Like the better-known Tasche, the Rook is a modern example of the almost-vanished Japanese “pocket” pen, which is sometimes called a “long-short”. One is tempted to call it a variation on the theme of the Tasche, as their model numbers are very similar: the Tasche is FF-10T, while the Rook is FF-10RO.
It is a somewhat less successful expression of the form, probably because of its attempt at greater aesthetic interest. The rounded contours are quite nice to look at, and can be said to sit in the hand somewhat better, but the cap does not post as reliably as in the Tasche because it is a pure friction-fit of the tiny barrel into the complimentary contour of the cap. Since posting is central to the successful operation of the pen by almost anyone in the normal range of human hand-size, this weakness is a serious drawback. In casual use, the cap usually doesn’t work its way free, but it’s not the sort of pen I’d envision writing a long letter with. Getting the cap off can also be troublesome; there’s an extremely grabby clutch of some sort which clings fiercely to the section when the pen is in carriage, and the little nub of barrel is hard to get enough purchase on to free the pen for use.
That aside, the writing performance of the same pleasant adequacy as the Tasche– nothing to rave about, but nothing calling for criticism. It’s a nice little pen for keeping about for jotting notes or striking items off the grocery list.
Production Run: Unknown start. Summer of 2016 finds it missing from the company site, so it may have been withdrawn.
Cost When New: ¥1000.
Size: 9.4 cm long capped, 14.3 cm posted, 8.6 cm uncapped.
Filler: Cartridge , capacity approx. 0.6 ml (international short).
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