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Review: Pilot Capless Decimo


Dan Carmell
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I've been interested in the Pilot Decimo since I started hearing about it. First, because the current Vanishing Point/Capless model is a little heavy for me at times. I love my Raden Capless; it's a gorgeous pen, but sometimes I think the old plastic faceted VPs were better workhorses overall. And second, I have a little Vanishing Point array that I thought would benefit from the addition of a Decimo. So I ordered one from from Ujuku's website, an easy transaction, followed within a week by this pen (bottom):

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v255/dcarmell/dec2.jpg

 

A quick nomenclature note: Namiki/Pilot has apparently used the model name "Capless" in Japan and "Vanishing Point" in the U.S. until the current full-size model arrived with the name Capless. For the rest of this post, I'll call the old plastic model the Vanishing Point or VP, the current full size model the Capless, and while the Decimo's packaging called it the Capless Decimo, I'll just call it the Decimo. And by the way, the company name is Pilot on the barrel of the Decimo, rather than Namiki, as the old VP’s clip was inscribed and as my Raden’s barrel shows.

 

This is the "dark grey mica" finish, but I wouldn't call it terribly dark. In fact, it has a rather silvery tone that works with the rhodium plated trim very nicely. I find that grey mica finish, by the way, to be very handsome. The "mica" refers to the slight sparkle of the finish. I chose the grey because I wanted it to complement my predominately black VP collection: a mid-1960s VP, the 1990s faceted plastic model, and the Raden: all black, with a bit of color on the Raden, of course!

 

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v255/dcarmell/1dec.jpg

Now, I have to say that the Decimo strikes a very nice balance between the previous light weight plastic VP and the current metal Capless model. It is metal also, but because it seems to constructed differently, it is noticeably lighter than the Capless. I have weighed all three of my VPs on my office's postal scale and for what it's worth, here's what I came up with: 1.1 oz for the Raden Capless, 0.8 for the Decimo, and 0.7 for the plastic VP.

 

The shape of the clip is also quite different. The Decimo's clip is thinner and has a lower profile, making it much easier to deal with. I say this as someone who does not have much of a problem with the Capless clip placement--except when I put a Mottishawed italic nib in it and then my usual problem with italic nibs became much worse. Anyway, the old VP's clip placement did not interfere with my grip at all--it was almost "invisible" to my fingers, and I think the Decimo is a lot closer to that type of shape and position than the current Capless. However, I don't think that someone who was bothered by the Capless clip will be fine with the Decimo: if you don't like the clip at the grip, you may not like any pen with this configuration!

 

The fit and finish of the Decimo is every bit as good as the Capless. I like the different mid-barrel rings, as they are a little less obtrusive than are their counterparts on the Capless. The Decimo also has a subtle "bulge" at the base of the tassie that surrounds the click button, lending a nice visual flow to the barrel.

 

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v255/dcarmell/dec3.jpg

This is the new rhodium plated 18K nib. Since I had a fine nib and a medium italic, I decided to try a medium. My nib, according to the date code, was made in December 2005 and it has a hallmark at the base of the nib, something new, I believe, for VP nibs. It is, of course, about equal to an American fine and a fluid and smooth writer, in line with Namiki's great reputation. This model is about ease of use and reliability and it delivers. It really does give the simplicity of a retractible ballpoint and the liquid style of a fountain pen.

 

The pen comes with two cartridges and the special sleeve for carts, and--surprisingly, since the new Capless pens now come with a piston converter--a squeeze converter. Comparing this stainless steel converter to the one that came with my 1998 VP, it is identical in size and shape.

 

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v255/dcarmell/dec5.jpg

This close-up of the clips illustrates how modest the Decimo's clip is next to the full-size Capless. Yes, that's an accent mark over the "e". So is it the des-i-MO or DAYS-i-mo? Since no one has ever been able to purge the Midwest completely out of me, I'll stick with Des-i-MO, thanks!

