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Pilot Custom Legance


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16 replies to this topic

#1 Taki

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 21:48

I posted this on another forum and some of you might have read it already but thought I'd post it here, too.

A couple months ago I received a Pilot Custom Legance from Ujuku Shop in Japan. I am from Japan but I didn't really have any modern Japanese pens except Capless/VP. The biggest reason I have avoided Japanese pens despite their reputation for good nibs and the overall quality is the design. I don't care for Montblanc-ish look of many Japanese pens. Then I saw the re-designed Pilot Custom Legance (BTW it's in Custom series but that does not mean they are customized or customizable. It's just a name). I liked the marbled material and the flat top design. So I've decided to give it a try. Considering it's a c/c filler it's not cheap (MSRP=21,000 yen or $179+ at today's exchange rate) but most Japanese modern pens are c/c. Also Pilot prices Bamboo at exactly the same price.

When I saw it out of the box, I immediately like the marbled blue propionate resin (I've read it is Italian). It also comes in black, red and brown. I chose blue because I didn't have a blue pen. The pen is approximately 5&1/4"(13.5 cm) long capped, 4&3/4"(12 cm) long uncapped, and 6"(15.5 cm) posted. Without posting it feels very light because of its material (I usually don't post caps).
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I want to point out the "new" design of the clip. Often Pilot pens come with clip with a ball at the end, but this one is mostly flat, oblong pentagonal shape. To me it actually looks like vintage Pilot clip design, probably before WWII (I've only seen them in photos). I've been using it at work this week and kept it in my coat pocket, and the clip held onto the pocket very well. I also like the fact the trim and nib are silver-toned and do not look too flashy. I like silve-tone jewerly, too.
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You only have choice of F or M 14K nib with Legance. I guess B or broader nibs are not very popular in Japan since finer nibs are more practical in writing kanji. I've heard that in Japan if you really want to have a different nib than F or M you could have it swapped with another Pilot nib since it is fairly common number 5 nib (probably at cost and if they can find silver rhodium finish one, though). My Legance's nib is M. I wanted to try M since my Capless and decimo have F nibs. It is broader, but the width is similar to my Lamy CP1 with F nib. It feels firm and writes very smoothly. It doesn't have the 'bouncy' feeling I get from Capless nib. I don't mind that, though.
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My Legance came with a push-button convertor. I really like it because it's easy to fill and holds plenty of ink. It has a thin metal rod with a piece of small rubber that moves along the rod inside. I'm guessing this is for breaking the surface tension of the ink in the convertor so that ink flows freely. I wonder if it corrodes in the long run, but, hey, it works. I've filled it with Noodler's Blue, my favorite blue ink. It also has metal thread on the section that connects to the barrel, so probably not suitable for eye-dropper conversion, if anyone thought about it.

Overall I like my new pen very much because the design is distinctly different from other Japanese pens, and it writes pretty well. This is my first major pen purcahse of the year, and I'm very happy with it. I'm sorry my poor photo skills don't do justice for this pen. This last shot is with it's "little brother"-my son's Pilot Varsity. When I was taking photos he insisted his pen to be in the picture and placed it next to my Legance :roflmho:
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#2 Roger

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 23:58

Nice review, Taki, thanks.

I am learning to like the Japanese pens more and more because I happen to like the MB look, but find the offerings from MB over the last decade or so to be substandard in materials and performance. Sailor, Pilot, Danitrio et al. are offering me the shapes I like and a better pen in all respects. Just snagged a Pilot Custom 823 this morning. Imagine, it looks like a 149, but drinks gobs of ink with that plunger filler and likely has a better nib and performance.

Mommy and me are going to Japan in November with Winedoc's group :) , so beware, because upon returning, I'll be one of those "know it all" experts! :lol:
Roger
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#3 Taki

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 00:09

Thanks, Roger. I wish I could join Kevin's tour but I had already planned a vacation/visiting my family in Japan around the same time before I heard about it. Hope you enjoy your trip!!

#4 French

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 00:37

Very nice review, Taki.

I think your pictures are fine. Most of us struggle with taking a good photograph of a pen, some (like winedoc) excel at it.

Good luck with your new pen.

french

#5 Taki

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 02:36

Thankzs for your kind words, French!

#6 TheNobleSavage

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 04:01

Great looking pen!! Thanks for the review!!!


TNS
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#7 southpaw

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 13:20

Thanks for the great review! Sharp pen (I too like blue pens, and the silver trim is quite elegant).
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8, NKJV)

#8 Taki

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Posted 07 September 2006 - 11:10

Thanks for your kind words, TNS and Southpaw :)

#9 Escribiente

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 21:09

Would you mind posting a writing sample?

#10 QM2

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 21:22


Taki, if you like the flat-top, non-MB look -- how about the Sailor Sapporo or Professional? That is probably my favourite Japanese pen, not counting maki-es.

QM2

#11 Taki

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 20:02

QUOTE(QM2 @ May 23 2007, 04:22 PM) View Post
Taki, if you like the flat-top, non-MB look -- how about the Sailor Sapporo or Professional? That is probably my favourite Japanese pen, not counting maki-es.

QM2

I wish they came in different colors/material mellow.gif

#12 Escribiente

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 17:46

QUOTE(Taki @ May 24 2007, 08:02 PM) View Post
QUOTE(QM2 @ May 23 2007, 04:22 PM) View Post
Taki, if you like the flat-top, non-MB look -- how about the Sailor Sapporo or Professional? That is probably my favourite Japanese pen, not counting maki-es.
QM2

I wish they came in different colors/material mellow.gif


I agree. The Sailor Professional Gear or the Saporo would be a killer in celluloid, or in the same kind of deep color resin used by Pilot.


#13 jonro

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 19:27

That is a great looking pen. Thanks for the review. Enjoy!

#14 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 21:04

nice pilot wink.gif
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

#15 krishnarendran

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Posted 26 October 2007 - 15:15

This looks like a beautiful pen. I started off collecting vintage German and American FPs but was blown away by a Sailor 1911 Demonstrator that my wife gifted me. Now I use Japanese FPs on most days. The poor old German writers have been banished to the bullpen and my starting rotation features:

1. Pilot VP
2. Sailor Professional Gear
3. Namiki Urushi &
4. Sailor Pharaohs

I'm still partial to my Omas Milord and use it here and there but last 6 months have seen nothing but Sailors and Pilots.

The best part about Japanese pens, especially Sailor, is the nib- wonderful flexy, smooth and wet writers. I look forward to writing... not typing.

Cheers!

Krish


#16 Betty

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 16:19

Taki, do you still like this pen? Is it a wet writer or very dry? Thanks!
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#17 Taki

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 18:13

Betty, I sold the pen last year because M nib was too broad for me after all. The flow was good but not too wet or too dry, just right smile.gif






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