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Help with Pilot, Sailor, and Platinum vintage pens


OldTravelingShoe
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Hello, @Chi, really nice to meet fellow pocket-pen fans!

 

Thank you for your generous offer. I would be very happy to get access to any scans you'd be kind to share. I have a few dozens of (regular) Pilots, Sailors, and Platinums of various ages; not sure how to summarize this succinctly. How could we organize this? 

 

Two points about the material I think is available so far:

 

(A) In my original post, at point 5, I list Crónicas Estilográficas (the link from @awa54), Pocket Pen Chronicle (your link), and Richard Binder---for completeness, the  link is Profile: Japanese Pocket Pens, the Oct 2021 update:

http://www.richardspens.com/ref/profiles/pocket_pens.htm

 

(B) By following the discussion on FPN, I further found material that would fit in my point 5:

 

5'. Ron Dutcher's @kamakura-pens's A field guide to Japanese

Nibs: 

Plus the follow-up with excellent images by @troglokevComparison of Pilot Elite nibs:

 

5". The excellent and surprising photography of @christof and @KBeezie. Thanks for this, much appreciated! 

 

5'''. The Fountain Pen Graph Catalog on something called Ameba(?), which has several (but by far not all) old catalogs for, among others, Pilot, Sailor, and Platinum:

https://ameblo-jp.translate.goog/kamisama-samasama/

(original link, for JP readers) 

 

More to come, I am sure (and glad). 

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@OldTravelingShoe

turns out I don't have a lot, LOL.

(I have attached the PDFs.)

 

I find "Fountain Pen of Japan: helpful as well. Though it only mentioned a few significant pocket fountain pen models, It did help me estimate roughly when the pocket model comes out, especially during 1970s. It seems all series would have a pocket version, like Pilot lady in 1978 and the stainless steel etched design in the early 80s.

 

Platinum is probably the most easy out of the 3, the company itself has a lot of publications back in the days. If you have any connection or any friend that knows Japanese, you might want to try to find their old company magazines.

 

As for nib post, here is another post that I found helpful. I found it because there are a few rare pilot vintage nib pens on Anderson pen, and I didn't know what they are so did a little research.

 

and in the same thread, there is another test sharing,

Platinum1973.pdf Platinum1978.pdf

Please check out my shop on Etsy - Sleepy Turandot

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11 hours ago, Chi said:

I happen to be a pocket fountain pen lover as well.

Have you read https://pocketpens.wordpress.com/ ?

It seems that he stops updating but there are a few rare model he introduced.

 

Also, I have some old catalogs that were gifted to me, not for sale but if you can let me know what you have maybe I can scan them and send you PDFs.

 

As for sailor having factory in Taiwan,

I am not sure if they make different model of pens, but on the pen body would have clearly marked "Made in Taiwan." I have one sailor pocket pen that is classic gold cap and black body with engraved mark on it. 

 

@ChiThank YOU for the pocketpens link! I would never have found it otherwise.

 

 

NOTE: at least with the 1960s named nibs, I have found that there is a fair amount of variability within each type. 

David-

 

So many restoration projects...

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Posted (edited)

@Chi: It's very nice to exchange knowledge with you!

 

16 hours ago, Chi said:

turns out I don't have a lot, LOL.

(I have attached the PDFs.)

The catalogs are excellent, many thanks! I've been looking exactly for this kind of information. Your PDFs give catalog numbers and also have better image-quality than the surviving Platinum records from Kamakura Pens' website (archive.org link, main website taken over) and Ameblo (original link, in JP), which are the best I have found so far. (The links from my OP point 5, Richard Binder, and especially Pocket Pen Chronicle and Crónicas Estilográficas, have more commentary, but do not cover every model like these catalogs do.)