 

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v255/dcarmell/dec4.jpg

 

To sum up a bit, this is a lighter, slimmer pen than the Capless, but every bit its equal in quality. In styling, I actually prefer the Decimo, I think. It may be that the girth of the Capless demands a "statement" clip, but I prefer the Decimo's minimalistic clip and more refined barrel rings. What really tells the story, though, is that I want to grab this pen every time I walk out the door. It doesn't weight down the pocket of a lightweight summer shirt and, like every VP since the 1960s, a quick clip* and it's ready to write! I'm really pleased with this pen--if Namiki decides to market here, they will sell a lot of them. If not, the kind gentleman behind Ujuku will be mailing them across land and seas for some time to come!

 

best, Dan

 

*A quick click: this characterization does not include the VP model that used a rotating mechanism to extend and retract the nib. I don't know how quickly that device worked, but judging by the many Safety pens I've used, not as quickly as the click button!

Edited by dcarmell
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What an excellent review, especially in answering the questions that current and former VP owners will have. So tempting, but your comment about the Decimo clip, despite its new design, probably bothering those who were bothered before by the clips, is a very good and much appreciated caution sign.

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hi,

 

an excellent review. i ,too,have the decimo and it has become a favorite. it fits in my hand and i love it. ujuku gives excellent service. pen and seller are both highly recommended. as usual, no affiliation, just a satisfied customer.

 

:eureka: :eureka: :eureka: :eureka:

 

:meow: :bunny1: :meow: :bunny1:

 

:ltcapd: :ltcapd: :ltcapd: :ltcapd:

Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking- william butler yeats
Unless you are educated in metaphor, you are not safe to be let loose in the world. robert frost

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An excellent review, Dan!

 

How did you get hold of my Decimo for your pics?? :lol: Mine has the fine nib (which is more or less equivalent to a Western Extra-fine nib), and like you, I too prefer the older faceted Capless and the Decimo over the current full-size VPs.

 

Great stuff!

 

 

raf.

You can't always get what you want... but if you try sometimes... you just might find... you'll get what you need...

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Good job, Dan! I have the grey mica Decimo (not dark grey) and find it much to my liking. I also have a current Capless in red w/GT. I don't mind the extra girth of the Capless, and since the clip position doesn't bother me, I use either with equal relish.

 

BTW, I've done the postal scale thing with each, and with each pen empty of ink, dry and the supplied converter installed, the Capless weighed 1.1 oz. while the Decimo came in at 0.7 oz.

Roger

Southern Arizona, USA

Fountain Pen Talk Mailing List

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Roger--

 

I just got done weighing all three VPs on our postal scale and here's what I got: 1.1 oz for the Raden Capless, 0.8 for the Decimo, 0.7 for the plastic VP.

 

best, Dan

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Yeah, Dan, my Decimo was teetering between 0.7 and 0.8 oz. Faced with this dilemma, I weighed the Decimo 5 times. It showed 0.7 oz. three times and 0.8 two times. In my case, the 0.7 won out. :D

 

Given manufacturing tolerances, I can see it going either way. :unsure:

Roger

Southern Arizona, USA

Fountain Pen Talk Mailing List

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Great review. I'm really loving the idea of getting this pen, however, I'm holding out in the hopes they expand the color range - perhaps to a mandarin yellow or even the deep yellow in the VP line. I'm not too thrilled about the 'harvest' yellow they have. Fingers crossed :)

A hot wind was blowing around my head, the strands of my hair lifting and swirling in it, like ink spilled in water. ~ Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin

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Here's my "yellow" Decimo

http://img157.imageshack.us/img157/3919/decimo9vp.jpg

Actually, I'd call it gold. And it has a very fine sparkle in the material. I like the color quite a lot.

