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Nakaya Or Howto Waste Time & Money


franzrogar
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@franzrogar: Thanks for sharing your valuable experience. Although I am just lightly considering getting a Nakaya, or other hand crafted pen (yet! :) ), I think the awful communication and failed quality control of companies absolutely needs to get out in the public, especially if the company produces ultra-premium products. Not because I would like the fine Japanese craftsmen at Nakaya to lose their jobs, but to give them a chance to improve things.

 

If this has happened to me, I would probably have turned into "Mad Max". No company should play games with customers' nerves, money, and time. So, after reading all the replies, I cannot understand why anybody is trying to protect the manufacturer.

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I would like to point out that Nakaya does not make flex nibs. They are soft nibs. There is a big difference. I have an oblique holder and vintage flex nibs. There is no comparison. If you want a pen for true flex writing then purchase a vintage pen or oblique holder. My Nakaya soft medium nib has give when writing, which is different than flex. You're choosing the wrong tool for the job if you buy a Nakaya for flex writing.

 

I can understand the OP frustration. I have had four Nakaya pens that came from the U.S. One of the pens was missing the gold dust around the motif. John took care of the problem promptly. However, the OP spent a lot of money and still does not have pen.

 

One of the problems with Nakaya pens is that you can not go hold and look at one in the store, at least in the U.S or most other places. My first Nakaya decision was based on this forum and other internet pen forums, as I'm sure many other purchasers of Nakaya. The problem is compounded when the pens are givien mythical status. I've seen the same thing in other forums related to other hobbies. The first one that comes to mind is Astronomy or photography. There is always an item or brand that is praised over others.

 

Before ordering a Nakaya, you need to realize it is a pen. An item will never reach the perfection that your mind perceives. More than likely, you will be no more happier after the purchase, especially after the newness wears off. Hence, you see many collecting more pens. I am not criticizing pen collecting. If you enjoy the pens, then by all means collect them. Do not expect them to change your life.

 

With all this said, I consider Nakaya pens worth the money. There is a lot of time that goes into the process of making their pens. I enjoy the way the nibs feel which is not glassy smooth. Picking up my Pilot 823 which is a nice pen does not have the same aesthetic feel nor nib. Each one of my Nakaya pens has its own unique feel when writing.

 

Nakaya pens have their shortcomings. One of the biggest problems is the filling system. I would like to see another filling system than the converter. The filling system in my Pilot 823 is much easier and holds more than twice as much ink as my Nakaya pens.

 

The pens are handmade. There are variances in how they feel, even among the same model. This is something to take into consideration. They are very simple looking, especially the base models. I think many will be underwhelmed with a Nakaya if they go into the purchase with unrealistic expectations.

 

I have always thought that the internet will be the undoing of Nakaya. As everyone praises them, the pens will become too popular and they will no longer be able to keep up with demand. I'm guilty myself of praising Nakaya in the pen forums. Personally I do not think the OP would be happy with a Hakasse pen. It is still a Pilot nib and he is looking for flex. Also, a handmade pen is something that is hard for some to justify the expense. It is usually a piece of ebonite (rubber) and a nib to lay ink on the paper. If you're not into the artistry of pens, then save your money.

Edited by JustinJ
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OTOH, I hold the opinion that Nakaya is a result of the internet. Without it, I doubt the brand would have survived.

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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Sorry for answering so lightly to your post but I'm on a public network in a bar, so my spare time is quite limited.

 

@Toll, thanks for your kind words.

@ukobke, thanks for realizing one of the main issues: the non-existant PR. On the other hand, they offer something no other one does: the engravings. That's why I picked Nakaya.

@Poision Pen, then, the problem seems to be the inbetweener from USA retailer-Nakaya. Maybe they should do some inner investigation to see if their middleman is doing a proper work.

@Namo, I do realize the huge human work involved, that's why I can't forget they send me a frankenpen when ordering a engraved pen: that's a mistake no people who calls him/herself engraver should ever made.

@congo, you got it. No PR and no QC are the killer for any company. Not trying to fix them as soon as they appear is the worst way to conduct a company. As I wrote somewhere before, the logical way (after reading my case) would be waiting to see if the company fixes this problems before buying anything.

@JustinJ, I would like to point out that Nakaya *DOES* sells *flexible* nib. If, they're not, then they should call them *soft*. There's a big difference. When you're going to buy, in the nib options there are: "Flexible Fine" and "Flexible Medium". Then, I think, I should add this to the OP as "misleading advertising".

