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New Pilot Explorer, Vp And 100Th Anniversary Fountain Pen?

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#41 Mongoosey

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Posted 19 November 2018 - 05:33

I gave the Pilot Explorer a try:

  • Same feed, nib, converter system as Metro, Prera, etc. so you'll get a good functioning pen with reliable ink flow.
  • Aesthetics are OK:  Mediocre.  Nothing special, almost bland like that of a typical ballpoint.  Understated and informal, though not toyish looking. Not bad.  Not great.  Not much.
  • Is a rather full sized pen, and larger than I expected.
  • Capping/uncapping is nice and smooth
  • Seems durable and good for EDC
  • Section is a 1/2-hourglass-like shape I personally don't prefer.  I don't prefer hourglass shape sections so keep that bias in mind.  In order to hold it comfortably where I'm not forced into a more flexed pincer grasp (which I dislike) I had to hold it lower than I'd like at the skinny portion of the section closer to the nib.   BUT I will say the section does contour the fingers pretty well if you like more of a Pincer grasp or hourglass shaped sections.  For me it felt uncomfortable fairly quickly and grew more so fairly quickly,  but please keep in mind this is preferential.
  • Clip is plastic : (....  I did not like this, but the clip didn't seem bad, but I prefer a metal clip.
  • All plastic so it's light.
  • Does hold a Con70 converter.

Conclusion:  I personally didn't prefer the pen and that's basically due to the section shape, which is a preferential choice, but I do think it can work for you if it suits your preferences and be a good EDC light pen.  I honestly much preferred the section of the Kokuno, which unfortunately I won't use because it looks like such a child's toy. 

 

I do use a Pilot Prera instead despite the fact that I don't like posting pens.  My Prera functions beautifully and it uses the same nib, feed, and converter system, but the balance of that pen is much better IMO, and though the section is basic and not necessarily the most comfortable section I've held (most comfortable being the Ranga Davenport and Karas Kustoms Decograph), the balance of the Prera posted nestles an anchoring weight in the web of my hand in a way that substantially decreases effort needed by my fingers to hold and control the pen providing comfort for longer writing sessions with decreased hand fatigue.  So I stuck with Prera.



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#42 A Smug Dill

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Posted 19 November 2018 - 22:19

  • Aesthetics are OK:  Mediocre.  Nothing special, almost bland like that of a typical ballpoint.  Understated and informal, though not toyish looking. Not bad.  Not great.  Not much.
  • Is a rather full sized pen, and larger than I expected.
  • Capping/uncapping is nice and smooth
  • Seems durable and good for EDC
  • Clip is plastic : (.... I did not like this, but the clip didn't seem bad, but I prefer a metal clip.
  • All plastic so it's light.
  • Does hold a Con70 converter.

Thank you for the write-up! It's great to see that the Explorer answered some consumers' and fountain pen users' 'need' or preference for a different housing for the nibs and feeds that are compatible with the Pilot Cocoon/MR, Prera, 78G/78G+, Kakuno, Penmanship, Plumix, Pluminix and desk pens. If those consumers aren't prepared to compromise on (and pay the) price for something that meet their needs, then it looks like Pilot has made some good choices to introduce other compromises, but still tick their boxes and put another commercially viable product on the market.

Let's give each other due respect, and approach discussion rigorously. I believe we're all peers and equals here as fellow hobbyists, with common interests in the acquisition and use of fountain pens, but no shared values and no obligation to offer each other moral support for one's narrative.

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#43 Mongoosey

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Posted 19 November 2018 - 23:43

Thank you for the write-up! It's great to see that the Explorer answered some consumers' and fountain pen users' 'need' or preference for a different housing for the nibs and feeds that are compatible with the Pilot Cocoon/MR, Prera, 78G/78G+, Kakuno, Penmanship, Plumix, Pluminix and desk pens. If those consumers aren't prepared to compromise on (and pay the) price for something that meet their needs, then it looks like Pilot has made some good choices to introduce other compromises, but still tick their boxes and put another commercially viable product on the market.

 

For me, I find the Kakuno to be more comfortable than even the Pilot CH 92 I sold off.  And quite frankly, If I place an ink like Kobe #51 in that pen it writes brilliantly where my CH 92 had some flow issues.

 

I just think you don't need to spend top dollar to get a sufficient writing instrument, but pilot's almost made it so you can't get a proper sized/looking model if you don't "compromise" as you say and pay more for their higher end models.

 

Their lineup effectively funnels the consumer to higher prices IMO to meet more agreeable preferences, but with the advent of more competition from other brands producing more affordable models with more agreeable dimensions I think Pilot may feel some pressure to compete more in the fountain pen market.

 

It's nice to see pilot compromise a little with regards to the Explorer, but I still feel they actually failed to miss the mark with it, could have done a better job.  I think the section is a little small and not that comfortable, it's too plastic-y and has a cheap feeling to it, and I feel they cut corners like they did with the Con40 converter.  I'd even hazard to qualify the Explorer as a "Con40 pen".  That doesn't mean it's not an OK pen, but I think the concept behind what they wanted this pen to be was limiting in scope.



#44 A Smug Dill

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Posted 20 November 2018 - 00:01

I just think you don't need to spend top dollar to get a sufficient writing instrument, but pilot's almost made it so you can't get a proper sized/looking model if you don't "compromise" as you say and pay more for their higher end models.

