Jump to content
Classifieds is broken, please do not submit any new ads ×

What "justifies" the Namiki Urushi #20 (Yukari Royale) price?


A-xy
 Share

Recommended Posts

I ask this question with genuine interest in wanting to purchase this pen in some distant future, but I am not sure that I completely understand what "makes" it a pen that is $1500.00 USD (but I suppose a bit cheaper in Japan?).  To be clear, I am not asking if "this pen is worth it?" and opening a debate on value. It is completely irrelevant how much you or I think the pen should cost. I understand asking about the pricing of a fountain pen may be a fool's errand, but I was curious as to why it is priced as it is compared to say the Pilot Custom 845 or other urushi pens ie. from Nakaya. Is it because Namiki is considered a "luxury" brand, and the pen is produced in small batches and relatively difficult to obtain? Is it the case that people (I must add it seems owners of this pen from this forum and elsewhere are quite happy with it) purchase it and therefore the demand continues to inform its price?  Or is there something more quantifiable? For instance, the Pilot Custom 845 is also an urushi pen (which I own). Of course this pen has some plastic parts and is made from ebonite. However, it also has a similar 18k nib to the Namiki Urushi #20. Yet the price difference between the two is quite significant (2-3x more for the Namiki). So is there something about crafting a pen from brass that makes it more difficult? Or is there something about the urushi coating that is different, ie. more layers? more care? requires more expertise? I am not sure what the steps are required to produce the Namiki, but does perhaps crafting the pen itself and the time it takes to produce it also have something to do with the price? I also understand that it has lifetime warranty, and so does this also perhaps factors into its price? Again, I ask out of genuine curiosity and would appreciate if any of you can add from your expertise.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 10
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • A-xy

    2

  • peroride

    1

  • Maki-eMagic

    2

  • m9andg27

    2

5 hours ago, A-xy said:

Again, I ask out of genuine curiosity and would appreciate if any of you can add from your expertise.

 

My simple guess is that is the price the market pays for quality goods.

 

I have no expertise just observations.

 

When I went to Japan and visited stationary stores, there were price tags in Yen, the local currency. When I bought pens, I did not give a second thought to haggling and got the satisfaction of obtaining pens not found readily in my home country at full retail.

 

The Yukari Royale appears seasonally outside Japan though I do see occasional grayer market or retail sales from time to time outside of Japan but still over the 1000 USD mark. Royale is always 1500 USD and Emperor 2000 and that is the market conditioning over the years from Namiki.

 

I think that seasonal availability aspect contributes to the firm pricing. If you can get better pricing that maybe good, but one should factor in warranty support as well. Also whether in the future, prices will rise as it tends to be the case looking at historical data.

 

Interestingly, when I got my Conid Kingsize, I got same experience of firm pricing. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, A-xy said:

I ask this question with genuine interest in wanting to purchase this pen in some distant future, but I am not sure that I completely understand what "makes" it a pen that is $1500.00 USD (but I suppose a bit cheaper in Japan?).  To be clear, I am not asking if "this pen is worth it?" and opening a debate on value. It is completely irrelevant how much you or I think the pen should cost. I understand asking about the pricing of a fountain pen may be a fool's errand, but I was curious as to why it is priced as it is compared to say the Pilot Custom 845 or other urushi pens ie. from Nakaya. Is it because Namiki is considered a "luxury" brand, and the pen is produced in small batches and relatively difficult to obtain? Is it the case that people (I must add it seems owners of this pen from this forum and elsewhere are quite happy with it) purchase it and therefore the demand continues to inform its price?  Or is there something more quantifiable? For instance, the Pilot Custom 845 is also an urushi pen (which I own). Of course this pen has some plastic parts and is made from ebonite. However, it also has a similar 18k nib to the Namiki Urushi #20. Yet the price difference between the two is quite significant (2-3x more for the Namiki). So is there something about crafting a pen from brass that makes it more difficult? Or is there something about the urushi coating that is different, ie. more layers? more care? requires more expertise? I am not sure what the steps are required to produce the Namiki, but does perhaps crafting the pen itself and the time it takes to produce it also have something to do with the price? I also understand that it has lifetime warranty, and so does this also perhaps factors into its price? Again, I ask out of genuine curiosity and would appreciate if any of you can add from your expertise.

