Jump to content

The Fountain Pen Network uses (functional) cookies. Read the FPN Privacy Policy for more info.  To remove this message, please click here to accept the use of cookies


Registration on the Fountain Pen Network

Dearest Visitor of the little Fountain Pen Nut house on the digital prairie,

Due to the enormous influx of spammers, it is no longer possible to handle valditions in the traditional way. For registrations we therefore kindly and respectfully request you to send an email with your request to our especially created email address. This email address is register at fountainpennetwork dot com. Please include your desired user name, and after validation we will send you a return email containing the validation key, normally wiithin a week.

Thank you very much in advance!
The FPN Admin Team






Photo

Review: Pilot Grance, Sterling Silver


  • Please log in to reply
35 replies to this topic

#1 hari317

hari317

    Classic

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 14,850 posts
  • Location:Mumbai, INDIA
  • Flag:

Posted 10 May 2009 - 07:14

Introduction:

I first noticed this pen for sale at Engeika’s ebay shop in February. The longer I looked at it, the more certain I became that I wanted this pen. At that point I had just paid for a major pen purchase so I decided to just watch the auction at that time. In April, when Engeika had listed this pen again, I decided to have it and was lucky enough to win the auction.

This pen is the Pilot Grance full Sterling Silver model: FG-3MS-SB; the straight lined version. I preferred the look of this straight fluted body design over the barley corn design variant. I had won the pen with a Medium nib, however prior to bidding I had asked Engeika if he would be able send a Broad nibbed version and true to his promise he procured the B nib pen and sent it. The pen’s journey from Japan to Mumbai was not as smooth with the Indian Customs holding the pen for over a week. However I was lucky enough to be let off with a very minor customs duty.

First Impressions:

The pen came packaged in the standard plastic Pilot pen case. The pen was sealed in a polythene wrapper with a hang tag on the clip as is the usual practice with Pilot pens. I felt neutral about the pen, but when I cut open the wrapper and pulled the pen out, the true lustre of the pen began to show. The polished and fluted sterling silver barrel and cap reflect light in a very attractive way. I am not very good in describing the design of the pen, however I have taken some snaps which I hope will help convey its beauty.





The pen has no markings anywhere on the body of the pen except at the clip jewel where the silver content is mentioned.



I carefully uncapped the pen to reveal the small, but correct in proportion, size 3 Pilot nib. This 18Kt, 2 tone nib is fairly ordinary looking, however its two tone plating matches the golden trim on the silver pen. I decided to immediately ink up the pen using the attached CON-20 squeeze converter. I used Pilot Blue Black for the first fill of this pen.





The Nib and writing experience:

I had never tried B nibs before and I wanted a Broad writing tip with this pen to complement its looks. Generally Pilot nib sizes run one size smaller than their western counterparts, but people in other threads over here have mentioned Pilot B nibs being the exception and I find this to be true with this pen as well. This B writes probably as fat as any western B and the line produced is fatter than the line from my MB149 which has a juicy M nib.



The nib design as I mentioned earlier is plain and simple, no ornate engravings or scroll work here. The nib sports a different logo than usual and it would be nice if anyone can shed some light on it.



Now coming to the writing experience, the nib is butter smooth as is expected from a Pilot. The flow is even and the nib is tolerant to variations in angle, in short the nib has a very large sweet spot.

The nib has a hint of springiness and is definitely not a nail like firm nib, the nib gently curves down to the tip placing the tipping at the centre of the pen axis.



I rarely flush new pens out of the box and this time too I inked up the pen directly and am happy to report that the pen started up with no flow or skipping issues. A stellar performer out of the box!

The feeder even though plastic does its job very well, regardless of the material the thing that counts is who is making the feed, Pilot feeds have been outstanding so far in my experience with about 40 odd pilots.



Coming to the handling/ergonomics aspect, the cap is heavy and is a major component of the total weight of the pen. However posting and locking the cap(more on that later) yields a very comfortable and balanced feel and the added length helps.

