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






Photo

Danitrio Tetsu Sabi-Nuri


  • Please log in to reply
19 replies to this topic

#1 Gendo

Gendo

    Sensei

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 147 posts
  • Location:Michigan, USA
  • Flag:

Posted 15 May 2011 - 23:51

The air is soft and just slightly cool today, here by the shore of Lake Michigan. The sky is gray. Everything is as smooth as one could possibly imagine, including the nib of my lovely new Danitrio Tetsu Sabi-Nuri.

I bought this pen from Kevin (Winedoc) using his compassionate lay-away plan for approximately $800, the most I've ever spent on a pen. (Just writing that sentence re-awakens the trauma of having spent so much, but I can also say that the balm of ownership is unassailable therapy.) Kevin explained in his sales post that the particular urushi technique used on this pen was also traditionally used on samurai helmets. A young man in his 20s is the artist. Anyway, I surprised myself when pulling the trigger to bring this stone-finish lacquer pen into the fold—as I normally like gleaming, shining pens—but this pen had several wonderful draws which I'll try to make real for you.

Posted Image


First Impressions (4/5)

A light-weight, comfortable, and subtly beautiful pen. I can't imagine an improvement. Seriously.

That said, let's back up and talk about packaging.

First, the pen's outer box is a simple, sturdy black cardboard.

Posted Image


Within this is a simple, beautiful, very nicely made wooden box with brass hinges and blue velvet lining. A magnet holds the lid in place.

Posted Image




Posted Image


I'm so glad that Danitrio did not put up something garish or wildly expensive. This box would be attractive on anyone's desk and doesn't overwhelm its contents. Still, I have a bit of a problem with any packaging extravagances. I only care about the pen, not the box it comes in. The Dani packaging in this case was perfect, but I think that for environmental reasons we should avoid all that is not essential for safe shipping. Doing so should also lower prices for pens, it seems to me. So 4/5.


Appearance and Design (5/5)

In addition to its pleasing dimensions (described below), the Tetsu Sabi-Nuri lacquering technique leaves a texture like stone, so it stays fixed in the hand and does not rotate; the nib remains correctly positioned in relation to the paper. The texture also means the pen always looks clean and neat. You would have to dip your hand in motor oil to leave a fingerprint. In spite of its stony texture and large size, however, the Tetsu Sabi-Nuri is remarkably light-weight, and, unlike a real stone, feels pleasantly temperature-neutral, not cold. These paradoxes provide a lot of my enjoyment of the pen.

Posted Image


Posted Image


The pen's beauty is subtle and, for me, it is therefore all the more exquisite. I've plucked pebbles out of stream beds at dawn that were as beautiful to me as the Hope Diamond, and it's just the same with this understated brown pen. I have visually striking writers like my Delta Dolce Vita with its unmistakably gorgeous marmalade orange barrel, but the Tetsu is just as beautiful. It doesn't distract me while I write, and yet every occasional pause gives me a chance to look lovingly upon the brown-on-brown wave and flying tern images on the barrel and cap.


Posted Image

Posted Image


The art represents to me a kind of meditative stillness at the center of a dynamic natural scene. Isn't that the epitome of the writing experience?

Construction and Quality (4.5/5)

I am thinking a score of 5 here to reflect the pen I have, but not the first one I bought. When the pen first came, the nib and feed did not fit together quite correctly (as later determined by Kevin), so ink would alternately gush or choke off altogether. That one, I'm afraid, I would have scored a 0/5. Kevin, however, immediately replaced the feed and nib, and now everything seems right and tight (and the flow is perfect). The section and barrel screw together tightly and securely; the converter seems very well made, and I can find absolutely no flaw in the workmanship anywhere. I'm dinging a half-point in this category because I think the clip should be tighter than it is. It is not loose, by any means, but I would be reluctant to leave in clipped in a shirt pocket. I rarely carry pens that way anyway, so it's not a big deal to me. That the clip prevents the pens from rolling off the desk is good enough.