So the YR #20 urushi is a 128,000 yen retail price pen (the price is in the model number, you can always see it on Namiki non limited edition pens), which is 1,166USD - the 1,500USD price is the international namiki pricing (which is a big markup). I think the price difference compared to a custom 845 is a combination of a reasonable increase in production cost (which shouldn't however be massive), combined with a much smaller production number (reducing efficiencies of scale) and probably more quality control. Then the markup for Namiki as opposed to Pilot based on the brand prestige, and factoring in the lifetime warranty as well. In terms of the difference between the two, I'd expect that the actual cost differences are significantly smaller than the price difference, and moving into such a famous pen a large part is just higher profit margin.

 

They are incredibly nice pens so highly recommended especially if you can find it at a more reasonable price. In a shop recently in Hong Kong I saw the price was just under 1000USD, with the #50 urushi around a hundred dollars more expensive - this means there is plenty of scope to find cheaper ones or find sale prices applied to the international website listings.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i guess it would be the price point that marks a move from a writing instrument to a work of art.  this becomes even more apparent at an even higher price point eg with the namiki emperor nightline and its resale value at present

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you all for your replies. They were very helpful.

 

5 hours ago, lionelc said:

i guess it would be the price point that marks a move from a writing instrument to a work of art.  this becomes even more apparent at an even higher price point eg with the namiki emperor nightline and its resale value at present

 

This is a good point, and makes a lot of sense.

 

8 hours ago, Maki-eMagic said:

 

 

They are incredibly nice pens so highly recommended especially if you can find it at a more reasonable price. In a shop recently in Hong Kong I saw the price was just under 1000USD, with the #50 urushi around a hundred dollars more expensive - this means there is plenty of scope to find cheaper ones or find sale prices applied to the international website listings.

 

I have no doubt that this is a wonderful pen. I would purchase the pen from an authorized Namiki/Pilot seller in Japan, but the price is firm 128,000 yen set by Namiki. I am assuming getting these cheaper prices ie. in Hong Kong would require one to physically visit a shop and purchase it. Am I correct?

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, A-xy said:

Thank you all for your replies. They were very helpful.

 

 

This is a good point, and makes a lot of sense.

 

 

I have no doubt that this is a wonderful pen. I would purchase the pen from an authorized Namiki/Pilot seller in Japan, but the price is firm 128,000 yen set by Namiki. I am assuming getting these cheaper prices ie. in Hong Kong would require one to physically visit a shop and purchase it. Am I correct?

 

 

Well in Japan you might find it at that price and get it with a 5% store card discount or something similar, and get your tax back as well to end up slightly under 128,000. The HK price was in a shop, yes, I think you could probably find a similar price in Singapore (or so I hear).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Does anyone have a link or know of a place in Japan where it's actually available at 128,000 yen? I have been browsing Japanese websites and auction sites and the cheapest I can find is 140,000. I thought the 128 model number just indicated the original MSRP? Didn't they put the price up everywhere about two years ago?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, m9andg27 said:

Does anyone have a link or know of a place in Japan where it's actually available at 128,000 yen?

 

I dunno, a duty-free shop, maybe?

 

1 hour ago, m9andg27 said:

I have been browsing Japanese websites and auction sites and the cheapest I can find is 140,000. I thought the 128 model number just indicated the original MSRP?

 

When the MSRP changes, then generally so does the product's model number.

 

I suspect you've neglected adding the domestic consumption tax in Japan to the tax-exclusive MSRP encoded in the model number. You were browsing Japanese websites aimed at customers in Japan, no?

