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The Nakaya Briarwood Fp


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9 replies to this topic

#1 tawanda

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 15:47

As some of you may already have gathered from my last review (Pel M1000), a good friend of mine across the pond has been loaning me pens to play with on the proviso that I review them here, that is the 'rent' due, if you will. (Although he has a penchant for English chocolate too, and that sometimes finds its way back to the US. Strangely, though, my samples of Marmite didn't go down too well with him...)

Well, last time I am ashamed to say I got into arrears by several weeks, and I do not want you all to think I am not one for paying my dues on time, so here is this month's review: The Nakaya Briarwood in deep matte finish.

As already stated, I am not able to take pics at present, so here is a link to one if you'd like to take a peep(its the first one on the page)

http://www.nibs.com/...arwoodPage.html

Appearance/Design/Feel: 10/10

I've never handled a wooden FP before so I was intrigued by the offer. I love wood as a material, so does my husband, who builds gorgeous bespoke furnature and built-in bookcases. So I was quite excited by the prospect of uniting my favourite natural material with my obsession for unique, quality writing tools. I was (almost) not disappointed.

The whole pen is incredibly smooth to the touch. I love the rounded end of the cap and the gently tapering body (not a fan of flat-tops, in general). The section is short, wasp-wasted, and disappointingly, made of shiny black plastic, although let me say here, I do understand why it has to be plastic (to avoid staining nightmares). However, I think I would have preferred it in a chocolate colour, or even in gold plated metal so that it matched the gp trim on the cap. But that is just a small and very personal gripe. What I wasn't prepared for, however, was how quickly the pen warms up in your hand. Forgive me if this appears slightly flaky, but as it almost instantly matches the temp of your hand, the pen seems to become a part of you, a seemless extension of your writing hand. Nor does it get sweaty or sticky when writing for lengthy periods, like metal sections can do. It was sublime!

Nib/Writing Experience. 7/10

The nib in this pen is 14k gold, and extra fine in width. This was, sadly, very toothy, bordering on scratchy, and as hard as a nail. It reminded me of the x/f nibs you get on Sailor 1911's, At first, it almost put me off. But because of the handling experience, I persevered. After a while it didn't seem so bad. But if it were mine, I'd definitely have the nib changed. Its sad to see such a gorgeous pen write, at best, just OK. I did not cap the pen because its not mine, but the balance was perfect without, and because it was made of wood, it is relatively light in weight. This means extended writing time without cramping, for me.

Overall:

The Nakaya Briarwood is a gorgeous pen which offers an unusual writing experience, one I particularly enjoyed; it is let down only by the sub-standard nib. The version I used was in a matte finish. It is also offered in a gloss finish. I'm glad I didn't try the gloss. I can't see the feel being the same at all. I'm imagining (and, please, correct me if I'm wrong) that it would feel more akin to plastic or resin in the hand, than wood. As a side point, briarwood is the wood used for making pipes, so this pen is unlikely to spontaneously combust...

Hope you enjoyed the review. Coming soon: The William Henry Cabernet.

Edited by tawanda, 10 July 2010 - 15:50.

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#2 FrankB

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 16:55

Thank you for the review.

My first Nakaya FP is also briar, except I opted for the light briar. At this point it is several years old and has toned to a darker color from my handling it. I can definitely resonate your love of wood as a FP material. I also love the warm, organic feel of this wood. The plastic section has never bothered me. The only section material that grates on me is metal. When I am writing and pause to think, I frequently recap the pen I am using and set it aside for a few minutes. With this pen, I find myself holding it to enjoy the warmth of the wood. That feel also seems to facilitate my ruminations.

I got a BB stub nib on mine. It wrote well out of the box and has performed flawlessly since. Maybe the size of the nib point makes a difference.

#3 ethernautrix

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 17:03

Nice review, Tawanda. I prefer the urushi finish (I have two Nakayas with a third on its way, eventually). I think I would love the nib on your Briarwood fp. Hard as a nail? Like Sailor 1911s? ♥♥♥

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#4 Frits B

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 18:00

I have this same pen in Light Briar in a glossy finish, so as to avoid stains in the wood. Can't say it feels plasticky; the gloss is a layer of transparent urushi. The nib is a soft M, so more of a fine in our terms. Writes well. Would you like to try? I'm on the other side of the North Sea, so Customs wouldn't interfere.

I also have its cousin, the Platinum 3776 Yaku Cedar pen with a Japanese B nib. Feels like polished but otherwise untreated wood.

