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  1. LINKED BLOG BELOW For more irrelevant pictures , I am sure people like me would click Cross Peerless 125 Tokyo Edition PRELUDE Plurality of singularities Among many other fountain pen lovers, I do retain a high level of adoration for the way the Sailor nibs look, aren’t they just beautiful? Paradoxically enough, there is also a certain distaste, when it comes to my acceptance of their nib smoothness. My humble experience has been mostly with sailor nibs straight from Japan and not the US market. Alas! the glassy smooth angle to manoeuvre writing with the Japanese ones (except the Naginata one), wouldn’t work for me, ever with the five sailor nibs. Also, I always felt an immense opportunity have something done with their relatively bland base pen designs and the CC filling system. Many times, I pondered whether it would be worth sending a sailor nib to Conid and have a pen made. The nib can be smoothened for English script rather than struggling on my part to learn the Kanji to have it used! As it turns out, I couldn’t justify the Conid plan for a long time, but I do intend to add one in future. By this time, Cross had relaunched the Peerless range in 2015, marking 125th anniversary of its original Peerless pen (1889). Hoorah! it came with a 18k Sailor nib! Cross was founded in 1846, in case you too thought this to be the company’s 125th anniversary . Below is an ad, I could find with respect to the original peerless fountain pen. PRESENTATION (6/6) Presented in Style Presentation is exquisite consisting of a paper box wrapped around a luxury gift box, along with a brand leaflet and two spare black cartridges. The screw-in (8756) converter, comes fitted inside the pen. I hope that the following pictures will do more justice. And if you are thinking of gifting this, I can assure you, it’s altogether a fantastic package. Full Marks! The hinged box is sturdy and substantial with enough cushion for all residents. In fact, there is enough space to fit two more large sized pens and probably you could smuggle a turtle inside! DESIGN (5/6) Designed by Aliens Cross released the Peerless 125 in four finishes: 23kt Heavy Gold Plate, Obsidian Black Lacquer, Platinum Plate/Medalist, and Platinum Plate in three models initially: fountain pen, ballpoint and rollerball. Later, three special editions NYC, London and Tokyo were released in Silver, Gold and Black, that imbibed prominent works of architecture (Chrysler Building, Big Ben and Skytree) in the respective megacities. I went for the Tokyo primarily because of silver accents and partly because of its availability over Obsidian Black edition. Eventually, I think that it was a good choice The pen looks elegant and appears quite substantial compared to a Townsend or a Century, while preserving in its signature cigar custom-design. The platinum coated metallic appointments at the centre, clip and either ends provide a pleasant lustre to an otherwise dull matt finish of the body. The taper is pretty nuanced and organically converges into the glitter at either ends. The Skytree being the tallest structure in Japan and the second tallest one in the world has a charm of its own, more so during night. It seems to blend between a pagoda and a futuristic spaceship control center, though is used primarily for Radio and TV broadcasts in Tokyo. Below go some pictures of Skytree at Night and Day! For the Peerless, the brushed black PVD coating of the body poses as the structural base and the circular glass houses perhaps get represented by the lustrous platinum appointments, although YMMV. While the pen does look hefty and is quite an oversized pen, the semblance of size no way compromises the impeccable balance and comfort of writing, with the Tokyo. The cap seems to imbibe most of the heft within itself with a cylindrical cross section Quite delicately, the PVD body tapers down towards the metallic blind-cap. The glazing finial looks quite industrial with the cross section of a conical frustum. Given the galvanising finish, it is prone to fingerprints! It may get misinterpreted as a piston knob. Apart from it’s enchanting shimmer, the black ring creates a step that serves for posting the cap securely. The tension-fit clip preserves the cross tradition, with a slightly elongated arclike structure. It carries the brandname CROSS imprinted on a black rectangular background, made to standout. Visconti also does that. Both ends of the cap have platinum plated appointments. The barrel end however has a thin sheen, thanks to the metallic ring at the end. The other side is well adorned with a jet hematite Swarovski crystal. The tassie carries the latitude and longitude of Skytree along with model name TOKYO and an individualised serial number. Pretty Cool! The centre band where the barrel meets the grip has a shimmering inscription of CROSS PEERLESS 125, deftly etched in black & silver. The jet hematite