Also, as I stated some times before, I picked a custom pen and a Nakaya one because of the engravings which are a proof of masterliness. When I got kicked twice I woke up.

@hari317, with their current issues as a *company* (no PR, no QC, etc.) I couldn't but agree 100% with your statement.

Thanks for reading.
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I would like to point out that Nakaya does not make flex nibs. They are soft nibs. There is a big difference. I have an oblique holder and vintage flex nibs. There is no comparison. If you want a pen for true flex writing then purchase a vintage pen or oblique holder. My Nakaya soft medium nib has give when writing, which is different than flex. You're choosing the wrong tool for the job if you buy a Nakaya for flex writing.

 

[...]

 

Very true, though one can get John Mottishaw can modify a Nakaya nib into a reasonable approximation of proper flex nib (I've never handled one of his modified Nakaya nibs, but I do have OMAS nib to which he added alot of flex).

 

[...]

 

One of the problems with Nakaya pens is that you can not go hold and look at one in the store, at least in the U.S or most other places. My first Nakaya decision was based on this forum and other internet pen forums, as I'm sure many other purchasers of Nakaya. The problem is compounded when the pens are giving mythical status. I've seen the same thing in other forums related to other hobbies. The first one that comes to mind is Astronomy or photography. There is always an item or brand that is praised over others.

 

[...]

 

This is exacerbated by the fact that the vast majority of user reviews are positive, if not outright gushing praise, with the occassional hate fest. This bias makes it riskier to buy products based on reviews.

 

[...]

 

I have always thought that the internet will be the undoing of Nakaya. As everyone praises them, the pens will become too popular and they will no longer be able to keep up with demand. I'm guilty myself of praising Nakaya in the pen forums. Personally I do not think the OP would be happy with a Hakasse pen. It is still a Pilot nib and he is looking for flex. Also, a handmade pen is something that is hard for some to justify the expense. It is usually a piece of ebonite (rubber) and a nib to lay ink on the paper. If you're not into the artistry of pens, then save your money.

 

My impression was that the OP understood the value and wait time of a custom pen, but was severely dissappointed due to a communication breakdown (soft vs. flexible nibs), what appeared to be a misunderstanding between Nakaya and Classic Fountain Pens over whether or not CFP could sell to Spain, and poor after sales service by Nakaya when the OP recieved a damaged/defective pen, plus a few issues with shipping (that I presume would've been trivial, except that after the other problems they were like sprinkling salt in the raw wound).

 

I agree that Nakaya could become victims of their own success. The transition from a shop of semi-retired artisans to a mid-sized manufacturer must be challenging.

Edited by raging.dragon
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[...]

@JustinJ, I would like to point out that Nakaya *DOES* sells *flexible* nib. If, they're not, then they should call them *soft*. There's a big difference. When you're going to buy, in the nib options there are: "Flexible Fine" and "Flexible Medium". Then, I think, I should add this to the OP as "misleading advertising".

 

[...]

 

Unfortunately alot of fountain pen makers are doing this, and confusing the meanings of soft vs. flexible. I doubt Nakaya were intentionally deceptive but instead used jargon created by others - when it comes to flex, italic, and oblique nibs there is alot of confusing and contradictory jargon in the fountain pen community.

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Bit of light reading for new years day or what !! Anyway only skim read the thread due to a few 'Monkey Shoulders' too many but will try and digest it over the next day or so and maybe give my opinion on it.

 

As Ghost Plane has hinted lets keep on track as it would be a shame to get posts edited or the the thread locked.

 

Happy 2014 to you all.

Money may not make you happy but I would rather cry in a Rolls-Royce

 

The true definition of madness - Doing the same thing everyday and expecting different results......

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If this has happened to me, I would probably have turned into "Mad Max". No company should play games with customers' nerves, money, and time. So, after reading all the replies, I cannot understand why anybody is trying to protect the manufacturer.

 

If this had been my first experience with Nakaya, I might have felt similarly -- a reluctance to give Nakaya a second chance. I have ordered all of my Nakayas through nibs.com, and while I can't say that each purchase was made without any snags (wrong nib size sent, ordered a custom Cigar and was sent a Writer, that sort of thing), that wasn't Nakaya's fault, and nibs.com was quick to correct the problem.

 

The fine Japanese craftsmen at Nakaya are all retired and advanced in age. I think the accelerated demand for Nakaya pens might be both a blessing and a curse.