 
I agree. That said, while the Pilot 78G looks and feels cheap when it comes to the plastic barrel and cap, but I think its shape and form factor are fine for presenting as a 'serious' pen.
 
I can't think of anything priced more cheaply by Sailor that meets the criteria. The HiAce Neo pens, even the opaque ones, don't cut it; they're too slender, for starters, even if you don't mind the plastic. The Sailor Profit Junior? Not quite. The next one up is the Sailor Lecoule, which is priced higher than the opaque Pilot Prera.

That doesn't mean it's not an OK pen, but I think the concept behind what they wanted this pen to be was limiting in scope.


Every consumer market offering should be limiting in scope by design intent, if there is presently or prospectively a next model up for consumers to choose if they want 'better' or 'more'.

Edited by A Smug Dill, 20 November 2018 - 00:02.

Let's give each other due respect, and approach discussion rigorously. I believe we're all peers and equals here as fellow hobbyists, with common interests in the acquisition and use of fountain pens, but no shared values and no obligation to offer each other moral support for one's narrative.

Don't think 'cos I understand, I care
Don't think 'cos I'm talking, we're friends

'6 Underground' by Sneaker Pimps


#45 Mongoosey

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Posted 20 November 2018 - 03:54

 
I agree. That said, while the Pilot 78G looks and feels cheap when it comes to the plastic barrel and cap, but I think its shape and form factor are fine for presenting as a 'serious' pen.
 
I can't think of anything priced more cheaply by Sailor that meets the criteria. The HiAce Neo pens, even the opaque ones, don't cut it; they're too slender, for starters, even if you don't mind the plastic. The Sailor Profit Junior? Not quite. The next one up is the Sailor Lecoule, which is priced higher than the opaque Pilot Prera.


Every consumer market offering should be limiting in scope by design intent, if there is presently or prospectively a next model up for consumers to choose if they want 'better' or 'more'.

 

I agree. 

 

I was checking out the pilot 78g myself with those thoughts in mind.  I might have to go take another more serious look at that.



#46 bass1193

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Posted 20 November 2018 - 04:06

I agree. That said, while the Pilot 78G looks and feels cheap when it comes to the plastic barrel and cap, but I think its shape and form factor are fine for presenting as a 'serious' pen.
 
I can't think of anything priced more cheaply by Sailor that meets the criteria. The HiAce Neo pens, even the opaque ones, don't cut it; they're too slender, for starters, even if you don't mind the plastic. The Sailor Profit Junior? Not quite. The next one up is the Sailor Lecoule, which is priced higher than the opaque Pilot Prera.


Every consumer market offering should be limiting in scope by design intent, if there is presently or prospectively a next model up for consumers to choose if they want 'better' or 'more'.


Quite right, indeed. 😄 The only thing putting me off the Lecoule is the terrible font they chose for the "Lecoule" imprint, as well as its prominence. I suppose I could buy one and wipe this off, since it appears to be a mere screenprint 🤔

#47 AltecGreen

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 15:42

 

That might be true, we will see on Sailor's next anniversary. Pilot is not singled out, it was just their turn because of their anniversary. Next one to be judged will be Platinum in 2019 and then Sailor in 2021.

 

 

 

Time for you to judge Platinum.  The details have been leaked by a seller in Taiwan.  Limited edition of 2000 pens in sterling silver.  About ¥128,000 (calculated from the Taiwanese price).   This is about what I expected Platinum to do.  Very nice packaging.


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#48 mke

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 22:00

> Time for you to judge Platinum. The details have been leaked by a seller in Taiwan. Limited edition of 2000 pens in sterling silver. About ¥128,000 (calculated from the Taiwanese price).

Any links available?

Thank you for the information.

#49 AltecGreen

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Posted 13 December 2018 - 00:54

No links.  I was sent pictures this morning.  I'm probably the wrong person to put up pictures here.


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#50 cjr

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Posted 13 December 2018 - 02:16

Bought a Pilot Explorer medium and loved it. It's nice and smooth and not too heavy a line. The best part is the section is a perfect fit for the hand, unlike the Metro with the sharp edge. The snap cap is about as good as you can get. If you like the solid, but easy “snick” feel of the Prera when it is capped, you’ll like the Explorer. It's just a bit longer than a Lamy Safari. I prefer the Pilot over the Lamy.

Just ordered two more Explorers!
Favorite pen/ink pairings: Sheaffer Legacy w/18k extra fine inlaid nib and Noodler's Black; Sheaffer PFM III fine w/14k inlaid nib and Noodler's Black; Lamy 2000 EF with Noodler's 54th Massachusetts; Franklin Christoph 65 Stablis w/steel Masuyama fine cursive italic and DeAtramentis Document Blue; Pineider Avatar w/fine nib and Noodler's Bad Belted Kingfisher; Karas Kustoms Fountain K w/steel extra fine nib and Platinum Pigment Blue; Pilot Decimo w/18k fine nib and Noodles's Black; Franklin Christoph 45 w/steel Masuyama fine cursive italic and Noodler's Zhivago; Pilot Explorer w/medium nib and Noodler's El Lawrence; TWSBI ECO EF with Noodler's Bad Green Gator.





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