Join us on a trip to Japan – the Land of the Rising Sun – to discover a brand that creates writing instruments and accessories for over a century. With an impressive history behind, iconic pieces and ultimate japanese precision, Platinum is still relatively unknown in Europe even though the brand does a great job out there creating some unique writing goods. As we are always trying to provide you with the greatest brands in the industry, here’s our take on this brand.
Shunichi Nakata the one who laid the foundations of Platinum starts a business with fountain pens back in 1919, a business which is developed over the years until becomes Platinum, the brand we know today.
The company’s name went through different stages until it had become Platinum. So, in 1924 Shunichi Nakata founds Nakaya Seisakusho, a company that makes and sells fountain pens in Tokyo. There come 5 years from 1925 to 1930 when the company exports 24,000 fountain pens annually to Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok. In 1942, something is going to be changed about the company’s activity because it becomes Tokyo Weapons Co. and starts to manufacture fighter planes. In the same year, on 9th November, the company changes its name from Nakaya Seisakusho to Platinum Fountain Pen Co.
The metal technology developed during the period when the company created fighter planes, was used on some writing instruments components like the metal caps. In 1956 the company puts the world’s first cartridge-type fountain pen into practical use and another big moment for the company takes place in 1957 when Platinum Honest, a fountain pen with one 60-type cartridge is released. Basically, one cartridge had a capacity of 60 drops, and 1 drop was able to ensure a writing session of 800 characters. The pen was advertised as being capable to write 48,000 characters with only one cartridge.
In 1965, Platinum Knock, providing a one-touch knock system, is released and two years later in 1967 the company is going to launch the world’s first fountain pen featuring a platinum nib entitled “Platinum Platinum”. In the same year, another great release is going to take place: the world’s first fountain pen with sheepskin rolling. Another great achievement comes in 1985 when the company signs a license agreement (for fountain pens and ballpoint pens) with Walt Disney Enterprises.
In 2009 the second president of Platinum passes away and Toshiya Nakata is named CEO and in 2011 the #3776 Century fountain pen is released, probably the most famous fountain pen of the company. We’ll have a take on this model during the article.
And because the company celebrated 100 years from its launch in 2019, the “Platinum Platinum” fountain pen which was released in 1967, such a symbolic fountain pen, was reproduced to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the brand. Of course, the brand used the latest pen nib technology as well as Platinum Pen’s unique Slip & Seal Mechanism to recreate that iconic piece from 1967.
Now, let’s have a look at some interesting writing instruments from their product catalog: the Curidas Fountain pens and the #3776 Century Fountain pens
Curidas retractable Fountain Pen
The Curidas Fountain pen is anything you could ask from a writing instrument. It has the convenience of a click rollerball while it provides you with a smooth writing experience of a fountain pen. This retractable fountain pen comes in five attractive colors and is ready to stand out due to its fantastic design. Before we get into fountain pen’s features, let’s find out the roots of this name – Curidas. When Platinum designed the fountain pen they took the japanese word “Kuridasu” referring to extending the pen tip and the word “curiosity” having in mind the idea that Curidas will fulfill people’s curiosity, and it really did so.
Regarding the pen, the barrel is crafted from a translucent resin, so you can enjoy all the engineering that went into the fountain pen and for the cap, Platinum has used an internal seal to protect the nib and keep the ink from evaporating when retracted into the pen. The pen is featuring a stainless-steel nib which is available in 3 widths: extra-fine, fine, and medium-size and accepts Platinum ink cartridges or Platinum converter to fill with bottled ink.
The price for this fountain pen is EUR 74.
#3776 Century Fountain Pen
This is Platinum’s flagship pen, probably the most famous piece from their entire catalog of writing products, that’s why I have chosen it. The 3776 number is a reference to the height of Mount Fuji. The fountain pen comes in a variety of colors but I’ll have a take on the Chartres Blue fountain pen because that deep blue color, a reference to the unique color of the stained glass in the Chartres Cathedral has always fascinated me.
It has a subtle demonstrator look due to its translucent resin body and with the silver or gold trims coming along to complement the blue shades, the fountain pen gets a pretty nice overall look. Regarding the nib, the #3776 Century features a fairly large nib made of 14kt gold that comes in 6 widths: extra-fine, fine, soft-fine, medium, broad and double-broad to meet anyone’s tastes.
Since the japanese extra-fine is way different from the european extra-fine, you might consider the medium size if you expect a european fine writing experience. The innovative cap contains the unique Platinum’s “Slip & Seal” mechanism that prevents ink from drying out in the pen. The pen uses the Platinum converter or ink cartridges and with the special ink cartridge adapter, it is also possible to use the standard international ink cartridges.
The price for this particular model is EUR 160.
image sources: web