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In A League Of Its Own : The Pilot Custom 823

pilotcustom 823 vacuum plunger demonstrator amber m805

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109 replies to this topic

#81 sannidh

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Posted 12 July 2015 - 08:04

I wanted to. But a Blue Namiki Elabo Brass in SB intervened.

:D


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#82 Frank C

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Posted 12 July 2015 - 13:46

I wanted to. But a Blue Namiki Elabo Brass in SB intervened.

 

I know how that happens. I'll be going to get a specific pen, see another one that's crying out to be used, and use it. 

 

 

Very aptly put :) Betweenthelines.

It does grow on you with time...Glad to hear about your nice flow. Congrats  :thumbup:

 

I didn't care for the amber transparent pen when I first saw these, but I did want to try the vacuum filler system. After I got one, I really liked it, and I liked the fact that it didn't scream "demonstrator". 


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#83 hari317

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Posted 12 July 2015 - 16:14

I know how that happens. I'll be going to get a specific pen, see another one that's crying out to be used, and use it.

happens with me all the time, as a result, sometimes even a new arrival gets overlooked. result, a huge pen opening backlog.
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#84 Betweenthelines

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Posted 12 July 2015 - 21:53

Hrmm.. been having skipping issues with mine, even after widening the tines.  Oddly the tines are far wider than my 92 but still it writes drier and skips. After louping it the tines aren't misaligned and the gap isn't so wide that it should be a problem.    Ink is MB Toffee Brown.  I'm thinking it's either a feed issue, an ink issue, or an oils issue (though I did flush it several times)  My plan is to do a really, really, thorough flush (just in case it's oils, though I've never really had that problem before and I already did flush the pen extensively), then try an Iroshizuku ink and see how it does.



#85 sannidh

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Posted 13 July 2015 - 05:02

Hrmm.. been having skipping issues with mine, even after widening the tines.  Oddly the tines are far wider than my 92 but still it writes drier and skips. After louping it the tines aren't misaligned and the gap isn't so wide that it should be a problem.    Ink is MB Toffee Brown.  I'm thinking it's either a feed issue, an ink issue, or an oils issue (though I did flush it several times)  My plan is to do a really, really, thorough flush (just in case it's oils, though I've never really had that problem before and I already did flush the pen extensively), then try an Iroshizuku ink and see how it does.

 

Guess it's the ink. I had a similar experience with MBTB on my 823, some skipping on certain notebooks (heavy skipping on Japanese paper) . Writes well on a rather 'not very smooth' paper. 

Even a normal Pilot ink-70 goes quite well in my limited experience. Like Frank suggests, it's better go with the manufacturer's ink, they are made to be with each other  :rolleyes:

 

Best,

Sonik


Edited by soniknitr, 13 July 2015 - 05:02.

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#86 Betweenthelines

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Posted 13 July 2015 - 06:41

 

Guess it's the ink. I had a similar experience with MBTB on my 823, some skipping on certain notebooks (heavy skipping on Japanese paper) . Writes well on a rather 'not very smooth' paper. 

Even a normal Pilot ink-70 goes quite well in my limited experience. Like Frank suggests, it's better go with the manufacturer's ink, they are made to be with each other  :rolleyes:

 

Best,

Sonik

 

Though I've never encountered this issue to this extent, it makes sense.  When you look at inks and pens - Pelikans typically write very wet, and Pelikan inks run dry - Pilot pens write on the drier side, but their inks are wetter and very lubricating.  A shame MBTB isn't playing nice - I bought the bottle specifically for this pen!



#87 sannidh

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 02:20

 

Though I've never encountered this issue to this extent, it makes sense.  When you look at inks and pens - Pelikans typically write very wet, and Pelikan inks run dry - Pilot pens write on the drier side, but their inks are wetter and very lubricating.  A shame MBTB isn't playing nice - I bought the bottle specifically for this pen!

 

Betweenthelines : Did the dry run of your 823 finally end with iro ink, or is it something with the feed?

Btw, absolutely love your pelikan flock review !!


Edited by soniknitr, 14 July 2015 - 04:52.

