Ohto Poche

Sometimes gems turn up on Massdrop: established brands for a steal, or things that I would not otherwise have known of. My first experience with them was for the Pilot Metro, and this was another:

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This definitely qualifies as adorable.

Ohto is a Japanese brand with innovative designs and pens to fit a budget. I gave this a go because I wanted a pocket-sized pen without having to bring my Waterman around. Its distinguishing feature is the way it’s designed to post: 

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It almost doubles in length.

The barrel is very slim and the rings on the end stop the cap from slipping over the whole pen. This way, the pen becomes longer than every other pen I own, while still being fairly light. Herein lies the only issue I have with this pen, though: posted this way, it is a little back-weighted, but that might also be due to the fact that I hold this pen extremely close to the nib. The centre of mass lies just behind the contact point in the crook of my hand, causing the pen to feel like it wants to tip away from the paper. (As a consequence, I actually use this pen unposted.)

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An extremely compact build.

This pen comes in four parts: cap, nib+barrel, cartridge, and end cap. It will only take cartridges, and the cartridge is kept in place by the end cap. The barrel has a matte finish that stops it being slippery to the grip, and the clip on the cap is tight enough not to slip off a pocket, although I do just tend to put the whole pen in the pocket instead of using the clip. There’s even a decorative jewel as a finial, which adds a little more sparkle to an already very sleek pen (refer to the picture at the top of this post).

The unmarked nib is firm, with some very tasteful scrollwork, and it writes at a Western EF. In my pen list I have marked this down as “Japanese fine”, which is probably accurate. I have not tried to swap out the nib because of how well it works, though I imagine that would be quite easy to do. Here is a writing sample:

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No flex at all, sorry!

The “OHTO Poche” in the sample above is an imitation of the little logo on the pen cap. And with a pen as small as this, one can do a few tricks with it…

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