I bought my first (yes, I think there are definitely going to be more) Nakaya a couple weeks ago at an event held at Itoya in Shinjuku. I had seen Nakaya fountain pens and read a little about them, and figured this event was an ideal way to find out more about them before making the commitment. I was not disappointed. The purpose of the event was to give customers the opportunity to meet directly with the craftsman to either have a pen they own adjusted, or to purchase a Nakaya on the spot and have the craftsman set it up.
Before my turn, I asked the two Nakaya clerks a bunch of questions, but the craftsman overheard my questions and answered all of them himself. Normally they have a few Nakayas at most of the stores that carry them, but for this event, there were several tens more. Many of the different models, averaging mostly in the JPY 60K to 110K range. I was able to narrow down my choices to an araishu portable cigar and a black ishimekanshitsu piccolo cigar, ultimately going with the ishimekanshitsu. After I made my final choice, the craftsman only then commented about my choice, explaining that there are fewer kanshitsu nuri pens around, so it was a good choice.
Next I selected the nib, testing a bunch of simple cigar type testers with all of the different nibs. Once I made my choice, opting for a rhodium M, the craftsman set to work assembling the pen.
One of the first things he did was fit a feed to the nib, at one point heating the feed - nib assembly with a machine that looked sort of like a miniature vaporizer. I asked him why he was doing that, and he explained that the purpose of heating the feed was to soften it so that it would conform to the nib.
While he was assembling and confirming the operation of the pen, he told me that he will be having another event in a couple weeks at the Ginza K Itoya, and suggested I come see him again then to have any more adjustments that would be necessary after I had used the pen for a while, adding, such as adjusting for the ink flow characteristic I like best, for example. I immediately told him I like a really wet line, and when he heard this, he started disassembling the section and did the following things: Flossed the nib with some shims. Flossed the feed channel, tested the line wetness after reassembling, "honed" the tip on a whetstone, and again on something like emery cloth, and (to my surprise) squeezed down on the nib from abeam (for lack of the knowledge of the proper term) with a plastic pliers, making the nib make what was to me an uncomfortable clicking sound. Many times during the process, he looked at the nib from different angles using a loupe.
When he had the pen how he figured I wanted it, he gave it to me to try. I was wonderful, exactly the way I like it, the first time. I think he had been watching what I did to test the different nibs, so he know what angles and motions I make. It was very apparent that this gentleman knows exactly what he was doing. Also, it was very apparent that he appreciated that I knew some things about the products, such as the names, and the correct words for the different parts of the pen.
Having had this experience, I can't imagine buying a Nakaya any other way. There is another event coming up the weekend after next, and I am considering the next acquisition, such as a jukkaku ishime cigar in blue green, or aka tame, if they have it. Maybe with a fine Ruthenium nib. Anyone out there know about ruthenium, and how that would differ from Rhodium, in terms of the way it feels when you write with it?
I will attach a photo of the black piccolo.