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Just Wondering... Are Nakaya Pens Really Worth It?

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107 replies to this topic

#21 sadiemagic

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 04:07

I have one Nakaya and it's my most used pen. I had John Mottishaw grind a BB into a stub. It writes with a touch of feedback that is subtle. But one of the best parts of the pen is the beauty of the pen itself. It's a work of art that is usable.

So yes, I think they're worth it....
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#22 Dillo

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 05:09

I thought the Urushi on the Nakaya pens was sealed so that it wouldn't be a problem.

 

I'm not sure what you mean by sealing, but the urushi is on the ebonite and is directly in contact with your skin when you are writing with it. It doesn't have any effect if it is fully cured, but if it is not fully cured, it can cause an allergic reaction. Some people with very new Nakaya pens where the urushi isn't fully cured have had allergic reactions until the urushi cured completely. Not everyone is as sensitive to the material, but if not fully cured, it can cause some reactions.

 

Dillon

 

Dillon


Stolen: Aurora Optima Demonstrator Red ends Medium nib. Serial number 1216 and Aurora 98 Cartridge/Converter Black bark finish (Archivi Storici) with gold cap. Reward if found. Please contact me if you have seen these pens.

Please send vial orders and other messages to fpninkvials funny-round-mark-thing gmail strange-mark-thing com. My shop is open once again if you need help with your pen.

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#23 hari317

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 05:20

Dear all,
Hope your good. To any of you who have pens by Nakaya, I was wondering if you could help explain why these pens are held in such high esteem. In the UK, I have never seen anyone with one of these so have never had a chance to try one. Are they simply beautiful to look at or do their nibs in terms of writing experience justify their price, even over manufacturers like pilot and sailor?
I saw a video about the painstaking methods employed in their manufacture, so I can appreciate the costs but I would me more inclined if along with this, their nibs were a particular pleasure to use. Is this in your opinion so?
Thank you.

I personally don't think a Nakaya is worth it. That is the reason I just have one Nakaya. OTOH, I have plenty of Platinum pens that have the same nib and feed and are much cheaper. If I want Urushi over ebonite, I go for the Platinum Izumo that is still cheaper to buy new on ebay as compared to a Nakaya and offers a shape, size and balance that I do not find on Nakaya. What distinguishes Platinum and Nakaya then? Nakaya can make you a custom pen provided your pockets are sufficiently deep and you can wait for months. I cannot really afford the custom maki-e etc nor do I have sufficient sense to appreciate such finer things in life. Sorry, but that is my personal opinion.


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#24 firebug

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 06:32

Dear OP,

 

What you are essentially asking for are peoples' biases. These biases will emanate out of their experiences+belief system+knowledge about the brand.

 

As I note in the thread above, users of Nakaya mostly love it, baring 1 or two, and non users have a better option available as compared to nakaya for reasons like price, nib quality and so on and so forth.

 

If our word, is in any way, going to help you make a decision of whether you should own a nakaya or not, I am sure you are pretty much confounded by now. Having said all this, my personal opinion.

 

Nakayas are sublime beauties. Nothing about them is outrageous and the exorbitant charges are almost for the workmanship, unless, as Hari mentions, you are willing to part with a small fortune and get some exclusive Maki-e done on them.

 

Having said that, it's also true that they are a status symbol almost as good as a pricey MBs are. 

 

Otherwise, for that matter any nib can be tuned by one of the masters to give you the desired dryness, wetness, flow of ink, stub, italic et. al. at a fraction of the cost.

 

If you are looking for something exclusive, and expensive, yet should be a daily user kind of a writing instrument, which gives you the feeling of being elite among the elite, you are asking for a Nakaya. 

 

An even better situation would be, you have tonnes of money to blow and a couple of grands don't matter, then u may blow on Nakaya to adorn your pocket and pen cases better.

 

It's all upto you. Nakaya sells, hence it must be a good enough proposition in the market for people, else it would be dead by now.

 

Opining over, back to my pretty M 200  :rolleyes:



#25 rochester21

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 07:19

They are probably good, but design-wise i find most of them uninspiring.

 

Also, it was very interesting to read about the irritating proprieties of urushi lacquer, along with the fact that these pens are sensitive to external factors, such as...the sun. They are not very resistant and they can`t be used posted. 

 

As a consequence, i feel no urge to try one. Plain old pilot`s and platinum`s are good enough. 


Edited by rochester21, 31 October 2013 - 08:01.


#26 Soot

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 08:35

Try a drier ink, like Pelikan or one of the IG inks (e.g., Salix or MBMB). That's often enough to make gushers behave. I recently put Salix in a Platinum President UEF. Judging by line width, the net ink flow is about half what it was with Diamine Monaco Red.

