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Pilot 75Th Anniversary Pen


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12 replies to this topic

#1 rokurinpapa

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 08:38

[Pilot 75th Anniversary Pen Limited Edition ]


[Brief introduction] This is my 9th pen review in English.

  Pilot launched Limited Edition Pilot75 in 1993 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of its foundation (1918).

7500 pieces were produced. In the booklet attached to the Pilot75, there was a catchphrase: "75years. Our

determined passion devoted to this matchless pen". It may be gathered from the phrase that Pilot had

concentrated their energy on making this Pilot75 considerably *1. It is traditional design of flat ends type

(the ends of the barrel and the cap are both flat.), with the combination of black body and golden parts.

The most characteristic point is that the body is cut out from ebonite one by one, finished with recoated

layers of urushi lacquer.

I originally did not have special interest in past anniversary fountain pens. Technology has been innovated

everyday. Now that fountain pens are a kind of industrial goods, I thought present staple goods were best

choice from the point of function as writing instruments and maintenance. But I somehow found myself so

deeply attracted to Pilot 85th anniversary fountain pen and I managed to obtain the pen fortunately. After

that I happened to get Pilot65 and Pilot70 in succession. While I was using these pens every day, I grasped

the passion that Pilot devoted to these pens and felt another pleasantness that I could hardly have from

present staple pens. Pilot65 is the substantially first anniversary fountain pen in Japan. So I have had interest

in what anniversary pens were planned and sold after Pilot65. Regarding Pilot75, I did not easily have chance

to see the actual goods. But I knew the fact that Pilot75 was the prototype of Custom845. I had wanted to

get Custom845 someday reading the reviews by 3 gentlemen, that is,J -sanMYU and hari317. Furthermore

I found an opinion of a fountain pen lover that he wanted no other fountain pens just as long as he had Pilot75.

Therefore I have had strong interest in Pilot75. But today it is rather rare pen and of course we cannot get it

from ordinary fountain pen shops. I found it for sale in a net shop, but its price was very expensive unreally. At

such time I found used Pilot75 put up for Yahoo auction and I won the pen after doing my rivals down.*2

Custom845 was produced modeling after Pilot75 as regular staple items 9years after the birth of the75th.

At that time there were no pens suitable for the list price of 50,000yen among Pilot fountain pens and opinions

that the customers wanted this high end class fountain pens as their gifts came from some customers. So Pilot tried to

make their flagship pen. At first comparatively a small amount of pens were produced modeling Pilot75 and put

on the market. As a result of good sales, the pens were listed in the catalog as Custom845 formally*3. Accordingly

Pilot75 and modern Custom845 resembles considerably, but differs in various points. I would like to introduce you

this Pilot75 including the differences. I will be happy if Custom845 lovers are pleased to read this review.



*1 Mr. Seiichiro Ishii, the president of Pilot Inc. at that time stated proudly in the booklet as follows: Success

of technique to make sphere of Iridosmine and to weld it to nib was the origin of Pilot. The burning passion of the

founders that they would make fountain pens that passed internationally has established the new technology and

the present firm base of Pilot under the faith of "As for mountains, Mt. Fuji!, as for fountain pens, Pilot pens!".

Finishing of body made of ebonite by urushi has attracted the attention of the various countries all over the world,

and Pilot has been raised to a higher position as "Pilot Fountain pens that enjoy worldwide fame". We planned

Pilot75 as a compilation of the 75 years'passion and thought of the founders who committed their lives to making

fountain pens. It possesses the unique artistic style and taste of writing making the best use of the then technique,

materials and design that was epoch-making by modern technology. We are confident that it has reached the top of

fountain pens.


*2 The seller was a collector of Pilot anniversary fountain pens. But as he became old, he decided to dispose of

his fountain pens. When I become old, will I turn over my fountain pens to younger people too?


*3 An information from a certain blog. According to the blog, 200 "Custom845"were produced in the end of

2002 and appeared on the show windows of some department stores from the beginning of 2003 at the list price

of 50,000yen. At that time they were said to be made specially and were not listed in the catalog, but there was

rumor that they might be listed as regular staple items if they were in great demand. After that they were listed

in the catalog and Pilot have continued to make them as regular staple items. The writer of the blog gives an

opinion that as the list price of 50,000yen was comparatively high in price compared with other Custom pens and

we could buy other attractive imported fountain pens at that price range, Custom845 were not so popular at the

beginning of the sales.



