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Kop Vs Custom Urushi/845 Vs Nakaya Vs Izumo

totl high end sailor pilot nakaya platinum

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Poll: Kop Vs Custom Urushi/845 Vs Nakaya Vs Izumo (33 member(s) have cast votes)

KoP vs Custom Urushi vs Nakaya vs Izumo

  1. Sailor King of Pen (3 votes [9.09%])

    Percentage of vote: 9.09%

  2. Pilot Custom Urushi / 845 (10 votes [30.30%])

    Percentage of vote: 30.30%

  3. Nakaya (10 votes [30.30%])

    Percentage of vote: 30.30%

  4. Platinum Izumo (6 votes [18.18%])

    Percentage of vote: 18.18%

  5. Others (4 votes [12.12%])

    Percentage of vote: 12.12%

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#1 penzel_washinkton

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 13:42

(exhaling) OK ladies and gentleman.

 

Right now I am compiling a list of my grail pens particularly from Japan and would really appreciate your input.

I don't know how I got into this mindset but I really am researching seriously in determining a grail pen and it is between the four brands/pen type mentioned in the thread title. My plan is that IF sometimes in the future I visit Japan, I will be doing some pen hunting and pull the trigger on my grail pen (adjusting to future conditions of course).

 

The price limit will be at max around $1100 so it will narrow down some of the model in the brands line up. I really wanted to include Namiki (Emperor) but $2000 is just too much of a stretch for me.

 

I believe that most of them are similar in size (the Izumo being smallest out of the bunch) so I would not count them as a deciding factor. All are Urushi lacquered except the KoP at the price range although it is not a deciding factor for me.

 

If you could provide the pros and cons of your preferred pens compared to the others in the list, please do share and thanks a lot!


Edited by penzel_washinkton, 06 June 2019 - 15:23.


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#2 zaddick

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 15:12

Retail in an urushi KOP is about $2000. I can't see you finding one in your budget unless you get a well worn example and are lucky.

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#3 penzel_washinkton

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 15:22

Just noticed that the KoP priced below $1000 are ebonite only and not Urushi coated ones but I can say that Urushi is not a requirement for me.

Thanks for pointing that out.


Edited by penzel_washinkton, 06 June 2019 - 15:22.


#4 zaddick

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 15:23

I prefer nb the KOP form factor put of these pens. You could get one and have urushi added aftermarket and stay under your budget.

Sailor had the most interesting nib options years ago, but they stopped making anything for KOP but M or B and that put me off new ones. Also the converter is tiny Ypu can choose between flattop or cigar shape in plastic for under $500 or an ebonite cigar for not much more. This would leave enough for another pen.

I think the Izumo is a unique pen and I like the shape. The nibs are dull to me and limited in widths but does offer a fine writing experience. The big issue is if the threads in the section. Will bother you. I hold that pen past the threads so no big issue for me.

The Pilot Custom has a nice #30 nib. The rest of the pen is meh and I find the urushi the least desirable of the bunch. Rhe 845 is smaller and less interesting to me. If you can somehow get one with an FA nib then at least that can provide a a unique writing experience.

The Nakaya pens offer the widest array of nib options, finishes, and form factors. They were more affordable years ago but they hold their value well. I dont find the nibs to be very interesting without an aftermarket grind (except the music), so I often sell the pen after a few months. I also think their plain pens have the most flaws in the urushi finishes, but the faceted models are attractive.

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#5 zaddick

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 15:29

Double post.

Edited by zaddick, 06 June 2019 - 15:30.

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#6 XYZZY

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 21:38

I'm surprised that you lumped the Custom Urushi and 845 together in the poll.  The 845 uses Pilot's size 15 nibs, the same as the 743 and 823 (except the 845 is bi-color?).  They're very nice, but they're also a very different kind of animal than the size 30 in the Custom Urushi.
 
