Just about every week I receive an e-mail or call from someone who bought an early Capless or some other 1960’s Pilot pen from some other seller, and is dismayed to find that the modern Pilot cartridges or converters do not fit his pen.
Most vintage Pilots like the Elites and Customs will accept the modern cartridges with no problems, but in the mid 1960’s Pilot launched its Double Spare campaign. The marketing idea was…well imagine you are taking an important test and you start to panic because your pen is running dry. Then you relax because you know that you have a Pilot Double Spare pen. You simply disassemble the pen and invert the double cartridge. Now you can finish your test and enter the University of your Dreams. If you had been using some other pen, say like a Platinum, you would have failed the test and made minimum wage for the rest of your life.
Yes, Pilots idea was to have two small ink cartridges connected by a small metal joiner. As you can imagine, the idea was a flop. Platinum was marketing extra long cartridges so that you wouldn’t need to change them as often. Your pen wouldn’t go dry during that test, so you wouldn’t need to disassemble your pen in the middle of your test. Pilot quickly abandoned the idea and restarted making their original carts, just like the ones they sell today.
The only problem now is that the Double Spare cartridges used a different size than the usual carts, and since Pilot stopped making these cartridges decades ago, you have to jump through some hoops in order to use these vintage pens.
I was lucky enough to find a large stockpile of these cartridges a while back. Since Japanese stationary stores couldn’t sell these cartridges any more, often they simply gave them to me. I usually include a box of these when I sell one of these pens. Another trick has been to take the nipple of one of the old cartridges and use a plastic welder to marry it to a modern Pilot converter. I know that sounds a little lame, but I have made hundreds of these converters for my customers, who have been delighted with them.
However, I just learned that a modern Sailor converter will fit most of the tall double spare pens, and even some of the Capless pens. Perhaps some of you guys already knew this, but it was a bit of a surprise to me, and now I won’t have to use my welder as much. I hope this information will come in handy for you sometime.
Below are some of the pens that take the Pilot Double Spare ink
And here is an image of a Pilot Double Spare pen fit with a new Sailor converter. All ready to write.
Dr. Ron Dutcher
Edited by kamakura-pens, 08 April 2008 - 09:28.