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Pilot Tow (with more pics)


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20 replies to this topic

#1 ThaIwan

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 06:25

Yesterday I acquired a Pilot TOW FM. At least that is what it wrote on the little sticker. I paid a good 400 Thai Baht which is around and about $12. I found this was a very fair price for such a pen. What did I get?

A decent stainless steel pen, very smooth surfaced polished/brushed steel it is I gues, with very snug fitting cap. Pilot inscription on the cap is looking very cool on the further minimalistic design. On top of the cap there's an sticker posted with an odd P character with a cross through it. This lable is not fitted very properly by the way, a bit of center and not fully embedded in the cap.

The size is to be compared with a Parker Sonnet, though a bit taller and barrel and cap are in line with each other. It's a very tight design. I do have a cheap Sheaffer Targa of which it does remind me, but this one got more body. Posted the pen tends to get a bit off balance. It also posts rather hard due to the very tight fitting cap and I suspect the inner workings will scratch on the surface when doing it often.

It has a fine steel nib which is writing more wet than I'm used to from Pilot pens (refer to 78g pens). The nib has a little problem that it's not cut very straight and so the tines will scratch each other a bit sometimes, causing a clicking sound as well. But still it's writing very smooth. It's also springy due to it's length, but I wouldn't say it really has flex. The feed looks a bit odd, it's a smallish, translucent piece. A very decent open end steel squeeze converter. The pen is only suitable this converter or for special Pilot cartridges I suspect. The cartridges are fine to get overhere in case I would need them.

The nib has some inscription writing BOK or ROK which I can't make out yet as it is overlapped by the section part. I never really take time to flush a pen first time. It took a bit of time before the ink started feeding out but ever since it has been performing fine.

Anybody who knows more about this pen, it's nib inscription, got website refs to reviews or anything please let me know. I found there was a review request for this pen posted some time ago, but further I wasn't able to catch any information yet.

I may post more pics of the nib section and converter later...got some upload issues.

Attached Images

  • 2816691904_ab4e1e07d6_b.jpg
  • tow1.jpg
  • tow2.jpg
  • tow3.jpg
  • tow4.jpg
  • tow5.jpg

Edited by ThaIwan, 01 September 2008 - 14:27.


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#2 donwinn

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 11:35

The only thing I know about the Pilot Tow is that I wanted one, speerbob had some on his web site, and ran out before I got around to purchasing one. It is, according to Bob (who is trustworthy) very nearly a twin to the Sheaffer Targa, an example of which I have. If they are readily available where you are, I might be interested in purchasing one from you.

Is it a nicely smooth, fine, not too wet writer, like many of the Pilot pens I have had? If so, I will drool awaiting your reply.

Donnie

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Edmund Burke (1729 - 1797)
 


#3 haywoody

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 16:08

I believe this is a Korean-made Pilot and that the ROK on the nib stands for "Republic of Korea." You can see styling cues from Japanese Pilots spread across some ranges of pens they only made for other markets. The nib on this one closely matches the one on the Volex and plastic MYU pens. The styling of the pen itself does appear to be ripped off from the Sheaffer Targa.

I have not found any other information on the web about these. Mine is a very nice writer with a really nice finish and good feel to it.

Donnie, I have an uninked spare sitting here in my sell pile. Unfortunately I can't let it go for the $12 that ThaIwan snagged his for. If that does not work out for you, PM me.

/Woody

#4 ThaIwan

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 16:56

Hey Guys, thanks for the useful information.

Donwinn, I'll update you if I can help you out. Haywoody had 1 in stock....not sure if that's an easier option for ya.



#5 Yuri

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Posted 03 September 2008 - 15:16

I also have that pen which I bought from Speerbob. Interestingly, I had the same problem with nib, which was unevenly cut and wrote scratchy with skipping. Speerbob immediately send me replacement. The second pen came with uneven cut nib too but little bit better. I decided not to bother the seller anymore and just ground the nib myself. Now it writes smooth and without skipping. I like this pen, it is very balanced and starts instantly every time. Besides, the section is little bit wide that most of such asian pens have. I find it very comfortable, good and sturdy for everyday usage.

