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Kato Sheisakusho model 84 and Kaleidascope Celluloid pen



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This is a review of two Kato Seisakusho celluloid pens. Kato Seisakusho pens are made by a Mr. Kato Kiyoshi who hand makes all of these pens. There are interesting stories about Mr. Kato but some of the details are very sketchy. The main attraction of these pens is the use of very attractive celluloid for all of the pens. Some of the celluloid patterns like the Kaleidascope seem very unique. These pens are not readily available outside of Japan but can be ordered online from many Japanese vendors who ship internationally. I bought these pens as a test of how well the Rakuten International services worked and to add another manufacturer to my collection. These pens took four days from time of order to arrive at customs in the US and another two days to reach me. This is pretty fast service and the ordering process is as easy as ordering from a US based dealer.

 

The pens are simply packaged in a simple case with two short international cartridges and a converter. One of the first thing you will notice upon opening the box is the smell of camphor. This is a signature that the pens are made from cellulose nitrate i.e. the real stuff. The celluloid on both pens are of the rolled type so there is a seam ala Platinum. For this review, I have two pens. The model 84 came in a blue stone celluloid pattern with a clear section that allows you to see the ink level in the converter. This pen has a nice flat top and bottom design and a broad curvy flat clip. The other pen came is a very cool and striking kaleidascope pattern. The kaleidascope pattern is reminiscent of the OMAS Arlecchino pattern but with more colors. The clip is similar to clips found on many vintage Japanese pens. The pen body has a cigar shape and both pens are similar in size to the Platinum celluloid #3776 pens or a Pilot Custom 76.

 

These pens are handmade and a close examination will show areas of obvious handwork. While I would not say these pens have the fit and finish of a much higher end pen, the work of of a high level and has the feel of being handmade.

 

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The Kato pens come with either a gold plated steel Schimidt nib or a 14 k nib of unknown origin. The nibs on these pens are both F nibs. The Schimidt nib lays down a line that is typical of a western fine while the 14 k nib is more of a Japanese fine. The cost of the steel nib pens are generally $100 less than the 14 k nib pens. I ordered the steel nib version of the blue stone pen and the 14 k nib version of the kaleidascope pen. The steel nib pens worked perfectly out of the box and was smooth with the right amount of wetness. The 14 k nib pen had a slight problem. The nib and feed came loose during my initial examination of the pen. After reinserting the nib, the pen worked but was a bit dry. I removed the nib and feed again and opened up the feed channels a bit and played with the nib feed alignment. After a few tries, bingo the pen was working perfectly. This does illustrate the point that the nib and feed need to have the right alignment or you will have flow and skipping issues. Despite the nib issue on the one pen, both write very well. The Schimidt nib is stiff while the 14 k nib has a bit of spring. The pens are cartridge/converters using standard international sizes. Nothing much to say here.

 

 

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The blue pen retails for about $93.00 US while the Kaleidascope pen went for $174 US. Shipping was $15.00 for both pens. I think both pens are relative bargains considering the celluloid. The 14 k pen is significantly cheaper than the equivalent Platinum pen and obviously much less than an Italian celluloid pen. There are several smaller models with steel nibs that go for less than $80.00. So these pens are a good choice for someone wanting to experience a celluloid pen at a reasonable price. The vintage Merlin 33 is a bit less and also comes in a nice variety of celluloids but the Kato pens come in larger sizes that might appeal to a larger audience. So far both pens write very well with no skipping or flow problems. I would say that unless you need the springiness of the 14 k nib, the steel nib pens are a much better deal overall.

2020 San Francisco Pen Show
August 28-30th, 2020
Pullman Hotel San Francisco Bay
223 Twin Dolphin Drive
Redwood City Ca, 94065

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The blue celluloid colors are bright and clean, it is a pretty pen. The Kaleidoscope is rather a bit loud for my taste but I like how the nib looks, Is it a stiff nib or it has a bit of flex?

Edited by alvarez57

sonia alvarez

 

fpn_1379481230__chinkinreduced.jpg

 

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The blue celluloid colors are bright and clean, it is a pretty pen. The Kaleidoscope is rather a bit loud for my taste but I like how the nib looks, Is it a stiff nib or it has a bit of flex?

 

 

The Kaleidascope is a bit much for most people. The 14k nib has spring. I reserve the word 'flex' for true flex as in vintage flex. The steel nib is stiff.

 

This bamboo green is very nice. Too bad these were sold out.

 

http://en.item.rakuten.com/o/buneido/411069/461403/#buneido:419457

http://en.item.rakuten.com/o/buneido/411069/437120/#buneido:386224

2020 San Francisco Pen Show
August 28-30th, 2020
Pullman Hotel San Francisco Bay
223 Twin Dolphin Drive
Redwood City Ca, 94065

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Nice review and Photos!Your pens are very attractive.Coglatulations! I have heard Mr.Kato is on friendly terms with the president of Visconti and

made the body of RAGTIME,their 20th Anniversary pen. Thank you for your review.

 

rokurinpapa

 

 

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Hi, Thanks for this review, I have been very curious about this pen, engeika sells it on ebay regularly but the closing prices are quite high. It is nice to know the correct street prices for these.

 

Best,

Hari

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

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I've seen, held, and smelled some of these pens in the past, and Altec Green did a wonderful job of conveying how they come across. A kind of 'old-fashioned-ness' to them that translated to being a bit 'cheap' kept me from buying one, but as I read the review, I think it's more proper as the reviewer notes to see them as 'hand made.' Again, a very thoughtful review!

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