 

Anyway, seems to me that most of us didn't have such trouble with Nakaya, and we're sharing our stories and not so much "trying to protect the manufacturer."

_________________

etherX in To Miasto

Fleekair <--French accent.

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Before ordering a Nakaya, you need to realize it is a pen. An item will never reach the perfection that your mind perceives. More than likely, you will be no more happier after the purchase, especially after the newness wears off. Hence, you see many collecting more pens. I am not criticizing pen collecting. If you enjoy the pens, then by all means collect them. Do not expect them to change your life.

 

 

 

Having been dubbed Nakayanautrix for my enthusiasm for Nakaya, I realized that some people were expecting more than a beautiful pen, so I started mentioning exactly this: It is a pen. You might not like it once you have it in your hands. I do think that if one buys a Nakaya and doesn't like it, one can sell it without losing much money.

 

I love my Nakayas. As I mentioned before, my transactions weren't exactly without problems, but those didn't put me off the manufacturer.

_________________

etherX in To Miasto

Fleekair <--French accent.

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Probably this is the first time that I see a negative post about the Nakayas (a Nakaya pen is at high position on my wish list), and I've to say that I'm now a little bit worried. Although many have received a great service from Nakaya (as witnessed also in this topic), I see a problem in the fact that in the majority of these cases there was no problem at all with the pen received (I imagine that if the pen arrived to franzrogar would have been ok from the begin, then he would have been just another happy customer).

The quality of a brand need to be assessed also on the occasional cases where the customer is not happy of the service received.

 

Alfredo

Edited by alfredop
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I have 7. 6 through John and one with Nakaya. The Nakaya experience is made a little more difficult by language barriers, but they bent over backwards to please me. I have zero complaints. I can only echo others sentiments. Anyone buying flex on a modern pen should be forewarned. Soft is not flex.....

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I think the OP may also not have realised the troubles with translation -- Nakaya likely meant soft but translated it to flexible without meaning "vintage-flexible". Language barriers cannot be discounted. I've had someone enquire as to Ohasido pens at a department store in Tokyo, and man did we have trouble at first talking about the nib. "size of the head", "very small, small, etc". But you know, it's not easy for them as well. I'd expect similar issues say purchasing a custom-made pen from an Italian speaking little English.

 

Personally I did extensive research all over the 'net before purchasing my first (and indeed, second, and third) Nakaya -- I did not think Nakaya makes flex nibs. When I wanted my SEF to have added flex, I told John Mottishaw to do just that. Furthermore, I don't expect any modern pens to flex the way vintage pens do out of the box. I also did not expect perfection; I don't think my Nakaya pens are absolutely perfect, but they are delightful, I enjoy using them, and I think they are worth the money.

 

As another poster mentioned, no one is trying to protect the manufacturer. It's just that, while not discounting your bad experience (which is in part due to mismatched expectations) most people have had positive experiences. TBH, I don't think there's such a thing as a company/artisan/anyone who can record a 100% successful service rate. We're all only human! A bad experience will likely kill my interest in the brand, and I'd probably state that I didn't have a good experience on a public forum, but I don't think I'd be quite so vehement...

 

Also at the end of the day, caveat emptor.

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Also, I just checked nibs.com - there's a page on Nakaya nib options. While the Japanese descriptions do indeed say flexible (in English), John definitely describes the options as soft.

 

It's a matter of translation... 軟 they translated as flexible; google translate puts this as 'soft'; my understanding of the word (in Chinese, not in Japanese) is that 軟 means soft/pliant. I think most reasonable people can see where the misunderstanding would lie... I don't expect Nakaya thought too much about the difference between soft and flexible. After all, not everyone thinks in the lingo of the English-speaking world, or is well-equipped to understand the nuances between them, just as I wouldn't get the various subtleties of the Japanese language!

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OTOH, I hold the opinion that Nakaya is a result of the internet. Without it, I doubt the brand would have survived.

You know Hari I agree that the company would have had a much harder time. Personally, I've noticed that many items are becoming more expensive. I would say over valued. For me now, many pens are just too expensive. When the internet first started becoming popular, there were many bargains to be found. I enjoyed ebay when it first started. I was able to find many good purchases. The newsgroups also had a different feel, much less commercial.

