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Namiki Black Resin Bamboo


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26 replies to this topic

#1 greencobra

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 01:16

The Namiki Black Resin Bamboo has become my favorite pen in my small collection to date. I donít know what special qualities it possesses but I get into a serene, tranquil, Zen state just holding it. It has stayed inked so far while the other pens get rotated weekly.

The Bamboo is a beautiful fountain pen. Gentile curves, crisp angles, and rhodium fixtures, it has it all. And like most things Japanese, subtle yet functional. On an interesting note, I read in a prior review of this pen, nicely done by Apollo, the designer of this pen was French, Juliette Bonnamour. She captured the feel of Japan, I think, extremely well. Other pens give you the Asian experience by using maki-e applications; this one does it by design.

This pen is well made and as I said, a beautiful piece. It uses cartridges or a converter. The converter Iíve yet to use. Its finish is done in shiny black resin with rhodium accents. My pen looks like its lacquer, which, I would imagine, is the effect they were going for. I feel the weight is lighter than it looks for its size although the rhodium threads in the cap put a little weight down on the business end.

The pen resembles a piece of bamboo, hence the name. The two ends are cut on a bias to suggest the bamboo stalk was slashed with a blade when cut. All the angles align with each other when the pen has its cap screwed on. Both ends meet perfectly and the clip, where itís joined to the cap, has another cut at the same angle as the cap top. Hard to describe in writing but the photo Iíve included should show this detail pretty well. Even the nib is centered on the highest point of the bias cut found on the barrel end. The threads on the pen are rhodium also. The cap seats flush with the barrel so when itís on, you get the feel of a single piece. The threaded rhodium insert inside the cap forms a thin lip around the cap opening as does its mate on the body, making a small decorative barrel band while protecting both pen and body when they are screwed together. The rhodium is a nice accent, but I feel the pen could be damaged if ones not careful and the resin keeps hitting the metal of the threads when putting the cap on or if someone wished to use the pen posted. This pen is also thick about the middle and there is a step down at the threads to accommodate the flush seating of the cap on the barrel. Some people will find this awkward depending on how they hold the pen. Others, like myself, like the way it feels. The above mentioned review by Apollo has some nice photographs of this pen with the cap off that you can view to see what Iím talking about. Now that everyone is confused by my description, letís move on.

This is another pen that feels natural to me. Knowing a small bit about Japanese design, it probably wouldnít have come on the market if it didnít become one with user in all aspects of functionality. I use the pen unposted, as I do all my pens, and the balance is right. It is my opinion, posting makes the Bamboo top heavy.

The nib is 14 Kt coated with rhodium. Mine is marked Namiki and is a medium. Since this pen has been discontinued, I understand some nibs are marked Pilot from when they released the final batch of Bambooís. It mattered to me so anyone interested in this detail should ask first if buying online sight unseen. This is the first Japanese fountain pen Iíve used. I found the Japanese medium differs a good deal from the European medium. I think itís closer to a fine. If I bear down slightly, the line will open a bit. My example has a lot of tooth and using a Namiki/Pilot cartridge, it puts down a wonderful, fairly dry line. Writing on cotton paper with this pen, not only can I feel the pen, but it talks to me as well.

Iíve had my Bamboo for a few weeks only. I do most of my writing with it not because itís new, but because it makes me want to write. Honestly, this pen will not be for everyone. If you are thinking about it now, get one. If not, look seriously at the Bamboo. This pen is still selling for $230 to as high as $275, but one can be found for well under 200 if one looks. One of the great FP bargains out there and the closest you can get to legally stealing.

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Edited by greencobra, 26 September 2006 - 01:19.

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#2 alexanderino

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 21:50

Thanks for the review and image, greencobra. Just placed an order for a Red fine smile.gif

#3 greencobra

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Posted 26 October 2007 - 14:18

Hi alexanderino. It's been a year and 1 day since I posted this review and I still feel the same way. I know you'll love it, congrats on the purchase, enjoy it.
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#4 alexanderino

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Posted 27 October 2007 - 09:29

It's heartening to know time has not removed this pen's allure. Thanks for the well wishes, and I can't wait to get mine smile.gif

#5 alvarez57

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 05:24

Very nice pen! I didn't think it would be so aesthetically simple and pleasing. How flexible is the nib?

sonia alvarez

 

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#6 greencobra

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 18:37

QUOTE(alvarez57 @ Oct 29 2007, 01:24 AM) View Post
Very nice pen! I didn't think it would be so aesthetically simple and pleasing. How flexible is the nib?

Hmmm, I had a post go south, I thought I answered this last night after I got done watching the Sox win the World Series. Did I mention the Sox won? LOL

I really don't think there's any flex in the nib or at least any that makes a difference.
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#7 LouisA

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 13:29

Based on this excellent review I went onto Ebay and won a bid on one with a redish-black tint with a fine nib. Steal of a price. Can't wait to receive it.
I use a fountain pen because one ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to write a few reasonable words with a fountain pen.

#8 greencobra

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 13:50

QUOTE(LouisA @ Oct 31 2007, 09:29 AM) View Post
Based on this excellent review I went onto Ebay and won a bid on one with a redish-black tint with a fine nib. Steal of a price. Can't wait to receive it.


I'm confident you'll like it although I have no experience with the Namiki fine nib. I prefer fine myself on a pen and this med I have on my Bamboo is the only med I use on a regular basis. I'm anxious to hear how you like it.

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#9 alexanderino

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 07:02

I just received my fine-nibbed Deep Red Bamboo and inked it a few minutes ago. This pen is so outstandingly marvellous I'm still in shock.

