Showing posts with label plumín musical. Show all posts
Showing posts with label plumín musical. Show all posts

23 December 2020

More Custom 74

In essence, the Pilot Custom 74 is a torpedo-shaped pen, with golden accents, and a 14 karat gold nib. Its current price is JPY 12000 (JPY 14000 for two of its nibs), and that makes it to become the basic gold-nib pen of the brand.

But here were some variations on that model. As I described some time ago, in 1993 Pilot issued a special edition of a flat-top Custom 74 for the share holders of Pilot Corporation. That edition implemented a coarse (a BB or BBB) point in the usual size 5 nib.

At the time of publishing that text some commentators mentioned that there had been some other editions of flat-top Custom 74 with other nibs, but not many details were finally offered.

The pen I am showing today belongs to one such edition. In this occasion, the pen sports a three-tined music nib (size 5). Its manufacturing date is December of 1992. The pen came also with a label stating the nib point and the price—JPY 15000.

A flat-top Custom 74 with a music nib.

These data make the pen all the more interesting. First, the manufacturing date is very close to that of the share-holder edition (February of 1993), Therefore, both pens were manufactured with different purposes in similar dates.

Two flat tops; one for sale, another for share holders.

Two Custom 74 with music nibs, both available at the shops at some point.

Second, the label shows that this pen was for sale. Its price –JPY 15000- was higher than that of the torpedo version with music nib--JPY 12000 at the time.

So, all these pens raise more questions than they answer. Was this flat-top with music nib part of a limited edition? Was it ever included in the regular catalog? What other nib points were available?

And the search continues.

Parker 61 — Unknown blue-black

Bruno Taut
December 22th 2020
etiquetas: Pilot, plumín, plumín musical

03 November 2019


In 1973, Platinum released a series of pens called Amazonas. Their selling point was that they were coated with leather of the star-fingered toad.

In actual terms, we see forty-something years later, this was just one of the series of leather-coated pens Platinum marketed mostly between 1967 and 1979, and even beyond that as there is still a leather pen in the catalog of the brand. Most of those used sheep leather, some with some additional painted decoration, but there were also models with leather from more exotic animals: crocodile, lizard, snake...

Some of the Amazonas pens on a picture by Platinum.

The pens of the Amazonas series (PAM-8000 in the internal coding of Platinum) cost JPY 8000. They came in five colors: pink, red, green, light brown and dark brown. Pen-wise, they were cartridge-converters, with 18 K gold nibs with a  fingernail geometry. The dimensions are as follows:

Length closed: 134 mm
Length open: 120 mm
Length posted: 147 mm
Diameter: 13.0 mm
Weight: 20.7 g (dry, with converter)

On the picture we case see two examples of these leather coated pens: one in pink and in another in light brown. The first is a very regular model with a F nib.

Two of the leather-coated series of pens.

The pink Amazonas (possibly) with an F nib.

The light brown unit, on the contrary, is special in several ways. First, because of the three-tined music nib, and this is remarkable in itself as most of these special editions limit their range of nibs to the usual triad of F, M, and B.

An unusual light brown lather pen.

The unusual music nib of the light brown leather-coated pen.

And then, we find an unusual imprint on the cap.

The original imprint on the cap: "DNCONSTAN PLATINUM".

This engraving represents a Byzantine coin. It shows a profile bust and part of the usual inscription in those coins: “DNCONSTAN”. It should follow with TINUSPPAV showing that those coins could belong to the mid 7th century, the period when Constans II and Constatin IV reigned in Byzantium; or to the mid 4th century, the times of Constatius II (vid note infra). But on this pen, the second part reads “PLATINUM”. So, “DNCONSTAN PLATINUM”.

This pen was made in 1975, according to the date on the nib.

Was this a special pen? What is the meaning of this engraving? I have no answers to these questions, and the only thing I can do is to document this rarity.

NOTE on 06/Nov/2019: A couple of days after I published this text a very kind and informed reader sent a comment correcting my many mistakes. You can read it fully on the comments, and here I extract the important elements:

(...) The coin on the pen says D N CONSTAN in the first part of the inscription; I can't read the second half of the legend, but I can believe from the picture it's PLATINVUM. That word replaces the second half of the legend, which is missing.

The coin doesn't say ON but DN: D is Dominus, N is for Noster (Our Lord). We can't tell what the rest would have been, but the coin for Constans II in the Wikipedia link is a good guess: it splits in the same place. That one reads, D(ominus) N(oster) Constan (break) tinus P(ater) P(atriae) AUG(ustus), with the final G apparently blurred into the edge.