 

Also, I do not think a new fountain pen user should purchase a Nakaya or any expensive pen first. Go ahead and use a Safari or less expensive pen for some extended time. I think any fine writing instrument, not referring to Nakaya only is hard to appreciate without fountain pen experience. By way of analogy, a beginner of a musical instrument could not appreciate the difference in an instrument as a seasoned player.

Edited by JustinJ
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I do not think the topic here is a soft or a flex nib of Nakaya.

 

To me after all was written from franz, there is only one question.

 

Should I risk and order order a pen of $500 .....(and no $ end) from Nakaya?

 

The answer to myself is NO !

 

I do not care if it is a good pen. I do not care if we yes, WE here in the fountain pen network have created such a myth. I do not care if this company (yes company by all means ) Nakaya have a good or bad service or whatever. They made a mess twice with a pen, and this is enough to me. If they were o.k they should give a priority and send to him the one Franz ordered.

 

The most I have the wish to get a good pen, the most is my disappointment if I do not. The worse thing is to happen the way it happened to Franz.

 

There are so many excellent people behind "good names" like people in nibs.com, Danitrio (Kevin I hope you are still there), and so many others to name. I do not know the reason why we have created such a myth with Nakaya.

 

I do own a second hand Nakaya, but my Danitrio is much better (to me). As a collector, I feel that I keep something more valuable with my black stripe MYU vs my Nakaya.

 

Also custom duties were paid for a frankenpen and this should be commented. Unfortunately, Franz is gonna have his trouble continued in the future, in order to really get his money back.

 

....and a question to all about flex or soft nibs. If one of you would buy a FLEXIBLE (as mentioned) pen from ebay, and finally this pen was SOFT, what would YOU do? Would you accept that the seller made a bad translation? Would you forgive him? NO, you would not, I am sure. Each one of you would report the seller and ask a full refund if he did not accept to do so.

 

In this case why some of you try to comment that there is a bad translation with Nakaya? Some of you have received a soft nib expecting to have received a flexible. In the end you thought should this worth a trouble of one year or more? (To give it back etc).

 

To my opinion, Nakaya does not worth all the trouble, even if the transaction was smooth.

Still missing the "White Stripe" MYU and black brother MYU with transparent section!

 

(Has somebody a "Murex" with a working clock?

 

(Thanks to Steve I found the "Black Stripe Capless" and the "White Stripe Capless")

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I do not think the topic here is a soft or a flex nib of Nakaya.

 

To me after all was written from franz, there is only one question.

 

Should I risk and order order a pen of $500 .....(and no $ end) from Nakaya?

 

The answer to myself is NO !

 

I do not care if it is a good pen. I do not care if we yes, WE here in the fountain pen network have created such a myth. I do not care if this company (yes company by all means ) Nakaya have a good or bad service or whatever. They made a mess twice with a pen, and this is enough to me. If they were o.k they should give a priority and send to him the one Franz ordered.

 

The most I have the wish to get a good pen, the most is my disappointment if I do not. The worse thing is to happen the way it happened to Franz.

 

There are so many excellent people behind "good names" like people in nibs.com, Danitrio (Kevin I hope you are still there), and so many others to name. I do not know the reason why we have created such a myth with Nakaya.

 

I do own a second hand Nakaya, but my Danitrio is much better (to me). As a collector, I feel that I keep something more valuable with my black stripe MYU vs my Nakaya.

 

Also custom duties were paid for a frankenpen and this should be commented. Unfortunately, Franz is gonna have his trouble continued in the future, in order to really get his money back.

 

....and a question to all about flex or soft nibs. If one of you would buy a FLEXIBLE (as mentioned) pen from ebay, and finally this pen was SOFT, what would YOU do? Would you accept that the seller made a bad translation? Would you forgive him? NO, you would not, I am sure. Each one of you would report the seller and ask a full refund if he did not accept to do so.

 

In this case why some of you try to comment that there is a bad translation with Nakaya? Some of you have received a soft nib expecting to have received a flexible. In the end you thought should this worth a trouble of one year or more? (To give it back etc).

 

To my opinion, Nakaya does not worth all the trouble, even if the transaction was smooth.

 

ukobke,

Its hard to be objective in these cases, because brand loyalty tends to be a part of the purchase. When talking about pens this pricey, many will be hesitant to say anything negative because it'll devalue the brand (Remember, the 'value of Nakayas' doesn't drop that much, its probably got to do with this phenomenon). Its not the pen itself that carries the value here.