1 First Impressions (9/10) –The box is, not uncommon, square, made of artificial leather and relatively compact.

The quality of it is so-so and such size as this box is a tolerable range for me (I think a big and gaudy box costs much

money and is absurd). But it is slightly disappointing that it has no such story or distinction as the wooden boxes of

Pilot70 or Pilot85 have. The back of the lid is covered by smooth and glossy creamy satin where relatively big "75" is

printed. Pilot75, an ink bottle made specially and a plastic plate are put on the red plastic plate that has a feeling of

a cloth touch. Of course, a booklet is attached. This combination of red and black is fairly impressive visually. As I had

never touched Pilot75 till then, the moment when I opened the box and took the pen in hand was exactly the time of

first impression. The matter that I was surprised at firstly was the lightness beyond my expectations. I felt that I would

not get tired so easily from writing for a long time. The thing that I was most concerned about was the texture of the

urushi. I did not have had a pen made of ebonite with urushi lacquer, so it was pleasure to observe the pen. Taking the

pen in hand, I did not feel so strong emotion, but I was filled with a kind of joy in case of understanding the goodness

gradually. I was highly satisfied that the gold color of the clip and rings had sober taste and profundity, not glittering like

the gilt of cheap articles. It was a refreshing surprise that the shape of the clip was not the ball type that was in general

use for Pilot pens. The design that both ends were flat and the barrel swelled in the center suited my taste at once. I

was filled with joy and no regret on the whole.



Posted Image




2 Appearance & Design (9/10) - The shape of the pen is a kind of so-called vest type, the top and the bottom is

both flat and the body is cylindrical. But the center of the barrel swells delicately like an entasis by the Doric order of

ancient Greece(the colonnade of the Parthenon is famous), and it is not only beautiful but pleasant to hold with. This

shape is made by cutting stick of ebonite out and I think that considerably excellent technique must have been needed.

Material of the barrel and cap is ebonite on the surface of which was spread by many layers of urushi lacquer to prevent

fading and to protect the material. This finishing creates an original presence.

There are 2 golden rings at the upper end of the cap and 3 golden rings at the lower end of the cap. The middle ring of

the 3 is wide and the center of the ring is swollen, where Pilot75 and serial numbers*1 are engraved black and that black

letters stands out clearly against the golden ground. There are 1 golden ring between the grip section and the barrel and

2golden rings in the rear end of the barrel.What many rings!

It is also characteristic that the design of the clip is Kikuza style*2. This is reproduced design that was adopted for a lot

of Pilot products in the second half of 1930's. The clip is plated by 22kt gold.

The nib is silver -gold two-tone colored, the outside is rhodium coated silver and the inside is golden. This is after image

of snow-capped Mt. Fuji. The nib is Pilot No.15 nib made specially with "75" engraved. The hole is heart- shaped.

I did not like the heart-shaped hole before I had this pen because I thought the shape was somehow girlish taste. But it

was pretty good when I took the pen in hand. I felt that my (our?) view of things was irresponsible.

In brief, this is a pen that has a refined and quiet elegance of Japanese taste, following the universal and traditional style

of fountain pens.


*1 Pilot stated in the booklet of Pilot75 that the marking of serial numbers was a proof that guaranteed the best quality

after going through numerous checks.


*2 Kikuza means the design after a flower of chrysanthemum. It had come into wide use for ornaments of armors and

helmets from old times in Japan.


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upper: Custom845 lower: 75th

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left: Custom845 right: 75th

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3 Weight & Dimensions (9/10) – The length of this pen is similar to that of Custom845 . This pen belongs, if anything,

in the category of Montblanc149, not 146 measuring 148mm long capped, 132mm uncapped and 165mm posted. The

maximum diameter of the barrel is 13.2mm and that of the cap is 15.3mm. It weighs about 28 g with full ink, suitable weight

for long writing but I feel a bit light for my taste.


4 Nib & Performance (9/10) – This pen comes with a 18k two-tone (silver-gold)M nib (standard nib was M, but F or

B nib was available.). The size of the nib is No.15 of Pilot that is the largest among ordinary Pilot lineup. The feeder is

translucent. Regarding the nib design, as stated above, the outside is silver and the inside is gold, opposite to the nib of

Custom845. "1918-1993 75" is engraved on the nib, which makes clear that the nib is made specially for 75th

anniversary. But "15" that shows the size of the nib is not engraved. Regarding the taste of writing, as Pilot stated

in the booklet that they ground the nib of Pilot75 carefully piece by piece in order to become rich taste suitable for

writing Japanese characters, the nib has original soft feel of stepping on a shaggy carpet, quite different from ordinary

Custom 845 No. 15 nib. I think the most different points between Pilot75 and Custom845 is the taste of the nib. The

performance and the taste of the nib is exquisite for me because it has practicality to enable shorthand writing though

it enables to write characters expressively by its flexibility.


75th Mnib

Posted Image


Custom845 Bnib. The pen of my fountain pen comrade.

Posted Image


Posted Image


5 Filling System (9/10) – It is c/c filler. It comes with a high grade version of Pilot Con-70 ( painted in black with

gold character "PUSH" ) that is a Push Button type and holds the most ink(1.1ml) among Pilot converters (other

Con-20,Con-50). It is very easy to fill it up with ink.


Posted Image


6 Cost & Value (9/10) - The list price was 50,000 yen 15 years ago in Japan, about $600 at current rate. This

list price is just the same as that of present Custom845.