The D N and the P P AUG are very well established elements of late Roman coins--Pater Patriae is Father of the Fatherland, Augustus is the late antique title for what we call the Roman Emperor. It is a common inscription to find. If one wanted to identify potential models, the Roman Imperial Coinage volumes would be of use--they list legends in an index, as I recall.

In my opinion, this iconography isn't that of the 7th c. but (of) the 4th--it looks like someone from Constantine I's family, my best guess being his son Constantius II's, from the 350s. See here (...) a gold solidus with a similar bust and inscription.

Now why that particular coin is there--that I'd like to know! Who embossed the leather? Did they, like Constantius, have Arian leanings?

NOTE on 01/Aug/2020: Commenter Jyrki Muona suggested that my text implied that these pens belonged to the Amazonas series sporting some exotic leather. That could be the case of the pink unit, but is less likely so for the light brown pen with the coin decoration. In any event, it is difficult on both cases to determin the actual origin of their coatings. I have corrected my text to eliminate that ambiguity. Thanks!

My thanks to Poplicola-san. And to M Gubbins and to J. Muona.

Opus 88 with Kanwrite nib – De Atramentis Beethoven

Bruno Taut
Nakano, November 2nd 2019
etiquetas: Platinum, music nib

16 October 2018

Anonymous Music

My latest acquisition is an anonymous pen with a very non-anonymous nib. And this combination make the whole pen all the more intriguing, and, for some, appealing.

The pen, in essence, is a Japanese eyedropper, made of ebonite with a very discreet maki-e decoration –a "tanzaku" (poem cards) pattern. The clip is of the teardrop shape, just like many Ban-ei pens.

An anonymous pen. Other than the inscriptions on the nib, the only text on it says R14K, and is on the cap ring. The very discreet maki-e --a "tanzaku" pattern-- is not signed.

And this clip, together with the overall shape of the pen and the shape of the section, and even the geometry of the ebonite feed point out at Ban-ei (Sakai Eisuke) as the master mind behind it. However, this idea is nothing but a guess, although this pen is very likely to have been made in the 1960s at Asakusa area in Tokyo.

A Ban-ei pen (top) and the anonymous pen with an interesting nib. Note the similarities in the shape. The Ban-ei pen is larger in all dimensions.

Feeds and sections of the pens on the previous picture: Ban-ei on top, anonymous on bottom. This geometry of the feed was very common in Japan from the 1960s till well into the 1990s on smaller pen makers.

The comes the nib—a beautiful music nib perfectly identifiable as made by nibmeister Kubo Kohei. In fact, the nib inscription NK stands for Nobel Kubo, where Nobel is one of the brands Mr. Kubo created during his career as nib maker. The nib is likely to be a replaced unit, but it could also show the origin of the pen itself. Then, is this a Nobel pen? Many a Nobel pen were anonymous –no brand name was imprinted on the pen--, but ebonite was not a typical material on that brand as Mr. Kubo doesn’t work with the lathe.

The music nib by Kubo Kohei. It is made of steel and is gold plated. The inscriptions read " STANDARD / NK / (JIS mark) / IRIDIUM / < 3 > / NPK ".

All in all, not much we know for certain about this pen, but the nib, and the unpretentious decoration make it most interesting.

These are the dimensions of the pen:

Length closed: 138 mm
Length open: 119 mm
Length posted: 166 mm
Diameter: 13.7 mm
Weight: 16.7 g (dry)
Ink deposit: 2.3 ml

And the search for information continues…

Twsbi Eco with Kubo music nib – Aurora Black

Bruno Taut
Nakano, October 16th 2018
etiquetas: nibmeister Kubo Kohei, maki-e, Ban-ei, Nobel, marca desconocida, plumín, plumín musical

07 May 2018

Kubo Meets Sakai

The figure of Kubo Kohei (久保幸平) is already known to the readers. He is a very prestigious nibmeister with a long history of nibs made for his own brands –Elliott, Nobel–, and for others –Push, Danitrio, even Zôhiko. The purpose of this Chronicle is to show some more remarkable creations of this master.

An unusual music nib by Kubo Kohei.

Kubo Kohei has made music nibs in the past, as I have reported here. However, that example was a very traditional music nib: two slits, three tines. The following examples go one step forward: three slits, four tines. The result is a very broad and wet line showing a good –but not extreme— variation on the writing.

Writing sample of a 4-tine music nib by nibmeister Kubo.

These three music nibs are associated to three outstanding pens—three old pens made by Sakai Eisuke (酒井栄助). They had not reached the market and had been retrofitted with Henckel nibs, which is not rare in what looks like production leftovers by the Ban-ei group.

