Zen in red


I’ve been babysitting this pen for a while when I realized that I’ve not written a word about it. Shame on me.

Leigh snagged this Nakaya early last year  and when she had to de-clutter her stash, she asked me to hang on to it until she was sure that she wanted to sell it. (Yes,  I love the favors I do for my friends.)

The Long Piccolo is one of her favorite shapes and I quickly discovered why. An Aesthetic Bay exclusive, it is a sizeable pen and unlike the stubby seminal model that spawned it, the Long offers enough for my chubby mitts to hold. It’s about the size of a Pelikan M10xx but weighs about as much as a trusty Vac. Whatever pushed FK Tan to commission this model from Nakaya, I am glad he boldly asked what others would not.


Some Nakayas look good in either Writer or Cigar trim. The standard Piccolo is one such model but I am convinced that its longer brother is deigned to remain clipless. I’ve seen and handled  its clipped counterparts and they don’t seem as…right. This one is sharpest when its form is kept pure.

Aka tamenuri is not a bashful hue. The red urushi lacquer has enchanting depth and glows smugly in even dim light. The tone lightens at the edges of both cap and barrel, and the signature peaked tips make tassies and finials unnecessary. It neither has nor needs metal trim to be elegant. Very Zen. Very Nakaya.


The nib is a monotone yellow gold Soft Fine. In no way is it an all-out flex nib but it will charm you with enough line variation if you get to know it a little better. Flow is ample for what it is designed for. Treat it as a Spencerian tip and you will be laying railroad tracks all the way back to Tokyo. Keep to its limits and you will be surprised at how effortlessly it’ll shake its moneymaker. I like it for both quick scribbles and more deliberate writing.

Each Nakaya is made and finished by hand. The finishes they apply take months and even years to cure. With demand outpacing supply, long and painful waits form part of the ownership experience. Luckily,  Aesthetic Bay usually has a decent stock of Long Piccolos and unless you want an exotic finish like sumikoraden or more intricate maki-e,   you can have your pen in the post within a day or two.

Already, I can see your credit card wincing.