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  1. Recently, one of my old CON-70 converters wore out and broke after years of intensive use. So off I went to buy a replacement. To my surprise, I found that Pilot has redesigned the CON-70 slightly. It is now labelled as the CON-70N. The upper metal part of the CON-70N is silver; previously, only CON-70 converters that came bundled with pens were silver-coloured, while old CON-70 converters sold separately were black. Now it seems all CON-70N are silver regardless of whether they are bought separately or not. The new design of the CON-70N differs from the old CON-70 in two respects: Firstly, there are now moulded ridges on the inside surface of the converter - a narrow band of ridges near the top of the clear plastic part close to the metal top, and a wider band of ridges in the region of the "neck" of the converter where it narrows somewhat towards the front end. I am not sure of the function of these ridges; perhaps they are meant to help guide ink flow downwards. The second difference is that on the metal rod that hangs in the middle of the converter, the new CON-70N has an additional small metal cylinder bead (presumably an agitator?) on top of the black rubber stopper thing that was present in the old CON-70. This metal agitator (?) moves freely and independently of the black rubber stopper along the axis of the central rod, and it does make a slight clunking noise as it moves. This clunking sound remains audible when the CON-70N is installed and inked in a pen, although it doesn't seem quite as loud as the clunk of the big agitator in the discontinued CON-50 screw converter. It is more like a dull leaden "thunk" sound, which I find less annoying than the bright rattle of the ball bearings inside the current CON-40. Apart from the above differences, the CON-70N is the same as the old CON-70 in dimensions and in operation. I was able to fit it in a Kakuno and it is now installed in my Custom Heritage 91; I think it should fit in any pen that was able to take the old CON-70. Having now inked it (with Sailor Sei Boku, in my Custom Heritage 91) I do not find any functional differences. It works exactly the same, no worse, nor any better. It fills well, all the way to the top, just as my old CON-70 did. Alas, it still exhibits some degree of converter wall surface tension issues, although my past experience with the old CON-70 has been that after about two weeks of continuous usage, the surface tension issues tend to abate and the converter then functions very well. I shall see whether this will also be true of the CON-70N. Lastly, a note regarding pricing. I bought mine for RM45, which is about 11USD. Not sure whether there will be price differences in other regions.
  2. Cursive Child

    Alternative To The Pilot Con-70?

    I have a con-70 that came with my Namiki Bamboo. It's nice that it has a larger capacity (0.7ml) than most converters. However I'm not a fan of the pump mechanism that blows some ink back into the bottle, and also can sometimes spray / create bubbles. It works fine, but can anyone suggest an alternative converter, that has a conventional screw mechanism that will fit the Bamboo? I beleive the CON-70 fits the Pilot Custom. I don't need the 0.7 ml capacity, given the little writing I do at work. Thanks!