dazzles like a diamond with visible light and ambient angles. The tassie is anyway a frozen GPS of the Skytree. If you are lost on this planet with the Tokyo, and Aliens do come to your rescue, you can tell them exact location of the Skytree! When they turn rogue, you can probably deflect lasers with the jet hematite crystal or simply hit them with 43 grams of PVD and metal! It is oversize but I never felt any heft, while using the pen. Very Cool! The cap unscrews with two and a quarter turns, revealing the elegant dazzle of a 18k Sailor nib, with rhodium plating. The silvery section threads along with the centre band go well in the overall design. Quite some attention to details! The section ends up with a little bump with a shinier loop of metal, before the mind is bewitched again, by the shimmer of the rhodium plated nib. FILLING SYSTEM (6/6) It's a 8756! The barrel unscrews from the section with four and a half turns. Now if aliens indeed attack, this is not the time you are found to be putting ink in the Tokyo! Sitting inside is a Cross piston type screw-in converter (#8756). I found that this converter has a better capacity than traditional sailor ones. And filling ink is clean and easy. The converter might hold more than 0.5 ml if you happen to fill the converter with a syringe. It’s not interchangeable with a sailor converter and you can see that the feed connector has a smaller diameter in case of Cross. I have no qualms of this being a CC, piston would have been nicer though! I wouldn't have paid an extra 100 $ for a piston, by the way. NIB - ALL THAT MATTERS (6/6) In his majesty’s glittering service The dazzling nib is tested by hand, and comes in five different widths including EF, F, M,B, and sailor Z, the widths being Japanese. As mentioned earlier, I like the glamorous design of sailor nibs. The size and spread of the nib are standard#6. The lower middle section of the nib specifies carries the brand imprint of CROSS with the nib-composition (18 K, 750) and nib width M, resting above it. PEERLESS and 125 are embossed just below the circular breather hole. The scrollwork runs in between the body and the shoulders which enhances the decor, probably in a very industrial way. Reminds me of the machine drawing classes, where every cross section had to be cross-hatched, else you lose a point or so. The tines elongate themselves in trademark Sailor style. Both the gold & silver accents look like adorable cousins. A black plastic feed with closely spaced fins allows to maintain balance against air-pressure with a good buffer capacity of ink. The feeder hole provides the ink suction for the converter. It’s as good or bad, as a sailor.PHYSICS OF IT (5/6) – RELATIVELY SPEAKING Newtonian Laws Intact The overall capped length is around 15 cm. I would prefer to use the pen unposted as both weight and balance seem perfect with a good nib leverage. The section has a comfortable grip of around 1.32 cm. I feel it’s very comfortable from an overall perspective, balancing amazingly well for an oversized pen with metallic appointments. Uncapped Length ~ 13.3 cm Posted Length ~ 15.6 cmExposed Nib Leverage ~ 2.3 cm (#6 nib) Overall Weight ~ 43.4 g (without ink, cap weight~16 g) Below are the pictures along with a MB146 and a Pelikan m805 for your reference. ECONOMIC VALUE (4/6) Demand < Supply While an expensive retail price of around USD 625 puts off many people, these market rates sometimes come with a 35-55% discount. The best part is that the pen in itself is quite difficult to fake , with many parts i.e crystal, nib and body, imported from around the world. OVERALL (5.3/6) Buy This is a great pen. The writing experience is as amazing as the nib looks, with just the hint of control which you would expect from a well tuned sailor nib. Some springy softness is present in the nib with little line variation between horizontal and vertical strokes. The lines dry within 25-30 seconds with Sailor Red Grenade ink, running on MD Paper. The nib runs quite smoothly even on copy paper. This is a Japanese medium nib with a wet flow, so any effects on ink shading might miss the normal eye. There is the slightest hint of feedback, typical of sailor but that’s all there is. No glassy angles, just well tuned for English script. The nib has never skipped and always laid a wet line, and seems to be one of the best sailor nibs in my small collection. If the cap is left open for a few minutes or so, you might need to put a light effort to get the wet lines flowing again. REFERENCES Tokyo SkytreeSailor History Coming up Next… Thank you for going through the review!
  2. Itoya changed the clip on its sign.