All three nibs carry the same inscription: "ELEGANT / KB / 18 K - 750 / MADE IN / JAPAN".

However, the ways their tips are cut are different--the one on top is very sharp, and that on bottom is the roundest of them.

These pens are all Japanese eyedroppers of very generous dimensions. So big, in fact, that the Kubo’s nibs seem a tad too small. These are the dimensions of the pens:


- black ebonite.-
- black ebonite.-
Length closed (mm) 145 173 152
Length open (mm) 130 150 132
Length posted (mm) 180 208 186
Diameter (mm) 20 18 20
Weight, dry (g) 36.3 44.0 44.9

The three pens where Kubo met Sakai--years after the disappearance of the later.
Only the pen in the middle (black ebonite in the shape of bamboo) has an additional engraving--on the clip it says "NEW CLIP", showing some parts coming from Fukunaka Seisakusho. The plain black pen (on top) has no clip.

Remarkable pens with remarkable nibs, although they might not be the best match. But sure they are attractive and desirable.

My thanks to Ms. Lai.

Platinum pocket, steel and stripes – De Atramentis Jeans Blue

Bruno Taut
Nakano, May 6th 2018
etiquetas: nibmeister Kubo Kohei, Ban-ei, plumín, plumín musical

29 January 2018

Belage Music

Yet another music nib

A number of three-tined music nibs have appeared on these pages. With the exceptions of a magnificent Waterman’s size 4 and of a bespoke Montblanc modern nib, all were made in Japan after the War. Those music nibs are, in general, quite unassuming and they are associated to usual workhorses and not to luxurious models with lavish decoration or exotic materials. So, regular pens for regular use receive –and received— some of the most exciting nibs (and I am not only meaning mucis nibs).

A collection of music nibs made in Japan.

The Belage was a model Platinum launched in 1979. It was a cartridge converter pen with a wing-flow nib made of steel and of gold. Its design was very clean—basically a continuous steel cylinder from cap to barrel with a narrow plastic tail where the cap could be attached for posting. This design received the “Good Design Award” of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry of Japan.

Three different Platinum Belage. Older on top. Note the plastic tail on the two older units.

However, later versions of the pen had this clean design changed. Now, the barrel is slightly tapered and the cap posts directly on it, with no need of the narrower tail present on the original model.

The newer Belage.

This newer version was also smaller than the original—shorter, thinner, lighter. And its nib is also smaller in dimensions. It is still a wing-flow nib—only smaller. But the point today is that there were three-tined music nibs on these Belage pens. On this case, it is made of 14 K gold.


... back...

... and inside. Note the two ink channels in the feed.

These are the dimensions of this pen:

Length closed: 130.5 mm
Length open: 120.5 mm
Length posted: 143.0 mm
Diameter: 11.0 mm
Weight: 19.0 g (dry, with converter)

It is possible that the original Belage might have had a music nib. After all, we have already seen a wing-flow nib of that same size with three tines on a pocket pen from the mid 1970s.

This particular Belage with music nib was manufactured in 1998.

The Belage from 1998.

Platinum pocket pen, Yamada Seisakusho – KWZ Brown #2

Bruno Taut
Nakano, January 26th 2018
etiquetas: plumín, plumín musical, Platinum

28 November 2016

Another Music Nib

Ah, the fascination for the third tine…

Today’s pen is a so far unknown model. We can date it, however, to have been made in the second half of the 1970s. The actual production dates are April of 1977 for the nib, and May 16 of 1977 for the body.

Its inlaid nib certainly reminds of a good number of units present in some Custom and some Elite (::1::, ::2::) models, but this pen carries no inscription on the actual model name. Anyway, this three-tined ni bis particularly interesting and unusual due to its inlaid geometry. It is made of 18 K gold.

As for the filling system, this pen uses Pilot cartridges (single spare) and converters –CON-20, CON-40, CON-50. Converter CON-70 does not fit in the barrel.

These are the dimensions of the pen:

Length closed: 135 mm
Length open: 121 mm
Length posted: 150.5 mm
Diameter: 13.5 mm
Weight: 17.2 g (dry, with CON-50)
Ink deposit: between 0.4 ml (CON-40) and 0.9 ml (cartridge)

Pilot Muy-701 – Montblanc White Forest
Bruno Taut
Shinjuku, Oct 16th 2016
etiquetas: Pilot, plumín, plumín musical

17 September 2016

On #3776 Nibs

This is a Chronicle with a lot of pics…

The Platinum #3776 series of fountain pens is an old one. Its first model was launched by 1978. It was a very characteristic ribbed design made by Haruo Umeda. The last models are called #3776 Century, and have little resemblance to those initial models, although Platinum keeps a ribbed design in its catalog.

