Pilot Custom Silvern FK-5MS-Ishidatami (Stone pavement)
1.- First Impressions.
In the last couple of years, browsing here and there and having a look at some pens from proud owners, I had the chance to see a sterling Namiki, I think that it was a Falcon one, fitted with a Fine nib and also could try it. I liked the concept, the nib and its performance but was not 100% happy with the aperance of the pen. It was not until my eyes stopped at the fantastic Nikolaos Silvern Custom “Winter Trees” that I finally realized the full potential of the Silvern design. Nikolaos Silvern Winter Trees. That was awesome… but the pens were not available and the design went to sleep in a hidden place of memory. What happened unexpectedly was that I had a look at Ujuku’s shop and there was something that appealed to me; not the same design at all, but I found it nice enough to give this pen a try. Some bottles of Sailor and Pilot iroshizuku tsuki-yo filled the parcel home.
The presentation has no bells no chorus in it, just a matte silvern cardboard box and inside a plastic one, all well sealed in a plastic bag. Inside, the pen itself with the converter fitted and under the pen tray a silver cleaning cloth, instructions, warranty card and a couple of pilot cartidges.
2.- Apperance and Finish.
The pen is the well known cigar or torpedo; shape and size almost as the Yukari, all sterling silver choosing the one with a stone pavement design; the lines making the design are depressed in relation to the surface and have a blackish coloration, giving very nice contrast with the silver shiny surface of the pen. There are some other modern designs for the Silvern collection, namely Koushi (a checked pattern), FK-5MS-Tumugi (pongee) and FK-5MS-Shoutikubai (Pine-Bamboo-Plum), appart from the reviewed FK-5MS-Ishidatami (Stone pavement) Silverns
When loking around the pen, the design seam is visible, but not disturbing. The cap has plain ring with the words “sterling silver” engraved. The apperance is harmonious with the clip (the ball ended one) which I find nicer as the older straight edges design. Overall finish is very good, not excellent but with no flaws visible appart from the “non disturbing seam” and perhaps the cap end buttom which could have been obviated to give a cleaner line design.
3.- Design / Size / Weight.
The overall length is of 144mm capped, 130mm uncapped and 155mm posted. The section at gripping zone measures about 10mm in diameter. The cap snaps securely in a plastic grove (the older design seems to be better). It has a converter fitted that fills well and sits securely. There is still a lot of volume for ink hidden in the section. The pen weighs 38g. capped and filled and 23 gr without the cap. It is a medium sized pen with no compromises and seems to be designed and constructed to be a user.
4.- Nib Design & Performance.
The type seems to be an inlaid nib with an extra grip into groves on both sides into the black feed-section plastic. The shape is quite unique by Pilot and is very attractive to me. This is made in 18K rhodinated gold to suit the silver finish of the pen. Contrary to a previous report on a similar pen, and being this one a F nib, it starts every time without hessitation and out of the box it has been a flawless performer, giving a true Japanese F line. It feels just a little tad scratchy when giving some slight pressure (an almost imperceptible tine misalignement), but it is able to write without any pressure or only very slight one, giving a rich flow and without noticing the mentioned very slight misalignement. The other good surprise comes when aplying delliberate pressure, it flexes and gives a 1 to 4 line variation without compromise. Very nice when using inks like Sailor Jentle Brown, Tsuki-yo or similars that give those desired and spectacular shadow gradients. Due to the very thinn tip and behaviour would qualify the nib as a very good one; that was a very pleasant surprise. The nib is also able to draw an extraordinary ultra fine line, almost without scratchiness on the reverse side, of course, without ant pressure.
A writing sample...
5.- The Filling System.
The Silvern is a traditional CC filler with a twist button convertor. I did not measure the ink capacity (will dooo…) but it seems to hold enough ink for normal writing requirements (please do not compare with other Japaneese ED’s). It seemed imposible t fill te complete converter, but after a few trials it did almost to 95% of its capacity. The pen needs only to dip the tip till the breather hole to be filled. This is important, because if it is dipped more, the ink comes below the proximal part of the exposed nib and sure one becomes inked fingers sooner or later, no matter how well the tissue is used after filling the pen. Perhaps I would have liked a greater capacity in the converter.
7.- Overall Opinion / Conclusion.
This Pilot pen has gained my respects when it has seen use. It is easy to get used to it, not a heavy, not a bulky pen, well made and with VERY GOOD performance at a price which may seem high to some people but packed with quality for this price; most important, it is very usable and seems reliable. Time will tell. In this case, I would say that it is not cheap, not expensive… you pay what you get, with the added bonus of an excellent performance. Many pens at this price range fail and show multiple issues when put into use. The only real fault I find? … they do not make Nikolaos Winter Trees design … If they did, I would go for it!