  3. In one of the world's largest cities, there always seems to be a place to take a break. At the Hakusan Shinto shrine in Tokyo. A week in Japan makes me think stationery stores are the retail urban planning equivalent of zen gardens. They provide an analog break in days filled with digital noise. We have only a few stores left in the United States, in Appleton, Wis., and Little Rock, Ark., of all places, and Houston, and Nashville, and another north of Pittsburgh. A couple in New York and New Jersey. Two in Maryland and one in Washington, DC, and that’s about it. I’m probably leaving out a couple, but my point is that in a really big country, there are fewer than a dozen bricks-and-mortar stationery stores. Unless you count Staples and OfficeMax, which are great for laserjet paper, printer cartridges, and office chairs. Japan, on the other hand, is stationery mecca. I was in meetings in Osaka where team leaders handed out agendas and summaries in elegant transparent folders, and erasable gel ink pens, and we realized that every one of us around the table was a geek who, in elementary school, undoubtedly loved the fragrance of promise and hope in a new box of yellow No. 2 pencils. Kyoto In Kyoto, the spiritual heart of Japan, there are more than 1,600 Buddhist temples and 400 Shinto shrines. TAG’s headquarters stationery store is in Kyoto, and there are five other TAG shops around the city, filled with paper for calligraphy and art projects and school assignments, and racks of washi tape and fountain pens. Kyoto specialists in natural dyes, who got their training in textiles, created the TAG line of inks. Remember indigo? Around 900 AD, people in the imperial court of Keian in Heian-kyō, the former name for Kyoto, fermented leaves to produce indigo. I digress, but here’s my point: if you really like writing, it’s entirely possible that, like Matsuo Basho, your heart is in Kyoto. On a walk through the Arashiyama bamboo grove, I’m talking with a friend about how Japan offers up so many details that would make great visual pauses in films. Breathing space. They’re like the short musical interludes, sometimes called buttons, in radio news broadcasts. She asks why I like calligraphy. It’s an analog break from digital chores, I tell her, and she responds, “Oh, like a button.” A few meters away, we walk by a home where the poet Matsuo Basho hung out with one of his students. Even in Kyoto -- Hearing the cuckoo’s cry -- I long for Kyoto. -- Matsuo Basho Tokyo One of the great things about Tokyo is that even though it’s one of the 10 largest cities in the world, with almost 14 million people, there always seems to be a green place to take a break -- a playground or a garden, a bench on a shady patch of street, or a shrine with a fountain for prayer. Stationery shops are air-conditioned and filled with students and bookish people, and they are wonderful quiet spaces. I found myself in two of them, the Maruzen bookstore, located a hundred meters from Tokyo’s central station, and the TAG store on Tennouzu Isle. Maruzen is a Japanese chain, and half a floor in the main Tokyo store is devoted to stationery, pens, and inks. Lovely display cases show pens from global brands as though they are objects in a museum, all, it seems, at retail list price. But a section of ink is tucked away on one side of the pens, a closet full of colors from Pilot, Platinum, Sailor, Montblanc, Faber-Castell, and Pelikan. Hiding away in one corner are inks made for Maruzen by Sailor -- Athena sepia, and renga, an urushi red. They’re considered unobtainable everywhere else. I buy them both, again at retail price, which in the case of Japanese inks is 30 percent less than everywhere else. The notebook section offers funky composition notebooks by a brand called nanuk. I’m not sure if the paper works well with fountain pens, but they have a sample copy for testing. At the pen counter, a salesperson helpfully pulls out a Platinum Preppy pen, and as it turns out, nanuk paper is terrific. On the late afternoon of another unbelievably hot July day, I stumble upon the TAG stationery store on Tennouzu Isle, just off the monorail to Tokyo’s Haneda airport. The store offers envelopes and paper in pastel patterns of coral and indigo, designed for writing letters, lined or unlined. The store manager is playing an entire Beatles album -- Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band -- and for 20 minutes, I’m lost in a bliss of washi paper and “I’ve got to admit, it’s getting better.” Then, it gets better. Next to the cashier there’s a display of every TAG Kyoto ink, from Moonlight of Higashiyama, a brick red, to Aonibi, a blue-black. The manager gives me a pen with a glass nib for testing ink. (Let me repeat that -- they keep a glass-nibbed pen for testing inks.) I realize that one ink, Nurebairo, is a black that shades blue, with a subtle golden halo sheen. When I’m confused about whether Nurebairo actually shades blue, she explains that it depends on whether the paper is cream or stark white. Then she wraps it up, adds it to my other purchases, and agrees with me about The Beatles. I walk out onto a boardwalk and as the sun sets on Tokyo Bay, I eat a wagyu hamburger with an old friend.
  4. penny_lane

