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Pilot Custom 823 - Amber - Fine Pt.


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12 replies to this topic

#1 Vanrensalier

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 00:13

INTRO. This is an amazing pen - in a number of ways. It is such a fine instrument that I rarely take it out with me as the pen in my pocket. Don't get the wrong impression, it isn't fragile. I just admire it so much that I hate the thought of it getting lost or damaged. It is very well made.

STYLE. I'd rather not begin with a negative but the color of the pen is not my preference. And my commentary on style preference is not much help unless we have the same taste. But here it is: I like the classic cigar shape. I just don't care much for gold and brown (amber) anything - that's one of my least favorite color combos. Yes, I know that there's a smoke and chrome version but I couldn't find that one at a price I could afford. Now that I know how much I love this pen, I should've waited until I could get the smoke grey version. However, the brown translucent body looks better with ink in it. Especially blue ink, which cools down the warm color.

Posted Image

The size of the nib in comparison to the rest of the pen is right by my standards. A large pen with a small nib looks awkward; like a 6' 4" man with size 7 shoes. The large nib looks great on this pen. A secondary style issue is the way the pen is presented to you: It comes in this huge satin lined box with a large 70ml bottle of Pilot Blue ink. Now that's style! And, the ink is a rich color of intense blue that flows smoothly without bleeding.

QUALITY. Construction quality is excellent. It is made in Japan. The 823 is more complex than most fountain pens - more so than even a piston filler. The gold banding has nice detail. There are no rough spots, burrs; nothing is out of place or misaligned. It is perfect. Capped: 5 7/8". Posted: 6 3/8". Without cap: 5 1/8". Diameter: 1/2" (body), 5/8" (cap).

CAP - CLIP. I like the classic ball clip. It holds tightly to my shirt pocket without feeling like it is going to rip the cloth when I pull it out. Threading is nice and smooth, and the cap mounts deeply and securely to the end when posted. Nice details on the cap band tell you that it is a "CUSTOM 823 * * * Pilot Made in Japan"

FILL. The 823 holds an enormous amount of ink, and since I have a fine nib I have not filled it in quite awhile. So, it is difficult to describe well how this filling system works. It is not a piston filler; it is a vacuum filler. Additionally, you can close off the feed so that it wont leak when you are flying. The end cap operates the plunger and also opens and closes the reservoir. This is odd until you get used to it. If you forget, you'll find yourself running out of ink and wondering why. The end cap must be turned a couple of times to open the reservoir. When you're done just dial the end cap back down and you're safe from accidents. I have only used Pilot ink in it and have never had any skipping, drying, or even priming starts - it always writes.

NIB. As if the filling mechanism wasn't enough to commend this great pen, the nib is just as phenomenal. It is a large 14ct gold nib and was perfectly tuned out of the box. Mine is a fine nib and is smooth and friction free. I like a little bit of tooth to help me stay on track but this pen has no feedback at all. That's no complaint though, I respect the fact that Pilot can create such smooth free-flowing fine point nib. It writes effortlessly and is my first choice for long periods of continued writing. Besides, I have plenty of other pens that can give me feedback when I want it.

Posted Image


SUMMARY. Outstanding. If you are looking for an excellent pen and want something different than the standard cartridge-converter style pen, this is it. I highly recommend it.


Sorry about the stock photos!

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#2 rokurinpapa

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 02:31

Thank you for your passionate great review. I myself like the amber version of 823.

rokurinpapa

#3 jandrese

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 13:40

Another "perfect" 823. I'm starting to see a pattern here. :ltcapd: Thanks for sharing.

#4 Patrick L

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 14:35

Another "perfect" 823. I'm starting to see a pattern here. :ltcapd: Thanks for sharing.



Hi Jon,
Did you finally buy the clear demo M800 Pelikan ?

Cheers
Patrick

#5 young.1429

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 20:05

Thanks for the review! I have the smoke version with a medium nib on the way to me in the mail... I can't wait now :o

#6 Vanrensalier

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 21:39

Thanks for the review! I have the smoke version with a medium nib on the way to me in the mail... I can't wait now :o


You won't regret it! I think you will find the medium nib will be more like a med-fine. My fine nib is not quite an XF but is certainly finer than American and European fines. If I ever purchase another one, I'd get exactly what you ordered.

