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Pilot 100Th Anniversary Pens (Maki-E)

anniversary pilot maki-e 100th anniversary

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#41 AltecGreen

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Posted 16 September 2018 - 18:40

Thanks, Brian.

 

That is ... incredibly disappointing, actually. I think it was reasonable for us to expect multiple price-point anniversary products, given what Pilot did for their 95th anniversary. The Justus 95, Elite 95S, and at least one high-end maki-e pen made the anniversary accessible for fans at every price point.

 

Even the Pilot M90 90th anniversary pen was under $1000.

 

The inks are gorgeous, but between use and evaporation, they're not going to last over time the way a pen will.

 

I love Pilot. It was the first fountain pen brand I ever bought, and as far as I'm concerned their gold F nibs are still the best in the world. But I do not love them to the tune of, at minimum, spending thousands of dollars on the smaller maki-e pen I'm not head over heels for, just because it's the 100th anniversary. The 7 Gods are so far out of my reach they are practically in orbit.

 

I've been looking forward to buying a 100th anniversary pen from them since 2013. I was really hoping for a more reasonable item, like a special color Custom Urushi. It's a shame that they've apparently chosen to ignore huge strata of their customer base. 

 

At least now I have a better idea of how I might want to spend my money at the Dallas Pen Show.

 

 

Buy a 100th Anniversary Kakuno.


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#42 Olya

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Posted 16 September 2018 - 19:35

I'm not aware of any other models coming out for the 100th anniversary, so for those waiting, you're not going to find anything.  The Seven Gods of Good Fortune will be available separately starting spring of 2019 (no price as of yet), but otherwise, the only real affordable option is going to be ink (in both mini bottle sets and 50ml).

 

That is not only a bummer, but hugely surprising. I expected to see special finishes on the other existing models, e.g. the 74 or 91 (yeah, those are personal favourites!)..

There are 100th anniversary Acroballs for cyring out loud!



#43 Bounce792

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 21:11

If these are all they can offer for their 100th anniversary, I have little reason to ever buy another pen from them.  I already have most of the modern models which I like.  So, all that's left is hunting for interesting vintage Pilot pens on eBay


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#44 johntdavis

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 22:55

Pen Chalet just sent out an email announcing a Pilot Custom Urushi in Vermillion.

See here: https://www.penchale...untain_pen.html

 

This matches rumors I had previously heard from other vendors--specifically, that the vermillion Custom Urushi would be a 100th anniversary event item. I'm not sure why it's not officially part of the roll out. (Or is it?)

 

It's pricy, but it's also got a No. 30 gold nib, which is the second largest they make (the next being the No. 50 on the Namiki Emperor).

 

Filling system is a Con-70, which means it's easy to clean.

 

At any rate, as someone who's been pretty interested in the Custom Urushi for quite a while, and unable to get one of the Vermillion Custom 845s from that shop in Tokyo that had them specially made, I'm seriously tempted by this.

 

I wonder if anyone will have them on display at the Dallas Pen Show...

11628-Vermillion-zoom.jpg



#45 Mulrich

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Posted 19 September 2018 - 02:22

The custom urushi in vermillion has been around for a little while and I dont think its special for the 100th anniversary. Still a really neat pen (even though I find the CON-70 a pain to clean).

#46 Tseg

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Posted 21 September 2018 - 00:04

Interesting issue... the 7 Gods seem a bit cartoonish.  Glad I did not refrain at the beginning of this year from ordering my Namiki Urushi Vermillion No. 20 and then waited 4 months for it to arrive.  It is roughly the same size an a Pelikan M1000 but much more comfotable and a slightly smaller nib that is heaven to write with.  That Custom Urushi seems like a bit of a monster, 



#47 XYZZY

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 02:06

If you haven't seen it, Brian Goulet's normal weekly Friday morning youtube video discusses the Pilot 100th Anniversary release.  He discusses it pretty much from the beginning of the video.  He seems to wrap up the Pilot talk within the first six minutes, so you don't need to sit through the whole thing (I haven't watched the whole thing yet, maybe there's more later on, I dunno).

 

Some notes of mine (my words):

 

  • He said that Pilot viewed this as a Japan thing.  Pilot-USA isn't 100 years old, Pilot-Europe isn't 100 years old.  It's Pilot, in Japan.  They didn't think anybody else would care.  That seems like a really lame line from Pilot.
  • Prior to March the ink will only be available with the $48,000 collector's set.
  • Ink will be available separately in March.  Sets of 7 inks in 15ml bottles for about $100.
  • And separate 50ml bottles for about $30.
  • Discussion of individual pen availability was at about 4:50 into the video, I won't try to summarize.

