not what Platinum is doing now.

My thanks to my friend Antolín, whose pictures are greatly appreciated.

Parker Junior – Diamond Teal

Bruno Taut
July 29th, 2021
etiquetas: Platinum, Lanbitou, mercado, capless


AS said...


Jyrki Muona said...

Who knows, perhaps the time is closer when Chinese companies have to start following copyright and patent regulations. As to Platinum's quality control, I never saw a study, I have just read stories.

Bruno Taut said...


Chinese companies following copyright and patent laws is a matter of time... as long as foreign markets were able to push that agenda on them. And we might be running out of time. But that is the only hope.

About the Platinum quality control,you are right. So far, there is only anecdotal evidence.

Thanks, Jyrki and AS, for passing by and commenting.



Matthieu B. said...

I cannot really comment about Platinum, especially since I despise the Procyon and the Curidas, but personally I hate Chinese pens in general. There is no quality control, they usually cost at least ten times the Chinese market price when buying online in Japan, and they have many hidden flaws that become very apparent after a few weeks of use. I will always go for a 1000 yen Kakuno over any Chinese pen. Plus, I don't think Japanese people tend to buy cheap stuff online rather than buying the very well implanted national brands. When it comes to the international market, I'm sure your analysis holds makes sense.

Bruno Taut said...

Thanks, Matthieu, for your comments and insights.

I think Chinese pens right now are very irregular in quality, and there are some that are more than acceptable. And that's a problem for other makers, as I said on my text.

It is not unusual to see Chinese pens in the hands of Japanese users, especially if young. On the matter, Wagner group's Mr Mori --a well known tuner and repair man in Japan-- recently said that he was receiving request to fix and tune Chinese pens.

Some brands, and I am thinking of PenBBS, are now coming to Japanese events to sell their products directly.

As usual, things are not black or white.

Thanks for your comments.


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