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Black Stripe family - vintage Pilot


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31 replies to this topic

#1 MYU

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 03:19

In the 1970's, Pilot came up with a black striped stainless steel motif that was used for several pen models. The first was the Capless, introduced in 1971. Then came the striped MYU in 1973. I believe the ballpoint and mechanical pencil came out around that time as well. There was also a felt tip pen (in the photo below, it has been converted to a ballpoint until I can find a felt tip replacement). Finally, Pilot applied the black stripe motif to the Custom for several years until retiring it (I think that started in 1974 up until 1978). You can see how the ballpoint, rollerball, and MYU all share the same look (black disk inset in the top and black rectangle featuring the Pilot name in raised steel letters). I don't know if they were ever sold as a set, but it sure looks like they could have been.

Not only does the look have visual appeal, it feels nice. The lines provide a subtle grip and also break up the stainless surface so that scratches are generally not noticeable. The black lines were done using some special acid etching process, so that the lines don't chip or scratch and fading is resisted (this is why there aren't any black stripe MYU's converted into the ever elusive white stripe version!). The steel itself is sturdy, but Pilot found the right balance so the pens do not feel heavy.

The Capless
This is perhaps my most favorite looking pen by Pilot, even more so than the MYU500BS. Aside from appearance, it is basically identical to the older faceted Capless pens in terms of weight, balance, and operation. The only advantage I can see is that the clip is practically unobtrusive. These older nib assemblies tend to be like XXF or XF in size with a noticeable amount of tooth. You can't buy the nib assemblies anywhere, as the later models do not fit in this pen. So, I don't recommend writing with it, lest you risk an accident and find yourself out of luck.

The Pilot Custom
This is one of my all time favorite daily-user pens that I think is should be more recognized. It's the largest full stainless steel pen made by Pilot that looks heavy, but it isn't. It's about as long as the Capless pen, with a gentle tapering towards the tips. The texture is nice and smooth with the engraved black lines, yet the grip is excellent--you won't be worrying about the pen slipping from your hands. And because it is made from a high quality stainless steel, it does a great job of resisting scratches. The balance is nearly perfect with or without the cap. The cap snaps on with a very audible "click" and keeps the nib reasonably air tight, and features a large handsome spring loaded black lined clip (it also posts smoothly and securely). The nib itself is the large format Pilot Custom nib that Pilot and Namiki are so famous for. It is available in a variety of sizes, to include EF, F, FM, M, B, Script and possibly more. Generally, these are very smooth and competent nibs. This is a CC filler pen that takes commonly available Pilot squeeze converters and cartridges.

The MYU 500BS
As for the MYU line, this has to be the best looking of the bunch. Operation wise, it is identical to the smooth MYU701. But it feels better--again, those black stripes just give a little bit of grip while maintaining a generally smooth texture. The main disadvantage is, of course, the fact that the nib is integral--if it is ever severely damaged, or the nib wears out, the pen is useless. Despite their handsome appearance, these were not "high end" pens in their day. They were reasonably priced super rugged pens for scholarly and every day use. So, Pilot didn't intend for them to survive for the long haul. Despite this, I write with mine. It is so portable, convenient, and sharp looking. Of all the pens I've used in public, this one gets the most attention. smile.gif

The Ballpoint
It's a small pen, yet it feels nice in the hand--I didn't think it would, expecting that it would get lost in the my grip of my large hand. It's light, but rugged. The click mechanism is very smooth and solid, suggesting top notch quality. It would have been nice if the clip was spring loaded, but the narrow diameter of the pen didn't permit it. But the clip is workable. The fit and finish is superb--it is a very well made pen. Thankfully, the ballpoint cartridges by Pilot are great, delivering ink without undue pressure. I think this is the most handsome ballpoint I've ever owned. This particular one appears to go with the MYU-500BS, because it has a black circle accent on the top that matches the cap top of the MYU.

The Mechanical Pencil
(Not yet shown -- image forthcoming). This MP (mechanical pencil) looks nearly identical to the ballpoint and operation is just as good. The parts are beautifully machined and fit together perfectly. The lead holder section is generous. When a given lead insert runs out, the next one falls into place without any assistance. Your typical metal sleeved eraser nib plugs the lead holder, and there's a metal pin with a smart "L" bend in it for easy grip and to prevent the pin from getting deeply embedded within the eraser. This MP takes 0.5mm lead, which I prefer as it nicely matches the width of your typical fine ballpoint.

The Felt Liner (Signature)
Felt tip pens are more sensitive than other writing tips, in that they can get damaged from too much pressure and dry out if not frequently capped. That's why some pen companies have tended to call them "signature" pens, for use in mostly signing activities. A felt tip is probably the closest thing to a fountain pen nib, in that ink immediately flows upon contact with paper, hardly any pressure is required, and the tip will dry out if not capped. This particular model by Pilot is nicely sized, just a little longer than the ballpoint, and feels great in the hand. The cap is a bit odd, being very small relative to the pen, and it doesn't post very well at all (in fact, I don't think it was designed for this--you sign your paper then cap the pen shortly afterwards). For a fountain pen user, it wouldn't get much use, but it's nice to have in the collection. Also, there is a means of converting it into a ballpoint (using a special plastic sleeve and a spring, shown installed in the photos). Incidentally, Pilot does not make the felt tip cartridge any longer, but you can find a comparable replacement (Schmidt #5022) that will fit well after shaving a little of the plastic base below the tip.


All in all, I think the black stripe motif is a handsome look that never goes out of style.



[From left: Capless, MYU, Custom, Felt tip, Ballpoint]

Once you have enough of them, you can build your own little city [yeah, had a little free time!]


