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Platinum Maki-E Style Review


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15 replies to this topic

#1 drav

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 01:54

Lately, I have been on a Japanese fountain pen kick. I can’t really describe it, but there it is. My most recent purchases included vintage Pilots, a current Vanishing Point, and a Namiki Falcon. As a result, I decided to branch out beyond the Namiki/Pilot line. But where to? Sailor? Platinum? Nakaya?

One bit that helped was that I decided I would not spend much above the Falcon metal body range. If a pen in that price range wrote so well, why exceed that price? After some looking, I started to focus on the Platinum 3776 line.

I got further intrigued by the Maki-e style fountain pens. Now, I had done my research, and I knew that I was not getting Maki-e artistry at a Wal-Mart price. But I was happy with the looks of the Phoenix and the inclusion of a semi-flexible 18K nib sealed the purchase.

maki band.jpg

Appearance and Design – The initial view was Wow! This is one nice looking pen! I like the double jewels and the gold appointments are well done – not too lite looking or too heavy. Like the Falcon, there is purpose in the looks without going overboard.

maki top.jpg

maki bottom.jpg

Design is a little harder to quantify. I liked the design of the pen; otherwise, I would not have not have purchased it. That said, I am not a big fan of using friction to hold the cap when posting the pen. Also, I have heard that some of the Maki-e style artistry could get rubbed off when posting. Having looked at how far the cap goes on when posting, I’d say it is a possibility. But I have not proven/disproven that. With these two factors, I give it 8 out of 10.

Construction and Quality – This is one of the lighter pens I own, coming in at slightly under 21 grams dry. It is as solid as my light-weight Mont Blanc, so I can’t be negative there. There are no seams I could see. I did find a blemish. While looking at the artwork closely, I noted one spot where it was applied over a fleck of dust. Now, I know one shouldn’t expect a whole lot for something well under 200 USD, but they could have given it a blast with compressed air before applying the art work!

Otherwise, everything works in as it should. The converter is nice looking with the gold-type finish and you get one cartridge with the steel ball. The dust fleck irritated me. 7 out 10

maki bottom.jpg

Weight and Dimensions – It is a light pen. It is also a relatively thin pen. My fingers tend to tire more with thin pens, so I typically don’t use them longer for a day before switching to a different pen. But I knew all that purchasing it, so I can’t ding it. Here it is next to the TWSBI 700 Vac. I give it a 10 out of 10.

Nib and Performance – I won’t quibble, the 18K medium nib is real nice. It is quite smooth and for my tastes, just the right amount of wetness. There is flex present, but admittedly not that of my Falcon in medium. Then again, the Falcon is known as a soft flex. The Maki-e style is good for the individual who needs some flex, but not too much. I did not get any skipping or other flow-related issues. Once inked, it has been writing well and has not stopped.

maki nib.jpg


The pen is comfortable with the cap posted. As mentioned earlier, this could affect your pen’s art.

Here it is with Swisher’s Intense Purple on cheap Docket paper. I’ll use this pen for work, and the paper is about 99% of what it will see, so why test it on better? I really like the way it writes. I am sure it will get plenty of use as I can’t find any issues with it. 10 out 10

Writing Sample.jpg


Filling System and Maintenance – The converter worked as a converter should. It is not a high capacity one, then again, this is not a big pen. Everything was rinsed with a little pen cleaner prior to use, and it all behaved as it should.

maki converter.jpg


Maintenance is also as simple as with any other converter fountain pen. It disassembles easily and cleans readily. 10 out of 10

Cost and Value – My price was about $150 once postage was factored in. I have to admit I was a little disappointed over the box it came in. Now I know, one shouldn’t judge anything by its container. After all, what good is the mahogany box your mechanical watch came in if it can’t tell time?

But the pen came in a nice cardboard box with Japanese writing on it. Inside was a nice red flock covered cardboard with the instruction, cartridge, and converter. But if you just got a Namiki Falcon, you would say the Maki-e box is just, I don’t know, not enough? Considering what I was judging it against, I’d have to give it an 8 out of 10.