Bummer.

 

Personally, I'm not into limited editions for their own sake.  I was hoping for an entirely new model.  A "Custom 100" or 1003, if you will.


Edited by XYZZY, 22 September 2018 - 02:19.


#48 AltecGreen

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 02:54

Not my pen but......the 100 th Anniversary Kakuno does exist.

 

44785049832_7bf3e1671e_c.jpg

 

 

 

29897505477_ec640720a0_c.jpg


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#49 hungrynerd

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 05:58

These pens are works of art in their own right. They're all depicting something with cultural significance either to Japan or Pilot's history. It is a fitting tribute to the 100 year history of pilot JAPAN (as someone has said earlier, it's not Pilot USA 100 or Pilot Eu 100) and a celebration of the skills of their maki-e artisans. Preparing these would have taken years to plan. I might not be able to afford these but I will certainly appreciate the hard work it took to create them.

As altecgreen said, if you want affordable there's that kakuno with the 100 stamp.

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#50 johntdavis

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 06:14

These pens are works of art in their own right. They're all depicting something with cultural significance either to Japan or Pilot's history. It is a fitting tribute to the 100 year history of pilot JAPAN (as someone has said earlier, it's not Pilot USA 100 or Pilot Eu 100) and a celebration of the skills of their maki-e artisans. Preparing these would have taken years to plan. I might not be able to afford these but I will certainly appreciate the hard work it took to create them.

As altecgreen said, if you want affordable there's that kakuno with the 100 stamp.

 

I haven't seen anyone saying these aren't all amazing works of art.

 

That said, this is certainly not how I expected things to go. I wasn't in the hobby for the 90th anniversary, but for the 95th, there were anniversary pens at every price stratum, from the very expensive maki-e pens down through the Justus 95 and the Elite 95S to, I'm sure, some entry level pens. Their designs were distinct and beautiful and they were the sort of thing you could buy and pass on to someone you cared about.

 

My Elite 95S was amazing, and I've been waiting 5 years to get something just cool to celebrate my favorite pen brand's centinnial.

 

More to the point, there was something for everyone who wanted to participate. This year Pilot poured all their effort into super-luxe pens very few can afford, and a Kakuno that almost seems like an afterthought.

Pilot is, of course, free to celebrate its 100th anniversary however it wants, but it definitely feels like they shut out anyone who isn't loaded and wanted something more than a school pen.

 

Lamy recently celebrated a major anniversary and likewise offered pens at multiple price points.



#51 bleair

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 06:53

Not my pen but......the 100 th Anniversary Kakuno does exist.

 

44785049832_7bf3e1671e_c.jpg

 

 

 

29897505477_ec640720a0_c.jpg

 

 

Nice. I've heard these write fairly well given the price point.

 

If you feel "shut out" or that "you have little reason to ever buy another pen from them" you could always write them a letter to tell them that they are doing things incorrectly.  If I understand the comments in this thread correctly, people feel like pilot isn't making the pens you expect them to make.

 

I personally enjoying seeing each year the different styled vanishing point body they release (this year there are two). Some years I don't like the design choices, other years I do... it seems rather subjective, but I don't think it's ever upset me.   I guess different things upset different people.


Edited by bleair, 22 September 2018 - 06:54.


#52 hungrynerd

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 07:50

Who is the anniversary celebration for? Why do we feel entitled to participate? I guess that's how I'm looking at it - I see it as a celebration of Pilot by Pilot and for something as momentous as 100 years it makes complete sense that they would take a traditional route and produce something that honors their artisans and shows off the skill of their workshop.

With the thought that this is not for Pilot to please the masses, but rather to show off what they are capable of, I'm not upset that I can't own these pens.

My pen is smaller than yours. Now get off my lawn.


#53 mke

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 09:55

A company should celebrate their anniversary WITH their customers.

 

Another announcement will come out on October 2. I am not sure but it might only be technical details regarding the pens shown in the first announcement. We will see.

 

Namiki is the better pen anyway.



#54 Bounce792

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 21:34

If you feel "shut out" or that "you have little reason to ever buy another pen from them" you could always write them a letter to tell them that they are doing things incorrectly.  If I understand the comments in this thread correctly, people feel like pilot isn't making the pens you expect them to make.

 

I personally enjoying seeing each year the different styled vanishing point body they release (this year there are two). Some years I don't like the design choices, other years I do... it seems rather subjective, but I don't think it's ever upset me.   I guess different things upset different people.