Of the pens you listed, I only own a Custom Urushi (although a KoP is on the way).  I am super pleased with the nib, and I like converter pens and the CON-70 so I'm pleased with that.  The rest of the pen... it fits my hand extremely well, I was worried it would be too big.  But for aesthetics the pen is just "meh".  I don't have much experience with urushi, other than briefly fondling some at local pen club, but if you hadn't told me this was urushi I would have just assumed "unusually shiny plastic".  
 
I bought mine from the ebay seller "cerisiersjaponais" for $640, who I read good things about here.  I can recommend as well:  communication was excellent and he went to work during golden week to ship the pen I bought one day before golden week started.  For the price I think I'll probably be grabbing one in red, too.


Edited by XYZZY, 06 June 2019 - 21:39.


#7 XYZZY

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 21:59

I'm surprised that you lumped the Custom Urushi and 845 together in the poll.  The 845 uses Pilot's size 15 nibs, the same as the 743 and 823 (except the 845 is bi-color?).  They're very nice, but they're also a very different kind of animal than the size 30 in the Custom Urushi.


Well I was talking out of my behind. I didn't realize until double-checking that the standard 845 nibs are 18k instead of the usual 14k found in the 743 and 823.

#8 penzel_washinkton

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Posted 07 June 2019 - 01:22

I prefer nb the KOP form factor put of these pens. You could get one and have urushi added aftermarket and stay under your budget.

Sailor had the most interesting nib options years ago, but they stopped making anything for KOP but M or B and that put me off new ones. Also the converter is tiny Ypu can choose between flattop or cigar shape in plastic for under $500 or an ebonite cigar for not much more. This would leave enough for another pen.

I think the Izumo is a unique pen and I like the shape. The nibs are dull to me and limited in widths but does offer a fine writing experience. The big issue is if the threads in the section. Will bother you. I hold that pen past the threads so no big issue for me.

The Pilot Custom has a nice #30 nib. The rest of the pen is meh and I find the urushi the least desirable of the bunch. Rhe 845 is smaller and less interesting to me. If you can somehow get one with an FA nib then at least that can provide a a unique writing experience.

The Nakaya pens offer the widest array of nib options, finishes, and form factors. They were more affordable years ago but they hold their value well. I dont find the nibs to be very interesting without an aftermarket grind (except the music), so I often sell the pen after a few months. I also think their plain pens have the most flaws in the urushi finishes, but the faceted models are attractive.

 

Didn't know that adding Urushi in the aftermarket is an option but would prefer not dealing with any additional action beside buying the pen itself.

 

I noticed about the strange section on the Izumo and a reviewer said that it isn't as bad once you get to feel the real thing.

 

How do you consider the ink capacity of the options? Is the CON-70 the largest?

 

I'm surprised that you lumped the Custom Urushi and 845 together in the poll.  The 845 uses Pilot's size 15 nibs, the same as the 743 and 823 (except the 845 is bi-color?).  They're very nice, but they're also a very different kind of animal than the size 30 in the Custom Urushi.
 
Of the pens you listed, I only own a Custom Urushi (although a KoP is on the way).  I am super pleased with the nib, and I like converter pens and the CON-70 so I'm pleased with that.  The rest of the pen... it fits my hand extremely well, I was worried it would be too big.  But for aesthetics the pen is just "meh".  I don't have much experience with urushi, other than briefly fondling some at local pen club, but if you hadn't told me this was urushi I would have just assumed "unusually shiny plastic".  
 
I bought mine from the ebay seller "cerisiersjaponais" for $640, who I read good things about here.  I can recommend as well:  communication was excellent and he went to work during golden week to ship the pen I bought one day before golden week started.  For the price I think I'll probably be grabbing one in red, too.

 

Yeah about the 845, I understand that the difference is only the size between the Custom Urushi & 845 (CMIIW). Thanks for the input though, I agree that the 845/ Custom Urushi (esp. in black)  aesthetics is on the border of "meh".

 

Thanks for the recommendation of the seller, but as I said I want to pull the trigger on one of pens if I have the chance to visit Japan in the future.

Japan is like a haven for fountain pens and I am sure that there might be cheaper prices there (or there might not be).



