Jump to content

The Fountain Pen Network Messages

Dearest Visitors of the Fountain Pen Nuthouse,

Registration with automated checks is working again, with the introduction of our upgraded site!

You may do so here: https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/?_fromLogout=1

Warm regards, The FPN Admin Team

Review Of Taccia Hyakko-Hisho Kohaku



Rate Topic 0

Recommended Posts

I hope this review will be interesting to some of you since I have not found many reviews of the urushi pens made by Taccia. As soon as I ordered the pen I resolved that I would post a review - good, bad, or indifferent - since this is a less-known brand and it is hard to be confident in advance what the pens will be like. As it turned out, the pen surpassed my highest hopes and I am thoroughly delighted that I purchased it.

Background:

Taccia is a small fountain pen and ink manufacturer, established in California in 2003. The company was sold in 2016 to Nakabayashi, a Japanese stationery manufacturer, and now offers its pens with nibs produced by Sailor.

The pen I bought was the Hyakko-Hisho Kohaku model, and it cost €850. Like many of the Taccia urushi pens it is a numbered, limited edition of 50. There are four other pens in the “Hyakko-Hisho” series with different style urushi finishes. As far as I can determine, the Hyakko-Hisho was a 17th/18th century compendium of Japanese traditional crafts. Kohaku is the Japanese word for amber, which relates to the urushi colour on this model of the series. I am not knowledgeable about urushi but I understand this pen is lacquered using the Wajima urushi style, which incorporates particles of earth or other materials in the lacquer. Perhaps some of you who possess more knowledge of urushi can expand further on this.

The pen comes in a pauwlonia wood box along with a black pen kimono with purple lining.

fpn_1602757195__6b1c0e9a-5af4-42b6-8fe5-

The key question for me, as I considered buying this expensive pen from a less-known brand, was: what makes the pen stand out compared to the many good pens from more established brands at comparable prices?

To answer this I think I must start with my reasons for ordering the pen so you will understand what I was looking for and whether it met my expectations. Sailors are my favourite nibs because of their precision, feel and consistency, however I find the Sailor pen body designs and materials disappointing. What I wanted was a high-quality pen with attractive materials and a Sailor nib. I haven’t tried a King of Pen urushi but they are in a rather rarefied price bracket and I am less interested in the more affordable plastic or bare ebonite KoP models. I considered the Cross Peerless 125, which has a Sailor nib, and tried one in a local store, but I absolutely could not get along with the convex section shape and it was very uncomfortable for me. My hope was that this Taccia would offer me the high quality feel I was looking for in a pen with a Sailor-made nib.

Design and construction:

This is a large pen - at least in length - as you can see from the comparison pictures with a Montblanc 149 and a Pelikan M800. The section is much slimmer than either of those pens, and the nib is quite small (a 14k gold hard-medium Sailor with two-tone Taccia design). For me this is perfect. I prefer small nibs and relatively slim sections, even though I have large hands, because of the feeling of precise control that they give me in writing (not that my writing is particularly precise or controlled!). To my eye the nib size looks appropriate because of the slender section, even though the pen body is large. The section has a significant taper and is quite long, flaring out at the nib end. It is the most comfortable section that I have on any of my pens, and the pen almost disappears from my attention when I write. The nib has a plastic feed, I believe, and it writes beautifully - flawless and reliable ink-flow, a consistent line, pleasant feedback, and long, slender tines for precise location of contact to the paper.

fpn_1602757856__df3ddae3-470a-4c45-9d69-

fpn_1602757431__ab411628-7562-44ef-99e5-

The urushi lacquer is yellow stripes over black. If you look carefully you will notice that the yellow lacquer incorporates gold metal particles toward the top of the cap and the bottom of the barrel. The finish has some texture and relief, which I find very pleasing. The quality of lacquer work is very high, as far as I can tell, with no flaws. It is even more beautiful and complex than was apparent from the pictures when I ordered it.

The pen is made of ebonite and the body is faceted with twelve sides. The cap comes slightly short of lining-up with the body perfectly when fully closed, but this is hardly noticeable on a pen with so many facets. It there were fewer facets or the edge colour had more contrast then it might have bothered me a little. You can see if you look closely at the pictures, and judge for yourself.

I like the clip/roll-stopper design in the flesh better than I thought I would. It functions well, with the right amount of flexibility and firmness. It fits to the cap discreetly with only a small aperture and no significant gaps. Perhaps the design is plain but it you think of it as a roll-stopper this design makes complete sense.

The pen is a cartridge/converter filler - standard fare for this kind of urushi pen - and uses a regular Sailor converter. I guess Sailor converters are not known for high ink capacity, but it is no problem for me.

The pen is 30g in weight, which is noticeably heavier than you may expect from an ebonite and lacquer pen. It feels well-balanced when writing. The ebonite is thicker than on my Nakaya pens and it lends the pen a greater feeling of solidity. The pen is still light enough to cause no fatigue when writing, but it just has such a feel of quality which I believe is due to the thicker ebonite together with the texture and excellence of the lacquer work.

You can see that the threads for the cap are well away from where the pen is gripped, and they are un-lacquered ebonite. Leaving the threads un-lacquered is a design choice I thought might detract from the appearance, judging from photos of the pen, but with the pen in-hand I think it works well and it is not jarring at all. I am still unsure about bare ebonite, as this will inevitably discolour over time, but I guess urushi pens are partly about the experience of seeing the pen finish change over time. Coupled with the yellow lacquer I guess it will not look bad. Wabi-sabi.

fpn_1602757577__71fb377c-3bc4-43fd-912b-

Overall:

I was extremely pleased with this pen and I think it is good value relative to other pens with this kind of complex urushi finish. It truly feels high quality throughout. The positive surprises for me were the greater feeling of solidity and gravitas compared to my Nakayas; the beauty, high quality, and pleasing texture of the lacquer work; and the exceptional comfort and control I experience with the long, slender section.

