This beautiful Pilot Togidashi Hira Maki-e Sakura is my most recent pen. I started out wanting to buy fountain pens to write with, but now I only like to collect them for their beauty. My first Maki-e was a vintage Pilot Hira Maki-e Phoenix from 1979, mint in box with original Pilot Pen Kimono & even Hakuro "Snow Wolf" written on it, I've never seen anything like it.
After that, I knew I was hooked. I really liked the Lamy 2000 as a writing pen & the Waterman Caréne was really good value & just as nice to write with. But if you look closer using sunlight, you might just find out why a pen isn't a tool, it's a jewel.
Before I bought this pen, I purchased a Namiki Nippon Art from a member, that's why I'm a member. I wanted to get a Namiki here in Europe, but they're even harder to get than Pilot.
As I said, it's a jewel, not a tool. Because a Pilot Custom 742 is a very good pen. But of course, there are many things that are different. Even though the nib, barrel & cap are interchangeable. Just tapping the barrel of the Namiki gives a different sound than tapping the barrel of the Pilot.
This Togidashi "Burnished" must be the the blackest, most shiney pen I own. I used to think that the Waterman Caréne was black & shiney before I compaired it with my Namiki & Vintage Pilot Maki-e in the sunlight. I could see "purple snow" in the Waterman Caréne & the lacquer offered zero protection against gentle use.
What really got me satisfied about this pen is that I could actually see the gold flakes with my naked eyes & the blackness of the Togidashi really shows through. Also the transition from barrel to plastic black nib is acceptable. There are many pens that have an "ugly" transition (but that's just my POV).
There's something "furry" on the inside of the barrel. If I remember correct, it was to prevent scratches when posting the pen (I never post Urushi). But might also prevent scratches when removing and attaching the cap. My Waterman Caréne has more scratches on the platic feed than on the barrel & I post my Waterman Caréne.
EDIT: [My attachment was too big, so I used one from the Namiki, because it also has that "furry" stuff.]
But it can get attached to ink or water. I though that there was brassing, but it was just that "furry" stuff.
If it writes well or not, I don't care. If I did, I'd get a Custom 742. To me it's about the pen, box, ink, papers & even the Art Craft clip sticker. But I'll take it out of the plastic bag, because that's why I bought it. I got this pen for $280 at an auction, but usually I see them for $550. So why don't I just get a Pilot 742 for $180 or less & stick a $5 makie sticker on it? For the same reason that I open them, look at them, but don't use them. I want to savor every pen, because the prices go up exponentially with maki-e & I want to understand why. It's not a show pen for me, it's a curiosity. Organic carrots that look bigger than my organic garden doesn't make sense to me, neither does cheap honey that tastes sweeter than expensive honey & the list goes on. But so far with pens it's been less disappointing.
Edited by Karmastars, 12 May 2017 - 13:42.