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PILOT Elite Steel


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7 replies to this topic

#1 Doug C

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 00:14

Background:

About a year ago, I spent a little time reading MYU's wonderful reviews of the Japanese long/short pens. At this point, everyone knows about the reissue of the Pilot M90, originally also called the MYU (hmmm?).

I had been intrigued by these pens due to their peculiar dimensions, and immediately bought a steel nib Platinum version. This is a great little pen, but does not accept a converter. I kept looking, and eventually bought a standard Pilot Elite.
I like it a lot (there is something intoxicating about the short/long design ethic), but still wanted one of the steel versions.

I got one today.

Design:

Once you try one of these pens, you'll wonder why the big three Japanese makers aren't still making them. They have a great balance, and the feel of the pen body sliding into the cap is a great sensation.

Shown with my Danitrio Mae West and my Visconti Divina from our own Bryant.




Filling System:

Nothing much here, just the standard con20 converter. It does work well though.

Nib:

An inlaid 18k white gold nib, similar, if not identical to the one used by the current Namiki Sterling Silver models. For a fine nib, it is very rich in its flow, and feels like it is halfway between a standard Japanese fine and a medium.
Very nice...




Conclusion:

What a bargain. I got this pen from JP Pens on Ebay for about $50. It is circa 1978, and other than a few scratches, the biggest issue is that the clip is a little loose (let me know if anyone knows how to fix this).
It just became one of my (many) favorite pens.


Edited by Doug C, 14 May 2009 - 01:44.

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#2 MYU

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 05:11

Doug, thanks for sharing your impressions on the Pilot Elite, and I'm glad to see that you're pleased with the pen. $50 is a very good price for a used one. That nib is the real hidden treasure of the pen. It's so successful that Namiki does indeed feature it in their modern day Silvern series. It is basically still the same nib.

I find this crosshatch steel pattern one of the most masculine and tasteful ever made by the Japanese pen makers, and the feel of it is great (excellent grip and yet subtle to the touch). It reminds me of a tall windowed skyscraper. There's a black bodied version with steel cap, but the full steel one is definitely my preference. The pen weight is "just right" too. I couldn't resist and had to get 3 nib sizes (F, M, cool.gif. smile.gif

Regarding the clip, I've not tried to disassemble the cap on these. It doesn't look like the top end unscrews (unlike the Custom). I suspect that the cap liner probably needs to be pulled to replace the spring. You might want to toss a question about it in the Repair Q&A section.

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#3 Doug C

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 14:26

Thanks for the tip.
A slightly stronger clip would make this pen perfect. Right now the spring is weak enough that I would be afraid it would slip out if I bent over.

This actually took $50 out of my Danitrio Fellowship fund, but it was more than worth it.

Again, I would really love to see one of the modern makers (Danitrio for example) try their hand at a modern version of the long/short (short/long)..
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#4 greencobra

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 14:27

QUOTE (Doug C @ May 13 2009, 08:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I had been intrigued by these pens due to their peculiar dimensions

I like it a lot (there is something intoxicating about the short/long design ethic)


Yeah, me too. I want to scoop one of those 90s if for nothing more than to just look at every so often. Of course I'll wait so long they'll dry up and I'll have to go to the secondary market. headsmack.gif

Thanks for the review.

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#5 merzig

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 14:44

This style of Elite is definitely a great pen. It's been on my wish list from the moment I joined the board. I bought one recently from a fellow board member and I'm really enamored with it. I paid a similar price, ca. $50.

I've been surprised and really excited by the subtle flex in the nib. There is a perceptible change in line width depending on the writing pressure. Such a pleasing feel on the page.
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#6 MYU

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 18:08

Greencobra, you'll likely find the M90 available for a long time. Because you have to remember that not everyone will hang onto theirs for the rest of their lives. You will see used ones from time to time in the future. New ones are still selling quite well, with the average closing price about $140. But the demand has slacked enough that once in a while one sells on the cheap (recent eBay history shows one going for $109 before shipping).

But the M90 is quite a bit different from a Pilot Elite pocket pen. The Elite doesn't have the ease of posting that the M90 does. Although the M90 nib is smooth, I'd have to say the Elite white gold 18kt nib is better overall (it has some spring to it that is lacking in the stiff integral nib of the M90).

Still... they often say here on FPN--buy both! wink.gif

Edited by MYU, 14 May 2009 - 18:10.

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#7 RoyalKooparillo

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 18:29

Thanks for the review! I love these Elites. They are so classy...I've had one on my wish list for a while. I'm very fond of the silver and black offerings from Pilot. I recently pulled the trigger on a Black Stripe Custom (thanks for the advice, MYU!), and IMO the black and steel Elites share the same qualities that drew me to the Custom. Perfect for business, elegant enough to carry in a tuxedo, and rugged enough for the daily grind. My kind of pen!

#8 John Cullen

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 18:43

Thanks for the nice review and great photos. I love the look of that Visconti!!!! WOW.

But you must have been reading my mind because I have been looking at those Pilot Elites on ebay over the last month or so and trying to figure out if I dared take a chance.

So glad it worked out. I did buy one of the M90's and it is super smooth. Sounds like the Elite is.......well.....elite.


J






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