    Where To Buy Ink In Tokyo

    Dear fountain pen friends, a friend of a friend of mine is currently staying in Tokyo. Do you know good places where to buy inks in Tokyo for a good price? I'm thinking about Sailor and Iroshizuku inks. Any other advice what to get in Tokyo stationery-wise? Thank you!
  5. nhw

    Nibmeister In Tokyo

    Hi all, I wonder if you have any nibmeister recommendation in Tokyo? I found one (Fullhalter) but he doesn't speak English.. Thanks in advance!
  6. Hello, I was planning to head into Tokyo tomorrow Saturday 10/17 and window shop a few pen shops. If anyone is interested in meeting up for window shopping and coffee, please let me know. http://www.stutler.cc/pens/tokyo/tour.html I would like to visit Eurobox, Pilot Pen Station, Maruzen and Pen Boutique. But no set schedule or stops, if anyone is interested in a particular store not listed. http://www.stutler.cc/pens/tokyo/ -- flexy
  7. gerigo

    Stubbing A Pen Nib In Tokyo

    Hey guys I am very lucky to be able to head out to Tokyo again at the end of the month. Having been there a couple times now and having a ball at all the different stores. I don't know how some of you are able to cover both Ginza and Marounochi in an afternoon when I would spend the entire afternoon just at one store trying and deciding which pen to buy. This time, I want to see whether I can take advantage of the strong dollar to buy more expensive pens that were out of my price range before, namely one of the more expensive Nakayas or even an Urushi Namiki. The last time I was there, I purchased a pen at K. Itoya that was then tuned by the resident nib meister that was there on the second floor. That time, I wanted to get a Nakaya and to have him swap a music nib. But the sales person said they did not have one and I had to wait a month to have that happen, which obviously would not work for me and I ended up not making the purchase.. My question is whether the guy would be able to stub a nib post purchase or is he there only to tune nibs. Does any one know???
  8. Hi, I will visit Tokyo during April 2nd until 11th. Do you have recommendation for "fountain pens attractions"? - Visiting Japanese nib masters workshops? - Visiting fountain pens factories - Special fountain pens shops? - Anything else? Thank you...
  9. Cdub24

    Nakaya & Itoya

    Hi All, I am heading to Japan for my first trip in early September and I am planning to buy a Nakaya from Itoya, I realise they can be purchased online but living here in New Zealand the customs and duty makes this very expensive as well as the exchange rate, hence why I want to pick one up on holiday. Does anyone have any experience of buying one at Itoya?? Is it true I can get the nib swapped within 24 hours if I need too, I have only 3 days in Tokyo so time is critical...thanks for any ideas or help Craig
  10. - Master of the order-made notebooks (Kakimori) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMH5k0G_gVI Kakimori is a small stationery shop nestled in Tokyo's Kuramae neighbourhood which has been pleasing customers over the course of three generations. You might find yourself falling in love with the art of writing again after a visit to this specialist stationery shop. Kakimori's range of pens, inks and letter sets are chosen on the basis of how comfortable they are to use, and customers are welcome to try out the fountain pens before making a purchase. Best of all are the order-made notebooks, prepared in 5-10 minutes and with an infinitely customisable selection of covers, paper and bindings available - most of them locally produced, for added "Made in Asakusa" effect. Kakimori : website http://www.kakimori.com/index.html Just for your information, Kota
  11. Pen_Samurai

    Maki-E Classes In Tokyo

    Hi, Some of you know me by name, some of you know me by face. My name is Matt, I work at Ito-ya in Ginza. Everyone on this forum has been extremely helpful and insightful over the last few years. I am not promoting anything for my company, but I would like to ask for your opinions and advice on an event that I am trying to plan for our main store in Tokyo. During the summer, on weekends, I would like to hold a Maki-e class in English for the many foreign customers that visit our store. In the past, we have held Maki-E classes for our Japanese customers, but Japanese people do not seem to be as enamored by the Maki-e technique as their foreign counter parts. I know that the people that subscribe to this section of FPN love Japanese pens and there seems to be a great deal of interest in the art of Maki-e. My plans for the class would be to give a 30-45min class, in English, about the different techniques used in the Maki-e process explaining why one pen may cost about $50 but another can cost upwards of $10,000. I also plan on covering the history of the process and its traditional uses other than the fountain pens that we are all familiar with. If there is only a class where we hand out a small brochure and or leaflet, we will be able to hold the class for free. However, if only being able to hand out leaflets does not draw people to the class we are thinking about doing an event where the customers will be able to make their own 'maki-e' souvenir. This, however, would end up causing the class to cost about 3000JPY. So, basically, I want to ask you lovely people and pen lovers, 'What would you like to see in a Maki-e class?' How important would making your own Maki-e souvenir be? Would just learning about the process for 30-40min satisfy your lust for knowledge, just wet you appetite or be mind numbingly long and tedious? Would including a breif history of Japanese fountain pens in general make the topic less dull and more interesting? Also, if you were in Tokyo this summer, is this something that you would like to learn more about? Is this an event that would interest you? I personally love Maki-e and want to share it with the world. I thank you all in advance for any opinions/advice that you can give me. Sincerely, Matt
  12. I'll be in Japan for 3 weeks in May, starting in Fukuoka and making my way up to Sendai and leaving from Tokyo. I checked the Japanese online prices for Midori Travel Notebooks and they're quite a bit cheaper than the online prices here (not surprising of course). I'd really like to buy my Midori in a brick and mortar shop there though, as that way it will be a great reminder of my trip that I'll use every day. So my question is, are they widely available in stationary stores or do I need to research where to buy it beforehand? If so, any suggestions in Fukuoka and or Tokyo, as I'll be spending 4-5 days in both those towns? Thanks so much!





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