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  1. alexander_k

    Royal blues

    Somehow I did it again and managed to buy too many Royal Blue inks. It's far from my favourite blue hue but nevertheless useful in broad nibs. In any case, it gave me the opportunity to compare them. The first picture is of what I wrote on a scrap of Lalo 100g paper. It's not a great picture but you can probably see that there's not much difference between Montblanc, Pelikan 4001 and Faber-Castell Königsblau. Pilot Blue, which was added for comparison, is similar but yet slightly more blue (apologies for the tautology but I can't put it otherwise). Also note that the unlabelled cotton swab at the bottom is Pilot Blue. Then I folded the paper, so that only the right part remained visible and left it exposed to the spring sun for a month. The second photograph shows the deterioration of all inks but especially of Montblanc Royal Blue and, surprisingly, Pilot Blue. Pelikan and its presumed sibling Faber-Castell fared slightly better. Finally, I put a wet finger across the paper and then blotted it with a tissue. All inks but Pilot Blue were affected. Bottom line: everything as expected, although I thought that Pilot Blue was more UV resistant.
  2. rhymingisfun

    Pilot Fa Nib Vs. Pilot Falcon

    Anyone able to compare the CH 912 FA nib and the regular Pilot Falcon nib? I recently purchased the Falcon and now I'm having buyer's regret hearing that the FA nib on the Custom Heritage 912 and the Custom 742 are even better.
  3. PRELUDE A sharp twist in the clip This is going to be an unrated review in addition to an eulogy for one of my beloved blue Pilot Bamboo pens, which met its ultimate demise at the hands of an evil FedEx carrier. I would probably have spent more time pondering this loss, than Juliette would have done while finalizing the pen's design. Okay, I was joking. To bring this narrative to a point, I had noticed that the clip had lost its rose gold plating over the years. When I received confirmation from Namiki Repairs, along with their generous offer to re-plate the clip for a service fee, I was filled with joy. So, I packaged the pen in my ever-trustworthy Sheaffer hard shell box. This box has been my faithful companion for servicing various pens (including a Scribo, Pelikan M800, Pilot C823, and more) over the last few years. It has traveled to Germany, Italy, and probably a few other countries across the globe without even getting a crack. However, this trip from San Francisco to Florida was doomed. I kept the fountain pen section with me and sent the pen with the rollerball attachment. I thought I had packaged it well with bubble wrap and other protective materials, drawing from my own experience of sending pens for repair both domestically and internationally. I shared the below picture the fountain pen community on Reddit, and the group chimed on the importance of armor-like packaging for expensive items, citing the continuously degrading logistics services of carriers like FedEx. As fate would have it, I had insured the pen at a relatively lower amount ($200) when shipping it. However, FedEx eventually approved the claim for $200 plus shipping costs. The FedEx representative had suggested a lower amount, around $20, but fortunately, I didn't heed that advice. I am still awaiting the arrival of the reimbursement check. Then, when I reached out to Regina Martini, who always seems to have a few more pieces of rare pens, I was fortunate to find a store sample (a black rollerball) at a good price. It arrived within 3 days. If you like a pictorial blogger view, here is the link: Pursuit of an elusive Pilot Bamboo PRESENTATION The luxury of yesteryears The second Bamboo came in a luxurious packaging, probably meant for European markets. White cardboard box market with the Pilot logo, with a pull out ribbon, oh that finesse of gifts of yore. I appreciate it in its essence, since these boxes are temporal and will eventually find their way into the recycling plant. Once you pull out the sleeve there is foam cut to compartments. The middle one houses the Bamboo pen inside a black Pilot branded cotton sleeve. And since it’s a rollerball there are two spare refills thrown inside the box. The papers are in the last compartment, which carry branding of Pilot Corporation of Europe. The instruction manual seems generic one meant for fountain pens. I highly doubt that Regina has very kindly shipped me a spare box meant for the fountain pens, since this pen was a store sample. DESIGN Symbolism The Bamboo pen, as per the original sales description, is meant to represent the shape of a bamboo stem, which symbolizes enlightenment in Buddhism. Buddhist literatures mention that King Bimbisara presented a bamboo grove to Lord Buddha and his community of monks. The characteristics of a bamboo stem - strength, flexibility, and growth, are synonymous with qualities valued in Buddhism. In certain Asian cultural precepts such as Feng Shui or Vastu Shastra, bamboo is believed to bestow divine providences such as peace, joy, and positivity. A book called Old Path White Clouds by Thich Nhat Hanh, contains stories of the Buddha from his many lives, and I found deep inspiration in it during my teens. The pen was designed by a French designer named Juliette Bonnamour, who purportedly had a passion for writing instruments. In my humble opinion, she was quite successful in amalgamating certain cultural aspects with a writing instrument. The pen itself has an appealing appearance, resembling a bamboo stem with slightly angled/tapered finials on either end. While a bamboo is hollow, I would liken this structure more to that of a sugarcane. However, naming it Namiki Sugarcane would have been inappropriate, if not ungodly. Let's stick with Bamboo. The curvature of the pen is quite unique compared to others. It's