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Pilot Elite Review (1970S)


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#1 AL01

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Posted 28 May 2018 - 16:25

 I have always been fond of Japanese pens....

 

 YET most of them are known for being very boring to look at........

 

 Most of them look like mere cylinders; but their nibs are second to none.

 

 THE PEN...

 

 This Pilot Elite is a 'vintage' pen. It's nib IS NOT an inset nib unlike the modern 95s or some vintage Elites....

 

 I'd argue that the nib is hooded.

 

 The pen is impossible to use without posting. The cap is made out of aluminum, (some light metal), and the clip is made to see a lot of usage. It clips securely in your pocket.

 

 The pen, (like almost every Japanese pen), is a C/C. I'd say if you don't mind the lack of weight, use a cartridge, else, use a CON - 40.

 

 IMG_20180528_105621 (2).jpg

 

 THE NIB...

 

14 Carats of gold baby!

 

 The nib came in pretty shape....

 

 It would skip with Sailor and Waterman ink, (the two wettest inks I own), so I decided to be a little weird, and instead of sending it off to a nib meister; I sent it off to Pilot.

 

 NO REGRETS HAHAHAHA!!!!  :P  :P  :P  :D  :D  :D

 

 The nib came back nice, smooth, wet, and wide!?

 

 It's supposed to be a Japanese Medium, but I think Pilot Japan decided to make it a Broad or something.

 

 It has a wonderful cushion to it that makes it feel luxurious.

 

 It is, however, not as "cushion - like" as a Custom 74 nib.

 

 The feed is slightly transparent and keeps up well.

 

 IMG_20180528_105629 (2).jpg

 

 THE FEEL...

 

 The pen is made out of a silky feeling plastic.

 

 It doesn't feel 'hard' like other Japanese pens around the 100$ price range.

 

 The pen is similar to the shape of a Parker 45 or a Lamy 2000.

 

 For me, it feels like the extension of my hand.

 

 The pen is as light as a feather - I don't have exact weights, but I'd say it weighs as much as a Lamy Safari; if not a little less.

 

 CONCLUSIONS...

 

 I think this pen was worth the time and money I had spent on it. ( TOTAL COST: Around 60 - 70$ with the nib work. )

 

 It makes for a great all rounder, and I think will be enjoying this pen for a long time.

 

 Unlike most vintage pens, I can't seem to find any weak spots on the pen, which gives me the indication that most Pilot Elites will easily last a looooong time.

 

 The feed in the pen is quite big and works a lot like the feed in a Parker 51.

 

 Ah yes....

 

 Here's a writing sample.

 

 Scan1.JPG

 

 Thanks for reading my first, (or second?), pen review!

 

 ANY suggestions, (and I mean ANY), would be appreciated.

 

 Take Care!

 

 - AL01

 



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#2 MomoShinChan

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 08:41

Nice review. Just a suggestion that the review would be nicer if you format it better and have some more pictures showcasing the fountain pens



#3 Honeybadgers

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 08:46

You sent it to pilot, did they re-tip it? What did they charge?


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#4 RoyalBlueNotebooks

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 08:57

The Pilot customer service is truly commendable. 

The Pilot Elite has been in my wish list for a while, thank you for confirming its strong points such as reliability, weight, portable size.


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#5 JulieParadise

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 10:36

Thank you for your review!

 

Since I own both a modern Pilot E95s Black [F -- nib made in 416 = April 2016] and a vintage Pilot Elite [EF -- DIY altered to a 0.8 mm italic, mine has a real hooded nib, leaving only about 8 mm visible] I would like to further comment on the shape/appearance:

 

-- The E95s feels superior, more reliable. The material seems thicker.

-- Its edges (finial) are cleaner/clearer/sharper, however you want to phrase it.

-- It has slightly more girth and is about 2 mm shorter.

-- Apart from the colour of the trim the shape of the clip is exactly the same. It says "PILOT" downwards.

-- Both have "Elite" on the cap (band) in line with the clip in different fonts, the E95s also has "PILOT JAPAN" on the reverse side of the cap lip.

-- The E95s has a "14k585" gold nib, the Elite only say "PILOT". Maybe a gold stamp is hidden under the hood, I cannot tell.

 

If you have the chance to get either one I would recommend these. Both look & feel good and are reliable writers.

 

For people who find they grip their pens in weird places (too close to the nib or too far away from it) it might be a good fit as the grip section is only interrupted be a small step about two thirds downwards so you do not have the normal disturbing threads in the way.

