If you’ve been interested in fountain pens for any period of time you will probably have heard someone wax lyrical over Nakaya fountain pens. If you’ve no patience for this, this review is not for you.
Nakaya was born from retired Platinum Pen craftsmen who are masters in fountain pen production. The company started in 1997 and is named Nakaya – for the original name of the Platinum pen company when it was founded in 1919. Nakaya are the high end, Urushi/Maki-E sisters of Platinum – although Platinum make some extremely stunning Maki-E and Urushi models, Nakayas take that craftsmenship to the next level.
A few years back, Nakaya set the pen world into a frenzy by temporary suspending production of their Dorsal Fin models – rumours at the time stated that this was a permanent discontinuation so everyone seemed to go into hyperdrive trying to source and buy the beautiful pens.
I was no exception – the Dorsal Fin V2 edition was my holy grail – I loved the gentle curves created by layers of Urushi and I recall emailing every Nakaya distributor to see if they had any left in stock. Luckily a few years after this panic inducing announcement, Nakaya quietly resumed orders for the Dorsal Fin and I placed the order for this stunning Kuro Tamenuri edition at the time.
Two years later, I received my pen. If you have never purchased a Nakaya before and you are buying something that isn’t already in stock at your retailer, you can expect to wait a minimum of 6 months for your pen – more if you have customisation or any special requests. Two years for a Dorsal Fin is a normal period of time – as I mentioned before, the fins are made of layers of Urushi, so I assume it’s a time consuming process.
I purchased mine with a basic gold broad nib that was tuned before shipment. You can order yours with a range of nib colours (all 14K or 18K gold, plated with rose gold, Rhodium, ruthenium or two tone) in a range of nib widths and elasticities (UEF, EF, F, Soft F, M, Soft M, B, Extra Broad C or Music), but broad is my go to nib size for Platinum and Nakaya nibs. If you’ve tried a Platinum pen, the nib is a similar experience to that, although each Nakaya nib is tuned before it leaves Nakaya – for my writing style and use I don’t notice much difference to be honest I just know that my Nakaya’s are typically wetter than my Platinums, because that’s my preference in tuning.
The pen in hand is nicely balanced and is light weight despite its size. The layers of Urushi are built up over an ebonite core, so the pen itself only weighs 26g. Its not postable and I wouldn’t recommend posting an Urushi pen anyway, in case it mars the finish. I expect that even larger hands won’t need to post though – my small hands reach about halfway up the pen body when using it so there is plenty of room. The pen is deceptively girthy – not so much that its uncomfortable but noticeable. The filling system is a cartridge/converter – the same converter that is used with Platinum pens. Its not a great converter but it does the job. Some brave soul will likely have eyedroppered their Nakayas but not me – I haven’t tried it, not brave enough to and don’t enjoy ink monogamy enough to use a full eyedropper of the same ink.
I’m not going to talk about value for money or whether I think its worth the price and wait that it took. At these price points and waiting time, it becomes an extremely personal decision and choice. For me, I love my Nakaya Dorsal Fin. I could happily use Nakaya’s for the rest of my life and not miss any other pen.
Share this post
- Tags: pen review