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The Pilot " Custom", A Marvel Of Japanese Mass Pen Manufacture.

pilot custom fk-700r-b-b

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#1 hari317

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 12:57

The Pilot Custom lineup today starts with the model FK-700R-B at the bottom. Pilot calls this pen just the "Custom", no suffixing numbers. The pen is available in black plastic with golden trims. 4 nib grades are available, EF-F-M and B. This review deals with the B example. Thus the complete model number/ordering code of this pen becomes FK-700R-B-B.

 

The pen came to me in this simple flip up pilot box (Z-CR-EN).

 

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The pen will arrive sealed in a poly sleeve with the hangtag on the clip. I have been using this pen for while and removed the tag etc. but i show them here for the sake of documentation. No converter was included, the Con-20 is compatible, but has to be purchased separately. One black cartridge and instruction leaflet for the pen were provided.

 

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The tag:

 

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Moving on to the pen. It is slim, cylindrical and has a quiet elegance. It will likely not catch much attention when carried clipped to one's shirt pocket. It is a top quality pen in my view, despite the low asking price, that is the achievement of Pilot and a triumph of their mass production techniques.

 

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The cap is press fit type unlike the rest of the pens in the present Custom lineup. The cap engagement is precise with an audible click.

 

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The clip details: A strip of black lacquer runs down the middle. The name CUSTOM is stamped at the end of the clip itself:

 

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The clip and the printed Pilot on the cap lip are not perfectly aligned on my example, that is the only error that i could find on my pen.

 

The cap says Japan at the back:

 

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Side profile of the clip, simple, but provides good tension:

 

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The clip button is attached to the flat clip bar at just two points, very nicely done spot welding:

 

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Closeup of the cap imprints:

 

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The Nib: Open Flared nib, plain, unadorned without any scroll work etc. The nib is soft and responsive, no flex however. The nib looks very similar to the nib found on the 78G, NSF pen (Non Self Filling), Pilot MR etc. However this nib is flat in cross section where as the steel counterparts are rounded in cross section, there is a profile difference. 

 

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Hallmark of a well made gold nib, see how the gold sheet is thick towards the tip and thins down towards the section, yielding a good friction fit in section.

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The section threads:

 

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Some comparison pictures:

 

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L-R: Custom 74, Custom, Pilot NSF pen(quite old, notice the old style sticker), 78G

 

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The nibs:

 

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L-R: 78G, NSF, Custom, Custom 74

 

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Feeders:

 

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Some writing samples:

 

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Performance: The nib needed no adjustment. the slit was perfectly gapped, amazing performance. The B is a nice smooth juicy writer.

 

Cost: Pilot has priced this gem of a pen at just 7000JPY plus 8% tax. With some discounts and adding shipping and import duties to it, I was able to buy this pen from sellers based in Japan at a landed price of 5980JPY which roughly translates to INR 3700/- or USD60. I think it is a remarkable achievement of Pilot and their engineering to offer such a nice pen with a gold nib at the 60USD price point. Nothing short of a marvel in my book.

 

Cheers!

Hari

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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#2 Mags

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 13:11

Great photo essay/review.  Thanks for sharing.


Rob Maguire (Plse call me "M or Mags" like my friends do...)I use a Tablet, Apple Pencil and a fountain pen. Targas, Sailor, MB, Visconti all wonderful.

#3 ink-syringe

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 13:16

Lovely. Nice write up.

 

Jetpens has these for $115.  </sad_face>

 

Where did you get yours?


Looking for a cap for a Sheaffer Touchdown Sentinel Deluxe Fat version

 

#4 PrestoTenebroso

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 13:20

Gee wiz, that is a marvel. Can you tell me where you purchased that beauty too?



#5 Art

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 13:41

That's a great looking pen and a nice "review". I wouldn't mind giving one a try as I have a few Pilots and like them very much.



#6 hari317

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 15:14

Great photo essay/review.  Thanks for sharing.

Thank you Mags.

 

Lovely. Nice write up.

 

Jetpens has these for $115.  </sad_face>

 

Where did you get yours?

thanks!

 

Gee wiz, that is a marvel. Can you tell me where you purchased that beauty too?

Thanks! I bought from a seller in Japan. A cursory search on amazon.com has these pens listed for 10USD more than what I paid. Also the pen is available on Rakuten.com

 

That's a great looking pen and a nice "review". I wouldn't mind giving one a try as I have a few Pilots and like them very much.

 

That's good to know. :)


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#7 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 15:30

very neat and elegant pen :thumbup: thanks for sharing


Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time

#8 hari317

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 16:57

Thank you Georges.


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#9 jrobert6

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 01:50

Thanks for the terrifically detailed and thoughtful review. I love knowing that such a pen can be had at such a nice price! I'll be in Japan this fall, and will look for this one to add to my rotation.