#7 jandrese

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 21:53

Another "perfect" 823. I'm starting to see a pattern here. :ltcapd: Thanks for sharing.



Hi Jon,
Did you finally buy the clear demo M800 Pelikan ?

Cheers
Patrick



No, can't seem to pull the trigger on that one. I do, however, have on order several other very exciting pens and will share my experiences here.

#8 PeppWaves03

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 03:29

Just ordered a 823 in a medium nib. Most expensive pen I have ever bought but I am glad I can ring in my 30's with an awesome fountain pen!

#9 bunnybaby

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 04:41

Hmm, the nice photo of Pilot Custom 823 at Goulet Pens sparks my interest to look out for this pen. I don't like demonstrator, but I do like the brown/amber color. Had I not purchased a Sailor Pro Gear recently, it's gonna be a tough decision: Sailor Pro Gear vs. Pilot Custom 823 :hmm1:

Thanks much for the review. This will be in my wishlist - for God knows how long :P


#10 amateriat

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 16:11

I'll tell you how crazy it's been for me:

P823inhand.jpg

I've had my 823 for about two years. Was lucky to find one in (slightly-translucent) black, with a M nib. It's the most amazing thing I've written with, period. The fit in the hand, the feedback from the nib, the manner in which it seems to actually improve my handwriting is almost spooky. My Custom 74 and VP come pretty close by comparison, but the 823 truly hits the bullseye.

Vanrensailer comments that his F-nib 823 writes with virtually no tooth/feedback. The M-nib on mine offers just the slightest bit of tooth, which in my case is perfect - just enough for control, but with none of the scratchiness that's driven me crazy with other would-be, high-pedigree pens. Ink flow is well-controlled and reliable, and given how well it writes, it's a good thing its ink capacity is copious.

One funny thing: I wasn't entirely crazy about the amber barrel when I first saw it, either, but recently it's started to grow on me. The comment about the F nib's smoothness - something I've rarely encountered with other pens - has me thinking again about getting a second 823, possibly even as a replacement for the 74 (thiugh I'm a bit more likely to replace my clear-barrel 74 with one in Smoke). An 823 in Smoke would be amazing, although the current going price is just slightly "out there." Not that it isn't ultimately worth it.


- Barrett

#11 Bill Wood

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 19:43

Thanks for the review! I have the smoke version with a medium nib on the way to me in the mail... I can't wait now :o


You'll love it. Sometimes life spoils us !

#12 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 17:37

Have tried one but I prefer the oversize sheaffer balance vac fill to it because oif its celluloid body and lifetime nib. My dealer Mr Mora had one client that had one 823 that had serious filling system problems which is why he stopped to sell the pen. Nibs.com still has a few for sale.

Edited by georges zaslavsky, 27 April 2012 - 17:40.

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 amateriat

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 18:32

Have tried one but I prefer the oversize sheaffer balance vac fill to it because oif its celluloid body and lifetime nib. My dealer Mr Mora had one client that had one 823 that had serious filling system problems which is why he stopped to sell the pen. Nibs.com still has a few for sale.

All comes down to experience: I like the Balance vac too (in fact, my favorite Sheaffer), but I haven't liked the writing qualities of the few I've come across; I blame this less on the pen's nib design than all the possible "re-tweaking" (either by design or accident) a pen of that vintage has likely endured. This is also the reason I mostly stick to new pens that I intend to use a lot. Hence the 823, 74 and VP.

A correction to my last post: the slightly-translucent black finish of my 823 is often (confusingly) described as "Smoke" by the few outfits that sold the pen online. It bears no resemblance to the Smoke-finish Custom 74 now offered. Once I replace my current (clear) 74 with the Smoke version, I'll likely post a side-by-side photo for comparison.


- Barrett

Edited by amateriat, 27 April 2012 - 18:34.







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