#6 speerbob

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Posted 03 September 2008 - 16:22

I did bring some of these back from Thailand with me and have them in stock. I got them wholesale so my price is just a little more than ThaiWan's 400 baht price (in $$ of course). Email me if interested. Cheers, Bob

speerbob@starpower.net

Check out my website at www.Speerbob.com


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#7 ThaIwan

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 16:14

Well for those interested...try Speerbob. He's got the reputation of being a trusted salesman and seemingly his prices prices are fine. I'd buy them retail and have to add shipping cost...and same as Speerbob I can't live of the fresh air only :-). Try such resources first, they're much better accomodated as I am. Unless you get really desperate...I'm always ready to help someone in need.

Do you know anything more about these pens Speerbob? I learned they're produced in Korea and not in Japan as I thought they would have been. The nibs seems to be not of the regular Pilot quality. Mine is doing well but I tried one other in the store which was rather scratchy and not worthwhile buying without discount and thourough grinding....try to explain that to a thai salesgirl in an ordinary department store...used to only writing with gel pens....having a foreigner in front of her going crazy on fountain pens....

Speerbob...I'm learning more and more on FP in Thailand...I found some Aurora's in a Korat Department store..but that what you took from there...amazing...Thais though only like gel pens...super fine.

Edited by ThaIwan, 05 September 2008 - 16:15.


#8 speerbob

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 12:33

QUOTE (ThaIwan @ Sep 5 2008, 05:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Well for those interested...try Speerbob. He's got the reputation of being a trusted salesman and seemingly his prices prices are fine. I'd buy them retail and have to add shipping cost...and same as Speerbob I can't live of the fresh air only :-). Try such resources first, they're much better accomodated as I am. Unless you get really desperate...I'm always ready to help someone in need.

Do you know anything more about these pens Speerbob? I learned they're produced in Korea and not in Japan as I thought they would have been. The nibs seems to be not of the regular Pilot quality. Mine is doing well but I tried one other in the store which was rather scratchy and not worthwhile buying without discount and thourough grinding....try to explain that to a thai salesgirl in an ordinary department store...used to only writing with gel pens....having a foreigner in front of her going crazy on fountain pens....

Speerbob...I'm learning more and more on FP in Thailand...I found some Aurora's in a Korat Department store..but that what you took from there...amazing...Thais though only like gel pens...super fine.


Hi, Good job finding Aurora's in Korat, I thought I bought all the good stuff there. Maybe I missed that store. But also sometimes they have stuff in the back room they don't have out so be sure to ask. You wouldn't believe how many times I went into a store and bought their entire inventory of fountain pens. It really freaks them out. Fountain pens sit on the shelf for years in Thailand because no one buys them so they think I'm nuts when I come in and buy them all. I have often bought pens that were in the store for over 40 years! One time a store had an awesome sale on NOS Pilots and I bought all they had in the store (10-12 pens) and asked if they had more. They said they could order them so I said I wanted 1000 pens. They must have asked me 10 times in I'm sure just to be sure they understood. They even called me later to be sure before they placed the order. It's pretty funny.

Pilot made pens at one time or another in Japan, Korea, India and Burma. The India and Burma factories closed over 30 years ago but Pilots were made in Korea until fairly recently. The Korea Pilots tended to be the lower priced ones, but not lower in quality. They nearly always have steel nibs. Sometimes they are marked Korea or ROK, sometimes they are not marked. They are just as good quality as the ones made in Japan. I have been told that Japanese customs will not let Korean Pilots in to Japan. Some Japanese customers will ask me is a pen is from japan or Korea and not buy it if from Korea. I don't know if this is really true.