#9 zaddick

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Posted 07 June 2019 - 03:34

The con-70 capacity is 1.1ml which is the best of the converters you are looking at. I think the KOP is only 0.5ml, but a Dailor cartridge is 1ml.

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#10 XYZZY

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Posted 07 June 2019 - 04:04

How do you consider the ink capacity of the options? Is the CON-70 the largest?

 

I'm not a converter guru, but I don't know of one larger than the CON-70.  Probably somewhere in the history of the universe somebody has made a bigger one, but of current production mass-produced converters I'm pretty sure it's the big one.  I would love to know if I'm wrong, I like to collect unimportant trivia like that  :P

 

The con-70 capacity is 1.1ml which is the best of the converters you are looking at. I think the KOP is only 0.5ml, but a Dailor cartridge is 1ml.

 

I think the Sailor converter is 0.7ml, but either way it's noticeably smaller than the CON-70.  Reviewers do like to point out that Sailor's converter is on the small size and not worthy of a pen called "King". 

 

Personally, I like changing inks and an empty converter is an opportunity.  Unfortunately I've got an OCD thing that makes me think it's wrong to not completely fill a converter, so sometimes I put an undersized CON-40 into my Pilot's when I could use a CON-70 instead. :unsure:



#11 zaddick

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Posted 07 June 2019 - 07:56

Apparently there is a version of the standard Sailor converter that is 0.5ml, but the one used in a KOP is 0.7ml. Thanks for pointing that out. I think the capacity is find for the narrower nibs, bit some of the specialty nibs can drain a converter quickly.A

 

And I think a Sailor cartridge is actually over 1.0. Some places say 1.1 and others say 1.2. Anyhow the cartridge is the high capacity option if it matters.


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#12 mongrelnomad

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Posted 07 June 2019 - 17:25

I have all of the above except the Custom Urushi and 845. The reason I don't have them is because they are urushi on plastic (with plastic sections) and that doesnt appeal to me at all.

I have two KOPs, one urushi and one ebonite. The ebonite has a King Eagle nib, though now I gather they are only available in M or B. The urushi is an M. Great pen; boring nib.

The Izumo and Nakaya are both wonderful pens and surprisingly similar. The nibs will behave alike (both are Platinum, though Nakaya uses the 3776 while Izumo the slightly smaller President), and both pens are urushi over ebonite. Some don't like the section shape and threads of the Izumo but I don't find it an issue, and though it is cheaper than the Nakaya, it is far from the poor relation with its fascinating and curvaceous body. That said, the base Nakayas (what you will be looking at) still feel just that smidge more handmade and special.

So, of your list, it's the Nakaya by a hair.

If you're willing to look elsewhere, I'd suggest you look at the Namiki Yukari Royale. At $1,200 in Japan, it's a bit above your price range, but it is IMO an absolute belter. Urushi (which at your price should be non-negotiable) but unusually for the Japanese, applied on brass, it has a Namiki 20 nib with a rectangular breather hole that blows everything else out of the water, and a red feed to match the finish. The clip has a unique number on the top side, like a serial number. Though large, it's not huge like the Emperor and is eminently usable every day - as I do. I have over a hundred pens and the Namiki gets 80% of the hand time. True grail material...

 

 

Left to right: Namiki Yukari Royale Vermillion, KOP Vermillion Urushi, Platinum Izumo, Nakaya Piccolo, Nakaya Portable (Custom Maki-e), Nakaya Nakai Ascending Dragon, Nakaya Decapod, KOP Ebonite.

L7OcH8O.jpg


Edited by mongrelnomad, 07 June 2019 - 20:25.

Too many pens; too little writing.

#13 mke

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Posted 08 June 2019 - 00:02

An upper limit is usually a bit artificial.

In the big pen class, I have the Custom Urushi 845 in (boring) black and two Sailor KoP Standard in the same color. A Sailor ProGear KoP, the Pilot Custom Urushi Black or Vermilion and the Namiki Emperor Vermilion are on my shortlist.

If you are fixed on Japanese pens, I would recommend you also look at Manupropria pens. While they are made in Switzerland, they are entirely made according to Japanese (experimental) Urushi designs.