 

Tried that, didn't work well. Color came out faded.


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#27 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 10:48

If you like delicate craftsmanship, yes Nakaya is worth it


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

#28 ethernautrix

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 17:43

I think Nakaya pens are worth it, but that might not be necessarily true for everyone. 

 

 

Dillon, you make good points.

 

Nakaya isn't for everyone. Neither is any brand.

 

The workmanship and beauty of each Nakaya (which are all made by hand) and their nibs (for me, the ruthenium-plated F is my favorite of allllllllllll the nibs I've tried (which number in the hundreds)) make Nakaya well worth the expense.

 

I would rather have one Nakaya than seven TWSBIs or fifteen Lamy Safaris or one-and-a-half Lamy 2000s. Other brands have models that cost more than Nakaya -- Pelikan, Montblanc, Waterman -- and I would rather have the Nakaya. I would rather have one Nakaya than two or three or more Montblanc or Pelikan flagship models.

 

Pens don't have souls, but the entire experience counts - the gestalt of it, from how the nib lays down the ink to how the pen feels in my hand to how the pen appeals to my need for beauty in function.

 

But I don't expect everyone or anyone to agree with me.


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#29 QM2

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 18:30

As others have already covered aesthetics, craftsmanship and performance, another factor to consider is the sensory experience. The materials, shapes and finishes of Nakaya urushi pens are very particular. There are those who find them uniquely comfortable and pleasant in the hand, and there is certainly value in that. Of course you don't know whether you will find this to be the case until you try one of the pens. 



#30 mongrelnomad

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 19:08

Yes they're worth it.

 

Beautiful urushi, wonderfully tactile, flawless, handmade craftsmanship, old-school ebonite construction, excellent nibs, very reliable. The base pens are pretty reasonable too. 

 

Also: one of the few companies of such high quality products who will entertain the idea of a personal commission for a reasonable price. 

 

All in all: they're great.


Edited by mongrelnomad, 31 October 2013 - 19:08.

Too many pens; too little writing.

#31 Dillo

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 21:36

Hi,
 
As a few of people may know, the Nakaya doesn't really fit my dream of the truly perfect pen. It's quite a big pen, and smaller pens fit my hands much better. It does have a few things that make it one of my favorite pens and attributes that I consider to be very important for a daily use pen. I have indeed used my Nakayas a lot more and taken them many more places than a lot of pens I own. They also show a lot less wear than a lot of my other pens despite this. The urushi coating really seems to be quite scratch-resistant and wear resistant compared to a lot of other materials. There aren't any visible scratches I can see despite my heavy usage. As for UV resistance, the material seems to resistant to the daily amounts of UV that it gets as part of normal usage. Hard rubber is also sensitive to UV exposure. Most plastics, including polycarbonate, are very susceptible to UV damage. A lot of polycarbonate things have fallen apart in my house due to UV exposure.
 
They are a unique product, but whether they are the right thing for you or not, is another matter. If given the choice of a Montblanc or a new Nakaya, it's much more likely that I would get another Nakaya. That said, I don't think one should necessarily elevate them to a miracle product or a grail product. It's likely not going to make you more of a woman or man, make your boyfriend or girlfriend love you more, make your cat more affectionate, cure your baldness, make your handwriting magically look prettier, solve your hand cramps, give you that moment when you realize you found your perfect pen, make you realize you found the perfect nib, prevent your car/bicycle from crashing, make your computer faster, make you look richer, or make you rise in the esteem of your fountain pen using peers.
 
Dillon

Edited by Dillo, 31 October 2013 - 21:37.

Stolen: Aurora Optima Demonstrator Red ends Medium nib. Serial number 1216 and Aurora 98 Cartridge/Converter Black bark finish (Archivi Storici) with gold cap. Reward if found. Please contact me if you have seen these pens.

Please send vial orders and other messages to fpninkvials funny-round-mark-thing gmail strange-mark-thing com. My shop is open once again if you need help with your pen.

Dillon


#32 ethernautrix

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 21:37

Wow, seeing Leigh R. and QM2 back on the same day -- what a pleasant surprise!

(Maybe they (you) have posted elsewhere, but this is the first I've seen in a long, long time. Nice!)


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#33 Dillo

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 21:39

Wow, seeing Leigh R. and QM2 back on the same day -- what a pleasant surprise!

(Maybe they (you) have posted elsewhere, but this is the first I've seen in a long, long time. Nice!)