akin to a graduated cylinder, thinnest at the barrel end and gradually increasing in diameter as it approaches the midsection where the cap threads meet the barrel threads. Then, there's a slight decrease in diameter as it reaches the cap end of the finial. There are around seven rings around the midsection of the barrel. In Buddhism, there are seven factors of awakening: mindfulness, study, energy, joy, tranquility, concentration, and equanimity. While it's uncertain whether these influenced the design of the Bamboo, the number seven holds a degree of sacredness in Vedic philosophy as well. It is said that one must pass the kundalini through the seven energy centers or chakras to achieve enlightenment. The cap unscrews from the barrel with 1.75 turns, revealing why this pen feels so substantial in hand. The threads on the barrel, as well as the inside threads of the cap, are metallic. There is a step down from the barrel, and the rollerball and fountain pen sections are very similar in design, each adorned with a lone steel ring on the section. The continuity of the bamboo rings is evident in the design of the pen itself. In this case, the cap features a rose gold clip, which is not a usual Pilot clip. It has a slightly convex curvature with some resemblance to a bamboo stem. The plating shows some wear, but I can live with it for now. The finial although unadorned, carries its own imprint. The tapered finials of the cap and the barrel always align themselves to meet at a finite angle. FILLING & CLEANING SYSTEMS Cartridge Converter (Rollerball barrel can take in a CON-40/20/50/B not a 70) The barrel unscrews from the section with almost four turns. As you can observe, the section has metal threading that syncs with the metal threads of the barrel. Since this is a rollerball, it cannot accommodate the longer CON-70 converter without compressing the inner spring at the end of the barrel. However, the other proprietary converters or even cartridges fit well. I have tested the pen with a CON-40/20 and a CON-B converter, and they work fine with the rollerball barrel. I have a quibble about ink capacity, but it doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things. I found it easier to clean the section with the eye dropper that comes with a Pilot Parallel. NIB - ALL THAT MATTERS Frost-smitten Pilot #10 14K. The nib was originally released in three stock widths - F, M & B across Japan and other countries. The frosted frontiers create an elegant contrast to the rest of the white silvery luster of the nib. An elongated hexagonal imprint separates the design from the outer shoulders and tines, featuring arabesque decorations within its borders, encompassing the circular breather hole in the center. The branding and nib specifications of PILOT, 14k-585 (58.5% Gold Alloy) are imprinted below the breather hole, along with the nib size and width. The date code on the left shoulder of this nib is A903 (Plant-Month-Year), indicating a manufacturing period of September 2003, with symbol A signifying the Hiratsuka factory's production line A. Below is a list of codes sourced from Richard Binder’s blog, which may be helpful if you're just beginning to survey all the Pilot nibs you own. I did that already. T: Tokyo factory (in Shimura, Itabashi ward) H: Hiratsuka factory (in Kanagawa prefecture) A: Hiratsuka, production line A B: Hiratsuka, production line B F: Thailand, Burma, India, or Brazil Once you turn the nib, the first thing you'll notice is the feed. A standard bluish grey plastic feed with moderately spaced fins with a decently sized feeder hole delivers the good ink buffer. These feeds are pretty well made and render moderate wetness to the nibs. PHYSICS OF IT – RELATIVELY SPEAKING The Newtonian Laws Although there's a step down from the barrel to the section, I find it comfortable to grip. The diameter of the gripping section is larger than that of a typical Pilot 742 series or a similar pen (such as a Dunhill AD2000) with a #10 nib, due to the additional piece of concentric cylinder above the aesthetic ring of the section. The weight is well balanced by the metal inserts in the barrel, cap, and section. Below are the pictures along with a Conid Minimalistica for a comparative reference. Here go the dimensions. Uncapped Length ~ 12.9 cm Total Length ~ 15 cm Exposed Nib Leverage ~ 2.2 cm The weight of the pen is comforting even without the cap. Overall Weight ~ 32.5 g (inked, without cap ~19) WRITING & FINAL COMMENTS Writes soft and beautiful The writing experience with this nib so far matches the experience I have had with other 14k nibs from Pilot, including the superb #15 nib of a Custom 823. The nib writes moderately wet, without any issues of drying out. It writes softly with a hint of feedback and a sense of control, which is perfect for me, though less springy than a #15 nib. This is a relatively stiff nib, even though some line variation can be achieved with moderate pressure. It's not quite my preference, but its softness more evident than, say a Sailor 21k nib on the 1911L or its equivalent. On Endless Regalia 80 GSM paper, the drying time for lines with Sailor Yama Dori ink is approximately 25-30 seconds. One aspect to consider regarding the step in the section is that the Bamboo provides a longer section compared to the typical 742 or a similar pen equipped with a #10 nib. Compared to a Dunhill AD2000 the pen appears to have a longer section. I find the AD2000 18k nib somewhat softer than the Bamboo. I do not think that the pen was designed to be posted given the metal threading inside the cap. The Bamboo feels quite well balanced even without posting the cap. To be honest, the rollerball version is also a pleasure to write with. Thank you for going through the review. You can find other pen and paraphernalia reviews here. REFERENCES Nib Codes
  4. Mercian