Also you forgot Masuhara pens, Hakase, Ohashido ...

 

If you are not fixed on Japanese pens (you said particularly), Pelikan M1000, Yard-O-Led Viceroy Grand (Barley or Victorian), Waldmann, Otto Hutt Design07 are other choices to consider. And there are more.

Top down: Porsche Design made by Faber Castell M, Otto Hutt Design07 EF (daily pen), Pelikan M1000 F, Sailor KoP M and the 100th anniversary pen of Waldmann M (daily pen).

 

fpn_1559951957__bigs.jpg


Edited by mke, 08 June 2019 - 00:03.


#14 Tseg

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Posted 08 June 2019 - 00:29

Namiki Urushi No. 20 gets my vote. Very balanced despite heft and beautiful writing nib.

#15 A Smug Dill

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Posted 08 June 2019 - 07:28

If you could provide the pros and cons of your preferred pens compared to the others in the list, please do share and thanks a lot!


By Platinum Izumo, do you mean only the Izumo-tamenuri (urushi over ebonite) variants, or a wider scope including the Izumo-tagayasan, Yakumo, Byakudan and the bamboo-woven models?

Between my fiancée and I, we have two Platinum Izumo-tamenuri and a Sailor kaga maki-e kinsai (which has the same form factor as the King of Pens), each of which cost us well under the US$1100 mark when we bought them. Personally, large nibs do nothing special for me by virtue of size alone, and the 18K gold President nibs on the Izumo are adequate. I like the shape and feel of the Izumo more so than that of her Sailor KOP, and it's a good and comfortable writer to hold and use, and there is intrinsic beauty in the 'plain' urushi, but as much we both like the pens, I don't find the Izumo more rewarding to use than other pens at the US$500 (ex tax) price point.
 
My favourite Japanese pen (that I own) in the US$500–$1,100 range is the Pilot 'Hannya Shingyo'. That is only has a #10 18K gold nib has never, in any way, asserted itself as a negative in my user experience because I personally favour precise delivery over 'fire-hosing' of ink. The heft, balance, and physical sensation of the embossed sutra text against my hand makes writing with the pen almost an exercise of "meditation in motion" for me.
 
Having some thirty-odd Sailor pens of various models in our household, I found one of my favourite form factor (in their midst) is that of the koshu-inden (and kabazaiku) pens. If I was visiting Japan and have the opportunity to throw US$1,100 on fountain pens and paraphernalia (while not paying Japanese domestic consumption tax or Australian GST), personally my first preference would probably be to get the bamboo-woven Platinum Izumo "Yokoajiro" torafudake (PBA-120000G#10). That's just me, though, and I don't believe in the existence of a single "grail pen" for me; I simply believe it has the most potential to be one of my favourite pens to look at, hold, and write with.

Oh, and personally I never found the ink capacity of a basic Sailor (14-0500-* and 14-0506-*), Pilot (CON-40 and CON-50) or Platinum (CONVERTER-500 and CONVERTER-700) converter to be unduly constraining, especially when it comes to using pens that cost US$500 or more each, when they certainly aren't the pens I quickly pull from the display box (without so much as checking the remaining ink level, and refilling if necessary) to just start writing fifteen or more A4 pages of an essay in one sitting.
 

I have all of the above except the Custom Urushi and 845. The reason I don't have them is because they are urushi on plastic (with plastic sections) and that doesnt appeal to me at all.


Huh? The product page for the Custom Urushi on Pilot Corporation's web site states,

軸さやエボナイト、蝋色漆仕上げ

That says the pen barrel is made of urushi lacquer over ebonite.

Edited by A Smug Dill, 08 June 2019 - 09:58.

I'm a fountain pen enthusiast, but not your consultant (as a fellow consumer) to advise on getting better value-for-money from your discretionary spending or protecting your investment in the hobby. I like to share the particularly meritorious or disappointing traits of products I've used, through product reviews and replies to others' posts, but please don't expect (or ask) me to frame things specifically in terms of how it would apply to your choice of pens, inks and paper products, or satisfy your preferences for shading, sheen, wet, broad, cheap, et cetera.