Filling System:

This pen uses the trusty C/C filling system, taking either the CON20 or the CON50 converters. I usually prefer using the CON70 on my Pilot custom pens and refilled Pilot carts in my VP. But on this pen I went ahead and used the CON20 squeeze converter. I observe that this converter’s sac is of the opaque type which sometimes tends to swell up, however this has not happened to this pen yet (only Pelikan Black and Pilot B/B used with this pen till now).

The ink capacity is about 6 foolscap (legal) sized pages (26 lines per page) with the flow of this B point, for me it means I have to refill the pen daily.

Construction:

The pen is well built, is heavy (approx. 40 gms IIRC from the auction description). The pull cap clicks onto tabs on the clutch ring situated on the section-barrel union.



The threads on the section end as well as the barrel insert are metal and an O-ring is used on the section to prevent inadvertent unscrewing of the section.



The barrel end has a slight flare, this engages four tabs molded on the inside of the plastic inner cap to give a perfectly secure posting of the cap.



The gold plated steel clip is washer type with a ball end, it is fairly tight and very secure. However I have been carrying this pen in a leather case and not clipped to my shirt pocket as is my normal practice.



The silver finish has not started tarnishing yet, however given the salt breeze atmosphere of Mumbai , I anticipate it shall happen eventually. No cleaning cloth was provided with the pen so I will have to face the problem of cleaning it up when it arises.

Dimensions:

Capped: 5-3/8 inches
Uncapped: 4-7/8 inches
Posted: 5-5/8 inches
Section Diameter: 9.5 mm

Some size comparison shots with my Caran d’ Ache Ecridor retro.





Cost:

The pen cost me 245USD shipped plus 8USD customs fee. The msrp of this pen is 30,000JPY which is a little more than 300USD. I have no idea regarding the street price of this pen or whether I overpaid or got a decent deal, this was the lowest I could find online on ebay.

Conclusion:

I would recommend this pen for people who like medium sized sterling silver pens. This pen is heavy as it is and would be even heavier if made larger with the same quality of construction, so in many ways this is the optimum size. I am very happy with the purchase.














In case you wish to write to me, pls use ONLY email by clicking here. I do not check PMs. Thank you.

Sponsored Content

#2 Ondina

Ondina

    Donor Pen

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,924 posts

Posted 10 May 2009 - 08:32

This is one of the most extensive and accurate reviews I've seen here at the forum, Hari, takes a lot of effort, much appreciated. I understand this model has become very popular among students and budget users in Japan due to the price/quality of the product ( obviously in the non massive silver version). Nice one.

#3 HDoug

HDoug

    First Class Forever

  • FPN Super Moderators

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,824 posts
  • Location:Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
  • Flag:

Posted 10 May 2009 - 09:11

Thanks for the informative and enjoyable review -- and the great pics! I'm not familiar with this pen and find the review quite intriguing.

Doug

#4 Abhik

Abhik

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 504 posts
  • Location:Accra, Ghana;
  • Flag:

Posted 10 May 2009 - 10:00

Dear Hari, This is a wonderful review with very good quality pictures. Noble savage adopted a format of pen review which have been followed hitherto by most other forum members.
I find your (& few others like QM2, MYU etc.) way is refreshingly enjoyable, unbiased, precise and appreciable.
Enjoy your pen! Give us feed back after few more week's of use on tarnishing!
Cheers.
Abhik.

#5 georges zaslavsky

georges zaslavsky

    vintageandmodernpenslover

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12,078 posts
  • Location:France
  • Flag:

Posted 10 May 2009 - 10:57

this is a pilot pen that I like, nice nib and nice sterling overlay smile.gif congrats on the purchase.
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

#6 troglokev

troglokev

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,645 posts

Posted 10 May 2009 - 11:05

Thanks for a well thought-out review, Hari. And thanks, also, for your gracious comments on so many other folks' reviews.

#7 I am not a number

I am not a number

    Missing believed somewhere else.

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,973 posts
  • Location:Airstrip One

Posted 10 May 2009 - 11:07

Thanks Hari, that is one of the most informative reviews that I have seen in my time on FPN and you deserve congratulations for posting it! The photography is excellent (and special thanks for the manageable image sizes), I was particularly interested in the performance of the same ink in the different pens.
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of nothing at all...