When I asked the clerk in a vintage pen store in Shinjuku, Tokyo about the market price of Pilot75 2or 3 years

ago, he said that it was not surprising that a mint Pilot 75 was wroth 100,000yen because the pen had become

very popular recently. But market prices of fountain pens are still tending downwards in Japan because of a lingering

economic slump after Lehman Shock. I think the price of Pilot75 is not exceptional. I have got used Pilot 75 with good

condition and together with original box and papers at about the list price at Yahoo auction. But now the market price

may be falling furthermore.

Is Pilot75 worth more than 50,000yen or not? I think that some are for, while others are against when we can have

Custom845 at 50,000 yen or less. The consequence was satisfactory for me from several points, that is, 1 limited

edition pen for 75th Anniversary, 2 special design, 3 special nib and 4 perfect replacement of Custom845 that I had

wished to have in the near future.


7 Conclusion (Final score[54]: 9)- I have and will have fountain pens as utility goods for daily writing instruments.

So it is desirable that I can use them without special care and with a light heart. Regarding vintage pens, it is a big

problem if we can repair the pen when the parts are damaged. Pilot fountain pens are said to be durable considerably

and last for a long time in general. Much even more I think anniversary pens were strongly made as a partner for life.

But I have heard when the barrels or caps of Pilot65 or Pilot70 happen to be damaged, there are no parts for repair

any longer. So I am inclined to feel stressed when I use them. It seems that there are no original parts to repair the

barrels of Pilot75, but the parts for present Custom845 can be diverted. In case of emergency, we can make use of

the parts as the second best policy. So I put my Pilot75 to everyday use rather easily. However, I will not make the

pen capped because I think that it is dangerous to put too much trust in durability of urushi. Under the above-

mentioned situation, I will choose Pilot75 if I am asked which pen of the two I will choose. If you are a fountain pen

lover who is interested in Custom845, I recommend you to think of getting Pilot75 provided that the price is reasonable.

  


Edited by rokurinpapa, 09 April 2011 - 05:42.


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#2 ehemem

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 10:36

Thank you for the history and the review of this pen, it makes me want to search for it to add to my collection of Pilots!

#3 rokurinpapa

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 05:54

Thank you for the history and the review of this pen, it makes me want to search for it to add to my collection of Pilots!


Thank you for your kind comment. I will post the review of Pilot 90th Anniversary pen(Raden Toki ) in the near future.

rokurinpapa

#4 breaker

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 15:23

nice review thanks!
Cogito ergo sum

#5 Nikolaos

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 18:42

Another excellent review rokurinpapa! Thank you and congratulations on this beautiful pen. It is also on my wish list and hope sometime soon to get one!

Nikolaos

#6 Tumbleweedtoo

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 20:23

Thank you for the great review and especially the comparison. I enjoyed reading what you wrote with great thoughtfulness.

All the best,
T

#7 troglokev

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 21:00

I always enjoy your reviews, Rokurinpapa. There is always a lot of thought and passion put into them, and it shows again, here. I very much look forward to your review of the 90th anniversary pen. Being a fan of the original MYU pens, I went with the M90 at the time.

ところで、「味」は訳しにくい言葉ですね。食事と飲み物以外、「nuance」とか「feel」及び「essence」という意味があるそうです。この文脈に、そんな言葉は適切な翻訳だと思いますね。

#8 shuuemura

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 21:28

Very nice pen. Thanks for the review!

#9 rokurinpapa

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 18:11

Another excellent review rokurinpapa! Thank you and congratulations on this beautiful pen. It is also on my wish list and hope sometime soon to get one!

Nikolaos


It seems that the the present market price of NOS Pilot 75 with original box and papers is about 50,000 ~60,000Yen.
I do not know how the price change hereafter but I hope you will get it soon at reasonable cost.

rokurinpapa

#10 rokurinpapa

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 18:55

I always enjoy your reviews, Rokurinpapa. There is always a lot of thought and passion put into them, and it shows again, here. I very much look forward to your review of the 90th anniversary pen. Being a fan of the original MYU pens, I went with the M90 at the time.

ところで、「味」は訳しにくい言葉ですね。食事と飲み物以外、「nuance」とか「feel」及び「essence」という意味があるそうです。この文脈に、そんな言葉は適切な翻訳だと思いますね。


Thank you for your tasteful comment and I am sorry that I was not aware of your excellent review .

rokurinpapa

#11 troglokev

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 21:05

Thank you for your tasteful comment

:roflmho:

#12 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 04:03

that is one lovely pen, sober and elegant. congrats on the purchase :thumbup: :clap1:
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

#13 rokurinpapa

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 06:40

Thank you for the great review and especially the comparison. I enjoyed reading what you wrote with great thoughtfulness.

All the best,
T



I have found another comparison pictures in a blog. I am sorry that the blog is written in Japanese.

rokurinpapa






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