Conclusion – This is a really nice pen. I like how you can enjoy some form of Maki-e without dropping several hundred dollars on it. Heck, you even get the artist to sign off on it! The fact that the 18K nib performs so well really helps keep me going back to it over and over. But one does have to keep in mind that the more you use it, the more the finish will come under attack. Still, I’ll use it on a daily basis.

maki artist.jpg


My final rating would be 53 out of 60. Now, which make to try next?


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#2 jandrese

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 03:00

Good review, thanks for sharing. I was surprised to see an 18k nib!

#3 Chris Chalmers

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 03:19

Good review - excellent photos too - but I think you will find that this is not 'Maki-e' but rather silk-screened for that price. I have a similar one, Pheonix Rising - and can talk from experience, as I also have Maki-e pens from Nakaya and DaniTrio.

I like the way yours writes too - and that ink is pretty.
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#4 Uncle Red

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 14:49

Nice review, thanks.

#5 drav

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 16:13

Good review - excellent photos too - but I think you will find that this is not 'Maki-e' but rather silk-screened for that price. I have a similar one, Pheonix Rising - and can talk from experience, as I also have Maki-e pens from Nakaya and DaniTrio.

I like the way yours writes too - and that ink is pretty.
Congratulations!



Thanks Chris! No, I knew it was silk screened, but could not find the reference. That is why I tried to refer to it as "Maki-e style" as it really is not Maki-e. I knew at that price I was lucky to get an 18K nib! ;)

All the best,
Dan

#6 write to me often

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 06:26

I really like Japanese pens. Last week I had a chance to try a Namiki Falcon Rare Edition with a gold flex nib on it and frankly I am in love now. :cloud9:

However, I am going to start with a Maki-e pen and due to budget restrains not with a Danitrio but a Platinum maki-e. That's why I wanted to thank you for the great review. Yet I was a little bit disappointed by the lack of good packaging.
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#7 drav

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 02:44

I really like Japanese pens. Last week I had a chance to try a Namiki Falcon Rare Edition with a gold flex nib on it and frankly I am in love now. :cloud9:

However, I am going to start with a Maki-e pen and due to budget restrains not with a Danitrio but a Platinum maki-e. That's why I wanted to thank you for the great review. Yet I was a little bit disappointed by the lack of good packaging.


Glad I could be of help. One of my favorite pens is a Falcon resin with a medium nib. It is a great writer.

I know what you mean about the packaging. We all know that at this price level, you are getting a real nice nib. While the Falcon resin is a nice pen, you really are paying for the nib and not the resin. You pay a little more to get the metal body on the Falcon metal fountain pen (IMO). After that, you are left with the packaging. I take the pen out, place it in a display case when not in use, and the package goes into a closet. But everytime I look at the package for the Falcon versus the Maki-e style, the Falcon wins. Silly, but true.

That said, it is a fine writer. I used it all day at work yesterday and was pleased.

All the best,

Dan

#8 javachoco

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 09:12

I just got the pen a few days ago. The pen looks really nice.

But the fine nib is just a bit thick for my taste since I've used Pilot Prera fine nib, Pilot Cavalier fine nib, and Sailor 1911 extra nib.

The Platinum fine nib writes wetter than the Pilot fine nibs and the ink bleeds more, which makes it harder for me to write thick/thin lines/curves within a letter.

I'm trying to get used to pen though.

#9 khoss712

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 15:53

Thanks for the review. I have to agree with all you've said. I had other considerations, though. As I'm using it to draw and I travel a lot I need a pen that can take cartridges with waterproof ink. That leaves Sailor and Platinum. I find the Platinums to be the most reliable pens I've had in term of always starting and never skipping (outside of my Parker 51, a 1951 aerometric model). Unfortunately their fines are too thick for my handwriting and not suitable for drawing. I sent it back to nibs.com where I'll discuss it with them when Mr. Mottishaw gets back. Maybe I'll need an extra fine in the 3776 series. Too bad as I loved the feel of the pen.
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#10 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 07:02

a very nice and sober pen :thumbup: congrats on the purchase
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

#11 de_pen_dent

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 19:13

I am awaiting this pen in the mail as well - got it from nibs.com. Bush-warbler for me (I am a birder).

