Hiro bought me this handsome fountain pen. I saw it in a shop and though it was amongst a host of fancy pens – it really called to me somehow. It is made of celluloid in Japan and it’s simple unassuming generic cardboard box hides an interesting tale.
Though the fountain pen is unbranded and is fitted with a gold plated iridium Schmidt nib, it is in fact handmade in Osaka by a legendary celluloid pen maker. Celluloid is not easy to work by hand. Each pen requires individual machining and finishing and has to be cast and cured for for 6 months before it can be used. The material is expensive and the process time consuming so very few companies make these pens today.
It may baffle some to know that despite all the above, these pens are very reasonable. Pen specialists and enthusiasts world-wide recognise that due to the high quality, these pens can be sold for a hefty price tag but the maker insists on keeping them at an affordable price bracket.
“….fountain pens should be made for writing and I hope my pens will be used over and over till they can no longer be used. I do not wish to make pens to be displayed in a collection case. Therefore, I wish my pens to be offered at an affordable price” Kato Kiyoshi
Sadly, Kato passed away in 2010. His former and only apprentice has picked up the baton and continues the heritage. I found this video that gives a fascinating insight into the creation of the celluloid pens at the Seisakusho workshop. It’s both mesmerising and heartening to know that my pen was made right here.
In Japanese these are referred to as 1000 year pens and I hope that I will keep using this pen well into my old age.
USEFUL LINKS | Why I ♥︎ celluloid |