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

25 minutes ago, A Smug Dill said:

 

I suspect you've neglected adding the domestic consumption tax in Japan to the tax-exclusive MSRP encoded in the model number.

Ah, yes! I forgot about tax. 128k plus 10%VAT is about 140k, haha!

Thank you!

 

I guess that makes the price here in Taiwan pretty reasonable. Converted to JPY it's 146,000.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To begin with Namiki pens are not Veblen goods. They are, however, luxury goods in the sense that they are expensive and provide the owner with more than what they expected or need. Namiki enjoys well-deserved market leadership in terms of construction quality, consistency, desirability, writing experience, nib quality, packaging quality, and value retention. Compared to the pens you mention (Nakaya and Pilot) the Yukari Royale is, generally, a more consistently trustworthy writer with superlative fabrication and artistic execution. I have many dozens of high end urushi and maki-e pens from various manufacturers. Namiki is the one brand that never disappoints. It may not always offer the best of the best in this or that element but as a package Namiki is tops. Prices are fair for what you get. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

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
 Share



  • Most Contributions

    1. amberleadavis
      amberleadavis
      37958
    2. PAKMAN
      PAKMAN
      31099
    3. Ghost Plane
      Ghost Plane
      28220
    4. jar
      jar
      26101
    5. wimg
      wimg
      25602
  • Upcoming Events

  • Blog Comments

    • Texas42
      Dang. You are a great friend!   One comment as a relative newcomer would be within the cleaning section: issues/differences in cleaning vacuum filler, piston filler in addition to cartridge/converter. I just cleaned out my Pilot 823 and while it wasn't particularly difficult I was a little paranoid about the drops of water that I could not get out. Perhaps this is something you are already including.   Anyway, great project and very thoughtful of you. I know it's a project fo
    • Splat
      Ah Ruaidhri ya wee heid banger, you do indeed have an Irishman’s way wid dose words now. I’ll be from outer Aberdeenshire up in the blizzard riven braes of the Grampians.  Amateur medicine and surgery is it? Well what noble aspirations you do possess, we need to encourage such noble experimentations.  I pondered on leaving my own battered shell to science, but, until I read your pearls of wisdom and lament, I had comedown on the side of leaving my body to Findus frozen foods.  However, your rema
    • austollie
      Hi Smug Dill,   Nice project.  If it were me, I'd cover stuff like: - nib types available, i.e. styles, materials (SS vs gold), flex vs nails; - filling systems (I love the "thingie" comment) and how once can use them in practice (e.g. fill cartridges with a syringe); - pen body materials and their consequences (pen not balanced of too heavy and big for the hand); - and, whilst you've made it clear that you do not like vintage pens, a discussion of these beyond "I d
    • A Smug Dill
      Thanks for your input! Yes, not putting wood in the list of body materials warranting a mention was an oversight. I love pens with wooden bodies, but my main concern, or chagrin, is that I have not come across a wooden-bodied pen with a wooden cap that seals well. Actually, there is one, but it isn't really wood per se: the Pilot Custom Kaede's maple body is resin impregnated. All other wooden pens I have can dry out while capped and undisturbed; that includes several Platinum #3776 models.
    • amk
      That looks pretty good. You might want to add wood as a material (with its weakness of staining) and mention urushi. And under ergonomic considerations, the size of section (slender pens vs chunky pens), and shape of section, and 'disturbances' such as the Lamy 2000 'ears' and Pilot Capless clip getting in the way might be worth mentioning. Also possibly a general section on things you can do yourself with a bit of care, with a bit of practice, and things that are strictly "don't try this a
  • Chatbox

    You don't have permission to chat.
    Load More
  • Files

  • Today's Birthdays

    1. 13R14N
      13R14N
      (55 years old)
    2. ACX
      ACX
      (65 years old)
    3. Baenlynn
      Baenlynn
      (38 years old)
    4. beardedpens
      beardedpens
      (27 years old)
    5. Behike54
      Behike54





×
×
  • Create New...