Jump to content

The Fountain Pen Network uses (functional) cookies. Read the FPN Privacy Policy for more info.  To remove this message, please click here to accept the use of cookies


Registration on the Fountain Pen Network

Dearest Visitor of the little Fountain Pen Nut house on the digital prairie,

Due to the enormous influx of spammers, it is no longer possible to handle valditions in the traditional way. For registrations we therefore kindly and respectfully request you to send an email with your request to our especially created email address. This email address is register at fountainpennetwork dot com. Please include your desired user name, and after validation we will send you a return email containing the validation key, normally wiithin a week.

Thank you very much in advance!
The FPN Admin Team






Photo

Nakaya Briarwood F nib review: "entry level pen"


  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 darkgreen

darkgreen

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 88 posts

Posted 16 July 2009 - 11:51

The Nakaya brand marked my first foray into the realm of high-quality pens: the "entry-level" tortoiseshell celluloid pen with a Medium nib was a revelation, confirming for me that there was indeed an impressive improvement in quality at this price level. I reviewed that pen a few months ago: Nakaya celluloid

My final choice had been between the celluloid and the briar wood models (both the same price: $295) and between the Medium and Fine nibs.

Happily, the opportunity to compare the two arose very quickly - as soon as my wife discovered the beauty of the tortoiseshell celluloid pen and was delighted (and was not at all suspicious) when I grandly gave it to her ... "No matter, my dear, by all means use it if it pleases you so; I am sure that I can find another, ahem..." Permission granted.

My first Nakaya purchase had been from Classic Fountain Pens in the USA, directly from their pre-purchased Nakaya stock list, signed and delivered to my impatient hands within a week. This second "comparison" purchase was directly from Nakaya Pens in Japan. This was indeed a Japanese experience: delightfully polite and restrained, careful checking of detail, clear explanation that there would be a wait of several weeks while the next batch of briarwood was fully cured. I felt that I was being treated with great respect and regard, even though I was buying the cheapest pen on the list.

Nakaya_briar3.JPG

The website is quite easy to use, including a questionnaire to help "set up" the pen. I requested a Fine monotone nib, hoping that it wouldn't be too fine: Asian pens, and Nakaya in particlular, being the "finest of the fine". I decided to personalize this pen, first considering the addition of my name on the section and then, in a flash of inspiration, choosing a kanji script theme to highlight the Japanese crafting. The email exchanges with Chikako Yokoyama on this point were also delightful and attentive. I chose a theme for the script (in English - alas, my only fluent language) and went through two options in kanji script, being offered stylized samples via email to make my final choice. The engraving added a paltry $9 to the cost - a bargain considering the thought and work that went into selecting it.

Then the wait. 2 months in total. Then an email that the pen had been dispatched (several days earlier than the planned date) and (excitement building) arrival a few days later.

The now-familiar embossed presentation cardboard box revealed a light paulownia box containing the pen itself in a little kimono cloth bag along with black ink cartridges, a standard converter and an adaptor for "European" standard cartridges.

Nakaya_briar_on_box.JPG

Nakaya_briar_box_contents.JPG

The pen was everything that I could have wished for. Deep brown color, with the grain glowing through a matt finish. Gold trim and clip contrasting nicely with the black section where the kanji script was engraved at the feeder side of the section (so that you see it if you turn the pen around to view the underside of the nib).

Nakaya_briar_kanji.jpg

It is a solid pen, weighing 28 g fully loaded. Length capped 5 13/16" (14.8 cm), uncapped 5" (12.4 cm). Quite long when posted: 6 3/8" (16.2 cm) and holding the posted cap well - my preferred position. Posting the cap certainly felt balanced and it is solid enough when held uncapped. There is a tinge of concern about the risk of marking the barrel with the cap when it is posted, an anxiety that I felt with the celluloid model as well but no noticeable marks so far.

It is a precision engineered pen with excellent fittings. The wooden barrel (diameter 9/16" - 1.4 cm) feels warm and smooth. The tapered section provided a comfortable grip, perhaps a little on the slim side (diameter 3/8", 1.0 cm).

The cartridge / converter fitting seems to be unique to Nakaya pens and those of the parent company, Platinum pens.