And of course a nice mini skyline


But I can't have all the fun wink.gif -- here's DocNib's pilot black stripe collection:


Odd... I swear, I didn't take my photograph with his in mind. But you'll notice he has the same order of models in his photo (going right to left: MYU, Custom, Felt tip, Ballpoint).

Edited by MYU, 01 October 2007 - 23:22.

[MYU's Pen Review Corner]   |   "The Common Ground" -- Jeffrey Small


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#2 Phthalo

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 03:24

Gorgeous! What a super collection!
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#3 NeoTiger

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 04:56

Man that's such a nice collection... Congratulations.

#4 Margana

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 08:35

What can I say? drool.gif drool.gif drool.gif
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#5 david i

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 08:48

cool!

I like stripes.

=d



#6 Ged

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 09:09

Love that collection MYU. I'd best never find out where you live, otherwise I'll invite myself for tea, and never leave!

How does the capless differ from a VP? Same model different name? Or something more substantial?

#7 Shangas

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 09:19

Those photos are great!! They look like really beautiful pens. I wouldn't mind owning one.
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#8 mmoncur

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 10:11

Excellent! An original striped Capless is now on my list of Pens I Want but Could Never Afford. smile.gif
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#9 jd50ae

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 10:32

Sweeeet drool.gif

#10 Keng

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 11:00

Nice pixs and interesting collection. Congratulations on being a proud owner of a unique set of writing instruments thumbup.gif thumbup.gif thumbup.gif
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#11 halljer

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 13:51

I have a few of these myself, and they are everything MYU says. My short/long black stripe Murex is one of my favorite writers. I also have a Custom WHITE stripe that is exceptional.

Best regards,

Jerry

#12 Taki

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 13:54

Cool collection! Thanks for sharing it!

#13 MYU

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 14:37

Thanks for the positive responses! biggrin.gif

QUOTE (Ged @ May 7 2007, 05:09 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Love that collection MYU. I'd best never find out where you live, otherwise I'll invite myself for tea, and never leave!

How does the capless differ from a VP? Same model different name? Or something more substantial?

Hey Ger - if you come all the way over from Australia, how could I turn you away? wink.gif Plus, I've got plenty of tea to share (white, green, roiboos, earl gray, etc.). biggrin.gif

As for Capless/VP comparisons, a great place to see some nice info on this is at Carmen's website:
Rivera Pens - Pilot Capless

I recently obtained an older Capless from 1964, which probably has the most fragile feel of all of them. This is what it looks like:


The black stripe Capless feels more sturdy, due to the brushed steel components. But the click mechanism feels rather light and delicate, unlike the VP (which has a full metal body with a surface covering). Have you held the faceted Capless model that came before the VP? It feels just a little sturdier than the black stripe Capless.

Considering the fact that the Decimo and Fermo were recently released, Pilot is recognizing the public appreciation of this fine pen. The Fermo is certainly a reflection of a much earlier model. I hope that sales are enough to encourage Pilot to eventually do a reissue of the black stripe Capless!

QUOTE (halljer @ May 7 2007, 09:51 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have a few of these myself, and they are everything MYU says. My short/long black stripe Murex is one of my favorite writers. I also have a Custom WHITE stripe that is exceptional.

Hey Jerry - yes, the black stripe MYU is one of my favorites too, for daily/portable writing. It is a rather stiff writer, but it's comfortable travels well, and of course is a pleasure to look at. Congrats on the White Stripe Custom--that's a beauty as well. I hope to have one eventually!

~Gary

Edited by MYU, 18 December 2008 - 01:41.

[MYU's Pen Review Corner]   |   "The Common Ground" -- Jeffrey Small


#14 bobioden

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 14:38

Beautiful pens and pics. The Black Striped Capless is at the top of my WANT list.

thumbup.gif

Bob

#15 Dan Carmell

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 14:46

Great set, Gary!

The "city" and skylne were my favorite shots--very neat.

Good info, too, always good to get more information.

Thanks! Dan

#16 bobioden

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 14:46

QUOTE(MYU @ May 7 2007, 08:37 AM) View Post
I recently obtained an older Capless from 1966, which probably has the most fragile feel of all of them. This is what it looks like:

~Gary


The new one looks like it was from August 1964.

Bob

Edited by bobioden, 07 May 2007 - 14:48.


#17 halljer

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 14:55

Gary,
I think what astounds me about the Murex and Capless pens is that they write immediately upon laying them to paper. You don't have to prime them, or tap them, they write first time every time. I also have a black stealth capless with the faceted body. It's more streamlined than the modern VP's and seems to "fit" me better. At first, I found that odd, since I have large hands with long thin fingers and often use larger pens like the Duofold Centennial and MB 147. It too, writes first time every time. They are really a joy to use. You have a beautiful collection of MYU's. Thanks for sharing the photos.

Best regards,

Jerry

#18 Ged

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 15:01

Just when I thought I'd gotten the pens I liked and wanted for now... all of a sudden I feel the need for a Pilot VP with a Binderised italic nib. This all your fault Myu...

#19 spilled ink

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 02:39

Absolutely gorgeous collection Gary!I love my black stipe MYU but the black stripe capless is really something else.Which is rarer?Where would one even begin to look for a black striped capless?

#20 Taki

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 03:12

Those black striped patterns looked so familiar but I couldn't figured out why till just now. It was the package of Shiseido aftershave my Dad used to use in the 70's. It was not exactly the same (might not have been stripe), but it was black and silver, and had a similar feel to it. I have to find a photo.






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