The owner of Pilot Thailand is Korean and has had the business there for like 30 years. He is very, very stubburn and hard to deal with but I have been dealing with him for 6-7 years. I have never actually met him and always work through his office manger. He refuses to meet customers and spends half his time in Korea. I think he's a fairly old guy now and semi-retired. He runs a very inefficiant, low-tech business. But, pilot is still a top brand there on the low end. they most expensive Pilots they sell in Thailand are the VP's. he has no desire to go up-market.

Cheers, BOB

Check out my website at www.Speerbob.com


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#9 andy1m

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 12:51

Sowadikap, hello I'm Andy from Indonesia. This is a really nice pen. I will get one if I can visit Thailand, but after all those people stop their demonstration.

#10 ThaIwan

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 02:35

QUOTE (andy1m @ Sep 10 2008, 07:51 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Sowadikap, hello I'm Andy from Indonesia. This is a really nice pen. I will get one if I can visit Thailand, but after all those people stop their demonstration.


Hi Andy, it should be no problem going in and out of Thailand for some trip. Southern airports were blocked for some time but the BKK airports are operating normally. Surely what's going on here is not nice and comforting. I hope the situation will improve soon, but the country is in a long time struggle already.

But good there are FP's to get some distraction. I enjoy every new species I can find.

#11 PatientType

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 07:30

I have been using a Pilot Tow from SpeerBob as well. Its a fine nib and a very reliable writer. Not a lot of flex to it... However, its a very good quality pen for the price (around $20).

#12 william m

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 12:47

Interesting its like a Pilot birdie + 1 haha.
I have all the Pilot catalogues, ask me if you need help.

Looking to swap my Noodlers Britannia's Blue Waves

#13 ThaIwan

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 12:55

William M,

Not because it's my review but why this remark and the haha?

....

it looks like a parker vector flighter hahahah like that?

Please elaborate if useful.

Thanks



#14 donwinn

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 16:46

QUOTE (ThaIwan @ May 27 2009, 07:55 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
William M,

Not because it's my review but why this remark and the haha?

....

it looks like a parker vector flighter hahahah like that?

Please elaborate if useful.

Thanks


It actually looks like a Sheaffer Targa. I have one of each, and the lack of a white dot and the Pilot logo on the cap are the major appearance differences. And, it is not nearly as expensive to purchase as a Targa.

Donnie

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Edmund Burke (1729 - 1797)
 


#15 william m

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 11:14

QUOTE (ThaIwan @ May 27 2009, 01:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
William M,

Not because it's my review but why this remark and the haha?

....

it looks like a parker vector flighter hahahah like that?

Please elaborate if useful.

Thanks



Im just saying that it looks like the bigger brother of the birdie fountain pen. And the haha is there because I had a laugh, which I thought necessary to share with you.

I have all the Pilot catalogues, ask me if you need help.

Looking to swap my Noodlers Britannia's Blue Waves

#16 Mags

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 22:43

The price has gone up....but I ordered one of these from speerBob.
Rob Maguire (Plse call me "M or Mags" like my friends do...)I use a Tablet, Apple Pencil and a fountain pen. Targas, Sailor, MB, Visconti all wonderful.

#17 Bemo

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 03:31

Wow Mags, I just ordered one of these too. Looks like it will fit in a business meeting very well without being ostentatious.



#18 Scribblesoften

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 03:48

It looks a lot like a Targa when capped. What do they cost now?

#19 grahamtillotson

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 04:21

All -- just got one of these from Speerbob and was wondering if anyone has had trouble with ink leaking after filling right where the nib meets the section (see below). I just filled it and can't tell if it is residual ink from the filling or if it is a real leak. Any feedback would be appreciated! 

 

fpn_1390969260__screen_shot_2014-01-28_a

 

Graham



#20 LUKE_H_KIM

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Posted 27 October 2016 - 14:23

Hi. I am happy to see this pilot fountain pen.

I was a user of this pilot TOW fountain pen.

 

That pen was my first fountain pen.

 

That pen was a present for me

 

When I graduated an elementary school 1983.

 

I used the pen about 10 years.

 

in my case, there was no leak. 


Edited by LUKE_H_KIM, 27 October 2016 - 14:30.







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