    Pilot Metropolitan with CM nib.jpeg

    From the album: Mercian’s pens

    Pilot (in 2023 at least) actively prevents its Authorised Dealers from selling this pen to people who are in the UK 🤬 In continental Europe, similar-looking pens are sold by Pilot under the name “Pilot MR Retro Pop - Metallic Violet - Ellipse Ring’. Those pens are chambered to take European ‘Short International Cartridges’. This pen is chambered to take Pilot’s proprietary cartridges. As such, I believe that it would have been sold in the American & Australasian markets as a ‘Pilot Metropolitan’ (perhaps still as a “Retro Pop” etc). I believe that it would have been sold in Japan as a ‘Pilot Cocoon’. This pen came to me here in England from Australia, so I am calling it a Metropolitan. My chief interest in acquiring it was the fact that it is fitted with one of Pilot’s ‘CM’ (Cursive Medium’?) nibs. Although Pilot sells pens that have these nibs to the American and Australasian markets, the company, in its ‘ineffable wisdom’, once again actively prevents the sale of pens with these nibs to people in the UK 🤬🤬 This pen was - very generously - gifted to me by another FPN member 😊

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  5. Greetings! I was recently gifted with two fountain pens and two bottles of ink from a friend in her 70s. They'd been sat in her husband's desk for so many years that neither of them can remember getting them or ever using them. One is a Waterman; some Google-fu suggests it's a Laureate? M gold (plated?) nib. It was used as it had an empty long international cartridge in it. It writes so nicely! I love how slender it is. One is a Pilot; steel M nib. No other markings or indications. Appeared to have never been used. Writes okay with the Waterman ink; not as smooth as my newer Pilot Metropolitans. Two bottles of ink: Waterman Washable Blue Ink and Pilot Shin-Ryoku. The blue is meh but that Shin-Ryoku is a gorgeous teal. Any ideas how old these might be? Seems like maybe from the 80s or 90s? I assume they don't have high value but are nice enough pens to add to my small collection...and I am really liking that Waterman. Edited to add: What exactly constitutes "vintage" when it comes to fountain pens and ink?
  6. visvamitra

