Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Platinum Hayakawa Mechanical Pencil M-10000B

pentel mechanica mechanical pencil

Platinum Hayakawa M-10000B Mechanical Pencil

You may have read of my recent escapade with the pencil sirens. Well I escaped from beneath their heel with my Mechanica bounty, but my mechanical pencil odyssey wasn’t over. I soon foundered on the fabled Isles of Bundoki where no sooner had I stumbled ashore than I fell easy prey to the charms and delights of a new set of exotic sirens.

I am sure that many of you will be familiar with the story of Tokuji Hayakawa, the founder of the leading electronics company Sharp Corporation, and father of the mechanical pencil industry in Japan. His success can be measured by the fact that in Japan, the name for a mechanical pencil is, a ‘sharp’. Sharp Corporation are no longer involved in the mechanical pencil industry, but Platinum Pen of Japan recently created a tribute pencil to Tokuji Hayakawa. I first read of this pencil on Pencil Talk, and in my siren trance, with it there staring me in the face, I could resist no longer. Now, Platinum’s original tribute pencil was a limited edition (M-10000A?) as shown on Pencil Talk, whereas mine is the follow up M-10000B limited edition - 10,000 pieces at JPY 10,000 recommended retail price. I have read there is a companion ballpoint pen, and that the 10,000 pieces is the combined total of mechanical pencil and ballpoint pens.

There is a metallic finish cardboard outer which protects the simple but impressive wooden display case. The wooden case is uncoated, but sanded smooth. The two halves fit tightly together.
hayakawa in display case

Instructions – it’s all Greek to me - but at least I can read the pictures.
platinum hayakawa instruction sheet

Sterling silver plated brass body. The body is decorated with a chevron type pattern. A modern repetition of an old style.
hayakawa mechanical pencil

It feels fairly substantial in the hand - the chevrons and lines encourage your fingers to move around. Exploring, as it were.
chevron pattern

Decorated capital on the head of the column.
decoration on top cap

The 0.5mm lead is advanced by a standard twist top ratchet mechanism. You twist the top cap to activate. A new twist on an old idea? Eraser beneath the top cap. Lead magazine beneath the eraser.
showing eraser and lead refills

These old style pocket clips are never my favourite, but at least this one maintains some staunch square dignity rather than being pathetically spatulate.
pocket clip

The only markings on the pencil are “P Platinum Japan 0.5”

Now Helen might have been the face that launched a thousand ships, but on my package full of Bundoki treasure there was a good old fashioned ink-stamp, the stamp that launched a…debate with a sockpuppet? It was good to see the stamp in real life.
fragile stamp

Some other bounty, treasure, flotsam and jetsam from the Isles of Bundoki and
other purchases

Well, I think my odyssey is finally over. It’s going to take me (and my pencil budget) quite some time to recover from it all. I’m just glad it didn’t finish with me waking up on the floor, looking in the mirror and seeing something like this tattooed on my forehead.
thanks for shopping label


Henrik said...

Well with sirens like those, even I would go astray. Congratulations to a wonderful, rare “once in a life time item”. The sort I would fall for indeed.
Yes, the shores of Bundoki are indeed dangerous. Glad you made it back to Ithaca – and it didn’t take you 10 years. Your Penelope must have received you with open arms….

I can see that we have quite some interesting reviews in stall.

B2-kun said...

Nice stash! good thing I can't shop at the Bundoki shores. Would be hard to resist the allure of so many sirens beckoning.

Anonymous said...

Recently ogling Bundoki feverously was what prompted my probably very offhand sounding comment about the yard-o-led with a built in measuring stick. I love how they pose and combine their products in the photos, very appetising and pretty.


Glassjaw said...

So thats a tribute to Hayakawa's Ever-Ready Sharp
? It also looks an awful lot like the Keeran's Eversharp mechanical pencil as well.

Stephen said...

Dave, thank you for the links. Though structurally the same, I found the two pencils to vary considerably in terms of finish. I wonder if there will be more releases, forming a "series"?

Glassjaw, you may want to see this article, which discusses the history of both the Hayakawa and Keeran pencils:

Kiwi-d said...

Hi Stephen. Yes, decoratively they are quite different. I get the impression the A series looks like Hayakawa's original, but they made dozens of styles and designs and this B series is no doubt similar to another one.

Glassjaw - yes I agree, but many (most) pencils from those days pretty much "all look the same".

Glassjaw said...

Did people take ideas off of others designs, or did they all happen to make a similiar looking pencil and, in Keeran/Hayakawa's case, similiar names.

Kiwi-d said...

Hi Glassjaw - I don't think any of this is all that well documented, and its obscured by time...but I'm under the impression the Keeran/Hayakawa name similarity is coincidence. As for copying designs I tend to think they all just sort of influenced each other like we see with vehicles, clothing, etc.

Time Waster said...

Angelic pretty those they call those Japanese girls =)

Kiwi-d said...

@Henrik - It would seem Penelope has learned her lesson, for she has gone away again...but I cannot locate my credit card :-)

Henrik said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henrik said...

:) LOL Well, Läertiadés, maybe Penelope objected to the killing of her wooers?

Anonymous said...

Hey could you do another awesome review on the Zebra Frisha one day if you have or will get the pencil.

Louis said...

Hi Dave!

I want this pencil! So you bought this at

Kiwi-d said...

Louis, yes I did.

2nd_astronaut said...

I bought an M-10000A, but it is an advertising gift from Sharp corporation. So the box is little different and with Sharp written on the front. Inside is a card explaining that the pencil replicates Sharp's first pencil. Nowhere Platinum is mentioned (on the pencil there is only "Japan 05" instead of "Platinum Japan 05". Besides of that, it looks identical to the photos on penciltalk. So I guess Platinum produced a customized version for Sharp.

Louis said...


How do you guys like the twist-mechanism? Do you recommend this pencil to someone who writes a lot?

Kiwi-d said...

Louis - I'm not sure I'd recommend this pencil as an everyday workhorse for constant use.