 

Being (veeery satisfying and efficient) snap caps these are also useful for quick notes.

 

For small paws I would say it definitely is possible to use it unposted. I even use my KaWeCo Liliput unposted without any problems. Although these pens are clearly designed to be used posted, hence the name "Long-Short-Pens".

 

(Sorry for not being able to accompany photos at the moment, maybe I have some time later today.) 


Sina a.k.a. Julie Paradise | www.instagram.com/wwwjulieparadisede


#6 JulieParadise

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 15:29

Pictures as promised (excuse the quality, I snapped these with my smartphone):

 

fpn_1527694038__2018-05-30_17_02_23.jpg

 

fpn_1527694051__2018-05-30_17_04_16.jpg

 

fpn_1527694059__2018-05-30_17_05_13.jpg


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#7 SenZen

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 15:48

Very interesting! How wide is the section?


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#8 JulieParadise

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 16:37

According to the photo I would say 1,1 cm for the Elite and ca. 1,3 for the E95s. 


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#9 mknoblauch

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 18:03

Thank you for this review.  I also have a 70's vintage Elite.  Mine has a nib like the OP's pen rather than the hooded nib on Julie's.  As in the review, my F nib puts down a much wider line than one would expect when I use Waterman inks (the only kind I use in any vintage writing instrument), so much so that I would say it writes like a very wet Western medium bordering on broad. Although I bought it NOS, I'm wondering if it had either been altered or was set aside unsold due to this discrepancy in its purported nib size.



#10 AL01

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 18:22

Nice review. Just a suggestion that the review would be nicer if you format it better and have some more pictures showcasing the fountain pens

 

 I will add more pictures soon.

 

 Thanks for the suggestion!

 

  :D

 

Thank you for your review!

 

Since I own both a modern Pilot E95s Black [F -- nib made in 416 = April 2016] and a vintage Pilot Elite [EF -- DIY altered to a 0.8 mm italic, mine has a real hooded nib, leaving only about 8 mm visible] I would like to further comment on the shape/appearance:

 

-- The E95s feels superior, more reliable. The material seems thicker.

-- Its edges (finial) are cleaner/clearer/sharper, however you want to phrase it.

-- It has slightly more girth and is about 2 mm shorter.

-- Apart from the colour of the trim the shape of the clip is exactly the same. It says "PILOT" downwards.

-- Both have "Elite" on the cap (band) in line with the clip in different fonts, the E95s also has "PILOT JAPAN" on the reverse side of the cap lip.

-- The E95s has a "14k585" gold nib, the Elite only say "PILOT". Maybe a gold stamp is hidden under the hood, I cannot tell.

 

If you have the chance to get either one I would recommend these. Both look & feel good and are reliable writers.

 

For people who find they grip their pens in weird places (too close to the nib or too far away from it) it might be a good fit as the grip section is only interrupted be a small step about two thirds downwards so you do not have the normal disturbing threads in the way.

 

Being (veeery satisfying and efficient) snap caps these are also useful for quick notes.

 

For small paws I would say it definitely is possible to use it unposted. I even use my KaWeCo Liliput unposted without any problems. Although these pens are clearly designed to be used posted, hence the name "Long-Short-Pens".

 

(Sorry for not being able to accompany photos at the moment, maybe I have some time later today.) 

 

 I agree with everything you said except for: the walls in my Elite are quite thick and that the plastic in my Elite is simmilar, (but not the exact same), as the plastic in the E95S.

 

 I have tested out an E95S...

 

 Your pictures are very very very nice!

 

 Thanks for addin' 'em here!

 

  :)

 

The Pilot customer service is truly commendable. 

The Pilot Elite has been in my wish list for a while, thank you for confirming its strong points such as reliability, weight, portable size.

 

 You are one step closer to emptying your wallet.

 

  :P  :P

 

You sent it to pilot, did they re-tip it? What did they charge?

 

 Pilot did some things to the pen, but they didn't tell me what they did with the nib.

 

 They definitely cleaned and polished the pen; it did NOT look like it does now, (in the pictures), before I sent it off.

 

 I am under the assumption that the nib was adjusted and smoothed...

 

 It costed me $15.51 and three months of waiting. 

 

 And like I have said before, I am quite satisfied with the end result.

