Nakaya Long Cigar Kuro-tamenuri

I’ve been lusting for Nakaya Decapod Heki-temenuri for years. As it’s well beyond my price range, I’ll probably crave for it for the next few years. You can’t always get what you want but sometimes nice things come your way. This Nakaya was sent to me to try by a fellow FPN-er. I had a chance to write with some Nakayas before – during polish fountain pen afficionados meetings and enjoyed the experience. I can understand that some people may consider Nakaya to be overhyped brand (and they’re probably right) but for me their designs are perfect. I find these pens elegant and eye-catching.




The pen I received is Long Cigar Kuro-tamenuri. “Tame” means “pool” and “nuri” refers to the lacquer coating process. It’s really possible to see through the layers of clear urushi lacquer and that is supposed to make you feel as if you were looking into a pool. Wajima artists use “shu urushi” (red color) for the base urushi on the barrel, and “shu-ai-urushi” (semi-transparent brown color ) for the finish coats. The black color is mixed in shu-ai-urushi for Kurotame-nuri. When the process is finished, you can still see the base surface of red urushi.




This pen looks stunning – shape, size and the feel in the hand are perfect. It’s big pen and that’s perfect – I prefer big fountain pens to small ones. The Cigar has a round body, tapers slightly to the smoothly rounded ends. Also there’s no clip and I think that most Nakaya designs work better without a clip – nothing spoils elegant and minimalistic lines.

Cigar is made from some good quality ebonite – the barrel and cap feel thick and beefy. The cap is round and smooth, ending in a fairly thin lip. Slightly indented section that ends in a ridge just before the nib looks very nice and sits comfortably in the hand. The step from the body to cap threads to grip is gradual, and doesn’t really get in the way. A variety of grips can be used without discomfort.




I expected to be amazed by this nib. Surprisingly I’m disappointed. I simply don’t like the springy feel this nib give. Usually I enjoy springiness but that’s not the case here. I think others might enjoy it but this nib wasn’t made for me.

I believe Nakaya is the only modern pen brand that offers a wide range of elastic nibs. Most of them are made elastic by some nib shoulder cutouts. The feed does its work well and is able to keep up with the ink flow needed for a semi-flex nib.

Filling system


This pen is  a cartridge/converter pen. It uses Platinum cartridges and converters. The pen comes with a single converter.



(Black company: Nakaya, Przemysław Marciński Perun, Visconti Opera, Lamy 2000)

Weight: 25.0g
Length: 166 mm
Max diameter 15 mm


Contrary to common belief this pen isn’t a museum piece made to be kept in cabinet. In a way it’s a piece of art, I agree, but it writes well and feels too good in the hand not to be used. This pen -as any other Nakaya – will make you undestand why Nakaya’s are so revered. The warmth of the barrel, elegant shape, perfect balance would make of it a great every-day pen. Sure, it would be every day pen you wouldn’t want to roll off the desk and the one you may have tendency to obsessively keep an eye on. As I dislike this particular nib my overall impression isn’t extatic but it still is positive.

But then there’s the price. Well, I do realise coating ebonite with urushi lacquer takes some time and the effect is really nice BUT price / what you get ratio is a little bit offf-balance. Let’s say it out loud – this pen is overpriced. I appreciate the craftsmanship but still I think that price close to 900 $ (with all modifications + taxes) is very high.


2 thoughts on “Nakaya Long Cigar Kuro-tamenuri

  1. This pen has been one of my grails too! Well Nakaya in general, I wanted a Nakaya to be one of my next big purchases. It is great to read this perspective, as I usually read glowing reviews. Great photography and review as usual! ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

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