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Pilot Ultra Super 500


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8 replies to this topic

#1 jimg

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 09:42

A while ago I saw some photos of one of these great vintage Pilots on Pentrace or Lion and Pen.

Does anyone care to share some photos of one of my "grail" pens?

Thanks
Jim

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#2 kamakura-pens

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 10:17

QUOTE(jimg @ Apr 8 2008, 01:42 AM) View Post
A while ago I saw some photos of one of these great vintage Pilots on Pentrace or Lion and Pen.

Does anyone care to share some photos of one of my "grail" pens?

Thanks
Jim



Hey Jim,

The Pilot Super 500 is one of my favorite pens. The story behind the Ultra is that in 1950, a young, promising Pilot designer named Shigeki Chiba came up with the idea for this pen. He loved the idea of a large inlaid nib. However the Pilot fabrication engineers told him it was impossible to tool the dies to make this pen. He fought hard for his design, which in 1950 Japan, was a little unorthadox for the hamonious ideal workplace. The upper managers decided to have Chiba-san work in the factory for a few months to better understand the manufacturing process. At the time, Chiba-san felt he was being punished, but every day as he worked the presses, he started to understand how complicated his designs were. He went back and designed the much simpler Super 200.

The Pilot Super was a tremendously successful pen, and it was the pen that allowed Chiba-san to make a name for himself. So with the success with this pen, He had enough clout to win the go ahead with his original Ultra design. The pen won several design awards, but it was simply too costly to make a profit, and Pilot lost money on every 500 they sold.

Later Pilot would do a remake of the Super 500 and give it the name Ultra. From the outside the pens look very similar, but a good way to tell the difference is that the original 500's had a Switch filler, and the later Ultras had the usual cartridge converter filler.

Below is a partial spectrum of the Pilot Super line. Note that all of these models were offered in other colors as well:



Going from right to left:

Pen #1 Pilot Super 50L This has the dart nib and the switch filler

Pen #2 Pilot Super 100 Fingernail Nib and switch filler

Pen #3 Pilot Super 150 Fingernail nib and switch filler, just slightly larger than the 100

Pen #4 Pilot Super 200 (note that this is one of the first year pens with the 3 section rings, it also has the older Pilot R-pen imprint.

Pen #5 Pilot Super 300 (same as the 200 except it has a gold filled cap)

Pen #6 Pilot Super 200G Twist button filler

Pen #7 Pilot Super 500G Twist button Filler

Pen #8 & #9 Pilot Super Ultra 200 Twist button filler

Pen #10, #11 & #12 Pilot Super Ultra 500 Switch fillers

I still have a few of these 500's and the 200's left. Send me a message back channel.



#3 jimg

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 10:49

Whenever I receive an answer to a question like this I remember why I love FPN.

Thank you very much Dr Ron.

Brilliant. Just Brilliant.

#4 haywoody

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 19:13

I never get tired of seeing that picture of your Supers, Ron. Do you you have some pictures showing the twist button filler, or better yet, one of those diagrams you seem to have an endless supply of?

Jim, I also have a Super 500. Mine had some problems with the cap/clutch spring so I couldn't use it for a while. Pilot was kind enough to repair it a few weeks ago and I have been using it since. It is definitely one of my favorites too. I posted some pictures here.

In case you can't get enough, Nikolaos posted some pictures of his in this thread.



/Woody

#5 haywoody

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 20:35

Here is a picture of the grey version, along with the standard black and gold. It was taken at Pilot Pen Station (and I hope Pilot does not mind me posting the picture unsure.gif ). I think I read somewhere that there were other colors, maybe red or burgundy...

I much prefer the cap with the masked pattern to the full gold one.

/Woody


pilot_supers.jpg



#6 Brian

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 23:10

[quote name='haywoody' date='Apr 8 2008, 10:35 AM' post='571606']
Here is a picture of the grey version, along with the standard black and gold. It was taken at Pilot Pen Station (and I hope Pilot does not mind me posting the picture unsure.gif ). I think I read somewhere that there were other colors, maybe red or burgundy...

I much prefer the cap with the masked pattern to the full gold one.

/Woody

That is quite interesting. From this picture I can see some elements from the earlier Vanishing Point and even the current model. So, there is some evolutionary heritage in the VP after all.

Thanks

#7 kamakura-pens

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 06:03

QUOTE(haywoody @ Apr 8 2008, 11:13 AM) View Post
I never get tired of seeing that picture of your Supers, Ron. Do you you have some pictures showing the twist button filler, or better yet, one of those diagrams you seem to have an endless supply of?

Jim, I also have a Super 500. Mine had some problems with the cap/clutch spring so I couldn't use it for a while. Pilot was kind enough to repair it a few weeks ago and I have been using it since. It is definitely one of my favorites too. I posted some pictures here.

In case you can't get enough, Nikolaos posted some pictures of his in this thread.



/Woody



Hey Woody,

Actually I do have a diagram of the Twist button filler. I'll post some images later since my scanner is still unpacked from the move. But for now, I'd like to share an image of the rare Platinum Ultra. Yes, Platinum marketed in the 1950's its own version of the Platinum Honest Ultra. One of my all time favorite pens.

Stay Well, guys

RD


#8 Nikolaos

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 07:25

Woody: WOW, they even made it a grey version of that ! Amazing! I do like the grey color but i agree with you regarding the cap. I prefer the masked cap as well to the solid gold plated one! Interestingly enough, i am using mine in the office today, along with the Sailor Realo, and the Capless stealth.

Ron: That is a beautiful spread of Super Pilots...Fantastic. The Platinum Ultra is certainly an eye-catcher but i have to admit i do prefer the Pilot version of it with the streamilned uniform nib. Thanks for sharing the picture

Nikolaos

#9 haywoody

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Posted 10 April 2008 - 18:39

QUOTE(kamakura-pens @ Apr 9 2008, 08:03 AM) View Post
Hey Woody,

Actually I do have a diagram of the Twist button filler. I'll post some images later since my scanner is still unpacked from the move. But for now, I'd like to share an image of the rare Platinum Ultra. Yes, Platinum marketed in the 1950's its own version of the Platinum Honest Ultra. One of my all time favorite pens.

Stay Well, guys

RD


Wow, very cool. It is interesting to see how they tried to copy the integrated nib without actually integrating it. How common is the Platinum Ultra?

/Woody







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