Will try and write a review when I recover.

#10 greencobra

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 11:09

QUOTE(alexanderino @ Nov 6 2007, 02:02 AM) View Post
I just received my fine-nibbed Deep Red Bamboo and inked it a few minutes ago. This pen is so outstandingly marvellous I'm still in shock.

Will try and write a review when I recover.

Congrats! Enjoy the heck out of it.

Looking forward to your review.
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#11 LouisA

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 23:38

Just received mine. What a great pen. While long it does not feel large. It is a bit longer than my Danitrio but does not feel as large. The cap could be a bit shorter and the body a bit longer. The body is so short you may want to post the cap but it just doesn't look as good with the cap posted. The Fine nib writes like an Extra Fine but I was expecting that. Going to be using it a lot
I use a fountain pen because one ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to write a few reasonable words with a fountain pen.

#12 tankahn

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 06:21

I didn't buy the pen. I thought its design will pose gripping problems for me. After your review, I looked over it again. My B&M shop have several to choose from. Its the Pilot version. Price wise it was attractively priced lower than US$200. It come with a converter which you pumped the ink in. There is a sliding bit inside, presumably to break the surface tension. The presentation box was a huge square box. Since it was so big I thought of throwing it away but decided to keep it since it was beautifully made. The clip is beautiful, its medium nib is so smooth. Thanks for the review. Its a gem find.



#13 savarez

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 07:19

I am interested in opinions on the grip.

Too thick?
Did you find it hard to get used to?
Do you like it once you get used to it?


Currently Inked: Visconti Pericle EF : Aurora Black; Pilot VP-F (Gunmetal): X-Feather; Pilot VP-F (LE Orange): Kiowa Pecan; Lamy Safari EF: Legal Lapis
Wishlist (WTB/T) - Pelikan "San Francisco"

#14 alexanderino

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 11:35

The grip suits me fine, even over long writing sessions. As always, experiment with various positions until you discover one that you enjoy the most wink.gif

#15 greencobra

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 18:05

QUOTE(alexanderino @ Nov 10 2007, 06:35 AM) View Post
The grip suits me fine, even over long writing sessions. As always, experiment with various positions until you discover one that you enjoy the most wink.gif

Me too. Before I got it, I looked at it for a while with the same doubts but that changed when I picked it up. The step at the grip is a real concern for a lot of people, rightly so. The only real issue with this pen is posting it. You can't. It makes the pen really long and anyway, the metal thread insert would probably scratch the resin and destroy the asthetics of the pen.

And I think it is a gem find. I got it from Pam for around $140 last year. Talk about a sleeper, super bargain.

To those who bought one on my recommendation, I'm glad you're happy with it. I wasn't too happy with the way the review came out, couldn't put into words very well what I was feeling about this pen. Glad a few of you could pull that out of the review. Now we need new reviews!!
JELL-O, IT'S WHATS FOR DINNER!

#16 PinarelloOnly

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Posted 15 November 2007 - 22:54

QUOTE(greencobra @ Sep 26 2006, 01:16 AM) View Post
Since this pen has been discontinued, I understand some nibs are marked Pilot from when they released the final batch of Bambooís. It mattered to me so anyone interested in this detail should ask first if buying online sight unseen.




Although this review is over a year old and I am stating the obvious now, it must be clarified that, according to Jeanette
Hirsch, Consumer Advisor at Pilot USA this pen has not been discontinued nor' is there any final production run in the near
future.

As soon as I can take the time for some pics, I should have a review on mine next month.

#17 greencobra

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 05:58

QUOTE(PinarelloOnly @ Nov 15 2007, 05:54 PM) View Post
Although this review is over a year old and I am stating the obvious now, it must be clarified that, according to Jeanette
Hirsch, Consumer Advisor at Pilot USA this pen has not been discontinued nor' is there any final production run in the near
future.

As soon as I can take the time for some pics, I should have a review on mine next month.

Yeah, I have no clue why I put that in there, honestly. Maybe I asumed because it was discounted? Thanks for bringing it up, it could cause a bit confusion Anyway, looking forward to your review, it's interesting to get different perspectives.
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#18 lecorbusier

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 06:06

Nope, you were quite right then. The Bamboo was anounced to be discontinued and that was when I leaped in to get mine. But I still see them, particularly in Asia under the Pilot brand.

Anyhow, they are not as common now in retail than previously, when this series was first launched. Perhaps it has to do with dismal sales than the lack of supply of these pens. On the other hand, you don't see so many of those Rhodium ones around, and most of what I chanced upon so far are resin ones.



As soon as I can take the time for some pics, I should have a review on mine next month.[/quote]
Yeah, I have no clue why I put that in there, honestly. Maybe I asumed because it was discounted? Thanks for bringing it up, it could cause a bit confusion Anyway, looking forward to your review, it's interesting to get different perspectives.
[/quote]

AAA

#19 greencobra

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 07:14

QUOTE(lecorbusier @ Nov 16 2007, 01:06 AM) View Post
Nope, you were quite right then. The Bamboo was anounced to be discontinued and that was when I leaped in to get mine. But I still see them, particularly in Asia under the Pilot brand.


Alright, back to walk'n a little taller now. cool.gif
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#20 av8r

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 07:11

I think I found my next obsession
1-MB Miesterstuck 149 It's purdy
2-Waterman Phealis
wanted:
Montverde rose gold
Pilot VP
Mont Blanc Starwalker rubber and metal
MB Edgar Allan Poe
Jaguar concept

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