 

The other two links you gave are also very useful. (The former,

A field guide to Japanese Nibs, is what I refer to in my point 5'. Ron Dutcher's @kamakura-pens.) Perhaps useful in this direction, @A Smug Dill also has excellent nib comparisons across many Japanese fountain pens:

 

Edited by OldTravelingShoe
Corrected typos.
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8 hours ago, awa54 said:

NOTE: at least with the 1960s named nibs, I have found that there is a fair amount of variability within each type. 

I saw a discussion about this the other day... and already can't remember it...

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My name was mentioned somewhere in this thread so feel obligated to offer something.

 

The compilation of pens on richardspens website is from a nice collection that presents a really great overview of pocket pens and what can be found with some effort. Most of the smaller brands are difficult to find outside of Japan. 

 

I enjoyed the display of the collection of pens presented by the collector in Taiwan. Taken together they present an impressive array of what can be found.

 

First Sailor. Sailor had (has?) a factory in Taiwan in the early 1980s where they produced some of the Trident three-tined pens and several other models. Interestingly Sheaffer pens had a marketing arrangement with Sailor who produced some of their pens. Details bear an uncanny resemblance to lower-end pens with the Sailor name on them that were likely ade in Taiwan. At the time manufacturing costs were lower in Taiwan so it was a good choice for producing their lower-end pens. The better models continued to be produced in Japan. 

 

FPOJ. A great resource for better made pens. If at all, it glosses over pocket pens and regular production low-to-mid-range models. If you can obtain a copy it will provide countless hours of enjoyment especially if interested in vintage models and Japanese pen history. The book represents the collection of Mas Sunami and is a sales vehicle for Andreas line of pens. There are some errors in the book but, this should not matter to other than the most dedicated of collectors.

 

Bruno Taut. Another great resource. Easily searchable. Might not have everything on eis looking for but, presents fascinating detail and history. Bruno is connected to the Wagner group of local pen collectors who really know Japanese pen history.

 

Ameblo blog. This can be a really good resource. Definitely needs Google Translate. Spend time digging through the archives for some incredible information on vintage pens you never knew existed. This appears to be a different group from the Wagner bunch. But, I don't know!

 

My sites. ryojusenpens.com is available on the wayback machine. Was around for maybe five years in the early 2000s. It focused on some of my collection and information gathered about vintage pen manufacturers. At the time there was not much available in English and this was an effort to assist and encourage other collectors.

 

Yahoo Japan Auctions. For collectors outside of Japan this remains the most accessible source of vintage and new Japanese pens. It's not what is used to be for availability however some choice pens do come up for sale. One can still build a huge collection of vintage pens at an affordable price. It takes effort. Sales are not seven days as on eBay. Some are one, two, and three days. One needs to check regularly and diligently. Spend time looking. In my opinion the best prices are found on auctions ending weekdays. Sunday nights (Japan time) is when most of the auctions by knowledgeable seller of better pens conclude. You will need a proxy service so figure adding about 15%-20% to your purchase for their fee plus domestic and international shipping.

 

Mercari. This is an alternate to Yahoo Japan where one can find more recent models and some vintage. Pens are sold with fixed prices so many are snapped up faster than immediately. The great thing is that you can see what recent pens sold for. 

 

Pen Shows. Funny how Japanese pens don't show up much at shows. I've made a few amazing purchases (paying 10%-20% of value) from sellers who didn't know what they had. Sorry for taking advantage. Go to bigger shows when possible. Look over displays carefully. If you are into Japanese pens your eye will find them. Ask sellers if they have any. Sometimes they may have pens that are not displayed. Make friends with other collectors. Often they will share information about who has what for ale of it any pen show visitors have pens for sale. Finally, get there early. If the show is a huge show, have a game plan. Don't waste time browsing all the new eye candy - it will still be there at the end of the show. Bring $$$.

 

Finally. Good luck. Ten years ago and twenty years ago (Yeah. I've been doing this for awhile) I told everyone the pens ARE out there. They still are. It requires a bit more work to find them and prices have gone up (for everything - not just pens). I remain confident a strong collection of many older and newer models of pens can be put together in todays market. Be patient. Look hard. Go for it.

stan

Formerly Ryojusen Pens
The oldest and largest buyer and seller of vintage Japanese pens in America.


