Body Material: Ebonite, Urushi Lacquer
Posts: Yes, but loosely
Filling: Platinum cartridge/converter
Nibs: EF, F, M, B, BB, Music + Nakaya modifications
Nib Material: 14KT yellow gold
Length (capped): 148.7 mm/5.85"
Length (uncapped nib-end): 129.3 mm/5.09"
Length (posted): 171.7 mm/6.76"
Barrel Diameter: 15.2 mm/0.59"
Section Diameter: 10.8 - 11.6 mm/0.42"- 0.45"
Weight (all): 26 G
Weight (cap): 10 G
Weight (body): 16 G
Where to buy: Sakura Fountain Pen Gallery
Like the pen itself, Nakaya's packaging is interesting, functional, and classy. The pens are safe in a little fabric kimono on a soft, velvety blue bed. The box is a solid softwood box with a removable lid. Included in the box is a box of ten Platinum ink cartridges, and a Platinum converter. I really appreciate that you get a full box of ink cartridges - not just one or two, as well as a converter. The pen kimono is very useful, and it's attractive.
There are two things I love about this pen: the design, and the color. That's at first glance, anyway. This Cigar Writer has a round body, tapering slightly to the smoothly rounded-off ends. There is nothing on the finial, it's simply a brown-lacquered top, with light green peeking out from under the layers.
The cap is round and smooth, ending in a fairly thin lip. The section is interesting and is probably one of the prettiest parts of the pen. It is slightly indented, and ends in a ridge before the nib. The threads are not too far away. There is a noticeable ridge from the section to the barrel. The green lacquer really shines here - having settled on the edges and points. It's very beautiful, but it doesn't look super flashy in the way that something like a Visconti might. There are other models that show off the colors more clearly, but I still think this looks really nice.
Some spots of the pen look like they are darker brown, others have a bit more green, others are lighter brown, you get the pictures. I don't know how consistent the finish should be, but as it is hand made, I think that explains the variation. I don't know what consistency they strive for, but I can live with this. It doesn't look bad to me, and I think it's neat and unique.
Overall - I love the appearance. This is a pen I have wanted and (had I eventually purchased it without having seen it in person prior to having it on loan to review), I would have been very happy with it in the looks department. Urushi is a really neat thing.
NIB & PERFORMANCE
This nib is a 14KT yellow gold in double-broad. YES. It has a single slit, a heart-shaped breather hole, and is decorated with quite a few engravings: some symmetrical decorations, the Nakata logo, 14K, 585, and characters, which I assume mean double-broad or something to that effect. The feed, as far as I can tell, looks like plastic. The tipping is glorious. It is perfectly shaped - round, bulbous on the bottom but perfectly tuned. It is a rounder double-broad, rather than a stub-like one (like Montblanc's and Visconti's BB nibs). Both tines are perfectly aligned. One isn't higher than the other, or longer, or anything wonky. It's just right.
I have now used a soft-fine, fine, and double-broad Nakaya nib, all of which had their own sensation to use, but all of which performed really well. So all in all, I am very pleased with the performance of this nib. It feels more like a broad than a BB, but as a Japanese nib, it runs a little finer than Western BB nibs.
If you buy this expecting a super smooth, soft, springy, gushing wet nib, you'll be disappointed. This nib is none of those things, but it wears its boots very well.
The clip has just the right amount of tension - it can be easily operated to slide on to and off of things. Don't let it go to snap it against the cap. It's fairly snug and springy, and that might damage the cap at some point.
I find the shape of the section comfortable - I like the indented grip. Unfortunately, I often end up gripping the ridge before the nib because I tend to grip too low. The ridge hurts to grip after awhile so I have to keep moving my fingers back. The threads are very smooth and do not hurt very much. You could even grip right on them for awhile. The ridge to the barrel is quite obvious, but far from where my fingers or hand touches.
Urushi feels really good in hand. It is smooth, warm, and so enjoyable to touch. It doesn't feel slick or slippery, so it makes for a great every day pen. It is a warm material to hold, lightweight, and it doesn't get greasy.
PROS & CONS
I think this is a beautiful pen. It's a superb, comfortable design and shape, the Urushi lacquer work is really pretty, but not excessive or flashy, the nib is exquisite (although I don't care much for the design on it) and all together it is a wonderful experience.
I wish they weren't so difficult to get. The waiting times can be long. I guess it's worth it in the end, but it would be nice to be able to see more of these before buying one. Not all Nakaya models appeal to me, but this fairly simple one is still at the top of my list.
I was loaned this pen for the purposes of this review. I was not compensated monetarily for my review. Everything you've read here is my own opinion. There are no affiliate links in this review.