Samesies. It's always nice to see people come back!

 

Dillon


Stolen: Aurora Optima Demonstrator Red ends Medium nib. Serial number 1216 and Aurora 98 Cartridge/Converter Black bark finish (Archivi Storici) with gold cap. Reward if found. Please contact me if you have seen these pens.

Please send vial orders and other messages to fpninkvials funny-round-mark-thing gmail strange-mark-thing com. My shop is open once again if you need help with your pen.

Dillon


#34 kalum

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 22:30

Dear all,
Thank you so much for your replies, your honest opinions have been very informative, I have learned a lot about the brand and your words have really made me analyse what it is, for me, that I value most. There are points mentioned such as reactions to urushi and longevity which I have never even considered.

I must admit to a particular love for Japanese pens along with other aspects of their culture, that I sometimes find difficult to explain. The way the Nakaya pens are made in a method preserved from ages past is something that is sadly being lost in today's world. I can certainly see the appeal from an aesthetic and sentimental perspective but also likely from a writing experience that I have come to appreciate in Japanese pens.

The pilot vanishing point that I have is unbelievably smooth for how fine it is and the pilot falcon that I got recently is something that everyone should experience.

I will be keeping my eye on Nakaya, and am pretty sure that if I either get to try one or see one in person, that that moment would probably become very expensive.

Anyways Thank you for all your experiences and opinions, I will keeps your words in my mind.

All the best!
P.s I must say that I am hugely impressed with all of you who waited for months at a time for your pens. That you were prepared to wait says something in itself.

Edited by kalum, 31 October 2013 - 22:33.


#35 mori45

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 05:41

Nakaya brand loyalty runs pretty deep on this forum and given that they make a very beautiful product, that's not much of a surprise. Personally, I find their nibs too stiff. Not uncommon with Japanese manufacturers, but it does result in me using them less than my pens with springier nibs.


Edited by mori45, 01 November 2013 - 05:42.


#36 alvarez57

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 06:22

 

 

Dillon, you make good points.

 

Nakaya isn't for everyone. Neither is any brand.

 

The workmanship and beauty of each Nakaya (which are all made by hand) and their nibs (for me, the ruthenium-plated F is my favorite of allllllllllll the nibs I've tried (which number in the hundreds)) make Nakaya well worth the expense.

 

I would rather have one Nakaya than seven TWSBIs or fifteen Lamy Safaris or one-and-a-half Lamy 2000s. Other brands have models that cost more than Nakaya -- Pelikan, Montblanc, Waterman -- and I would rather have the Nakaya. I would rather have one Nakaya than two or three or more Montblanc or Pelikan flagship models.

 

Pens don't have souls, but the entire experience counts - the gestalt of it, from how the nib lays down the ink to how the pen feels in my hand to how the pen appeals to my need for beauty in function.

 

But I don't expect everyone or anyone to agree with me.

hahhahaha YOU  know I will agree 100% with you on this one!

 

Nakaya brand loyalty runs pretty deep on this forum and given that they make a very beautiful product, that's not much of a surprise. Personally, I find their nibs too stiff. Not uncommon with Japanese manufacturers, but it does result in me using them less than my pens with springier nibs.

Not so. I have an elastic nib that it is very flex and smooth to write with. I have a Platinum President (21k) that feels like a nail. I hated that nib until I ground it to an italic and now I have a bit more of fun writing with. I do have a flexible Fine (feels like writing with an insulin [injection] needle, but I know it needs a period of break-in) and I really like it. A bit scratchy but it is due to it being a [Japanese] Fine. 

Craftmanship? My signature bespeaks of their art. 

I love Nakayas.


sonia alvarez

 

fpn_1379481230__chinkinreduced.jpg

 

 


#37 QM2

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 14:32

Wow, seeing Leigh R. and QM2 back on the same day -- what a pleasant surprise!

(Maybe they (you) have posted elsewhere, but this is the first I've seen in a long, long time. Nice!)

 

Oh hi!  Yes nothing like a Nakaya thread to bring people out of the woodwork : )

 

And FWIW I still have my 3 Nakayas; they are keepers.



#38 Garageboy

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 17:53

I love the finish, but the super clean designs are not my thing. I like something more than just a plain simple cigar with a nice finish



#39 Eugen-of-Savoy

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 18:54

Personally I prefer Sailor with their "home" customised Naginata and Nagahara nibs. . There is only one aspect of these Japanese pens I dislike, cartridges and converters.

#40 Vpen

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 00:52

I always wonder why do people say Nakayas are very good writers. They have Platinum nibs so shouldn't they be equally good writers?







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