Anyone have any experiences with whether the drawing tends to fade with repeated posting?
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#12 drav

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 23:08

I am awaiting this pen in the mail as well - got it from nibs.com. Bush-warbler for me (I am a birder).

Anyone have any experiences with whether the drawing tends to fade with repeated posting?


I've not used it enough to tell. It is part of my rotation, so eventually I may have an answer!

;)

Dan

#13 perrins57

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 11:25

Just won a Mt Fuji version with the medium nib on thE Bay. Be interested to see how the medium compares to the Japanese fine nib I have.


Song of Solomon 4:12 ~ You are my private garden, my treasure, my bride, a secluded spring, a hidden fountain Pen

Amber Italix Parsons Essential Fine Cursive Stub & Churchman's Prescriptor Bold Italic, Parker 25 F, Twsbi Mini EF, Platinum #3776 Bourgogne SF, Platinum Maki-e Kanazawa Mt. Fuji Med, Platinum President F,  Platinum desk pen, Platinum PG250,

Summit 125 Med flex, Conway Stewart Scribe No 330 Fine flex, Stephens 103 F, Mock Blanc 146 F, Pelikan 200 with 14k EF nib,  and a Jinhao 675. - I have also sent a Noodler's Ahab & Creeper to recycling.


#14 perrins57

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 11:02

1522754_10152183629707139_208442949_o.jp

 

 

Comparison between my Platinum #3776 soft fine and Maki-e medium. The first half of the line is with pressure, the end written normally. The Maki-e, although not listed as a soft nib, flexes more than the soft fine nib of the #3776. As expected the #3776 is finer. The Maki-e does have a slight issue with the feed touching the paper, even when the nib is held fairly upright (only when flexed), I may look at adjusting the feed in relation to the nib a little.

Looking at the Goulet Pen Co's YouTube page, they carry a video of the Maki-e compared to a Platinum Cool. The nibs are very similar shape (steel V 18K Gold ~ £30 V £140!) and the Cool flexes a similar amount. Okay so the Cool doesn't look or feel as nice and seems to write a little drier, but if you want to try a Japanese soft nib then it's a cheap way to do it.

 

1013443_10152183660287139_1017402366_n.j


Edited by perrins57, 16 January 2014 - 11:26.

Song of Solomon 4:12 ~ You are my private garden, my treasure, my bride, a secluded spring, a hidden fountain Pen

Amber Italix Parsons Essential Fine Cursive Stub & Churchman's Prescriptor Bold Italic, Parker 25 F, Twsbi Mini EF, Platinum #3776 Bourgogne SF, Platinum Maki-e Kanazawa Mt. Fuji Med, Platinum President F,  Platinum desk pen, Platinum PG250,

Summit 125 Med flex, Conway Stewart Scribe No 330 Fine flex, Stephens 103 F, Mock Blanc 146 F, Pelikan 200 with 14k EF nib,  and a Jinhao 675. - I have also sent a Noodler's Ahab & Creeper to recycling.


#15 Lynn St. Over

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 01:28

Lately, I have been on a Japanese fountain pen kick. I can’t really describe it, but there it is. My most recent purchases included vintage Pilots, a current Vanishing Point, and a Namiki Falcon. As a result, I decided to branch out beyond the Namiki/Pilot line. But where to? Sailor? Platinum? Nakaya? One bit that helped was that I decided I would not spend much above the Falcon metal body range. If a pen in that price range wrote so well, why exceed that price? After some looking, I started to focus on the Platinum 3776 line.I got further intrigued by the Maki-e style fountain pens. Now, I had done my research, and I knew that I was not getting Maki-e artistry at a Wal-Mart price. But I was happy with the looks of the Phoenix and the inclusion of a semi-flexible 18K nib sealed the purchase.