Edited by proton007

In a world where there are no eyes the sun would not be light, and in a world where there were no soft skins rocks would not be hard, nor in a world where there were no muscles would they be heavy. Existence is relationship and you're smack in the middle of it.

- Alan Watts

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Thanks for all answers but, as ukobke has resumed, the main issue is not "soft" vs "flex". In fact, in the OP there's no mention to that (as that was another side-issue) but only "[the nib is] a modern one and not a good one *at all*". I have a Pelikan Richard Bender's 4XF full-flex (made at request) and it's wonderful. BTW, the Nakaya nib came with flex-added from US retailer which turned it into a "slightly-flex and soft", still excedenly stiff for my hand.

 

The core issue I wrote in the OP is (ignoring Customs problems and shipments) are: paid 1,200USD, 5 months waiting, got a defective pen [chip in the lacquer], returned, 6 months waiting, got a frankenpen [barrel-section engravings don't match]. And with no word from Nakaya (though requested if they got the pen to be fixed) except denying at the beginning my order because my country's national language was not English.

 

Plus one year of waiting for a defective product and, later, a frankenpen after paying 1,2000USD and only word denying comply with an order because my mother tonge wasn't English? No, thanks. As I wrote somewhere in this thread: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me".

Edited by franzrogar
Thanks for reading.
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The problem, in my eyes, is not what you are saying. Such an experience is a killer for sure! The problem is that you are making a universal truth from this single experience; and that your consideration for Nakaya is only as a business company.

I am very surprised how many people demand 100% because they pay. I am not 100% in my job.

As for the price: Nakaya are NOT overpriced at all. They are even very affordable given what is at stake. But they are PENS, of course... So. Maybe be you should get over your disappointment.

DISCLAIMER:I don't own a Nakaya. Maybe not yet.

amonjak.com

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free 70 pages graphic novel. Enjoy!

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@Namo,

 

Of course I'm making an universal truth from my single experience, because it's *my* truth. In the same way, you can say that for people who bought a pen and everything went perfect. Oh, BTW, I'm not the only one who has had problems with Nakaya. In this thread some people wrote they had problems too (minor compared to how they treat me) and over the Internet, in other forums, you can read people also having problems with Nakaya.

 

So, please, paraphrasing your sentence, don't make an universal truth that Nakaya is perfect either. Thus, explaining what problems they have, is the way to face any SHOP. Think this thread as part of a tripadvisor if that ease your mind.

 

 

I'm surprised too that people have to knee on the floor when they got cheated because the company they paid for a service don't do their work properly. That's what happens when you're no longer a "customer" and begin to convert yourself into a "payer" (see Apple fanboys).

 

Also, I've never complain that Nakaya was expensive, ever. I say I paid a huge amount of my money (which took me time to get) to get 1 defective product and 1 frankenpen after plus one year and no words from Nakaya except denying my order because my country language was not English. Which is *completely* different from what you seems people remember from this thread.

 

And I will get over my disappointment when:

 

a ) Get Customs to return my investment (as most as possible)

b ) Get an e-mail from Nakaya saying, at least, they're sorry for all the trouble and their mistakes

c ) Nakaya jobs someone to PR and someone to QC

 

Then, my disappointment will dissapear. My apprehension to the company won't end ever because they cheated me.

 

DISCLAIMER: I wanted to own a Nakaya, I safed money for it, I waited, got cheated and I won't ever.

Edited by franzrogar
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One thing I forgot to mention in my first post (#3):

 

None of the pens I talk about was bought from any USA retailer nor USA seller.

Four of my Nakayas were bought directly from the Japanese maker via its website.

The fifth (and last) was bought via La Couronne du Comte (Netherlands).

 

ALL have had different issues, none arrived neither in perfect writing nor aesthetic condition. An oddisey began... at times almost an ordeal...

 

I keep my opinion: this brand is, from my point of view, unfortunately not worth, not recommended.

 

**************************************

 

Se me había olvidado mencionar en mi primera colaboración (#3) que no he comprado ninguna de mis Nakaya a ningún vendedor ni distribuidor de los Estados Unidos de América.

 

Cuatro las compré a través de la propia página web de Nakaya.

La quinta (y última) a través de La Couronne du Comte (Holanda).

 

TODAS presentaron diferentes clases de problemas, ninguna llegó en perfecto estado ni de escritura ni de terminación. Empezó una odisea... a veces casi una ordalía...

 

Mantengo mi opinión: esta marca , desde mi punto de vista, no vale la pena, no la recomiendo.

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