Along this thirty-something years of history, the basic components of the pen –nib and feed—have seen some changes in their design.

The early models, (between 1978 and some time in the early 1980s) had very cylindrical nibs and ebonite feeds. The first year model had a feed with no fins at all. There were also music nibs associated to these pens, but they are not covered on this text.

Nib and feed of a Platinum #3776 from 1978. Note the ebonite feed.

The feeds of these early models changed quickly. By the second year, they had implemented some fins.

Later on, the nib became flatter on the top area, but there were few, if any, changes on the ebonite feed. This detail changed at some point (when?) and from then on all Platinum feeds have been made of plastic.

Nib and feed from 1984. The nib is obviously flatter on top while the feed is still made of ebonite.

Nib and feed from 2002. The nib is apparently identical to the previous one (1984), but the feed is now made of plastic.

Nib and feed from a #3776 Century. Labeled as manufactured on November of 2011. Note the shorter nib and the very specific feed. Needless to say, it is made of plastic.

The latest version of the #3776 is named Century and was launched in 2011. On this newer edition, two-tine nibs (i. e., non music nibs) changed with respect to previous models. Now they are shorter than before, and the feed had been modified to anchor the nib on the right position.

On the left, a music nib of a #3776 Century, dated on 2012. On the right, a music nib of a #3776 of 2009. The feeds are identical. The nibs, almost identical...

Music nib and feed of the Wagner 2015 pen. Note the absence of holes in the tail of the nib.

These changes, as I said, did not affect the three-tine music nibs. In some occasions, some gold was removed from the tail of the nib –that area hidden under the section--, but is also seems not to be always the case. The feeds of these music nibs are more cylindrical in shape and have no fixed position for the nib.

Two and three tine nibs dated in 2009 and 2010. They were interchangeable in their sections. I am well aware that the two tine nib is a Nakaya, but Nakaya implements #3776 nibs.

A side effect of these differences between the feeds is their incompatibility—now, the sections of music nibs are specific for them and cannot implement regular two tined nibs. And conversely—a regular nib section cannot be equipped with a music nib (and feed). This exchange was possible in pre-Century #3776 Platinum pens.

Now the reader can extract his own conclusions about Nakaya nibs.

Ban-ei, black urushi – Pilot Blue

Bruno Taut
Nakano, September 16th, 2016
labels: plumín, plumín musical, Platinum

11 September 2016

Wagner 2015

The Platinum 3776 Century is the current best selling fountain pen in Japan. It is, by now, a well known product even outside of Japan—a balance model made of plastic, cartridge-converter filling system, 14 K gold nib. All these characteristics are common among the direct competitors: Pilot Custom 74 and Sailor Profit (1911) Junior.

Platinum 3776 Century.

Pilot Custom 74.

Sailor Profit (1911 in some markets) in size Junior. The nib on display is not the original.

This success, though, might have come with a curse. Platinum has hardly introduced any new model recently, and its marketing strategy seems limited to making small variations of the success model. And there is more…

Platinum 3776 Century of the Fuji lakes series. In particular, this is the model dedicated to lake Shoji.

Platinum, as many other brands, is open to taking orders for personalized products. The Wagner Pen Club, in Japan, contacted Platinum in 2015 for the creation of the pen to commemorate its 10th anniversary.

The commemorative pen of the 10 years of the Wagner Pen Club.

The result was a 3776 Century in transparent green plastic. However, there is nothing on the pen revealing this otherwise obvious origin. All the inscriptions on it have changed. On the cap-ring it just says “WAGNER 10th”. On the nib, “2015 / WAGNER / 10th / Anniversary”.

The inscription on the cap-ring reads "WAGNER 10th".

The nib also carries its specific decoration. The inscription says “2015 / WAGNER / 10th / Anniversary”.

There were two possibilities for the nib: a music nib –115 units— and a soft fine –130 units. They were numbered separately.

These pens are numbered. There are 115 with music nibs, and 130 with soft fine nibs.

So, all in all these pens are somewhat different from any of the variations of the 3776 Century… but it is still a 3776 Century.

Two 3776 Century, after all.

My thanks to Mr. Shimizu.

Platinum 3776 Century, Wagner 10th anniversary – unknown ink

Bruno Taut
Shinjuku and Nakano, September 2016
etiquetas: mercado, Japón, Platinum, plumín musical