Member: Pen Collectors of America & Fuente, THE Japanese Pen Collectors Club

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@stan, many thanks indeed. I am grateful for your time.

 

I also understand the wisdom and knowledge embedded in your list, so I will need to think this through properly. As a reaction, yours is a well thought-out game plan toward a high-quality collection. I can put already to work several of the items on your list and add to my long-term list some of the others. I will need to analyze for myself the time, money, and other necessary resources. 

 

Thanks again! 

 

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@stan thank you so much for taking the time sharing your experience and what you know!!

@awa54 you are welcome. I am luckily bilingual and usually search in both languages when it comes to fountain pens, especially when I first started. It seems Vintage Japanese pens are not a main stream collectible in USA market.

@OldTravelingShoe I am glad these are helpful. I enjoy knowing and finding out histories of pens I collected. : ))  

 

I have only started collecting vintage fountain pen for a couple years...It started out as an easy entry way to affordable gold nib pens but soon I realize I love Japanese vintage pens more than modern pens. 

 

You guys already have made me feel so much better about my collecting choices. I have visited a well-known pen shop in NYC hoping to sell my pens. I understand they need to consider their profits etc, but the staff I talked to did not seem to appreciate my Japanese vintage pens and it broke my heart.

 

Geeking out on these pens are great! I don't do reviews but I do share my pens and inks on IG occasionally, and now I am debating if I should really start my blog talking about pens and inks I have collected...

Please check out my shop on Etsy - Sleepy Turandot

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30 minutes ago, OldTravelingShoe said:

@stan, many thanks indeed. I am grateful for your time.

 

I also understand the wisdom and knowledge embedded in your list, so I will need to think this through properly. As a reaction, yours is a well thought-out game plan toward a high-quality collection. I can put already to work several of the items on your list and add to my long-term list some of the others. I will need to analyze for myself the time, money, and other necessary resources. 

 

Thanks again! 

 

Suggest the following.

1. Ask yourself what you like or would like to collect.

2. Ask yourself 'Why?'

3. What do you think is the availability of what you want? How big of a challenge over what time frame will it take to satisfy you?

4. Do you want a big or small collection?

5. Are you willing to go the distance?

6. Can you afford it?

7. Do you need an acquisition plan. This is the hard part.

 

stan

Formerly Ryojusen Pens
The oldest and largest buyer and seller of vintage Japanese pens in America.


Member: Pen Collectors of America & Fuente, THE Japanese Pen Collectors Club

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7 minutes ago, Chi said:

You guys already have made me feel so much better about my collecting choices. I have visited a well-known pen shop in NYC hoping to sell my pens. I understand they need to consider their profits etc, but the staff I talked to did not seem to appreciate my Japanese vintage pens and it broke my heart.

 

Pens shops don't give a rats ass about Japanese pens unless you have some super high-end makie pens and then they are still clueless. Don't bother with them. You'll do better on eBay. Should you have some nicer vintage models there are several online buyers that might be interested. IDepends on what you got.

stan

Formerly Ryojusen Pens
The oldest and largest buyer and seller of vintage Japanese pens in America.


Member: Pen Collectors of America & Fuente, THE Japanese Pen Collectors Club

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15 minutes ago, stan said:

Pens shops don't give a rats ass about Japanese pens unless you have some super high-end makie pens and then they are still clueless. Don't bother with them. You'll do better on eBay. Should you have some nicer vintage models there are several online buyers that might be interested. IDepends on what you got.

 

Yep, you are totally right! the staff said a lot of mean things about my pens...

Please check out my shop on Etsy - Sleepy Turandot

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@Chi, no worries, there are enough people in the world who care about this. May not be so much money in the loop, but I am sure there are plenty of people who derive pleasure from collecting and using these pens. Let's all cheer up. 