#16 mongrelnomad

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Posted 08 June 2019 - 08:08

 

Huh? The product page for the Custom Urushi on Pilot Corporation's web site states,

軸さやエボナイト、蝋色漆仕上げ

That says the pen barrel is made of urushi lacquer over ebonite.

 

 

That's quite a surprise as the urushi finish certainly seems to feel different. That said, the section - the part you touch - is plastic unencumbered by urushi.


Too many pens; too little writing.

#17 penzel_washinkton

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Posted 08 June 2019 - 08:10

Bummer for all the great Japanese pens are out there, they are being supplied with converters that I feel have their compromises.

I think the Pilots edge out all the others in terms of ink capacity at this point, will surely make not of this (excluding any eyedropper pens).

 

The Izumo and Nakaya are both wonderful pens and surprisingly similar. The nibs will behave alike (both are Platinum, though Nakaya uses the 3776 while Izumo the slightly smaller President), and both pens are urushi over ebonite. Some don't like the section shape and threads of the Izumo but I don't find it an issue, and though it is cheaper than the Nakaya, it is far from the poor relation with its fascinating and curvaceous body. That said, the base Nakayas (what you will be looking at) still feel just that smidge more handmade and special.

So, of your list, it's the Nakaya by a hair.

If you're willing to look elsewhere, I'd suggest you look at the Namiki Yukari Royale. At $1,200 in Japan, it's a bit above your price range, but it is IMO an absolute belter. Urushi (which at your price should be non-negotiable) but unusually for the Japanese, applied on brass, it has a Namiki 20 nib with a rectangular breather hole that blows everything else out of the water, and a red feed to match the finish. The clip has a unique number on the top side, like a serial number. Though large, it's not huge like the Emperor and is eminently usable every day - as I do. I have over a hundred pens and the Namiki gets 80% of the hand time. True grail material...

 

 

Left to right: Namiki Yukari Royale Vermillion, KOP Vermillion Urushi, Platinum Izumo, Nakaya Piccolo, Nakaya Portable (Custom Maki-e), Nakaya Nakai Ascending Dragon, Nakaya Decapod, KOP Ebonite.

 

 

 

I'm surprised by the poll that Platinum and Nakayas are getting ahead of the Pilots and Sailors. Probably one of the reason is because I didn't consider a Namiki.

Now Namiki Yukari Royale is absolutely gorgeous especially in Vermillion. Probably I could make some compromises to increase the budget just a tiny bit :lol:

 

An upper limit is usually a bit artificial.

In the big pen class, I have the Custom Urushi 845 in (boring) black and two Sailor KoP Standard in the same color. A Sailor ProGear KoP, the Pilot Custom Urushi Black or Vermilion and the Namiki Emperor Vermilion are on my shortlist.

If you are fixed on Japanese pens, I would recommend you also look at Manupropria pens. While they are made in Switzerland, they are entirely made according to Japanese (experimental) Urushi designs.

Also you forgot Masuhara pens, Hakase, Ohashido ...

 

If you are not fixed on Japanese pens (you said particularly), Pelikan M1000, Yard-O-Led Viceroy Grand (Barley or Victorian), Waldmann, Otto Hutt Design07 are other choices to consider. And there are more.

Top down: Porsche Design made by Faber Castell M, Otto Hutt Design07 EF (daily pen), Pelikan M1000 F, Sailor KoP M and the 100th anniversary pen of Waldmann M (daily pen).

 

 

 

That first statement is so true, rarely do we abide to the limit we set to ourselves but I need to fence myself a little bit for this case.

Prior to this, I haven't looked at a pen more expensive than $250.

 

Will surely do, I will have a long itinerary list if that time comes when I visit Japan. All those pen are interesting to me, especially the Hakase.

As for other than Japanese pens, I think I can safely say that I currently have only the Japanese grail pens on my sight. Not ruling out the non-Japanese pens though, I once said that one of the Visconti is my grail pen and I will look into that later on.