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#88 Betweenthelines

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 08:10

 

Betweenthelines : Did the dry run of your 823 finally end with iro ink, or is it something with the feed?

Btw, absolutely love your pelikan flock review !!

 

 

I actually haven't swapped out inks yet - I'm waiting on a bottle of Tsukushi in the mail.  However, after letting the pen "sit", the issue has seemed to have resolved itself!  The flow is fantastic, and I haven't had any more skipping problems.  Still will probably be even better (smoother, wetter) with the Iro ink, but consider me smitten with this pen.  It really is in a league of its own.  :)

 

And I'm glad you liked the reviews!



#89 sannidh

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 04:17

 

 

I actually haven't swapped out inks yet - I'm waiting on a bottle of Tsukushi in the mail.  However, after letting the pen "sit", the issue has seemed to have resolved itself!  The flow is fantastic, and I haven't had any more skipping problems.  Still will probably be even better (smoother, wetter) with the Iro ink, but consider me smitten with this pen.  It really is in a league of its own.   :)

 

And I'm glad you liked the reviews!

 

That's the exact ink :D

Nice to know that, now the birds can rest a little :)


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#90 sannidh

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Posted 31 May 2016 - 08:04

Found the base portion of the cap i.e below the threads quite thin/fragile. The cap had fallen from something quite low to the ground. Got a replacement, thanks Frank for helping me out :)

823%20Cap_zpsgirvd95l.jpg

 

And finally gave in to my urge to get a VAC 700 and though it doesn't disappoint, Custom 823 is impressive in terms of the vacuum fill & writing of course, if I dont compare the prices. However, both seem to use the same steel-shaft :D

DSC_8613.jpg


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#91 Anders23

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Posted 03 June 2017 - 06:58

Thanks for the review on the custom 823. No doubt, this is a lovely pen.

I think I also a little biased towards pilots.

Do you think this pen is worth the price in European market (350 EUR) ? Or can I order it from Japan?

How can one get the pen serviced, in case there is some crack etc?

 

Thanks,

Andy



#92 Uncial

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Posted 03 June 2017 - 12:17

If you don't drop it, it shouldn't spontaneously crack. 

You can pick them up on ebay direct from Japan (very often with free shipping) for a lot less than 350 euro. 

It's the only pen of its type that I've been tempted to buy two of.



#93 Anders23

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 10:21

Thanks for the advice :)



#94 sannidh

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 11:08

Thanks for the advice :)

Japan is the place :) to get it from !


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#95 jameswatts

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 03:48

The Custom 823 pens have always been highly captivating demonstrators from Pilot Corporation (Japan), sporting the second largest nib (Pilot#15, Namiki#20 nibsize), with a vacuum plunger filling mechanism. The model number 823 refers to the price and year, of launch, although in a slightly intricate manner. Since this pen was released in the year of 2000, 82 years after the company’s inception (i.e. 1918), it carries the first two digits of the model number as ‘82’ and the last digit which is ‘3’ refers to it launch price of JPY 30,000 (3 X 10,000).
 
Also replicated the content with additional pictures in my blog, as the images are/will be reduced to a small thumbnail after a short-while by the image hosting service. Happy reading ! Below is a link to the same:
 
The Pilot Custom 823 Amber Demonstrator Review
 
The Custom 823 (for the Asian market) comes packaged in a standard pilot gift box (Z-CR-GN) which might not draw much attention, quite unlike the pen. The US merchandise comes with a silver sateen lined gift box with a complementary (hey! not really folks) bottle of Pilot/Namiki Ink-70 (Blue). The pen of course is a hot star. A golden label with a model number and nib specs is tagged to the clip. The box carries a user manual for a Type P fountain pen, which does mention keeping the knob slightly unscrewed (at a 2 mm distance) relative to the metal ring, while writing.
 
DSC_4033_zpsn5yia4uf.jpg
 
DESIGN - THE AMBER DEMONSTRATOR (6/6)
 
The Custom 823 comes in three standard designs of translucency transparency - Amber, Smoke and Clear resin, all with gold plated trims. The resin material seems substantial and feels heavy. A silver trimmed version may be a nice thing for many fountain pen nerds including myself. I went for an Amber one with a medium nib and find it quite challenging to resist getting another Smoke version, with recently slashed prices in Rakuten/Ebay. 
 