#8 Immoteus

Immoteus

    Messias non est

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 849 posts
  • Location:Room 12A

Posted 10 May 2009 - 12:00

Thank you for the detailed review. I once had this pen but I eventually sold it because it was too thin. Although I am surprised by the date code (A1196) on the nib. Was the pen advertised as NOS?
Virtute enim ipsa non tam multi praediti esse quam videri volunt.

Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur.


Contact Information for Japanese Manufacturers

#9 GladWriter

GladWriter

    Sketching for Sanity?

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 145 posts
  • Location:Horse Country
  • Flag:

Posted 10 May 2009 - 12:42

What a wonderful review.

Thank you.

Did you try the pen in different writing positions? Near vertical, and lower? I don't have much experience with pilot nibs, but that nib looks like it might have three writing positions, or at least two.

I'm just curious.

Edited by GladWriter, 10 May 2009 - 12:42.

Gladwriter

Posted Image

#10 hari317

hari317

    Classic

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 14,850 posts
  • Location:Mumbai, INDIA
  • Flag:

Posted 10 May 2009 - 15:19

QUOTE (Ondina @ May 10 2009, 02:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This is one of the most extensive and accurate reviews I've seen here at the forum, Hari, takes a lot of effort, much appreciated.


Thanks Ondina! This is the first review that I wrote out long hand with the Grance, edited it and typed it out.

QUOTE (HDoug @ May 10 2009, 02:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm not familiar with this pen and find the review quite intriguing.


Thanks Doug!

QUOTE (Abhik @ May 10 2009, 03:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Give us feed back after few more week's of use on tarnishing!


Thank you Abhik, I will post some long term updates.

QUOTE (georges zaslavsky @ May 10 2009, 04:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
this is a pilot pen that I like, nice nib and nice sterling overlay smile.gif congrats on the purchase.


Thanks Georges! This pen does not have a distinct core, the pen and cap are made of solid silver, the section is plastic.

QUOTE (troglokev @ May 10 2009, 04:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks for a well thought-out review, Hari. And thanks, also, for your gracious comments on so many other folks' reviews.


Thanks! I have been inspired by some of the reviews here and recently Redrob's pinned review.

QUOTE (I am not a number @ May 10 2009, 04:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I was particularly interested in the performance of the same ink in the different pens.


Thank you IANAN! I wanted the writing sample to be sufficiently large to fit clearly in the frame and also so that the line width could be reckoned against the 1mm grid paper.

QUOTE (Immoteus @ May 10 2009, 05:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Although I am surprised by the date code (A1196) on the nib. Was the pen advertised as NOS?


I was eqully surpised, in fact I noticed the date code only when I was taking photos. The pen was not advertised as NOS, the pen is still in current production. Does anyone know if Pilot uses old stock nibs to fit to current production pens? Also is the logo on the nib only for the Grance series?

QUOTE (GladWriter @ May 10 2009, 06:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Did you try the pen in different writing positions? Near vertical, and lower? I don't have much experience with pilot nibs, but that nib looks like it might have three writing positions, or at least two.


Thanks for asking, I just tried out the nib at all angles of elevation, the nib makes the same even line at all angles from vertical to the point the section hits the paper.

Best,
Hari

In case you wish to write to me, pls use ONLY email by clicking here. I do not check PMs. Thank you.

#11 shrujaya

shrujaya

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 352 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 10 May 2009 - 15:44

Hari...Hi...nice, detailed, and tempting review...nothing much is left I presume, except to go out and buy one of these...I like the looks of the nib... handsome... my preference is fine or medium... I also liked the writing comparasion pics...

You have already written so many pages? and time for refill? good going...enjoy...

Jai
Writing and posting about fountain pens exclusively on www.jaisiri.blogspot.in ... recent posts on Hema Pens (Hyderabad), Haul at Majestic (Bangalore), and Asoka Pens (Tenali)...

#12 MYU

MYU

    ... The key to it all is Capillary Action! ...