 

 

Who is the anniversary celebration for? Why do we feel entitled to participate? I guess that's how I'm looking at it - I see it as a celebration of Pilot by Pilot and for something as momentous as 100 years it makes complete sense that they would take a traditional route and produce something that honors their artisans and shows off the skill of their workshop.

With the thought that this is not for Pilot to please the masses, but rather to show off what they are capable of, I'm not upset that I can't own these pens.

 

It is disconcerting that you both feel the need to remove the legitimacy of people's emotions.  You are free to disagree but the condescension implied in your writing is very troubling.  I would suggest greater consideration of your phrasing in the future unless that is your intended tone.  

 

To the first quote - my first FP is a Pilot 2007 Orange LE.  To date, I have more than 20 Pilot pens in my collection, both vintage and modern.  It's probably higher than 30 but I haven't counted in a couple years.  Before I bought Pilot FPs, I used Pilot mechanical pencils, ballpoints, G2s and V5s in school.  My first mechanical pencil was a Pilot.  Pilot distinguishes itself from the rest of the Big 3 by its expansion into affordable and practical writing utensils in every category.  It is, by far, the most prolific of the Big 3 with more models than the other companies.  Point to a modern Sailor or Platinum vacuum filler.  There are none.  Look for a clickable FP from those companies.  Once again, none.  More than simply churning out new models, Pilot innovates.  Look at the MYU 701 and its M90 cousin.  Art and function rolled into one.

 

So yes, I feel like I know Pilot Pen, having been a customer of theirs since I was in Primary 1.  Now, add onto the fact that the 95th Anniversary saw the release of a higher-end (the Justus 95) and a lower-end FP (the Elite 95S) to the international market.  Both are still available for sale and I dare say that E95S sales were higher than predicted given how those are more common than the higher-end Justus.  Given its world-wide reach and knowing how well the 95th Anniv. pens did, it is quite a blunder by Pilot to fail to provide anything to the wider international market than these deluxe pens.  They abandoned their hallmark innovation, which they emphasized in their 95th pens, and went to the conservative extreme.  

 

If they are not going to release a new pen model which is within my means of purchasing, why should I buy another pen directly from Pilot?  I have a pen from every line I want and all I lack are some of the rarer vintage models.  I have a nib in just about every size save the #15 so I am familiar with most of their nibs.  Please explain to me why I am wrong to stop buying from Pilot now that it is clear they're not going to make anything I want.

 

To the second quote - a company which makes a product needs a return on its investment.  In the case of the pens, they at least want to break even.  Given Pilot's history of releasing moderately priced pens on significant anniversaries, they defied all expectations and released pens outside the reach of the average FP user.  But let's go with the flawed assumption that this was only for Pilot Japan.  What is there for the average Japanese FP user besides a Kakuno and a Vanishing Point?  What has Pilot released to any of its customers to make them feel like they are special?  Or did Pilot Japan simply decide to make expensive maki-e pens to show off and not get a return on the investment?  This move makes little sense from a business or marketing perspective, in my opinion.  I am not a businessman, economist, or marketing expert but I have a passing knowledge of it.

 

Why do we feel entitled?  We who are upset are fairly loyal Pilot Pen customers because this does not fit with the pattern they established in the past.  I believe if you go back to 2016 or 15, you will find a thread I made with my hopes and speculations.  What I specifically said back then has, essentially, come to pass - nothing but high-end pens and a Vanishing Point in terms of gold nibs.  I already have a Kakuno, 3 Metropolitans and a pair of 78G pens for my students.  Pilot makes pens for customers.  A good business finds out what customers want and caters to that.  It is rarely a good business move to make whatever you want and then claim this is what customers have been waiting for but never knew it.  If Pilot believes that all of their customers wanted super expensive maki-e pens and a VP as all they released for the 100th Anniversary, I beg to question their market research.


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#55 Bagpiper

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 21:44

Pretty Lame, waited all year for this ? I held off purchasing several pens eagerly waiting for something special, how hard would have been to say the Party is in Japan, sorry guys. At least they could have communicated a little better, I have been waiting for the 2018 LE VP to be put on sale, that’s late this year.

#56 inkstainedruth

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 21:51

 

 

If you feel "shut out" or that "you have little reason to ever buy another pen from them" you could always write them a letter to tell them that they are doing things incorrectly.  If I understand the comments in this thread correctly, people feel like pilot isn't making the pens you expect them to make.