#10 ArtsNibs

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 02:29

Excellent review! That feed looks very much like the one on the Metropolitans, I bet they're interchangeable [mad scientist chuckles]..
@arts_nibs

#11 Algester

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 03:35

Thanks for the terrifically detailed and thoughtful review. I love knowing that such a pen can be had at such a nice price! I'll be in Japan this fall, and will look for this one to add to my rotation.

we still dont know how they do it but both Platinum and Pilot has gold nibs for what we know should be expensive but hey 50-70 USD gold nib pens... what could you ask for...



#12 shrujaya

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 04:56

Hari, that is a fine detailed and incisive review...and lovely tempting photographs as usual...I like the no-nonsense, but meticulous approach that the makers have towards this pen...understated but effective...your review brings this up in the same understated but effective manner...good job, Hari...

 

Would this pen be available in F nib?  

 

Enjoy

 

Jai


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#13 xxxxx

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 07:13

Excellent review! That feed looks very much like the one on the Metropolitans, I bet they're interchangeable [mad scientist chuckles]..

 

Yes, it looks like it should be interchangeable, but it's not -- unfortunately.

 

As Hari notes in his review, the Custom's nib and its feed have a flattened top, and so require a shaped section hole.  It just won't work in a Metro's round section hole.

 

-- Constance



#14 maverink

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 07:35

nice review hari love the sharp pics and your commentary i have a red one  with  same bold nib bought for  USD65  including shipping a real steal

i also got the pilot rex/colemo  which retails at 4000 yen+8%tax+10usd shipping itsthe  lil brother of this pen in a black with fine nib which also sports a 14k nib and  is a smooth writer.

pilot makes quality stuff at a competitive price.


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#15 Algester

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 07:37

Hari, that is a fine detailed and incisive review...and lovely tempting photographs as usual...I like the no-nonsense, but meticulous approach that the makers have towards this pen...understated but effective...your review brings this up in the same understated but effective manner...good job, Hari...

 

Would this pen be available in F nib?  

 

Enjoy

 

Jai

yes F M B are the nib choices



#16 hari317

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 07:42

Thanks for the terrifically detailed and thoughtful review. I love knowing that such a pen can be had at such a nice price! I'll be in Japan this fall, and will look for this one to add to my rotation.

I think the pen should be easily available in Japan, seems to be a popular model there from my reading of various Japanese articles.

 

Excellent review! That feed looks very much like the one on the Metropolitans, I bet they're interchangeable [mad scientist chuckles]..

thanks!

 

we still dont know how they do it but both Platinum and Pilot has gold nibs for what we know should be expensive but hey 50-70 USD gold nib pens... what could you ask for...

 

the wonder of good QC and mass production.

 

Hari, that is a fine detailed and incisive review...and lovely tempting photographs as usual...I like the no-nonsense, but meticulous approach that the makers have towards this pen...understated but effective...your review brings this up in the same understated but effective manner...good job, Hari...

 

Would this pen be available in F nib?  

 

Enjoy

 

Jai

Thanks Jai. Yes F is a nib choice.

 

 

Yes, it looks like it should be interchangeable, but it's not -- unfortunately.

 

As Hari notes in his review, the Custom's nib and its feed have a flattened top, and so require a shaped section hole.  It just won't work in a Metro's round section hole.

 

-- Constance

 

Thanks for confirming that Constance.

 

nice review hari love the sharp pics and your commentary i have a red one  with  same bold nib bought for  USD65  including shipping a real steal

i also got the pilot rex/colemo  which retails at 4000 yen+8%tax+10usd shipping itsthe  lil brother of this pen in a black with fine nib which also sports a 14k nib and  is a smooth writer.

pilot makes quality stuff at a competitive price.

 

Thank you. I had no idea that a red custom was available. They don't show it even on the Pilot website. Would love to see a picture of your red custom.

 

I do have the 14k nib Celemo in Red as well as Black. Lovely pens, I will be reviewing them in the next few weeks.

 

Best

Hari


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#17 Kuhataparunks

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 17:17

So sad... The nib and feed can fit in a Metro, 78G, Prera, and a few more. I wish just the nib an feed could be bought individually

#18 Uncial

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 12:37

I might have been seriously unlucky, but any Pilot I have bought with an F or EF nib has been horrifically scratchy. I have a number with B nibs and they are butter smooth and a real pleasure to write with. I did wonder if the Ef and F nibs have a tendency to be scratchy, but haven't heard anyone complain about it on here.



#19 Algester

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 18:13

I might have been seriously unlucky, but any Pilot I have bought with an F or EF nib has been horrifically scratchy. I have a number with B nibs and they are butter smooth and a real pleasure to write with. I did wonder if the Ef and F nibs have a tendency to be scratchy, but haven't heard anyone complain about it on here.

I tried the F nib on a CH 91 not that scratchy but hard as a nail... I suggest get the soft versions



#20 sannidh

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 05:30

Thanks for the excellent review Hari. I was wondering what is the "custom" model number :) and what's with the 'no-fuss' traditional pilot nib which is again 14k! till I went through your post.

 

I saw it here-

http://www.ebay.com/...=item2a40ba92de


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