 

Namiki Urushi No. 20 gets my vote. Very balanced despite heft and beautiful writing nib.

 

As said above, I am seriously thinking of looking at the Namiki Yukari Royale and adjust my budget.

 

If, by Platinum Izumo, you mean only the Izumo-tamenuri (urushi over ebonite) variants, or a wider scope including the Izumo-tagayasan, Yakumo, Byakudan and the bamboo-woven models.

Between my fiancée and I, we have two Platinum Izumo-tamenuri and a Sailor kaga maki-e kinsai (which has the same form factor as the King of Pens), each of which cost us well under the US$1100 mark when we bought them. Personally, large nibs do nothing special for me by virtue of size alone, and the 18K gold President nibs on the Izumo are adequate. I like the shape and feel of the Izumo more so than that of her Sailor KOP, and it's a good and comfortable writer to hold and use, and there is intrinsic beauty in the 'plain' urushi, but as much we both like the pens, I don't find the Izumo more rewarding to use than other pens at the US$500 (ex tax) price point.
 
My favourite Japanese pen (that I own) in the US$500$1,100 range is the Pilot 'Hannya Shingyo'. That is only has a #10 18K gold nib has never, in any way, asserted itself as a negative in my user experience because I personally favour precise delivery over 'fire-hosing' of ink. The heft, balance, and physical sensation of the embossed sutra text against my hand makes writing with the pen almost an exercise of "meditation in motion" for me.
 
Having some thirty-odd Sailor pens of various models in our household, I found one of my favourite form factors (in their midst) is that of the koshu-inden (and kabazaiku) pens. If I was visiting Japan and have the opportunity to throw US$1,100 on fountain pens and paraphernalia (while not paying Japanese domestic consumption tax or Australian GST), personally my first preference would probably be to get the bamboo-woven Platinum Izumo "Yokoajiro" torafudake (PBA-120000G#10). That's just me, though, and I don't believe in the existence of a single "grail pen" for me; I simply believe it has the most potential to be one of my favourite pens to look at, hold, and write with.

Oh, and personally I never found the ink capacity of a basic Sailor (14-0500-* and 14-0506-*), Pilot (CON-40 and CON-50) or Platinum (CONVERTER-500 and CONVERTER-700) converter to be unduly constraining, especially when it comes to using pens that cost US$500 or more each, when they certainly aren't the pens I quickly pull from the display box (without so much as checking the remaining ink level, and refilling if necessary) to just start writing fifteen or more A4 pages of an essay in one sitting.
 

 

To clarify, it is the ones that has been reviewed online  by SBREBrown, I believe that is the urushi over ebonite? Where the price point is $600 - $800. Not sure of the other variants of the Platinum Izumos though.

 

The red bamboo woven Platinum Izumo looks very elegant, I might have to see those in person to know how it feels in the hand.



#18 mongrelnomad

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Posted 08 June 2019 - 08:22

For Hakase, it's not a case of "stretching" your budget but rather obliterating it. They start at double, and you wouldn't want that one.

 

I will also add that I wouldn't allow the converter issue sway you too much. Yes, Sailor converters have limited capacity, and Platinum converters tend to die, but they're dirt-cheap ($5-15) and easy to source. With Pilot/Namiki (and Hakase too) you get the biggest capacity and the largest range of converters, but some people absolutely detest the CON-70. I personally think it's by far the best converter out there...

 

Basically, YMMV.


Edited by mongrelnomad, 08 June 2019 - 08:25.

Too many pens; too little writing.

#19 zaddick

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Posted 08 June 2019 - 08:44

Of you are opening up to the Yukari Royale I personally would put that first in your list. I found it a great fit in the hand and very well made.

I agree Hakase are out of budget really, bit Ohashido could work well. Probably a bit smaller than you might want.

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#20 zaddick

zaddick

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Posted 08 June 2019 - 08:46

Jas anyone mentioned Stylo Art Kariizawa as an option? They have some nice options in your range with Pilot nibs.

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