  3. A wait longer than words can define, an Emperor in Red singing a glistening rhapsody, and then a Yukari dazzling in Royale Red glory. The pens, an encompassment of elegance of words, combined with precision of maki-e artisans have been unsurpassed. The Yukari did anxiously waited in my hands to have it's first sip of ink and I had same thoughts with what if clauses! Before getting the Yukari, this is a must read-review by FPNer shuuemura, which is a rather poetic series of pictures with practical words, comparing two pilot beauties in black urushi. This pen, one can find ideal for everyday carry to write or to keep admiring the marvel it is! The doubly magnified and magnificent emperor would be more suitable for the latter though. Having said that, when both are together, it’s more fulfilling than a sumptuous meal. PS. Google says Yukari in Japanese means Affinity (上記) and is feminine by gender. In case you are looking for a review of the Yukari Royale or the Emperor (sized pen), the below links redirect to the necessarily ‘unnecessary’ eye-candies on a blogger optimized view The Yukari Royale Review The Namiki Emperor Review A BRIEF HISTORY The Namiki Yukari Royale more or less derives itself from the 80th Anniversary fountain pen (with only 1918 produced) aka the ShiSen, which was launched in 1998. The cap band was then imprinted with four mythical creatures - Dragon, Phoenix, Tiger and XuanWu (Tortoise). The band decorated with the Shijin (four gods) was finished in Togidashi maki-e. The Chinese fable of these creatures goes like this - Each mythical creature is supposed to guard one particular Earth direction and is Harbinger of a particular season. They are respectively, Shujaku - the red phoenix of the South (Summer), Byakko - the white tiger of the West (Autumn), Genbu - the black tortoise of the North (Winter) and Seiryu - the blue dragon of the East (Spring). The latter four are the Buddhist guardians of the four directions who serve Lord Taishakuten (who represents the center), and are associated with China’s Theory of Five Elements. The 80th Anniversary pen is rather excellently reviewed here by RLD. And later, in 2005, another 50 Seki Shun LE pieces (branded as Dunhill Namiki) were made by Pilot/Namiki for the Elephant & Coral Store which are still available. The clip matches the colour of the main finish in the earlier editions, something which may or may not appeal to all of us. URUSHI Urushi as you may know is the otherwise poisonous sap of the urushi or lacquer tree (Toxicodendron Vernicifluum) which grows in Japan, China, and Korea and is primarily brown in colour. The sap of this tree polymerises to form a hard, durable, plastic-like substance, when exposed to moisture/air. Liquid urushi can be applied to multiple materials like wood, metal, cloth, resin, ceramics or ebonite as opposed to the best available synthetic lacquers. When it solidifies, it turns into a very hard coating that is waterproof and protects the coated object from effects of fungus, ambient chemical reactions at surface due to heat or humidity or even from caustic acids. By mixing pigments into cured urushi, colored urushi such as black or shu (red) are made. With natural exposure to air and ultraviolet light (extended UV exposure ends up in discolouration), the urushi layers gradually increase in transparency and the material gradually unveils shades of original bright colours within. Like the Emperor, the Yukari Royale also comes in a spacious wooden box, made of traditional Paulownia wood. The box is protectively packaged inside a cardboard box. I had to let go of the box, while someone hand-delivered the pen, along with the accessories! The model number of the pen, in this case FNK-128S-<R/B>-<F/FM/M/B> contains the launch price, colour and nib width. The 128 refers to the list price of JPY 128,000 whereas the third digit R/B refers to the red/black urushi. THE TORPEDO This Lacquer No.