Weight and Dimensions (5/5)

Holding the pen is an immense joy. As I mentioned above, the Tetsu Sabi-Nuri is remarkably light-weight. I like pens with quite a large diameter, and at 5/8 in. (1.5 cm), this pen is very satisfying. I'm also fussy about the length; I'm usually subtly annoyed when a pen is not long enough to really reach a quarter inch or so beyond the web of my thumb as this leads to a feeling of instability. Without the cap, the pen is 5 3/16 in. (13.25 cm), a great length for me, especially because I tend to hold pens at the very top of the gripping section or even at the very bottom of the barrel. I can't over-emphasize what a delight it is to hold this pen.


Nib and Performance (5/5)

Posted Image

The nib is a flexy, two-tone, 18k gold, medium nib. (I think other nibs are available, but ask Kevin.) In terms of contact with paper, this nib reminds me a bit of my Omas Milord; incredibly smooth, but with the perfect amount of feedback so that one doesn't just skate away out of control. I would say that the nib is every bit as smooth as my 21k Sailor 1911. I also really enjoy the Buddhist image (The Dharma Wheel in flame) that is engraved on the nib.


Ink flow in the pen is, I would say, perfectly balanced, neither too wet nor too dry. If baby bear had had a fountain pen in addition to her "just right" porridge, it would have been a Tetsu. I have tried Diamine, J. Herbin, and Iroshizuku inks in it, and they all work very well. (The humble writing sample shown here was done with Diamine Asa Blue.) And, finally, as I hope you make out from my pic, there is generous line variation. I'm still getting used to writing with a flexy nib, as it's my first. I've enjoyed the softness of my Visconti Van Gogh and Kaleido pens, so this was a natural direction for me to explore.

Posted Image


Posted Image


Filling System (5/5)

The pen is a converter filler. Purists may wish for a piston on such an elemental pen as this, and while I own piston-fillers, I tend to prefer converters because they hold less ink—an advantage for those of us who like to change colors of ink more often than not. The converter seems to be reliable and well-made.


Cost and Value (4/5)

The full price paid was $825. Given that this is a serious piece of art, from the lacquer work to the signature, to the nib itself, I'm not surprised by the price. As a buyer, it is easy to fall into probably over-simplified daydreams of what goes into a pen like this. It goes something like Oh, some sumac juice and hard rubber and a bit of plastic, so probably $4 – 5 in materials. So what exactly am I paying for? Obviously, musings like this don't accurately involve the full manufacturing and artistic process which clearly justify the cost—or at least most of it. But I do wonder what the markup actually is. That said, Kevin is absolutely great to work with, and I don't mind paying top dollar for a pen if that also means that I get great customer service—which I always have had from Kevin, and I can't recommend him highly enough. (No affiliation.)


Miscellaneous

One last delicious subtlety that I must mention is the unusual sound this pen makes when being capped or placed on a hard surface. It is a sound like that of glass or porcelain which I really love. It somehow seems to extend the preciousness of this inky deity.


Conclusion (32.5/35)

For the past couple of weeks, I have pretty much abandoned my usual rotation because I only want to write with this pen. No doubt I'm simply head-over-heels in love with this new friend, but something tells me that this may be my very BFF. It is beguiling in its material qualities, friendly in its feel, and exquisite in its perfect workmanship and artistry.

Edited by Gendo, 16 May 2011 - 00:24.