    Ina-Ho - Pilot Iroshizuku

    Ina-Ho is intriguing ink, it's hard to describe its color. Let's just say it's interesting, because it really is, take a look at the chromatography. But first the bottle: Bottle http://imageshack.com/a/img540/7702/SAJvCC.jpg http://imageshack.com/a/img538/3772/mQxy7h.jpg INK SPLASH http://imageshack.com/a/img540/9265/AvVSUu.jpg DROP OF INK http://imageshack.com/a/img904/6391/Xk2NVa.jpg CHROMATOGRAPHY http://imageshack.com/a/img908/9713/4a2xDG.jpg SOFTWARE IDENTIFICATION http://imageshack.com/a/img537/7758/j9JxGf.jpg COLOR RANGE (made with PS gradient tool) http://imageshack.com/a/img913/7550/5o8EfJ.jpg Calendar - Kaweco Sport Classic, broad nib http://imageshack.com/a/img911/7822/3xKJ04.jpg http://imageshack.com/a/img661/2890/BCmTf0.jpg http://imageshack.com/a/img661/7748/hsgmeO.jpg http://imageshack.com/a/img540/2314/gxjh8G.jpg
  7. A friend's pen (Pilot Heritage 91 <M> tip) with a con 40 has drystarting problems. The tines are good, the feed matches with the breather hole, and the ink used is a wet ink (Waterman inspired Blue) and they are using Rhodia paper. During writing, if the tip of the nib is lifted for more than 2 seconds, the tip dries up and so in the next word to be written(or even letter) there is drystarting. While the tip touches the paper the nib is perfect: wet with no skipping. But the moment the tip leaves the paper, it immediately dries up. So what I did is I starting writing and when I stopped, I immediately checked the tip and I saw that within 1.5 - 2 sec. the ink that was on the tip was sucked in the nib. Is that normal? That doesn't happen with my Metropolitan, where the ink stays on the tip after writing, even with the driest of inks. Help would be very much appreciated.
  8. Hello, I'm planning to purchase a Pilot Custom 823 and while searching on how to clean and maintain the O rings, I saw lots of warnings on how even unscrewing the piston assembly once, with the right tool, can result in the barrel cracking (and ofc loosing the warranty). Is there any way to lubricate the O ring without this risk? Is lubricating the ring even necessary?
  9. I saw on reddit chatter that the Burgundy Elite 95s has been discontinued, I just checked the website and only the black version is listed. Noticing the "new" tag on the Custom Heritage 91, I clicked on it and saw that this model is now apparently also only in black available. Very odd to discontinue colours completely instead of adding, Sailor is selling like crazy with all the colours and Platinum has been adding more colour as well. Anyone know more about this or any musings? https://www.pilot.co.jp/products/pen/fountain/ https://www.pilot.co.jp/products/pen/fountain/fountain/customheritage91/ https://www.pilot.co.jp/products/pen/fountain/fountain/elite95s/
  10. Except from the shape and the converter included, is there any other difference? Don't they use the same nib?
  11. I have a pilot cavalier and I'm looking to buy a converter. I've read some comments recommending the con-20 but it seems neither jetpens nor amazon carry that. The con-70 seems like the best one pilot offers, but it looks pretty thick and I'm afraid it might not fit into the thin barrel of the cavalier. Any ideas?
  12. I just got a rather good deal for a NOS vintage Pilot Capless. This is the quite sought after 1970's aluminum bodied CN-400BS/CN-500BS version. While I don't usually succumb to the temptation of buying pens at this price, I was really drawn in by the packaging of this one that I end up pulling the trigger on it (it's still well below the price of a new current generation Capless, though). Now back to the packaging, I really like the cylindrical shape and free-standing layout. I think it complements the "futuristic" look of the pen very nicely. I'm not familiar enough about vintage Pilot packaging, but I haven't seen this type before. I've seen another NOS example of this pen sold here before, but it came with the regular style flip case with a leather-like exterior. And quick online search I did before buying also didn't turn out any leads, which just made me want to buy it more!
  13. Aetheric Continua