#20 model comes in two standard finishes - Black & Vermillion (Urushi) with gold plated clips. The brass body feels comfortable in hand, from dual perspectives of dimensions and weight. The torpedo shaped pen in Vermillion/Red is adorable in both light and shadow, and when light reflects through layers of urushi, it renders itself an electric red appearance. I believe the brass substrate is partly responsible for its bright hues compared to a relatively darker scarlet hue off the Emperor’s ebonite. The expected fit & finish seem impeccable. The simplistic yet elegant design comes with two golden accents, provided deftly by the traditional triangular shaped tension fit clip with a sphere and a thin gold ring at the cap lip. Again there is a marked absence of any other decoration like a cap band or ring or anything else on the entire pen, extending infinity to modes of artistic convergence. Vermillion is considered as an auspicious colour throughout East Asia, where it’s culturally imbibed. It has four synthetic & natural shades as of today: Red-Orange[sRGB (255, 83, 73)], Orange-Red[sRGB (255, 69, 0)], Plochere[sRGB (217, 96, 59)] and Chinese Red[sRGB (170, 56, 30)]. The shades/hue of the pens in red urushi might vary. The cap finds itself after two turns, revealing a nib with the modern Mt.Fuji inscription. The seamless grip shows a pronounced taper starting from the barrel and ends up with a smoothly carved out bump, rendering continuity. The cap threads on the barrel are carved out with artistic finesse, deftly spaced and carved out of brass. The barrel at the other end leads leisurely to the smoothest tail. The brass cap again displays the most subtle art, sans any discernible extravagance. It carries the same perseverance and focus with a fluid like finish. The finish is impeccable with a parabolic finial and with colours hovering between bright and dark red, with the play of light. The clip is traditional triangular Pilot with a sphere at the end, inscribed with Namiki with the ‘Isosceles Triangle within a Pentagon’ logo. There is a thin gold ring at the cap lip, the only adornment than the golden clip. There is a alphanumeric code inscribed on the upper base of the clip, where it delves into the cap. FILLING SYSTEM - ‘CON-70 ZINDABAD’ The section unscrews from the barrel with three and half turns, with a metallic clink, given the metallic threads on both the section and the barrel. This exposes the golden metallic threads of the section, which would otherwise remain ever hidden! A special CON-70 converter, in black, is pushed inside. The inner barrel carries the opposite metallic threads. With a short black coating near the threads which contacts with the section, the rest of the brass barrel is all exposed metal on the inside. The pen can take all pilot converters CON-20/40/50 (0.4-0.5 mL) & CON-70 (1 mL) along with pilot proprietary cartridges (0.9 mL). I have used the included ‘special black’ CON-70 converter, which has a push button filling mechanism. Mind you, the ink bottle with have some froth during the otherwise fun filling exercise. Although, for Yukari I have always directly filled the converter from an eye dropper! NIB WITH THE ‘OVAL’ BREATHER HOLE The nib with the Yukari Royale is 18k, Size#20 (similar to Pilot#15) and it comes in four stock widths - F, FM, M & B, across Japan and other distribution countries. Inscribed upon it, is the symbol of Mt. Fuji and the upper part does seems symbolic of the snow caps! Comparatively the nib weighs a tad more than a usual pilot#15 nib (0.78g vs 0.70g), but at the same time it is much less wide at the shoulders. The oval breather hole rests within the snow caps. Below the snow, etched are the Namiki Logo (Isosceles triangle inside a Pentagon), Namiki, gold alloy specs (18k-75%) and Nib width <M> On the left the #20 nib carries the Namiki Logo with Ste PP-F hallmark and on the right it carries a simple date stamp. The red plastic feeder does converge with the overall color of the pen, though I would have preferred a similarly urushi coated feeder, which only the Emperor has! May be it’s a feed size limitation, may be Pilot doesn't want to spend more money, I have no idea. The moderately spaced fins ensure levelling ambient air pressure and give you a good buffer, my experience says it’s a tad better than the usual pilot feed. You can see the three different feeds, Size#50 Emperor, Size#20 Yukari Royale & the Size#15 Custom 823, side by side. PHYSICS AS RELATIVELY IT IS The lacquer somewhat helps in keeping the pen warm which is otherwise metallic, and renders it comfortable for writing. The pen is deftly balanced for writing, even for extended use. The grip, smooth & soothing, showcases both utility and elegance at the same time. I do not post the pen as the cap is not as inlaid with as much felt/velvet as the Emperor. Figures for weight and dimensions run below for the technically