______________________________________________________________________
"Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within."
--James Baldwin

Posted Image

Sponsored Content

#2 Brian C

Brian C

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,574 posts
  • Location:Kingman, Arizona
  • Flag:

Posted 16 May 2011 - 00:14

Years from now that $800 will be forgotten and you'll still have that beautiful pen. Good review. Thanks

#3 shl

shl

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 122 posts

Posted 16 May 2011 - 00:32

absolutely stunning pen!! $800 well spent

#4 Gendo

Gendo

    Sensei

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 147 posts
  • Location:Michigan, USA
  • Flag:

Posted 16 May 2011 - 00:32

Years from now that $800 will be forgotten and you'll still have that beautiful pen. Good review. Thanks


Thanks for the enablement rationalization. I can already hear myself repeating it with stony confidence in $800 increments. :thumbup:
______________________________________________________________________
"Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within."
--James Baldwin

Posted Image

#5 Brian C

Brian C

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,574 posts
  • Location:Kingman, Arizona
  • Flag:

Posted 16 May 2011 - 00:34

No problem. Works for me every time. :)

#6 watch_art

watch_art

    Pen Making Madness

  • FPN Super Moderators

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 15,490 posts
  • Location:hot springs, arkansas, usa
  • Flag:

Posted 16 May 2011 - 01:04

I swear I've seen these pictures somewhere before. Did you review a pen similar to this? Or did you post pics in the Pens from Land of the Rising Sun forum?




hmmmm


fpn_1432247667__cropped-20150427_0641231 sigpic14481_1.gif vanness.jpg?t=1321916122


#7 Gendo

Gendo

    Sensei

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 147 posts
  • Location:Michigan, USA
  • Flag:

Posted 16 May 2011 - 01:11

I swear I've seen these pictures somewhere before. Did you review a pen similar to this? Or did you post pics in the Pens from Land of the Rising Sun forum?


I haven't posted these pictures anywhere else. Some of the pics, however, are Kevin's and came from his original sales post. They're used with permission.
______________________________________________________________________
"Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within."
--James Baldwin

Posted Image

#8 watch_art

watch_art

    Pen Making Madness

  • FPN Super Moderators

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 15,490 posts
  • Location:hot springs, arkansas, usa
  • Flag:

Posted 16 May 2011 - 01:38

Ah! That must be it. I've seen that hate before. I knew it. :)

fpn_1432247667__cropped-20150427_0641231 sigpic14481_1.gif vanness.jpg?t=1321916122


#9 Brian

Brian

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,432 posts

Posted 18 May 2011 - 08:36

A beautiful review. A great work of art. Thanks for sharing.

#10 777

777

    Donor Pen

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,021 posts
  • Location:Big Sandy, Tennessee
  • Flag:

Posted 20 May 2011 - 11:39

What a pen... Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image May you enjoy it for years to come...

Regards,
777 - Posted Image

Need a pen repaired or a nib re-ground? I'd love to help you out.


Posted Image


Colossians 3:17 - And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.


#11 ethernautrix

ethernautrix

    Be the Pen Posse you want to see in the world.

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,712 posts
  • Location:Land of Po

Posted 20 May 2011 - 19:09

Gorgeous pen! Congratulations!

I think I saw this pen when Kevin was selling it and I was tempted. The Nakaya Shield was probably up. But, yeah, that is a gorgeous pen. *Sigh*

Nice review. I agree with what you said about Kevin and about how the cost of materials doesn't determine the price so much as the workmanship. And yes! The sound of the Danitrio cap when capping or uncapping -- the Danitrio Fellowship has the same very pleasing sound - and tactility.

_________________

etherX in To Miasto

Fleekair <--French accent.


#12 Bambuko

Bambuko

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 52 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 09 June 2011 - 17:03

Beautiful pen and great photos. Danitrio has been on my radar for some time now. Do they use Bock to make their nibs, I can't remember?

I think the price you paid is pretty good considering the artwork done on the pen. Impressive.

#13 Dark_Severus

Dark_Severus

    Paragonian

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 159 posts
  • Location:United Kingdom
  • Flag:

Posted 09 June 2011 - 19:38

Congratulations on your beautiful pen. It truly is a work of art. $800 is a lot but something like that could definitely be an heirloom.