Nakaya_briar_3partx.JPG

The nib is an 'entry level" gold monotone "Nakata" nib and it is superb - a slight amount of flex. It writes with perfectly balanced wetness, with a hint of useful feedback on top of a flawlessly smooth consistent line. To my relief, it was not "too fine". By comparison, my Lamy 2000 XF nib (a cheaper pen) is equivalent in width but is not so smooth and tends to produce a mild variation in width. My brief experience with modern pens is that Asian pens are the exemplars of fine smooth nibs.

Nakaya_Briar_nib.JPG

Nakaya_writcompar.jpg

How does it compare with the Celluloid model?

Nakaya_briar_vs_tortoise.JPG Nakaya_briar_vs_toryoise_uncap.JPG


The briar pen is longer and heavier, feeling solid where the celluloid is light and sweet. The cap clicks on with a firm "snap" whereas the celluloid cap screws on to the (slightly wider - 1.2 cm) section of the pen. As an aside, the threads on the celluloid section are the smoothest, finest and lowest-profile of any of the several pens that I have tried: you can barely feel them on the grip.

There could be an extra "standard pen measurement" of interest to those of us who carry pens in a shirt pocket: the distance from the underside of the clip down to the tip of the barrel - the distance sitting in the pocket. Some pens sit higher in the pocket than others. In this case, the briar pen (clip-tip distance 13.4 cm) sits a bit high in some pockets compared to 12.5 cm of the celluloid pen.

I include a comparison with the Lamy 2000: a pen that feels 'slight" compared to the briar pen.

Nakaya_briar_vLamy5caps.JPG

The briar pen's dark brown and black grain feels warm, solid and dark compared to the celluloid pen which my wife was attracted to as being light and "airy" although I was smitten with it as well. The final comparison will hopefully never be made: briar wood is very fire-resistant (used also for tobacco pipes) whereas the celluloid pen is potentially very flammable and more prone to heat distortion.

Overall, this was another wonderful pen. Either of these pens would be an excellent choice for someone looking for an "individual" crafted pen with real class. I could not bear to part with either of them and I highly recommend them both.

Edited by darkgreen, 16 July 2009 - 11:58.

* Nakaya celluloid M * Nakaya Briar F * Sailor PG M-F * Parker Duofold Jnr F * LAMY Safari EF * Tombow Object F * Lamy 2K EF * Platinum Preppy 0.3 *

Sponsored Content

#2 greencobra

greencobra

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,657 posts
  • Location:Boston

Posted 16 July 2009 - 12:33

Nice. I really liked your comments on this pen and I'm glad to hear the experience with Nakaya was a pleasant one. They do the whole package it looks like...a thousand dollar pen or a 300 dollar pen, no difference. Nice box, the pen kimono, and best of all customer service.
JELL-O, IT'S WHATS FOR DINNER!

#3 Pippin60

Pippin60

    Still tilting at windmills

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,334 posts
  • Location:New Jersey, USA

Posted 16 July 2009 - 12:48

A beautiful pen, I've been admiring it for quite a while. I have a fondness for wood pens. I have a few and like the feel of them along with ebonite pens, they seem to have a warmth to them, and although I no longer use them I have several briar wood pipes and I love the color of the wood. Its hard to tell from the photos but do you know what kind of finish they use on it? Glad to see its not glossy.

The difference between the almost right word & the right word is really a large matter--it's the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.
- Mark Twain in a Letter to George Bainton, 10/15/1888


#4 darkgreen

darkgreen

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 88 posts

Posted 16 July 2009 - 13:09

QUOTE (Pippin60 @ Jul 17 2009, 12:48 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Its hard to tell from the photos but do you know what kind of finish they use on it? Glad to see its not glossy.


Hmm, good question. I can't see any information on the website although Nakaya have just started offering a gloss coating as an option on the briar pen. Like you, I like natural wood grain (I have wood grain AG Spalding and Faber Castell eMotion pens as well). The finish on this pen is more of a flat matt which is thin enough to allow grain depth and variation to be visible in oblique light - but not palpable.

* Nakaya celluloid M * Nakaya Briar F * Sailor PG M-F * Parker Duofold Jnr F * LAMY Safari EF * Tombow Object F * Lamy 2K EF * Platinum Preppy 0.3 *

#5 CRB

CRB

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 427 posts
  • Location:Oregon

Posted 16 July 2009 - 13:18

That's a wonderful review of a beautiful pen. Your careful attention to detail and enlightening pictures hold my attention from start to finish. Thank you for taking the preparing such an interesting read; and congratulations on your new writing instrument.