#5 Bisquitlips

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 18:19

I have had one of these Nakaya Briars in my sights for sometime. Thanks for the review.

My preference on a nib would be a 1.1 italic. I would imagine the italic might correct the poor nib issues. Any thoughts on this Tawanda?
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

#6 Hennypenny

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 23:15

I have had one of these Nakaya Briars in my sights for sometime. Thanks for the review.

My preference on a nib would be a 1.1 italic. I would imagine the italic might correct the poor nib issues. Any thoughts on this Tawanda?



I have the dark Briar with a cursive italic - probably a 1.1 (it appears to be made from an extra broad nib). It's super smooth and wet. Unfortunately for me, I prefer narrow (F or EF) and dryer nibs. I'm thinking I'll take it to the DC Pen Show and see if John Mottishaw can make it a little dryer -- the width I think I can live with since I have plenty of EFs and Fines in other pens. But the wider Nakaya nibs are smooth and enjoyable -- the medium firm (line width is more like a western fine) I have in a Piccolo is one of my favorites!

But the Briar material is nice -- very tactile. HP
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#7 sallywally

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 00:03

Just a little defense of the Nakaya XF nibs - I have one with an XF and one with an XXF nib, and find them both smooth. The reviewer also commented on the scratchiness of the Sailor EF nibs - again, to me very smooth. I have two Sailor XFs and a Sailor Saibi Togi, just about the finest nib made. :wub:

Basically, many very fine nibs require a ridiculously light touch. :)
Nakaya Piccolo Heki Tamenuri 14K XF
Nakaya Ascending Dragon Heki 14K XXF
Sailor Brown Mosaic 21K Saibi Togi XXF
Sailor Maki-e Koi 21K XF
Pilot Namiki Sterling Silver Crane FP
Bexley Dragon XXF
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#8 tawanda

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 10:50

Thanks for all your comments, folks. Firstly, may I say in my defense, i am not heavy handed. I never leave dents in a page when I write, and I have several fine and x/f's myself. My particular favourite is an old Sailor short/long that is needle-fine and smooth as silk. But I do find modern Sailors very toothy and stiff. Its very subjective, of course, but I much prefer the Pilot nibs which have a little give an seem more responsive, somehow.

That said, this pen may just need tuning. We all know it happens sometimes. Not all pens work well straight out of the box.

Thank you also for letting me know about your experiences with the urushi finished pens, too. Does anyone have matte anf gloss, and can they tell meif the 'warmth' factor is any different?
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#9 ethernautrix

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 17:02

Thanks for all your comments, folks. Firstly, may I say in my defense, i am not heavy handed. I never leave dents in a page when I write, and I have several fine and x/f's myself. My particular favourite is an old Sailor short/long that is needle-fine and smooth as silk. But I do find modern Sailors very toothy and stiff. Its very subjective, of course, but I much prefer the Pilot nibs which have a little give an seem more responsive, somehow.


I ordered an EEF nib on my Nakaya Piccolo, and even though it was smooth, smooth, smooth, I couldn't write comfortably with it. So I exchanged it for an EF, and that, too, initially, was very smooth. But I couldn't write comfortably with it. I couldn't understand it. It took about a year to realize that the nib was a tad soft or responsive, and I need hard, HARD! nibs, like the H-EF on my Sailor 1911, like the firm M I finally got on the Piccolo.

So, yeah, I'm thinking you would have LOVED the nib that I originally ordered.

I don't have a matte urushi (I am very taken with the "unpolished shu" (red), though), so I have no comment. I will say that the urushi finish is very tough. I've dropped... I mean to say, the Nakaya Desk Pen has flown out of my hand (slipped from its "kimono") several times to the hardwood floor... and each time, no sign of impact, at all.

I think Nakaya is my favorite brand. I haven't dropped my Danitrios to test the resiliency of their urushi, and I don't plan to, either. But, yeah, for tactility and strength, I love the urushi.

Edited by ethernautrix, 11 July 2010 - 21:58.

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#10 tawanda

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 21:33

I have a 1911M with H-M nib. I had it ground into a cursive italic (my choice of nib every time) hoping I would love it more but to no avail, so I'm thinking you are right, I would have loved that nib of yours, ethernautrix!

But that is the joy of fountain pens, the discovery of your personal perferences for nibs, sections, styling, weight, ink characteristics, and colour etc etc. What an adventure it is!
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