Pilot’s Pen Doctor Mr. Atsushi Takizawa is here in Singapore for a 3-day fountain pen clinic. I dropped by Aesthetic Bay yesterday for my slot with Mr. Takizawa. He had neatly organised plastic boxes of work tools all stacked cleanly on the table. I handed him my Pilot Murex. I had found the ink flow was a little dry. He took a look through the loupe, flushed the pen and cleaned the pen using the ultrasonic cleaner. He offered me a choice of ink between Pilot Blue, Black and Blue Black. I went with Pilot Blue. With his steady hands, he adjusted the nib by running over micro-mesh. He constantly checking his work by running the pen over paper and looking through the loupe.
I handed him my Pilot Myu 701, I had only wanted a deep cleaning session for the pen because Pilot has specialised tools to remove the feed from the pen. Mr. Takizawa found the nib has a different curvature than was normal. I suspected the previous owner has attempted to make the nib wetter. He disassembled the pen fully. The Myu 701 like the Murex took a bath in the ultrasonic cleaner and emerged from the adjustments a different pen. The nib wrote dryer than before, just what I needed as a lefty. Mr. Takizawa has reset my pens to their factory settings. Many others have had their pens worked on by him over the 3 day pen clinic in Singapore. I am glad that we get to enjoy Pilot’s Pen Doctor Mr. Takizawa’s services here in Singapore.
I was also honoured with a chance to do an interview with Mr. Takizawa. My thanks to Pilot Singapore for providing me the opportunity.
How did you stepped onto the path of being a nib specialist?
When I started, I was in the design team where we make the mould of a fountain pen nib. However, I came to know about the job of a pen doctor and was invited to attend a workshop. Since then, I never looked back and became a nib specialist.
How does one get trained to be a nib specialist?
My predecessor taught me. Besides that, I also trained and learnt from daily work experience back when I was moulding fountain pen nibs.
Does your background in mould designing inform your work as a nib specialist? If so, how?
Yes. However the experience is not connected the pen doctor career. I was invited the chance to attend a workshop. After which, Pilot Japan offered me the job and I accepted it.
What is a typical day at work for a nib specialist?
I start work around 9 in the morning and start repairing and adjusting customer’s nibs. If the condition is too severe, we would send it back to the company and await for the instructions on how to service it.
What are challenges do you face when servicing fountain pens?
If a customer is not satisfied with my adjustment, I will try to continue to adjust until he/she is satisfied.
Pilot offers a wide range of speciality nibs, are there any common misconception regarding any of these speciality nibs?
There is a popular video on YouTube where a Pilot Falcon fountain pen is used to demonstrate calligraphy. The Falcon nib in the video has been modified and I would not encourage users to modify their nibs.
As calligraphy uses strong strokes, it is not suitable for the soft Falcon nib. Users who are looking to do calligraphy should consider the Pilot Elabo fountain pen as it has a harder nib that can withstand the stronger strokes.
Personally, I am a left handed user, how does that affect the way you approach adjusting the nib?
Generally, left handed writing on fountain pens causes poor ink flow. My job would be to adjust the nib to ensure there is good ink flow for my left-handed customers.
In your opinion, how does Pilot differ from other Japanese fountain pen manufacturers?
In my opinion, pen point is the most important part of fountain pen. The pen point used in Pilot fountain pens is the result of years of technological refinement.
In your experience, is there any difference in preferences between Japanese and Singaporean fountain pen users?
Singaporeans prefer exciting design and brand status as compared to Japanese. On the other hand, fountain pen users from both countries share a common focus on writing experience.
What is your favourite Pilot pen, nib and ink combination?
My favourite Pilot pen is the (Pilot Vanishing Point) Capless Broad nib and (Pilot) Iroshizuku Ama Iro ink.
Check out Inky Passion’s interview with Mr. Takizawa.