Platinum

It was in 1919 that Shunichi Nakata established a fountain pen resale business. Determined to create his own products and convinced that “success cannot be achieved without effort“, he founded the Nakaya Seisakusho company in 1924 … read all

Platinum fountain pens

HISTORY

It was in 1919 that Shunichi Nakata established a fountain pen resale business. Determined to create his own products and convinced that “success cannot be achieved without effort“, he founded the Nakaya Seisakusho company in 1924 and launched his first fountain pens in Ueno, Tokyo, which he sold by mail order, pioneering catalogue sales in Japan. In 1925, he created his first models covered with urushi lacquer and patterns made using the maki-e technique.

In 1928, he changed the name of the company to “Platinum Fountain Pen” and created its logo which represents the earth sphere with his initials “SN” separated by a star. This motif represents his aspiration to become the master of metals and the world’s leading fountain pen manufacturer. In the 1930s and 1940s, the company exported its fountain pens throughout Asia.

In 1952, after the war troubles, Platinum imported a plastic moulding machine from the UK to promote automation. But competition in the fountain pen business was becoming increasingly fierce. In order to stand out from the crowd, all the technical experts pool their knowledge and launch a “10-year pen campaign”: the stainless steel nibs are now equipped with an iridium tip, which ensures their longevity and resistance. This technique, considered difficult, allowed the company to extend the guarantee on their fountain pens to 10 years.

In 1958, Platinum proved to the world that its ink did not leak, even at high altitudes, by sending an expedition of mountaineers into the Himalayas with Platinum fountain pens.

Subsequently, in order to produce a luxury fountain pen, Platinum succeeded in creating an 18-carat gold nib, after three years of trial and error. Until now, 14-carat gold was considered the optimal material for the nib. Reversing this conventional wisdom in the industry, Platinum created a pentagonal shaped nib to solve the problem of 18 carat gold being too soft and to take advantage of its elasticity. The brilliance of 18 carat gold reinforced the luxury image of fountain pens and these new models were gradually welcomed by customers.

In the mid-1970s, Platinum sought to create the ideal fountain pen model, which would be optimal for writing Japanese letters. This was achieved in 1978 with the “#3776”, whose name evokes the altitude of Mount Fuji, one of the great symbols of Japan. This model will be improved in 2011 in several aspects, notably the integration of a sort of internal plastic cap with a spring, which prevents the nib from drying out for a period of 2 years. This revolutionary and completely new system is called “Slip & Seal” and the new model is re-launched as “#3776 CENTURY”.

In 2010, a new series of fountain pens is launched for the first time in 16 years. This unique, high-end “Izumo” series illustrates Japan’s wonderful traditional crafts, distinctive materials (such as urushi lacquer) and cultures to protect.

Platinum celebrated its centenary in 2019. Its longevity is due not only to the exceptional quality of its products, but also to the respect of its beliefs, which are reflected in its craftsmanship: “Customers’ pleasure is our delight” and “Our mission is to bring the near future closer to the customers“.

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