I bought this pen from Kevin Cheng (winedoc) and received it ten days after shipping from LA to the Philippines. The shipping time (via EMS) was par for the course. I am posting photos of unboxing and macro details for your appreciation.
Appearance / Finish – 4 out of 5
I had an email discussion with Bernard Lyn of Danitrio wherein I discovered that the cap and barrel are made of ebonite and laid with urushi lacquer several times over. The kara-nuri is a random design pattern applied by the artisans in the Aomori Prefecture in Japan. The final burnishing is done with charcoal (Roiro-migaki process) until the brilliant sheen is achieved. The fit of the cap and barrel, and section and barrel are excellent, albeit with a little tightness between the section and the barrel. I understand that this was intentional for people who may want to convert the pen into an ED.
The single most important question I posed to Bernard Lyn focused on the uneven application of the urushi that is quite evident on the inner lip of the cap – as the photo attests, there are tiny uncovered spots. Bernard assured me that that is typical of handmade pens and is an acceptable fact among Japanese artisans. He assured me though that if I found it undesirable, to contact Kevin Cheng (winedoc) to arrange for a refund. My decision is to keep this pen. This minute flaw (if I may call it that) did not detract from the overall beauty of the Takumi, and is in fact an obvious reminder that the finish was indeed completed by human hands and not by a machine. In retrospect, I got reminded of my wife’s raku-fired pottery pieces where she deliberately introduces ‘character flaws’ to achieve a certain artistic effect.
Design/Size/Weight – 4.5 out of 5
The Takumi is the second smallest size of the ebonite Danitrios (the Hanryo is the smallest) but ‘small’ is hardly the description one would ascribe for this pen. It is as large as an MB 149; the Takumi is a hair taller than the Pelikan Souverån M1000 when capped, and is wider in girth as well. Despite its size, the Takumi’s light weight makes it easy to hold when writing and though I haven’t written with it for long periods of time, I don’t believe one’s hands will experience fatigue with the pen. The balance was neutral – meaning where I hold the pen while writing (in the section), did not feel biased towards either end.
Nib Design and Performance – 4 out of 5
The nib that I ordered is a 14k fine flexible. The line varies from a Western fine to a broad on the downstroke. Like any other modern flexible nib, it doesn’t flex as much as a vintage nib (like a pink or brown Watermans) but is acceptable. Again, a comparison with the M1000 nib is called for. The Takumi’s nib is a third shorter than the M1000’s but the former does not look too disproportionate to the overall size of the pen. Uncapped, the Takumi is the same length as the M1000. Perhaps a future redesign will entail increasing the size of the Takumi nib to enhance its beauty.
When pressed onto paper, the Takumi nib is flexible but not springy (like the M1000) but I believe that the springiness of the M1000 nib makes it write wider than the typical Western fine. The Takumi appears to hew much closer to a Western fine with just the right amount of writing pressure. My Sailor 1911 21k fine nib writes like the Takumi (and that’s a complement either way) – both are not too narrow when compared to another Japanese fine nib - the Pilot Namiki VP.
The Filling System – 4 out of 5
What can I say, it’s a cartridge converter – but that doesn’t detract from the overall design and performance of the pen. I like the c/c for its un-fussy system and overall reliability. I do not begrudge this Dani for its lesser ink capacity compared to piston fillers since I am never too far from my ink pots and the fine nib assures me that I will never run out of ink for at least a week with the amount of writing that I do. The c/c is stenciled with ‘Trio’ and ‘Germany’. It draws ink quite respectably and leaves a 1 cm empty space at the top of its stroke. I am happy with c/c fillers but I believe Danitrio can supply a better-looking c/c (my reference standard is the Visconti Van Gogh Maxi c/c)
Cost – 5 out of 5
Kevin has probably the best combination of price, customer service, quality of communication and reliability when one intends to purchase a Danitrio (NAYY). This pen is the most expensive pen I have right now, and is a few hundred dollars beyond my self-imposed threshold for FP acquisitions. However, as in many other things, ‘want’ trumps ‘need’ rationalizations. The Danitrio Takumi is worth every cent (hundreds of it in fact).
Perhaps I can conclude with a terse statement – this will not be my last Danitrio.
Edited by soloworx, 23 March 2009 - 01:02.