For me there were no real downsides and this is absolutely among my most pleasurable pens to own and write with. I love my Nakayas (I have three portable cigars) but overall I feel this Taccia surpasses them in quality and comfort, offers better value, and of course it also has the Sailor nib that I prize.

I expect I will buy more Taccia urushi pens in future, following this positive experience. At least as long as they continue to be fitted with Sailor nibs, which is what brought me to this pen in the first place.

If, however, you dislike small nibs and slender sections then perhaps this is not the pen for you. Some other Taccia urushi pen models have a larger sized 18k nib, also made for Taccia by Sailor.

Edited by MoriartyR
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 13
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • MoriartyR

    4

  • Uncial

    2

  • XYZZY

    1

  • Honeybadgers

    1

Thanks for the review. This is a very attractive pen. The nib size looks good to me even though it is a very long pen. Comparing the feedback on the nib to a Sailor nib, would you say it is more significant or less, or about the same?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for this review, I very much enjoyed reading it, especially your opinions about the subjective bits. I wasn't aware that their nibs are made by Sailor, which I guess confirms your point that Taccia is not well represented here.

 

I like the threads, but that largely because I have an irrational like of block threads, and I wouldn't want them hidden, even if by urushi, so thank you for calling special attention to the threads, I probably never would have zoomed in otherwise.

 

Two questions:

 

1) how many turns to uncap?

 

2) what ink & paper were you using in those pictures?

Link to post
Share on other sites

wow, I had no idea taccia made such nice, high end stuff.

 

Their nibs are sailor and the only one I have is a steel music nib and it's really, really good, though I don't love the design of the pen like I thought I would, I can't fault the fit, finish, or nib one single bit.

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for this review, I very much enjoyed reading it, especially your opinions about the subjective bits. I wasn't aware that their nibs are made by Sailor, which I guess confirms your point that Taccia is not well represented here.

 

I like the threads, but that largely because I have an irrational like of block threads, and I wouldn't want them hidden, even if by urushi, so thank you for calling special attention to the threads, I probably never would have zoomed in otherwise.

 

Two questions:

 

1) how many turns to uncap?

 

2) what ink & paper were you using in those pictures?

I don’t know much about Taccia pens either, so I’m unsure whether all Taccia pens have Sailor nibs or just the high-end urushi ones - I guess probably just the latter. But most retailers make a point of highlighting the Sailor nibs where applicable.

 

The cap takes 1.5 turns to open. I was using Taccia Sabimidori (“rust green”) ink in the photo. There are good reviews in the forum and it’s a lovely blue-green ink with prevalent rust coloured sheen with a broader nib. The paper was Clairefontaine.

 

Glad you enjoyed the review.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the review. I’m a big fan of Taccia urushi and maki-e pens. There are quite a few in my collection including the Hakumei from the same collection as yours, which is really supposed to be a JDM only release. I have two more Taccia maki-e pens coming too, the Summer Shimmer, which is similar to your pen, and the Miyabi version of the Winter’s Breathe. Excellent pens and good writers. I prefer the broad and MS nibs.

Link to post
Share on other sites

That is a very attractive and appealing color combination on that pen. When I saw the title, I immediately thought of "ko-haku" which is the short version of the name of the NHK (Japanese) New Year's Eve Red-White singing contest/exhibition, so I thought the pen was going to be red and white. This is much, much better.

 

I'm afraid the facets not lining up would bother me, even though the uniform color hides it mostly. I have a Taccia Kaku Tate in the Kabuki colors, which means it has not only contrasting edge colors, but it has two alternating edge colors, so matching up on that pen was critical (I bought it at a pen show, so I could see and handle the actual one I bought).

 

I think my nib is the same size as yours, which is about the same size as a MB 146 Le Grand, and it looks fine when the pen is by itself. It certainly works very well. My section appears much the same as yours, except for not being faceted.

 

So congratulations on your pen, I hope it gives you much enjoyment.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

Excellent review.  I have loved my urushi pens from Nakaya and Danitrio, but also prefer Sailor nibs and was always held back by the price of Sailor KOP, even for basic urushi designs.  So I came to Taccia for similar reasons and have been very impressed with the three I now have.  I enjoy their unique designs, many of which are produced in smaller numbers which provide a sense of having something more special.  They combine some lovely urushi work with the function of Sailor nibs for a more reasonable price than Sailor.  The larger Miyabi line also has a larger 18K nib if you prefer a larger size, though prices are a little higher for these.  One thing not mentioned above is that there is a bit of a springing sensation when putting on the cap which is very satisfying and lends a feeling of higher quality construction.   There is a nice article about Taccia in this month's Pen World Magazine if anyone is interested.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome, Rick, and thanks for your comments about the review. Sounds like we had similar reasons for looking at the brand, and a similar experience with Taccia’s pens.

 

Would love to see a picture of your Taccias if you have one that you could post here.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice review and the pen is beautiful. I didn’t realize that Taccia had been sold. I owned a Taccia many years ago and the nib was disappointing. I sold it and I have been hesitant to buy another. This review will make me think differently — with the Sailor nibs — when I see the brand at a pen show in 2021 (I hope). 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Intensity

What a beautiful pen; the more I look at the pictures, the more I appreciate its overall design.  14K Sailor nibs are some of my favorites for their great control.  
 

https://www.nakabayashi.co.jp/_files/EnProduct/0/120/pdf/hyakko-hisho.pdf

“I admit it, I'm surprised that fountain pens are a hobby. ... it's a bit like stumbling into a fork convention - when you've used a fork all your life.” 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Announcements


×
×
  • Create New...