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Hakase pen 2009


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#1 rhk

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 13:42

First Impressions (4.5/5)
The pen is somewhat smaller than I had expected. After using it for some time, I realise it is very comfortable to hold, and it is not too long to fit in my shirt pockets. The box was wrapped in paper that said “Hakase”, a nice touch. The pen came in a wooden box, with a Pilot con70 convertor and a cartridge (in plastic wrapping).



Appearance (5/5)
This is a unique pen, in a literal sense. It is hand-crafted from cocobolo wood. Cocobolo trees grow in central america. The wood is hardwood, and has a dark red/brown color. Over time, the wood will change color, so like a pen with urushi coating, this pen is almost a living being! A very interesting touch is that the dark lines in the wood of the cap, continue in the top of the cap. Clearly, the whole cap was crafted from one piece of wood. The ring on the cap has the following inscription: “Hakase”, “Japan”, and “1934”. That last year must refer to the year Hakase was founded. A distinguishing feature is the little hump halfway the clip. Hakase refers to this a s a unicorn clip. The end of the barrel shows a fine engraving “240320”, which is 24 march in the 20th year of the current emperor, that is, 2008.



Design/Size/Weight (4.5/5)
The design of the pen is a more or less standard torpedo design. Note that other Hakase models are a flat top design. The pen measures 142mm (closed), and weighs 26gr. The section is also of wood. I do not know whether the feed is plastic or ebonite. The end of the section has a little rim, providing an excellent grip on the pen.

Nib (5/5)
The nib is an awesome #15 nib. That means, it is a nib similar in size to the one found in Pilot Custom 823 or 845. This nib is monotone, solid gold. On the nib, one again reads “1934”, the symbol of Hakase, and “14k585”. The nib in this pen is MF, and it is a reasonably wet writer. It writes so smooth, incredible. When I first contacted Hakase, they indicated that they were a bit hesitant to accept an order by a foreigner, as they would not be able to give their usual after sales service. With such a nib, no adjustments are necessary! When ordering, I filled a form and indicated where on the section I hold the pen, whether I write fast or slow, the amount of pressure I exert, etc. This information has clearly been used. I have used the pen for a couple of weeks now, and it has never skipped a millimeter.


Filling System (4.5/5)
It is a cartridge/convertor filler, using Pilot cartridges. I am hesitant to use the convertor, as I do not know how the wood of the section would hold up to being immersed in ink. Cartridges do nicely at the moment.


Cost and Value (4/5)
A unique, handcrafted pen like this is not cheap. It costs approximately Y100000, and it did not slip through customs when it was shipped. However, the material is very special, and the contact between Hakase and me has been very pleasant. The buying process has taken a while: I mailed the order on 29 october 2006, and received the pen on 1 april 2008. That is 16 months of anticipation! Hakase charged my creditcard only when production started.

Conclusion (4.5/5)
This is a great pen. It is not for display, but for actual use, if only because of the nib. Do I love this pen? Yes! Would I get another Hakase pen? Definetely! Perhaps others would want to think about ordering a Hakase pen. I have scanned their 2006 catalogue, and posted it with some rudimentary translation (no guarantees!!) on my website.

Ruud

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#2 hari317

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 14:01

Thanks for writing such a detailed review of a very rare pen. I wanted to ask if the wood has some protective lacquer coating and whether it is safe to wash the pen frequently?

Thanks,
Hari


In case you wish to write to me, pls use ONLY email by clicking here. I do not check PMs. Thank you.

#3 chibimie

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 16:10

An understated beauty of a pen--thanks for the thoughtful review.

May I ask what Customs charges for a pen of that price?

#4 Nikolaos

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 16:33

Very nice review and photos.

Enjoy this wonderful pen happyberet.gif


Nikolaos

#5 rhk

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 16:34

QUOTE(chibimie @ May 3 2008, 04:10 PM) View Post
An understated beauty of a pen--thanks for the thoughtful review.

May I ask what Customs charges for a pen of that price?


This is Dutch customs: 19% VAT and 3.5% import duties. Ruud

#6 rhk

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 16:35

QUOTE(hari317 @ May 3 2008, 02:01 PM) View Post
Thanks for writing such a detailed review of a very rare pen. I wanted to ask if the wood has some protective lacquer coating and whether it is safe to wash the pen frequently?

Thanks,
Hari


I don't think the wood has protective coating, but it is very hard. I'll be careful with giving it a bath, it will be more like a careful shower. Ruud

#7 Brian

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 18:28

This is really special to have insight into a pen that few of us will get to experience. Thanks for the info.

#8 FrankB

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 21:46

Thank you for a very good review.

I have been wanting a Hakasa pen for years! This is the first review I have ever seen of a Hakasa pen, although I have read several on line discussions about them. I love wood pens and have several, including my first Nakaya custom pen. I think the feel of wood in a writing instrument is very special.

I look forward to hearing some more about your long term relationship with this pen. Meanwhile, I can continue to save my pennies toward my own Hakasa.

#9 Inkquest

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 03:42

That is one gorgeous wooden pen. WOW! To me, there's really nothing more comfortable than wood though few fountain pens also have a wooden section such as this one. I bet that is sooooooooo sweet. I'm totally in lust now. Geez that's a fine piece of work.

Thanks for posting.
Dave

#10 danielinman

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 09:36

I'm on the waiting list for a Hakase pen which should arrive May next year. I plumped for the turtle shell and buffalo horn model, but I am tempted to put in another order for a wooden one.

When I was in Japan a few months ago I took a day to visit Tottori and visit the Hakase shop. Tottori is a tiny little town about three hours away from Osaka, and I was impressed by the dedication to pens that everyone in the shop has. There are only about four people there and the elderly penmaker - he's about 72 - actually makes the pens in the corner of the shop. At the rate of twenty pens a month, that's about one every working day!

The pens in the shop are beautiful and evidently individually crafted.

There are advantages that come from having to wait 18 months to buy a pen - the main one being that I have a long to work out how I'm going to pay for it when my credit card gets charged.

#11 MYU

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 18:10

You weren't kidding when you said you'd get another! smile.gif Very nice acquisition.

Incidentally, were there ever any photos in this thread? If so, can you forward me the links to them so I can update your original post? Thanks. biggrin.gif

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