The Nakaya Fountain Pen Company uses “for your hand only” as its tagline, and it couldn’t be more appropriate. The Japanese manufacturer of upscale fountain pens, or nibs as they are sometimes referred to, has been making quality products since its founding in 1919 as the Platinum Pen Company. Pen bodies are hand-turned from ebonite hard rubber, then layered with Urushi lacquer finishing. Nakaya’s solid gold 14 carat nibs are noted for their exceptional writing qualities. Each Nakaya pen requires a minimum of three to six months for their manufacture
The name Nakaya is synonymous with utmost quality. Company president Nakata Toshiya says the Nakaya mission is straightforward: “To design a perfect pen for your hand and for your hand only”. Nakaya fountain pens are quite exceptional. Not only will you feel the difference in the handmade texture of each pen, their visual appeal is stunning; each is a work of art. The attention to detail comes from the experience of Nakaya craftsmen who have devoted their lives to creating these amazing writing tools. According to the company president, the skilled Platinum factory craftsmen have put on traveling clinics at many large department stores and fountain pen shops all over Japan throughout the years.
Pen bodies and nibs are created in Tokyo, while Urushi lacquer work is done in the Wajima region on Japan’s west coast. Maki-e work is done both in Wajima and in Nakaya’s workshop in Tokyo.
Thanks to the Internet, you can take a virtual tour of all Nakaya fountain pens. In fact, the company recently introduced five new models into its lineup. Here is a summary of each.
Makie Daimyo Procession; Price: $10,000
The Makie incorporates a highly detailed design. The length of the traditional procession is at about 150 mm, and contains a beautifully ornate design that includes detailed handcrafted etchings. The details are outlined in gold, and the base model is cigar shaped.
Soga Shohaku/Unryu-zu; Price: $5,000
The company created a Makie of Unryu-zu, a masterpiece of Soga Shohaku, an artist of the mid-Edo period. The original painting at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston is a masterpiece of Shouhaku, which is painted in eight folding screens, four of which have been incorporated into the pen’s motif.
Sakura Sakura; Price: $1,970
This model was produced as a gift for a customer’s daughter who had a passion for music. The opening part of a Japanese folk song “Sakura Sakura (Cherry Blossoms, Cherry Blossoms)” is inscribed around the body.
Autumn Leaves – Two-layered Tame-Sukashi; Price: $2,800
Upon the customer’s request, the leaves seemingly are brought to life, displayed vertically between the cap and body.
Chain Mail – IV – Twist; Price: U$1,650
A variation of the Chain Mail III, the Chain Mail IV takes on a different way of ring weaving using a style called Trinitymaille. This method connects three rings into one, creating a triangle shape. ■