Showing posts with label Schmidt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Schmidt. Show all posts

28 February 2014


Nibmeister Kato Kiyoshi died in January of 2010. His former apprentice Onishi took over his legacy, or his remaining stock, to continue producing fountain pen made of celluloid. As was the case of Kato Seisakusho’s, Onishi Seisakusho’s pens are not labeled with any brand name, which easily triggers the confusion—is this a Kato’s or a Onishi’s pen? Or none of the above? Only recently, by 2012, Onishi started to make pens with new colors instead of using the old inherited stock.

An Onishi Seisakusho pen in tortoise celluloid.

The Onishi pen on display today is a cartridge-converter one made of tortoise celluloid. The nib, as was the case on cheaper Kato Seisakusho’s, is a Schmidt unit made of steel.

The Schmidt nib, made of stainless steel.

Inside, a boring and efficient converter (international).

These are its dimensions:
  • Length closed: 140 mm
  • Length open: 122 mm
  • Length posted: 160 mm
  • Diameter: 13 mm
  • Weight (inked): 24.2 g

The clip remind that often used by Pilot, but it was also implemented on some Kato Seisakusho's pens.

My thanks to Mr. Kikukawa.

Pilot V (Super 200), falcon nib – Pilot Blue-black

Bruno Taut
Yokohama, February 27st, 2014
etiquetas: Kato Seisakushô, Onishi Seisakushô, Schmidt

26 February 2014

Undercover Sailor

Last week I described the case of the nibs made by the company Ishikawa-Kinpen Seisakushô for Ferme and how those nibs were labeled with the JIS registration number (3231) of the nib maker and the name of the pen company, Ferme. Not much information on the nib maker, but enough to track down the actual origin despite being sold by a different company. And in the way of writing that text, I found another interesting example of anonymous –or not so anonymous— nib.

Nibmeister Kato Kiyoshi is a sort of a mythical figure in the Japanese pen scene. His story of travels and business in the Middle East and in Europe made him a man of action whose novel has not yet been written. He finally settled in Osaka and in the 1990s he started marketing his pens also in Japan. These Kato pens –Kato Seisakushô pens— were made of celluloid and were not labeled with any brand name. The pen box had a very generic and uninformative “Celluloid Pen / Hand Crafted / Made in Japan” sign, and nothing else.

Kato Seisakushô's model 800F. A piston filler with a gold nib.

Neither very helpful were the nibs. Those made of steel, usually associated to cartridge-converter pens, were Schmidt. Those in 14 K gold, often in piston fillers, were more obscure. Their engraving was, again, very uninformative: “SUPERIOR / 14K / LIFETIME / GRATIFY / JAPAN”. However, it seems that those gold nibs are likely to be Sailor’s. Masamichi Sunami says so on his Fountain Pens of Japan, and it seems to be generally accepted among the Japanese stylophiles.

A Sailor's medium nib in 21 K gold, and the unbranded 14 K gold nib of the Kato Seisakushô's pen.

On my side, I can only add that the size and shape of this “Superior” nib is the same as that of Sailor’s nibs in medium size, made of both 14 K and 21 K gold. In fact, they are interchangeable, as can be seen on the pictures of this Chronicle. Of course, this proves nothing, and the title of this Chronicles should have an additional question mark: Undercover Sailor?

A Kato Seisakushô Profit (top) and a Sailor Realo in celluloid (bottom)? Their nibs are perfectly interchangeable.

In any event, in the case of these gold nibs –Sailor’s or not—, Kato Seisakusho’s pens belong to the group of companies that hide the origin of their nibs, like Hakase and Ohashido. Maybe we could find out where they came from, but it is not obvious.

My thanks to Mr. Murase.

Platinum pocket pen (1967), manifold nib – Platinum Violet

Bruno Taut
Yokohama, February 25th, 2014
etiquetas: Ferme, Ishikawa-Kinpen Seisakushô, Kato Seisakushô, Sailor, plumín, Hakase, Ohashido, Schmidt

29 March 2011

Kato's Pens

Not much information is available about Kato Seisakushô pen company, but it attracts a lot of expectation among pen enthusiasts. Possibly, its rarity makes it all the more appealing.

These pens have a very irregular distribution. The main sources are two websites –Pen House and Pen Meister. Lately, Kato Seisakushô pens could be seen at a only couple of shops in Tokyo, which is the only Japanese city I truly know, and in the catalog of an eBay vendor. Most of the information come from those websites and is written in Japanese. However, some translations can be found in some fora. And that is basically it.

The scarce literature on the Net is a mixture of facts and myths. Mr. Kiyoshi Kato founded his workshop in Osaka after –they claim— fathering fountain pens in Arabia and creating some pen factories in Egypt. All in the years of the Second World War… Mr. Kato was also responsible for some pens of the Italian brand Visconti.

This company’s selling point is that the pens are hand crafted in celluloid: “Celluloid Pen / Hand Crafted / Made in Japan”, that is all we can read on the cardboard boxes. On the pen, the only written sign is on the nib: they are either Schmidt –those in steel— or just “made in Japan” for those in 14 K gold. Again, that is all the information we can get from the pen itself.

Now, how interesting are these pens? Yes, they are made in celluloid. Other than that, most of them employ the international cartridge/converter system and implement steel nibs. Higher grade pens use 14 K gold nibs, ebonite feeds and integrated piston self-filling systems. Such is mine—a 800F model about which I should write a full review.

(Katoseisakusho 800F – Sailor Hiroko’s Green)

Bruno Taut
March 28, 2011
[labels: Japón, Katoseisakusho]