 

I did that when I wanted a Decimo in a color that was only sold in Japan.  I got, as response, blather from Pilot-USA about how the marketing didn't warrant it.  Apparently, they (wasn't sure if that was corporate or just the US distributor) think that the only people who might want a smaller pen than a Vanishing Point is female, and therefore those customers would want "girly" colors....  :angry: 

Well, I'm a girl, but I think "Champagne Pink" is gacky. :sick:  The purple was cutesy (and reminded me of the piece of [expletive deleted Platinum Plaisir which was one of my first purchases]; the light blue and Burgundy were meh. So I found someone who was able to get me a Light Grey one from contacts he had in Japan.  Didn't save any money, and it took nearly 3 months for the pen to get to me (a month for the guy to track one down and then another six weeks after ordering it to arrive, get through US Customs, and for him to send it on to me once I paid him) but I got what I wanted (the guy I dealt with swapped out the M nib for the EF nib I wanted from a pen he had in stock).

People can write to Pilot and complain all they want.  But in my experience, they shouldn't expect much of a useful answer....  :glare: 

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#57 hungrynerd

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 21:57

Could it be possible that fp users outside of Japan are not their biggest customer group? They created some anniversary items in the non fp lines, if you look at the EU site.

My pen is smaller than yours. Now get off my lawn.


#58 johntdavis

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 22:10

Could it be possible that fp users outside of Japan are not their biggest customer group? They created some anniversary items in the non fp lines, if you look at the EU site.

 

@Bounce792 put my thoughts on the matter into words better than I ever could, and I've played the same scavenger hunt game Ruth has to get Pilots I want from Japan. I'm well aware Pilot Japan does not give as much care to their US customers as we wish they would. The lack of models distributed here and the price markup both make that quite clear.

 

I love the pens anyway--I've had a similar decades-long history with them as Bounce (my first FP was a Vanishing Point)--and I don't think it's unreasonable for me or anyone else to have expected them to have done something for the 100th anniversary as what they did for the 95th. They didn't, and that's disappointing, but I'm still going to buy plenty of Pilot pens.

 

I know I'm one of the ones that brought up the OMG!Expensive thing, and I do think that was a mistake on their part for all the reasons I and others have already stated in this thread, but that doesn't mean I wasn't ready to lay out some cash. It is, after all, the 100th anniversary. Just, not on maki-e. Putting aside whether you like the art, those are collectors' art pieces. They're not meant for, or arguably safe for, every day use. Too easy to damage the delicate art. Especially on the Emperor. I'd be terrified of using those as anything but display pieces.

 

As it is, I'm now seriously looking at a Namiki Yukari Royale. I'm hoping I can lay eyes and hands on one at the Dallas Pen Show next week.

 

If they ever put out a Custom 823 with rhodium trim, I might buy 5 of them and put 4 in a lockbox for backups. :P


Edited by johntdavis, 22 September 2018 - 22:48.


#59 Olya

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 22:36

This isn't even in line with Japanese customers.

 

Firstly, to say this is the 100th of "Pilot Japan" but not of "Pilot US" or "Pilot Europe" is the weirdest thing ever. A company celebrates their founding, not when they became active in other markets. First time I'm hearing this and it's weird as fck. But underlines the weirdness of Japanese marketing once again perfectly.

 

Secondly, even from the perspective of the Japanese customer this sucks. An average customer will not spend this kind of money and the average customer is being completely overlooked. Considering the pens Pilot did for their 90th and their 95th this 100th really smacks of disbelief.

 

If Pilot does not want to "please the masses", then they should close shop. Any company out for profit must please the masses to stay afloat and even better, make a tidy profit, so this type of argument falls very flat. And no one is "feeling entitled to participate" in their bday. I can't fully understand what this is even supposed to mean.

If Pilot does their market research right (that incl Pilot US & Pilot Europe, as apparently we have to look at them all like separate entities!!?!?!!), then they should avidly read here and in other places. It's part of their job in terms of "market research".

 

I wasn't even particularly looking to buy anything (much), but such a big bday and then only this.. wow.

I don't think that people complaining don't "appreciate" the work and artistry that's gone into these pens, but offering just these overly expensive pieces is disappointing, too little, and downright strange.

I guess it should be a lesson to companies how not to do it.

 

"A company should celebrate their anniversary WITH their customers."

Perfectly put.

 

PS Considering they are talking about their 100th on the EU site, it is pure bs to say "this isn't Pilot EU's bday". What the heck!! Who came up with that excuse?

https://www.pilotpen.eu/


Edited by Olya, 22 September 2018 - 22:38.


#60 johntdavis

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 22:50

Olya, I think, but I'm not 100 percent sure, that it's Pilot's US retailers hearing that "Japan only" thing from Pilot US, which is hearing it from Pilot Japan.







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