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I've been eagerly following this thread and it's been interesting so far, in particular thanks to @stan!

 

The worst about finding info on Japanese pens is obviously the language barrier, not to mention the fact that the companies (from memory I know this is certainly the case for Pilot) don't have all the records, as they didn't keep them at first and then some were lost due to damages.

 

But I have to say that I really like how e.g. Pilot revived one of their vintage models (i.e. Elite 95 s) and stayed true to form. Parker's revival of the 51 has been a bit disappointing, especially as they changed almost everything (to me the most annoying is the threading vs slip cap).

 

Well, this post is highly unhelpful and slightly OT, but nonetheless great first post and start @OldTravelingShoe, looking forward to learning more! And a belated "welcome"!

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25 minutes ago, Olya said:

a belated "welcome"!

Thanks, @Olya. I saw your name in various threads I've read, nice to meet you also this way. 

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21 minutes ago, OldTravelingShoe said:

Thanks, @Olya. I saw your name in various threads I've read, nice to meet you also this way. 

You're welcome! ☺️

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5 hours ago, Olya said:

obviously the language barrier

That was the case until the new translation system: https://www.deepl.com/translator

This service not only produces "understandable" but "very good" Japanese. The other direction is nearly perfect.

 

The other problem is that a number of Japanese shops will not want to deal with foreigners - or require a Japanese mailing address or even a credit card from a Japanese bank.

The mailing address is the least problem if you use a parcel forwarder. For the two other problems you need to find someone in Japan doing the buy for you (with all the problems it might cause).

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9 hours ago, stan said:

Suggest the following.

1. Ask yourself

I would have needed that advice in the beginning. 

I bought many nice pens, a great number of which are meanwhile unnecessary.

 

My advice, FOLLOW that advice of Stan.

 

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34 minutes ago, mke said:

That was the case until the new translation system: https://www.deepl.com/translator

This service not only produces "understandable" but "very good" Japanese. The other direction is nearly perfect.

 

The other problem is that a number of Japanese shops will not want to deal with foreigners - or require a Japanese mailing address or even a credit card from a Japanese bank.

The mailing address is the least problem if you use a parcel forwarder. For the two other problems you need to find someone in Japan doing the buy for you (with all the problems it might cause).

I don't know why, but I often forget about deepl, even though I've used it several times 😕

 

As you mention, there are these other hurdles at times present when wanting to shop Japanese products... Things, which are rarely ever a problem when shopping in elsewhere in the world.

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I was just searching for info about an old Pilot and this worthwhile Reddit post came up on circa 1930s Pilots. Make sure you click through on the links.

https://www.reddit.com/r/fountainpens/comments/he3osp/prewar_pilot_fountain_pens_and_how_to_buy_them/

 

Also there's this page with historical Sailor material:

https://imgur.com/a/1H9bwcn

 

Script nib for writing screenplays. • Fine nib for my best writing. • Extra fine for my *very* best writing. • Medium for requesting a séance. • Bold for adventure stories. • Manifold for many various types of writing. • Coarse for indignant letters. • Oblique for making a point in a roundabout way. • Italic when I'm inclined. • Stub for when I intend to leave a manuscript unfinis

 

My pens for sale: https://www.facebook.com/jaiyen.pens

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8 hours ago, mke said:

I bought many nice pens, a great number of which are meanwhile unnecessary.

 

I'm curious: what's your criteria for whether or not a pen is necessary?

 

For me: {set of necessary pens} = Ø

Script nib for writing screenplays. • Fine nib for my best writing. • Extra fine for my *very* best writing. • Medium for requesting a séance. • Bold for adventure stories. • Manifold for many various types of writing. • Coarse for indignant letters. • Oblique for making a point in a roundabout way. • Italic when I'm inclined. • Stub for when I intend to leave a manuscript unfinis

 

My pens for sale: https://www.facebook.com/jaiyen.pens

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