minded ones. Length closed ~ 14.9 cm Length open ~ 13.4 cm Grip Diameter ~ 1.1 cm Nib Leverage ~ 2.4 cm Weight (without ink) ~ 45 g Weight (without cap) ~ 27.4 g Capped, uncapped pictures with a Pilot Custom 823 run below for your reference. There is an Emperor posing, just to highlight its relative significance The uncapped Emperor without weighs around 31 grams and the Yukari with an unfilled converter weighs around 27 grams. And this is one of the most comfortable pens, I found. ECONOMIC VALUE The Yukari Royale retails at around USD 1200 in the US, and you can find it at similar prices in Japan. I was able to source the pen at a good bargain. Logically the economic value should be equal to salvage value of the pen after a few years of use and I don't think the price will vary by much even after few years of use, given that someone finally decides to sell it off. Having said that, even though the pen is one of its kind, you should give it a serious thought. It will result in a fair amount of money trapped within the urushi layers! FINAL WORDS IN WRITING The medium nib is graced with a super wet flow, which might put a few of my Pelikans to utter shame! The nib is as smooth as I want it to be, with a slight hint of control, evident in all pilot gold nibs, strictly speaking. I feel that there is some characteristic spring and softness because of the size & shape of the nib, and it does open up with a bit of pressure. The verticals grow thicker with pressure, and this nib runs a tad thicker than a usual pilot medium nib. No skips with fast or normal writing. It writes pretty similar at whether held at a high angle or a low angle. A relatively wet Sailor Nioi-Sumire ink takes around 55 seconds to dry completely on Tomoe River paper with the #20 medium nib. Thank you again for going through the review. You can find other pen and paraphernalia reviews here. REFERENCES Urushi FPN Thread on Care for Urushi lacquered pens Pilot Custom 823 Review The Namiki #50 Emperor Review
  4. sundragon

    Con-70 No Suction

    Hello All, I have a CON-70 on a Pilot 742 and it doesn't suck up ink.... It used to work a year ago but I tried it yesterday and nothing. I have taken it apart, gently, and silicon greased the white piston's edges and it seems to move up and down smoothly but it still doesn't work any more. I have more than one CON-70 and know how to fill them. Aside from taking the sleeve off and opening up the main chamber, is there something else I can do or is this it?
  5. Hi, friends. I've got my new Custom Urushi with astonishing vermilion finish. It came with CON-70 converter, and I inked it up with Diamine Red Dragon which is one of my favorite red. The problem is that, the combination of CON-70 and Red Dragon seems to not working well. Red Dragon makes an air burble in the converter about after I write a few sentences. I tried an empty Pilot cartridge, but it doesn't help a lot. I think I should find more thinner ink rather than Diamine Red Dragon to use with CON-70. I don't consider other converters from Pilot because CON-20 uses exposed rubber sac, and CON-40 and CON-50 have so limited ink capacity. I've already flushed both the pen and converter, but it barely helped. Have you guys used this combination without any flow issue? If then, I'd buy another CON-70 to test it. If you have had some problems, I think I should find another ink with dark red color and thinner than Diamine Red Dragon. Do you have any suggestion for my case?
  6. This one is my all time favourite pen and one of my first fountain pens with a gold nib. The Custom 74 (C74) was released as in 1992, sporting a Pilot#5 14k nib. I was planning to review it for a long long time but thanks to all the other pens, it never got the attention it truly deserves. Here is a link of the review on my blog: The Pilot Custom 74 Review The C74 was launched 74 years after the company’s inception (i.e. 1918), and as usual it does carry the first two digits of the model number as ‘74’ and the third digit is by default ‘1’ usually refers price at launch of the pen (i.e 1 X JPY 10,000). The demonstrators were released much later with the coloured ones specifically meant for the US market. I have always felt that the C74 along with the Custom Heritage 92 are the best starter premium pens. The C74 (for the Asian market) comes packaged in a standard pilot gift box (Z-CR-GN) which is more of a protection than presentation and the pen also reverberates with this understatement. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-CdTw8q1vIis/VdllHrQATMI/AAAAAAAAFLo/76Vr7h-W_nY/s1600/DSC_5391.jpg DESIGN - THE CLASSICAL CIGAR (5/6) The C74 comes in four standard designs of glossy resin - Black, Deep Green, Deep Red (or bordeaux), and Deep Blue, all in gold plated trims. The resin material feels strong though not heavy. There are also the clear and coloured demonstrators (blue, orange, violet and smoke) with silver trims and smoky finials, available at higher price points. I would personally prefer a piston-filling CH92 when it comes to demos. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-7owyZpWqHFA/Vdlkli2RgeI/AAAAAAAAFLQ/j7xt6YQDpcU/s1600/3custom74.jpg The cylindrical cigar starts with rounded off finial and a gold plated clip/ring syncing nicely with concentric cap bands before concluding with a golden dazzle at the end of the barrel. The glossy red resin shines moderately under light, preserving its business like look. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-dfpSmKIV_ck/VdllGuZxL_I/AAAAAAAAFLg/c_8AAGUCiS0/s1600/DSC_5399.jpg The cap is light and unscrews with little less than two turns, revealing a dazzling golden nib. The grip section is moulded from the same resin and a golden ring announces the beginning. But as usual the nib dazzles out from the rest of the pen. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-dIFZH-SAprQ/VdllgLOHF8I/AAAAAAAAFMI/N4w8M93o3Wo/s1600/DSC_5413.jpg The two injection-moulding threads are somewhat visible at the threads of the barrel and grip. I would have preferred polishing them off, through there is little room for argument at this price point. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-2DxF8tHZqyE/VdllVrd8KzI/AAAAAAAAFL4/IFuABBIT-To/s1600/DSC_5502.jpg The cap with a rounded off finial preserves a classical look. A few things etched across a lower centre band include the model name of CUSTOM 74 and PILOT MADE IN JAPAN, separated by a Star. An concentric narrow band above renders some differential aesthetics. The clip is tension-fit and has the shape of an inverted triangle, ending up with a golden sphere. PILOT is engraved vertically at the top. The design of the clip is reminiscent of Parker Big Red pens of the 70s. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1IH-E5yK_7g/Vdll5YY5XoI/AAAAAAAAFM4/u3fKyPHkNF8/s1600/cap74.jpg FILLING SYSTEM (6/6) The barrel unscrews from the section with four and a half turns. As you can observe the section has metal threading syncing with the resin threads of the barrel. You can also see one of the feeble lines of injection moulding on the outer threads of the barrel. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-e6XOmkCaIkE/VdllSjI7VII/AAAAAAAAFLw/c1584Mm5kK8/s1600/DSC_5488.jpg The pen takes all pilot converters CON-20 (0.9 mL), CON-50 (0.7 mL) & CON-70 (1 mL) along with pilot proprietary cartridges (0.9 mL). I have used the included CON-70 converter with this pen with a push button filling mechanism. Mind you, the ink bottle with have some froth during the otherwise fun filling exercise. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Yi21VMoZFrA/VdllqqfN5lI/AAAAAAAAFMo/lXrTL-kLDqA/s1600/DSC_5515.jpg NIB - ALL THAT MATTERS (6/6) The nib is friction-fit and comes in a standard 14k design across four stock widths - EF, F, M & B. In addition to these four there are eight special widths available across SF, FM, SFM, M, SM, BB, MS & C. It’s comes rhodiated for the silver trimmed demos although the widths are limited to F, M & B. The tail end of the nib specifies the month and year of manufacture. It has a standard scrollwork where the elongated hexagonal imprint separates the design from the outer shoulders and tines, with a decor running inside its circumference, encompassing the circular breather hole. The branding and nib specifications of PILOT, 14k-585 (58.5% Au Alloy) along with the nib size and width are imprinted below the breather hole. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-t6aCbVsp20o/Vdlll5rR7zI/AAAAAAAAFMQ/fMnBP6Y6CAw/s1600/DSC_5538.jpg A standard bluish grey plastic feed with moderately spaced fins delivers a buffer capacity and a decently sized feeder hole gives a decent ink suction. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-y4hBDIq9FNk/Vdllm9BgJqI/AAAAAAAAFMY/Q25DT6d8D5Q/s1600/DSC_5551.jpg The only difference I find between the C74 nibs and the rhodiated nibs of the CH92, is on the softness front, which makes the C74 nib more delightful. PHYSICS OF IT (6/6) – RELATIVELY SPEAKING I do not know why but the cigar shape of a pen does give an extremely comfortable feel to my hands. The cap weighs only 8 grams. It’s a comfortable grip section with around 1 cm girth. For my hands the un-posted C74 lacks a bit of weight rather than length. Uncapped Length ~ 12.5 cm Posted Length ~ 15.5 cm Nib Leverage ~ 2 cm Overall Weight ~ 20 g Capped, uncapped and posted comparisons with a few similar pens in terms of dimension and heft like the Custom Heritage 92 and the Pelikan m605 go below for your reference. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-SJzLYZJXINc/VZwdbOWPLMI/AAAAAAAAEvU/Cx0-Bfye-o8/s1600/DSC_4256.jpghttp://2.bp.blogspot.com/-I0dLszXTRNI/VZwdlOG5djI/AAAAAAAAEvc/vFO5zr9WD5A/s1600/DSC_4259.jpghttp://3.bp.blogspot.com/-BWLWFs_-pzM/VZwdtlyizTI/AAAAAAAAEvk/MofrsO9Twts/s1600/DSC_4266.jpg ECONOMIC VALUE (6/6) The C74 retails at around USD 160 for the rhodiated demonstrator versions in the US, although the glossy resin versions sell at USD 100 or less, in Japanese shops like Engeika or Rakuten. I had bought the first pen a long back for close to USD 100 from Engeika’s Indian Arm - Pensindia. I do find the C74, a terrific value for money. OVERALL (5.8/6) This 14k nib is the smoothest of all my nibs and it has a moderately wet flow. The nib is sturdy and does not have any variation between horizontal and vertical lines. This medium nib has an exquisite level of softness with a fair amount of spring which makes it phenomenal. These wet lines take almost 25 secs to dry a wet ink like Diamine Majestic Blue on MD paper. These grids are 5 mm squares. Overall, a must buy pen! http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-dtfShFpOBiE/Vdll_ArG4-I/AAAAAAAAFNA/lMVgIXuTKr0/s1600/DSC_5572.jpg Thank you for going through the review. You can find some more pen and paraphernalia reviews here. ADORABLE REVIEWS FPN Review Blue Demo
  7. I have a Pilot Custom 74 with a CON-70 converter. Getting the converter filled is no problem, but ink flow is. The problem does not seem to be air bubbles. Rather, the black rubber piece that falls down to create the seal when filling the converter falls down while I am writing and thereby cuts off the ink supply. Is there a way of preventing this? Many thanks.
  8. tritrek

    Con-70 Compatibility

    Hello, been googling but couldn't find a complete list of compatibility so I'd allow myself to ask directly and specifically: is the CON-70 compatible with these Pilots? - the MR series (US version, not with the international converter) - the 78G - the Parallel Pen Thank you very much
  9. Hey guys, I have a Pilot Metropolitan and I love it. The only thing that I HATE about this pen is the limitation of the filling system. I hate the squeeze converter, but I hate that the con-50 has less ink capacity, yet it is the most practical converter. I don't have an ink syringe to re-fill the cartridges, so I'm wondering is there any way to custom make a converter that is a piston filling system? Or even modify a converter to fit the Metro, like a standard international? If any of you have any links on how to make your own filling systems that would be amazing.
  10. I have a uni exam in just over a week and will be trialling my Pilot custom heritage posting nib fp under real exam conditions (yes, I'm practicing with it, it's my favourite uni pen). When I refill, or try to, it the converter hardly fills. When it does, it's full of air bubbles. What am I doing wrong please? Or is there some trick I should know? Seems to be writing fine, but I want maximum ink in that converter for the exam (3 hrs of writing). I've already figured out I can't fill the converter separately without the section/nib unit attached to eliminate bubbles like I can with Lamy converters. Details: I finished an Iroshizuku ink blend, rinsed converter and section/nib unit with lots of distilled water (that con-70 is a pest to get clean!) shook out water vigorously, dried it off a bit, and put in Sailor Blue Black (apparently permanent) with a manuf date of May 2008 (bought new at full RRP just a couple of weeks ago from a retail fp store in Brisbane, Aus.) Sailor Blue Black is going to be the everyday ongoing ink for this pen. Thanks!





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