Namiki Maki-e Pine Tree Bonsai Fountain Pen Review
I bought my Namiki Maki-e Pine Tree Bonsai fountain pen from Classic Fountain Pens. It was among their “previously owned” pens, and I snatched it up after being very disappointed by the Pilot Falcon Resin I had bought a few weeks before.
This Namiki came with a medium 14K nib that I had reground into an italic stub. Obviously, a Japanese medium isn’t going to turn into a big italic with lots of line variation, but I definitely love the line I’m getting. My writing always benefits from an italic nib no matter what the size.
The pen itself is gorgeous, with a gleaming black surface adorned with the Maki-e decoration. You can feel the Maki-e with your fingers, and the pine tree bonsai motif is beautiful yet subtle. The pen is comfortable in the hand and just the right weight for me (14mm x 142mm; 18 grams).
The Namiki comes with the Pilot Con-70 converter which holds a good amount of ink (1 ml). I was disappointed with the tiny amount the Pilot Falcon held. With the Namiki converter, you can pump a sufficient amount of ink into the pen to last for days. And it is a pump converter, which I discovered only after several futile attempts at twisting the knob! I had to do a Google search and watch a video to learn that I was doing it wrong. Sigh.
I have nothing negative to say about this pen. It writes beautifully thanks to the nib work done by Classic Pens. It sits perfectly in the hand and is neither too heavy nor too light. It exudes quality (unlike the Falcon)—it doesn’t feel plasticky at all, but substantial. And it is gorgeous. It is on the costly side (you can find this particular design on eBay, but Namiki apparently no longer carries it). I personally never buy anything from eBay, and I probably paid more because I bought it from Classic Fountain Pens. But I trust them and know that I’m getting the real deal.
I love my German Pelikans, but Japanese pens (Nakaya, Namiki, Platinum) are quickly out-numbering all my other fountain pens. Something about the quality and aesthetic draws me to these pens.
Fountain Pen Network Rating System:
Appearance and Design: 10
Construction and Quality: 10
Weight and Dimensions: 10
Nib and Performance: 10 (I don’t know what the nib would be like right out of the box since I had my nib reground).
Filling System and Maintenance: 10 (Once I figured it out!)
Cost and Value: 10