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,647 posts
  • Location:On a cliff, looking at NYC
  • Flag:

Posted 10 May 2009 - 16:47

Great job, Hari. smile.gif Your reviews have progressed wonderfully--I wish most people created reviews like this. Nice attention to useful detail. Plenty of macro photos to illustrate your explanations. Pilot would be proud of the justice you did for their pen. thumbup.gif

[MYU's Pen Review Corner]   |   "The Common Ground" -- Jeffrey Small


#13 pen2paper

pen2paper

    arty o the irst art

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,951 posts

Posted 10 May 2009 - 16:53

yes, Great Review, & Pics Hari.. Thank You!
Now wondering if anyone has this pen in fine point?
see this is one of the medium nibs that no longer would suit my writing..
As to weight.. would this be as heavy as the Carene? similar size?


emoticon-animal-007.gif~Hi! fountain pen enthusiast here~


#14 MYU

MYU

    ... The key to it all is Capillary Action! ...

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,647 posts
  • Location:On a cliff, looking at NYC
  • Flag:

Posted 10 May 2009 - 17:01

Incidentally, I wonder if this pen can accept a CON-70 converter? From what I've heard the Custom 74 can. The connector port is the same size. The issue for pens like the VP is that the CON-70 is too wide and too long to fit. If this Grance can accommodate it, that would be a nice asset!

[MYU's Pen Review Corner]   |   "The Common Ground" -- Jeffrey Small


#15 hari317

hari317

    Classic

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 14,850 posts
  • Location:Mumbai, INDIA
  • Flag:

Posted 10 May 2009 - 17:21

QUOTE (shrujaya @ May 10 2009, 09:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You have already written so many pages? and time for refill? good going...enjoy...


Hi Jai, it was the experience of writing with the wonderful B nib on your capless that forced me to seek a B nib on this one. In fact I prefer the smaller ink capacity of this pen(compounded by the B nib), I get to refill and change inks often.

QUOTE (pen2paper @ May 10 2009, 10:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As to weight.. would this be as heavy as the Carene? similar size?


I wish I could answer that. I don't have a Carene to compare.

QUOTE (MYU @ May 10 2009, 10:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Incidentally, I wonder if this pen can accept a CON-70 converter?


That was the first thing I tried, the barrel is too narrow to accept it.

Best,
Hari

In case you wish to write to me, pls use ONLY email by clicking here. I do not check PMs. Thank you.

#16 GladWriter

GladWriter

    Sketching for Sanity?

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 145 posts
  • Location:Horse Country
  • Flag:

Posted 10 May 2009 - 22:04

QUOTE (hari317 @ May 10 2009, 11:19 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (GladWriter @ May 10 2009, 06:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Did you try the pen in different writing positions? Near vertical, and lower? I don't have much experience with pilot nibs, but that nib looks like it might have three writing positions, or at least two.


Thanks for asking, I just tried out the nib at all angles of elevation, the nib makes the same even line at all angles from vertical to the point the section hits the paper.

Best,
Hari



Thank you, that's interesting.
Gladwriter

Posted Image

#17 Lehnsherr

Lehnsherr

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 491 posts
  • Location:Singapore

Posted 11 May 2009 - 06:46

Great review. I had the normal grance and it was a great pen. This sterling silver variant is a dream!!!
Currently Using: Pelikan M805

#18 michael_s

michael_s

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 331 posts
  • Location:USA

Posted 21 August 2011 - 08:28

FYI there's a note on Pilot's web page that the Grance line will be discontinued. The replacement, called Grance NC, appears to have silver trim, a different clip, and the sterling silver model costs about 5000 yen more.

(Apologies in advance for resurrecting an old thread.)

-Mike

#19 hari317

hari317

    Classic

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 14,850 posts
  • Location:Mumbai, INDIA
  • Flag:

Posted 21 August 2011 - 09:37

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the heads up. I always wanted to buy the Barley corn variant as well. I see that the newer variant is not offered with the Broad nib, only F and M nibs.

Best
Hari
In case you wish to write to me, pls use ONLY email by clicking here. I do not check PMs. Thank you.

#20 rokurinpapa

rokurinpapa

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 426 posts
  • Location:Tokyo
  • Flag:

Posted 24 August 2011 - 16:46

Thank you for your very minute revview and very distinct pictures.
The nib is not big but I think it is not so small.

rokurinpapa






Sponsored Content




|