    Pilot Vanishing Point <M> Vs Custom 823 <M>

    I've done some searching but couldn't quite find what I'm looking for. I recently purchased a VP with a Fine nib and it's just finer than I would like, so I'm planning on getting a Medium nib unit later in the month. Later in the year I'm hoping to get my hands on a Custom 823. Before I got my VP I was thinking about getting the 823 in a Fine but now I'm likely to go with the medium. Only thing is, from what I've read on the forums, Pilot's VP Medium writes rather similarly to a Western Medium and that there's no real happy medium. Is this the case with the 823? How does a VP Medium compare to a 823 Medium? Thanks in advance for any input
  14. From the album: OldTravelingShoe's Random Pics of Fountain Pens (2)

    © (c) 2023-2024 by OldTravelingShoe. All rights reserved.


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  15. OldTravelingShoe

    20231218_115946.jpg

    From the album: OldTravelingShoe's Random Pics of Fountain Pens (2)

    © (c) 2023-2024 by OldTravelingShoe. All rights reserved.


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  16. OldTravelingShoe

    20231224_123608.jpg

    From the album: OldTravelingShoe's Random Pics of Fountain Pens (2)

    © (c) 2023-2024 by OldTravelingShoe. All rights reserved.


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  17. OldTravelingShoe

    20240104_120745.jpg

    From the album: OldTravelingShoe's Random Pics of Japanese Fountain Pens

    © (c) 2024 by OldTravelingShoe. All rights reserved.


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  18. OldTravelingShoe

    20240104_120840.jpg

    From the album: OldTravelingShoe's Random Pics of Japanese Fountain Pens

    © (c) 2024 by OldTravelingShoe. All rights reserved.


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  19. I have Sailor 1911 L Sailor Compass aka Profit Junior Platinum 3776 Century Platinum President Pilot 74 Pilot 78g Muji pen
  20. I'm in the market for a VP, and I'm torn between the matte black and the blue carbonesque. I'm really curious as to how the matte black finish wears off, and I'm not sure if I like it or not. Can you share the wear on your matte black VP? Do you mind the wear or do you think it looks nice? Thanks!
  21. This is the best blue ink (or even the best among all colors) I've used so far. Aurora and Waterman and Montblanc come in next on my list. I was wondering if there are blues from other brands that are at least as well behaved as this one. I'm not looking at PR or Noodler's because I haven't had pleasant experiences with their inks for the same reasons already discussed at length in other threads. My criteria for well behaved are: - wet - saturated, I absolutely loathe washed out inks. The color should stay the way it is or darker after drying. - very low feathering and bleed through - reasonable dry times - consistent flow till the last drop in a converter without having to prime the feed Asa Gao hits it out of the park for all of the above criteria and is currently my favorite ink. I haven't used Kon-Peki but I believe it is just as good. I hope there are inks from other brands that might be cheaper with similar or better characteristics.
  22. OldTravelingShoe

    20231126_181947.jpg

    From the album: OldTravelingShoe's Random Pics of Japanese Fountain Pens

    © (c) 2023 by OldTravelingShoe. All rights reserved.


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  23. OldTravelingShoe

    20231126_182026.jpg

    From the album: OldTravelingShoe's Random Pics of Japanese Fountain Pens

    © (c) 2023 by OldTravelingShoe. All rights reserved.


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  24. I have a Pilot VP with a broad nib (18k). Great writer and I love it except for one thing: When the ink - whether in a Pilot Cartridge or the CON-40 - drops to about 1/2 full, there is no flow/hard starts (which do not resolve after a few strokes) if the pen has been stored nib up. If then placed nib slightly down for a few minutes, the flow is back to normal. By stored, I mean overnight in a pen cup or in my shirt pocket for an hour or so. FYI - the ink - whether in cartridges or via converter - is and has always been Kon Peki. Has anyone else run into this or have any ideas (other than not storing the pen nib up) ? TIA!
  25. OldTravelingShoe

    20231112_225743.jpg

    From the album: OldTravelingShoe's Random Pics of Japanese Fountain Pens

    © (c) 2023 OldTravelingShoe. All rights reserved.


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