Cheers,
Joe

#6 MYU

MYU

    ... The key to it all is Capillary Action! ...

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,647 posts
  • Location:On a cliff, looking at NYC
  • Flag:

Posted 16 July 2009 - 13:45

Thank you for this well written and informative review with excellent photos! I've been curious about this model, as I like wood. But most of the hand turned wooden "craft" pens I've seen at pen shows turn me off. Pilot has made a few that are fantastic, especially the maple burl on the Grandee (it is my all time favorite wooden pen). They always feel a bit light, but that is to be expected with wood. I'm glad to hear that the Nakaya Briarwood has some heft to it.

It seems that this model is a great way to get started with Nakaya, especially for checking to see if the overall nib design is to your liking. What is the kanji script theme you chose? Also, does the grain of the wood from the cap to the barrel match and align?

I wonder... do they have any chrome/silver furniture available, instead of gold?

Edited by MYU, 16 July 2009 - 13:49.

[MYU's Pen Review Corner]   |   "The Common Ground" -- Jeffrey Small


#7 darkgreen

darkgreen

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 88 posts

Posted 16 July 2009 - 14:09

QUOTE (MYU @ Jul 17 2009, 01:45 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It seems that this model is a great way to get started with Nakaya, especially for checking to see if the overall nib design is to your liking. What is the kanji script theme you chose? Also, does the grain of the wood from the cap to the barrel match and align?

I wonder... do they have any chrome/silver furniture available, instead of gold?


Hi MYU, thank you very much for the kind comments.

Yes, these models were exactly as you pointed out: a great way to check the nib characteristics - but I would now be very happy with either nib (which i can't say about other pens that I have used). I now feel a lot more confident about choosing a more expensive Nakaya pen, should I ever be privileged enough to afford that in the future.

The kanji script refers to "spring water" (shi mi-zu): a Nakaya representative took my suggestions of some themes in English and offered options in kanji to match. One advantage of kanji script is that it is more compact than a name in English.

The grain of the wood does not exactly match or align on the cap and the barrel so I presume that they were not machined out of a single piece of wood - but they are very close in color and density so they must have been close. The briar wood is moderately dense but weight is added by the solid metal (brass?) threads and cap lining.

Nakaya_briar_threads.JPG

During the process of ordering the pen, you can choose your furniture from a variety of metals and styles (e.g. 13 types of clip), some of which add extra cost: Nakaya trim options

Edited by darkgreen, 16 July 2009 - 14:14.

* Nakaya celluloid M * Nakaya Briar F * Sailor PG M-F * Parker Duofold Jnr F * LAMY Safari EF * Tombow Object F * Lamy 2K EF * Platinum Preppy 0.3 *

#8 MYU

MYU

    ... The key to it all is Capillary Action! ...

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,647 posts
  • Location:On a cliff, looking at NYC
  • Flag:

Posted 16 July 2009 - 14:23

Thanks for the info... I'd completely forgotten how extensive the customization is! Just look at these choices on furniture:


[MYU's Pen Review Corner]   |   "The Common Ground" -- Jeffrey Small


#9 jandrese

jandrese

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 961 posts

Posted 16 July 2009 - 18:46

Nice review of a great pen. I have the Platinum version and you beat my review by one day! I always wondered what the Nakaya version is like. Seems like an improvement on an already good thing.

#10 darkgreen

darkgreen

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 88 posts

Posted 16 July 2009 - 22:13

QUOTE (jandrese @ Jul 17 2009, 06:46 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have the Platinum version and you beat my review by one day! I always wondered what the Nakaya version is like.


I hope you still post your review. I would be very interested to see what differences, if any, there are between the 2 pens (from Nakaya and from the parent company, Platinum). Both companies offer briar and celluloid models at the same price. One image that I viewed of the nib on the Platinum model had a very different logo (the "P" symbol seen on the Preppy) compared to the Nakata nib on the Nakaya.

In the end, I chose Nakaya because of the options to customize the pen and particularly to have the nib and flow set expertly.