 
The Amber demonstrator given its lightness, is capable of bedazzling you even with a tiny bit of moonlight. A golden dazzle along the three bands and the clip, subtly delivers the rest. The finials at the cap along with the piston knob conclude the design with a brownish opacity.
 
DSC_4038_zps59uqxwrt.jpg
 
The cap feels substantial and unscrews with one and a half turn, revealing the elegant yet simply designed pen. The grip section is moulded from the same brown resin as the cap-final and the piston-knob, and another golden ring segregates the grip from rest of the body. The amber demonstrator translucency does reveal the steel rod with a plunger seal mechanism.
 
DSC_4058_zpsdj6urt8a.jpg
 
The cap does mention a few things etched across the broader of the concentric golden bands, including the model name CUSTOM 823 and PILOT MADE IN JAPAN with six stars of separations.  A thinner band above renders some more aesthetics to the overall design. The clip is tension fit and it encompasses a vertically embossed PILOT within its golden sheen.
 
Cap_zpsp81nns3m.jpg
 
FILLING SYSTEM (6/6)
 
The brown piston knob unscrews from the golden ring till an end stop, post which the plunger unit can be pulled out. The rod is made of stainless steel and is resistant to most of the commonly used inks. For IG (Iron Gall) and Pigment Inks, care must be taken to clean the pen several times, to prevent clogging or deposit accumulation inside the ink passages. 
The pen fills to more than two-thirds its capacity, once the nib is dipped in ink and the plunger is pushed back in. This can give a quick gush of ink inside with a comfortable volume of 1.4 - 1.5 mL, which again could last for several days. Although getting some more ink into your pen is quite possible.
 
Cleaning the pen is a similar ritual accompanied with some shake and I suggest you do it on a regular basis, for the ink stains if left may look ugly with time, and might require a light ammonia solution to go-off.
 
And as mentioned in the manual, while writing with the pen, you would need to keep the piston-knob slightly unscrewed (at a 2 mm distance) relative to the golden ring. This will displace a conical valve seal below the piston seal to allow passage of ink to the feed. Given the high ink capacity of these pens with plunger type filling mechanism, this has been done to prevent ink-leakage. And this is a nice thing to have, if you intend to carry the 823 in a flight.
 
DSC_4130_zpsjqcefo3d.jpg
 
For a rather crazy and complete fill, you do have a workaround. With the nib pointed up, you can pull out the plunger of a partially filled 823 and then by slowly pushing the plunger inside, you would get the air-gap between the inverted ink-levels and the visible end of barrel-section minimized. Once the inverted ink-level reaches the visible end of the barrel, you can submerge the nib in the ink bottle and push the plunger in. Voila! Done. This process may result in some ink escaping to the threads of the piston knob, but again you can repeat the same process with water/cleaning solution and shake a little to wash it off. 
 
 
NIB - ALL THAT MATTERS (6/6)
 
The nib is friction-fit and comes in a standard 14k monotone design across three stock widths - F, M, B (and some specially ordered custom widths of FA and WA). The nib has a standard pilot design.
 
 The tail end of the nib specifies the month and year of manufacture. An elongated hexagonal imprint separates the design from the outer shoulders and tines with an arabesque decor running inside its circumference, encompassing the circular breather hole in between. 
 
The branding and nib specifications of PILOT, 14k-585 (58.5% Au Alloy) along with the nib size and width, which are imprinted below the breather hole.
 
DSC_4151_zpscb3t9giu.jpg
 
A standard bluish grey plastic feed with thin fins and a decently sized feeder hole delivers the amazing ink suction.
 
DSC_4152_zpswsiiokoa.jpg
 
PHYSICS OF IT (6/6) – RELATIVELY SPEAKING
 
With a transparent translucent resin body in form of a traditional cigar shape, it does give a comfortable feel of length. The cap itself weighs 10 grams which makes it top heavy if posted. The overall weight of the 823s have thus a significant (one-third) contribution from the cap. There is then a comfortable grip section with around 1.1 cm diameter. 
 
