Nakaya Long Piccolo, hairline finish, 2-tone music nib.

It’s been 3 years since my first Nakaya. What an adventure in beauty it has been! I have always admired artists who are able to direct the lightning of their ideas through their fingertips. Nakaya’s pens are truly ideas solidified into fountain pen form. They could just as well be watches, or cutlery, or trousers – but all constructed with care around an idea.

Nakaya introduced the hairline finish last year, and intend to make it a regular offering. What was once liquid-shiny urushi is now matte and eats light like velvet. I was happy to find it in the Long Piccolo version, and had the ruthenium clip replaced with an emerald-eyed snake.

Nakaya Long Piccolo, hairline finish

The snake isn’t a clip, strictly speaking, but a roll stopper.


As always, the craftsmanship is impeccable. The snake’s details are meticulously rendered, and the emerald eyes provide just the right exotic touch. The contrast between the silver and the hairline finish is lovely. I keep staring at the pen while I write with it.

Urushi's different moods

From left to right, high-shine urushi in heki-tame; stone mimicry in the ishi-me kan-shitsu finish; and hairline. It is both a technical and artistic accomplishment of the highest degree to obtain such different textures from basically a single material.

Nakaya two-tone music nib

I opted for a two-tone music nib. The line is slightly finer than Platinum’s.

Nakaya music nib writing sample

The most artful-looking pen can turn into an ugly monster if it writes badly. I’m happy to report that’s not the case at all with this pen. The music nib lays down a voluptuous line, and glides over paper. Thanks to Aesthetic Bay for the opportunity to add another Nakaya to my collection. Now if only they made multi-pen kimonos…