attachicon.gifmaki band.jpg

Appearance and Design – The initial view was Wow! This is one nice looking pen! I like the double jewels and the gold appointments are well done – not too lite looking or too heavy. Like the Falcon, there is purpose in the looks without going overboard.attachicon.gifmaki top.jpgattachicon.gifmaki bottom.jpgDesign is a little harder to quantify. I liked the design of the pen; otherwise, I would not have not have purchased it. That said, I am not a big fan of using friction to hold the cap when posting the pen. Also, I have heard that some of the Maki-e style artistry could get rubbed off when posting. Having looked at how far the cap goes on when posting, I’d say it is a possibility. But I have not proven/disproven that. With these two factors, I give it 8 out of 10.Construction and Quality – This is one of the lighter pens I own, coming in at slightly under 21 grams dry. It is as solid as my light-weight Mont Blanc, so I can’t be negative there. There are no seams I could see. I did find a blemish. While looking at the artwork closely, I noted one spot where it was applied over a fleck of dust. Now, I know one shouldn’t expect a whole lot for something well under 200 USD, but they could have given it a blast with compressed air before applying the art work!Otherwise, everything works in as it should. The converter is nice looking with the gold-type finish and you get one cartridge with the steel ball. The dust fleck irritated me. 7 out 10 attachicon.gifmaki bottom.jpgWeight and Dimensions – It is a light pen. It is also a relatively thin pen. My fingers tend to tire more with thin pens, so I typically don’t use them longer for a day before switching to a different pen. But I knew all that purchasing it, so I can’t ding it. Here it is next to the TWSBI 700 Vac. I give it a 10 out of 10.Nib and Performance – I won’t quibble, the 18K medium nib is real nice. It is quite smooth and for my tastes, just the right amount of wetness. There is flex present, but admittedly not that of my Falcon in medium. Then again, the Falcon is known as a soft flex. The Maki-e style is good for the individual who needs some flex, but not too much. I did not get any skipping or other flow-related issues. Once inked, it has been writing well and has not stopped.

attachicon.gifmaki nib.jpg

The pen is comfortable with the cap posted. As mentioned earlier, this could affect your pen’s art. Here it is with Swisher’s Intense Purple on cheap Docket paper. I’ll use this pen for work, and the paper is about 99% of what it will see, so why test it on better? I really like the way it writes. I am sure it will get plenty of use as I can’t find any issues with it. 10 out 10

attachicon.gifWriting Sample.jpg

Filling System and Maintenance – The converter worked as a converter should. It is not a high capacity one, then again, this is not a big pen. Everything was rinsed with a little pen cleaner prior to use, and it all behaved as it should.

attachicon.gifmaki converter.jpg

Maintenance is also as simple as with any other converter fountain pen. It disassembles easily and cleans readily. 10 out of 10Cost and Value – My price was about $150 once postage was factored in. I have to admit I was a little disappointed over the box it came in. Now I know, one shouldn’t judge anything by its container. After all, what good is the mahogany box your mechanical watch came in if it can’t tell time?But the pen came in a nice cardboard box with Japanese writing on it. Inside was a nice red flock covered cardboard with the instruction, cartridge, and converter. But if you just got a Namiki Falcon, you would say the Maki-e box is just, I don’t know, not enough? Considering what I was judging it against, I’d have to give it an 8 out of 10. Conclusion – This is a really nice pen. I like how you can enjoy some form of Maki-e without dropping several hundred dollars on it. Heck, you even get the artist to sign off on it! The fact that the 18K nib performs so well really helps keep me going back to it over and over. But one does have to keep in mind that the more you use it, the more the finish will come under attack. Still, I’ll use it on a daily basis.

attachicon.gifmaki artist.jpg

My final rating would be 53 out of 60. Now, which make to try next?

Thank you for this. I've been researching Maki-e fountain pens tonight and learned that many being sold on eBay that have the JIS (Japanese Industrial Standards) stamped on the nibs should make one pause. The JIS wasn't implemented until 1954, and many of the pens made before JIS (before 1954) were not 14k but rather 14k plated with steel underneath. Once the gold flaked off the pens didn't perform as well. However, this doesn't automatically mean that the pen is from before 1954: some pens made before 1954 have had their cheap nibs replaced with JIS nibs--same older pen barrell and cap just with a newer nib.
Homo unius libri timeo.

#16 cellman

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 17:14

Very nice, thanks for review.
I want the same but i don't know how to buy it from my country :(






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