 

 

Thank you for this review.  I also have a 70's vintage Elite.  Mine has a nib like the OP's pen rather than the hooded nib on Julie's.  As in the review, my F nib puts down a much wider line than one would expect when I use Waterman inks (the only kind I use in any vintage writing instrument), so much so that I would say it writes like a very wet Western medium bordering on broad. Although I bought it NOS, I'm wondering if it had either been altered or was set aside unsold due to this discrepancy in its purported nib size.

 

 I used Serenity Blue with the pen initially and my results were the exact same as yours.

 

 Pilot Elites are pretty much compatible with any ink, so you can get away with Sailor/ Iroshizuku, etc.

 

 IMHO, I'd avoid "thick" ink in any pen, (especially pens with fine finned feeds), like Noodler's. 

 

 BUT the Japanese technicians were aware that I am a Westerner, and could have adjusted the nib on my pen accordingly.



#11 JulieParadise

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 18:34

RE: thick walls

 

One thing might have been misleading in my first post: I (and some others who have held both pens) would say that both pens feel very good in the hand, but once you have touched the E95s it does feel more ... "convincing", more sturdy, more substantial than the Elite. 


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#12 AL01

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 20:07

 The Elite you have, (I think), is a Korean made one.

 

 It's supposed to be a lower end, (?), pen.

 

 It has a stainless steel nib.



#13 AL01

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 01:02

 I can't seem to edit my review.

 

 I will add some pictures.........................

 

 IMG_20180530_194842 (2).jpg

 

 IMG_20180530_194916 (2).jpg



#14 bitterwonder

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 01:43

I have the modern Elite and it is one of my favorite pens. I drew with it all last summer and didnt miss my other pens.

#15 Honeybadgers

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 01:45

I have an e95S in extra fine and a vanishing point in fine and I have to say that I prefer the e95 in every way. It's more comfortable, easier to hold, darn near as quick, and has a nicer clip. But I just don't really love either pen. And the finish on the cap is really easily scratched. mine got a nice scrape the day I got it from being in the same pocket as my keys.


Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)


#16 JulieParadise

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 09:17

 The Elite you have, (I think), is a Korean made one.

 

 It's supposed to be a lower end, (?), pen.

 

 It has a stainless steel nib.

 

Yep. I read somewhere that these were manufactured in Korea under licence of Pilot. Still it is of nice quality, esp. when considered to be lower end. 


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#17 AL01

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 13:32

I have an e95S in extra fine and a vanishing point in fine and I have to say that I prefer the e95 in every way. It's more comfortable, easier to hold, darn near as quick, and has a nicer clip. But I just don't really love either pen. And the finish on the cap is really easily scratched. mine got a nice scrape the day I got it from being in the same pocket as my keys.

 

 Is it the red one?

 

 ... Those do get scratched fairly easily.

 

 ... I have tried out modern VPs before and I do agree with what you said; they are nice pens, but I can't justify buying one.

 

 NOW the Plastic VPs are KILLER pens. I still kick myself for not buying one right off! 

 

 But most Pilot nibs, (especially the Mediums), are fairly pedestrian writers, and don't have a whole lot of feedback.

 

 I like variety in my nib types, so I don't mind...

 

 ... But if I only wanted toothy/ feedback "- y" nibs, then I'd probably avoid Pilot. 

 

 (And most of the modern brands.)



#18 SenZen

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Posted 03 June 2018 - 16:38

According to the photo I would say 1,1 cm for the Elite and ca. 1,3 for the E95s. 

 

Thanks, that's quite wide!


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#19 hu-327

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 02:45

Great review, AL01! What did you ask when you sent it off to Pilot? And how did you contact Pilot Japan? I have only been able to get ahold of Pilot US. I have a couple hard starters that I'd love to use more if they worked better. 



#20 Honeybadgers

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 06:36

Hu - any nibmeister can handle a hard starting pen for not much money.

 

 

I've jumped into the world of pilot and other japanese pocket pens headfirst, bought about 50 of them from Japan and am slowly restoring and re-selling them. It's amazing how similar they all are, pilot platinum and sailor, and how they have barely changed in 40 years. 

 

They did have a lot of more interesting finishes. I have ones with cherry blossoms, inlaid guilloche, and ALL of them have hinged clips too. Gold content ranges from 14k to 18, 21, and platinum even has some 22k models (that are rock hard, stupidly enough)

 

A few are quite flexible, but most are merely quite bouncy. The pilot SCRIPT 14k inlaid nib is quite a nice writer.


Edited by Honeybadgers, 31 May 2019 - 06:37.

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)







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