EDIT:
I have just seen the post! Great review of the Platinum version with a compelling description of the attraction of a wooden pen - amazing co-incidence that we should be independently posting within a day of each other!

Here is the link: Platinum briarwood review.

Edited by darkgreen, 16 July 2009 - 22:24.

* Nakaya celluloid M * Nakaya Briar F * Sailor PG M-F * Parker Duofold Jnr F * LAMY Safari EF * Tombow Object F * Lamy 2K EF * Platinum Preppy 0.3 *

#11 dapv

dapv

    dapv

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,361 posts
  • Location:Boston
  • Flag:

Posted 23 July 2009 - 02:59

A truly excellent thread. Thank you. But, I must ask ... you've had both, so, bottom line which "one" would you choose if you had to choose ... the tortoise celluloid w/med nib, or the briar w/fine nib? You must choose just one, no quibbling ... which one edges out the other and why? Thank you again.
CFTPM

#12 darkgreen

darkgreen

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 88 posts

Posted 23 July 2009 - 14:22

QUOTE (dapv @ Jul 23 2009, 02:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I must ask ... you've had both, so, bottom line which "one" would you choose if you had to choose ... the tortoise celluloid w/med nib, or the briar w/fine nib? You must choose just one, no quibbling ... which one edges out the other and why? Thank you again.


Uuurrggh... that's like asking would I choose arm or a leg if I had to lose one or the other.

But it's an excellent question because it got me thinking ... and I am really stumped. I can't argue with either of the nibs - they both write wonderfully. I can't imagine a nib getting better than these 2.

The briarwood pen feels more robust and that, long-term, it would take the knocks better. It's the pen that I would rather take to work. I suspect that it might age a bit better (burnish?) as well. I have a slight irrational horror-filled image in the back of my mind of the celluloid one day bursting into flames from a stray match - although I trust that it is not really that fragile. But, the translucent, relatively fragile nature of the celluloid makes it special as well. There are some great celluloid pens from the 1930s that still look beautiful (I have collected a couple).

When it comes down to it, my wife uses the celluloid pen most of the time, essentially because it is like a jewel and I use the briarwood pen because it has a solid brooding strength: the difference is as vague and insubstantial as that - so I guess I did choose. But I still get visiting rights for the celluloid - and use them.
* Nakaya celluloid M * Nakaya Briar F * Sailor PG M-F * Parker Duofold Jnr F * LAMY Safari EF * Tombow Object F * Lamy 2K EF * Platinum Preppy 0.3 *

#13 Pen2009

Pen2009

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,513 posts
  • Location:Asia
  • Flag:

Posted 18 March 2012 - 23:26

Is there a big difference between Nakaya's briarwood / Celluloid and Platinum's?
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image

Edited by Pen2009, 18 March 2012 - 23:28.

My collection: 149 EF/F/B/OBB, Collodi B/Twain F/Mann F, 146 M, Silver Barley F, M1000/M800 B'o'B/M800 Tortoise/Sahara/415 BT/215/205 Blue Demo, Optima Demo Red M/88 EF & Italic/Europa, Emotica, 2K/Safaris/Al-Stars/Vista, Edson DB/Carene BS, Pilot 845/823/742/743/Silvern/M90/Makies, Sailor Profit Realo M/KOP Makies/Profit Makies/Profit 21 Naginata MF&M/KOP/KOP Mosaiques/Sterling Silvers,Platinum #3776 Celluloids/Izumos/Wood pens/Sterling Silvers,YoL Grand Victorian, and more (I lost counting)

#14 FPscribe

FPscribe

    Near Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPip
  • 46 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 22 September 2015 - 22:56

 

QUOTE (MYU @ Jul 17 2009, 01:45 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The grain of the wood does not exactly match or align on the cap and the barrel so I presume that they were not machined out of a single piece of wood - but they are very close in color and density so they must have been close.

 

 

They probably are from the same piece. People forget that the pattern, whether it be wood or resin, at the section end of the barrel would have been matched by the resin/wood which was cut away to make the section. Then the barrel is cut. It's something people forget when they look at a pen, usually expecting the cap and barrel patterns to line up.

 

 

EDIT: Just realised that the pen in question does not have a wooden section. I have been switching tabs between different threads on wooden pens, and was looking at another.


Edited by FPscribe, 23 September 2015 - 14:59.







Sponsored Content




|