Uncapped Length ~ 13. 2 cm
Posted Length ~ 16.4 cm
Nib Leverage ~ 2.4 cm
Overall Weight ~ 29 g
 
A capped and uncapped comparison with few of the standard large pens like Visconti Homo Sapiens Maxi, Pelikan m805 and MB 146 is posted below for your reference.
 
DSC_4154_zpsxjd20amq.jpg
 
DSC_4155_zpsieq78ytb.jpg
 
ECONOMIC VALUE(6/6)
 
It retails at around USD 288, and as usual it’s available at lower street prices towards a band of USD 200. I had got the pen at a cost of USD 220 at that time, which I thought was a good bargain. This year Rakuten sellers made it look lamentable by selling 823s at less than USD 190, inclusive of shipping! 
 
OVERALL (6/6)
 
This 14k nib has a wet flow, albeit a hint of softness like the custom 74. The nib is springy and lays a somewhat wider line with pressure. There is no significant variation among the horizontal and vertical strokes. These wet lines take almost 15 secs to dry a Sailor Jentle Sky High on MD paper.
 
DSC_4180_zpsxbepmpcf.jpg
 
Thank you for going through the review. 
 
Sonik


Great review. Love my Custom 823. It's one of my Desert Island Pens.

#96 sannidh

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Posted 13 February 2019 - 04:26

Great review. Love my Custom 823. It's one of my Desert Island Pens.

Thank you James. Somehow the Amber color wins over the other variants for me.


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#97 sansenri

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 22:28

The 823 is a very nice pen (I have the Amber too). I have a slight problem with mine though. Ink seems to stick to the walls inside the barrel, when stored tip up in my pocket ink goes to the bottom of the barrel, when I uncap it to write ink will not flow down to the nib, although I do unscrew the knob.

Shaking the pen vigorously usually does the trick, but it's rather annoying.

Perhaps I should try washing it inside with some soap before refilling next time?



#98 SpecTP

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 16:42

The 823 is a very nice pen (I have the Amber too). I have a slight problem with mine though. Ink seems to stick to the walls inside the barrel, when stored tip up in my pocket ink goes to the bottom of the barrel, when I uncap it to write ink will not flow down to the nib, although I do unscrew the knob.

Shaking the pen vigorously usually does the trick, but it's rather annoying.

Perhaps I should try washing it inside with some soap before refilling next time?

 

yes, use dish soap mix with water.



#99 Tseg

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 02:43

The 823 is a very nice pen (I have the Amber too). I have a slight problem with mine though. Ink seems to stick to the walls inside the barrel, when stored tip up in my pocket ink goes to the bottom of the barrel, when I uncap it to write ink will not flow down to the nib, although I do unscrew the knob.

Shaking the pen vigorously usually does the trick, but it's rather annoying.

Perhaps I should try washing it inside with some soap before refilling next time?

 

The above is likely an ink issue.  I've seen other reviews with such a result using Noodler's Black in the pen.  The individual switched inks and the problem disappeared. 



#100 sannidh

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Posted 21 February 2019 - 02:38

The 823 is a very nice pen (I have the Amber too). I have a slight problem with mine though. Ink seems to stick to the walls inside the barrel, when stored tip up in my pocket ink goes to the bottom of the barrel, when I uncap it to write ink will not flow down to the nib, although I do unscrew the knob.

Shaking the pen vigorously usually does the trick, but it's rather annoying.

Perhaps I should try washing it inside with some soap before refilling next time?

 

Yes I have faced this issue too. You are absolutely okay with using few drops of dishwashing liquid + water (Pril etc) to clean the pen. Usually, I do it every 4-5 months (as the pen is always inked with a sailor ink), and to apply silicone grease (twsbi liquid one) to the rod & piston seal region again. Thicker inks stick with the grease.

 

The ink flow problem happened with Montblanc inks quite frequently, so I decided to stick to Japanese ones. As our fellow fpners have highlighted it could be just because of ink.

 

Happy maintenance & Joy,

sannidh


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