I would really like to get my hands on some of these Japanese pens -especially a Danitrio- but where I'm about, they're very hard to come by. :(

Anyway, hope you get many years of good use from yours! :vbg:

Edited by Dark_Severus, 09 June 2011 - 19:39.

adf85b8e-ac76-49f5-94e8-b5173443175d_zps
 
 

"Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life,

the whole aim and end of human existence" Aristotle


#14 Gendo

Gendo

    Sensei

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 147 posts
  • Location:Michigan, USA
  • Flag:

Posted 09 June 2011 - 22:38

Gorgeous pen! Congratulations!


Thanks.

I think I saw this pen when Kevin was selling it and I was tempted. The Nakaya Shield was probably up. But, yeah, that is a gorgeous pen. *Sigh*


:roflmho:

Nice review. I agree with what you said about Kevin and about how the cost of materials doesn't determine the price so much as the workmanship. And yes! The sound of the Danitrio cap when capping or uncapping -- the Danitrio Fellowship has the same very pleasing sound - and tactility.


Well said, Ether.
______________________________________________________________________
"Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within."
--James Baldwin

Posted Image

#15 Gendo

Gendo

    Sensei

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 147 posts
  • Location:Michigan, USA
  • Flag:

Posted 09 June 2011 - 22:59

Beautiful pen and great photos. Danitrio has been on my radar for some time now. Do they use Bock to make their nibs, I can't remember?

I think the price you paid is pretty good considering the artwork done on the pen. Impressive.


I do believe the nib is made by Bock to Danitrio's specs. You could ask winedoc for more info.
______________________________________________________________________
"Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within."
--James Baldwin

Posted Image

#16 Gendo

Gendo

    Sensei

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 147 posts
  • Location:Michigan, USA
  • Flag:

Posted 09 June 2011 - 23:03

Congratulations on your beautiful pen. It truly is a work of art. $800 is a lot but something like that could definitely be an heirloom.

I would really like to get my hands on some of these Japanese pens -especially a Danitrio- but where I'm about, they're very hard to come by. :(

Anyway, hope you get many years of good use from yours! :vbg:


Thanks.

Are you in England? I'm sure Kevin can hook you up with a Dani, and it would be worth the international shipping expense, believe me. I have been writing almost exclusively with my Tetsu since well before the time I posted the review above. Still lovin' it.
______________________________________________________________________
"Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within."
--James Baldwin

Posted Image

#17 Dark_Severus

Dark_Severus

    Paragonian

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 159 posts
  • Location:United Kingdom
  • Flag:

Posted 10 June 2011 - 18:52

Congratulations on your beautiful pen. It truly is a work of art. $800 is a lot but something like that could definitely be an heirloom.

I would really like to get my hands on some of these Japanese pens -especially a Danitrio- but where I'm about, they're very hard to come by. :(

Anyway, hope you get many years of good use from yours! :vbg:


Thanks.

Are you in England? I'm sure Kevin can hook you up with a Dani, and it would be worth the international shipping expense, believe me. I have been writing almost exclusively with my Tetsu since well before the time I posted the review above. Still lovin' it.


That would be awesome...though I dread to think what the customs charges will be on $600-800 pen :hmm1:

adf85b8e-ac76-49f5-94e8-b5173443175d_zps
 
 

"Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life,

the whole aim and end of human existence" Aristotle


#18 Korybas

Korybas

    The pen is the tongue of the mind

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 496 posts
  • Location:Athens, GREECE.
  • Flag:

Posted 11 June 2011 - 08:21

This is such an awesome pen! Congrats! :thumbup:
Posted Image

#19 WOBentley

WOBentley

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,314 posts
  • Location:The rainy yet beautiful Pacific Northwest
  • Flag:

Posted 12 June 2011 - 18:01

Awesome pen and great review...Thanks!
This post contains 100% recycled electrons

#20 georges zaslavsky

georges zaslavsky

    vintageandmodernpenslover

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12,028 posts
  • Location:France
  • Flag:

Posted 13 June 2011 - 07:46

nice pen :thumbup: thanks for the review
Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time






Sponsored Content




|