 

Dan, thanks for doing the review--since you have more than one type of VP, your review, I'm sure, is more helpful than mine would have been. I'd thought of doing one a month or so ago, but I'm having some trouble with the ink drying out when using either my italic or pointed nib. Both nibs write very nicely, initially, when filled. I've tried several different brands of ink, but haven't found one yet that eliminates this problem. :( I'll keep trying, as I do like the Decimo. :)

 

Ann

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The usual caveat, Ann. Are you absolutely sure that the converter is firmly seated fully into the feed nipple? Just a fraction of an inch too far out would cause the trapdoor to not close completely and increase the possibility of ink dry out.

 

It's difficult to see because of the minute amount of space left open and the force necessary to fully seat the converter against that nipple. My Décimo is a tad easier than my current capless to seat the converter, but they both require a heap of force.

Roger

Southern Arizona, USA

Fountain Pen Talk Mailing List

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dan, dan, dan...

 

just when I was thoroughly convinced I had no pens to add to my collection (except for, of course, 200s or 400s that might be absolutely new and stunning).

 

I have a price limit and the Raden is beyond that - but I still dream of having one someday.

 

And I've daydreamed about the pink champagne Decimo since I first saw it.

 

hmm... guess hubby will have a good idea for Christmas gifts anyway.

 

I have previously said that other than the Pelikan 200, the only pen I'd found that could tempt me to buy all color variations of the same model is the Capless.

 

(megaton sigh)

KCat
Save animal lives - support your local animal shelter

My personal blog https://kcdockalscribbling.com

My nature blog https://kcbeachscribbles.com
Venerable are letters, infinitely brave, forlorn, and lost. V. Woolf, Jacob's Room

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Wow! Ann, your gold Decimo is really nice looking--great color!

 

And Kcat, the ideal would be a Raden in the Decimo size, that way you can have two in one and still have money left over for the pink one!

 

FYI, you may know this, but let your husband know that Bam Braum has the best prices on the Raden.

 

best, Dan

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Very good review, Dan.

 

I really like my blue décimo. (It's DACE-ee-mo, by the way.)

 

http://www.richardspens.com/images/collection/zoomed/decimo.jpg

 

I can deal with the clip, but I don't want to, and I don't have to. I reground my pen's medium nib to a 15° left-foot oblique 0.6-mm stub. This is the only oblique I own, but boyoboy is it a nice pen!

sig.jpg.2d63a57b2eed52a0310c0428310c3731.jpg

 

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Excellent review! Thanks for sharing, and they're very nice looking pens. I like my blue carbonesque VP quite a bit.

"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8, NKJV)
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Thank you for your review. It comes timely, since I am considering purchasing a décimo.

 

By the way, I don't know were the "décimo" name comes from, but in Spanish it means "tenth" and it is pronounced DAY-ci-mo.

 

Does the name imply that it is the tenth redesign of this fountain pen concept?

Edited by rpajares

Ramón Pajares Box

Madrid, Spain

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And Kcat, the ideal would be a Raden in the Decimo size, that way you can have two in one and still have money left over for the pink one!

 

FYI, you may know this, but let your husband know that Bam Braum has the best prices on the Raden.

 

best, Dan

oh... that would be cool - a Raden Decimo.

 

:drool: :drool:

 

heh - as Christmas approaches he starts getting emails with links or I'll leave a catalog in the reading room - open to the relevant page. :)

 

Pam's price on the Raden is the only thing that makes me think I might actually buy a pen someday that is over my current "acceptable" price range. :)

KCat
Save animal lives - support your local animal shelter

My personal blog https://kcdockalscribbling.com

My nature blog https://kcbeachscribbles.com
Venerable are letters, infinitely brave, forlorn, and lost. V. Woolf, Jacob's Room

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Quoting Richard Binder:

 

décimo. (It's DACE-ee-mo, by the way.)

----------------------------------------------

Unless one is from the Midwest, as previously noted!

 

Dan

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  • 1 year later...

Hello, Fellow Pen Addicts! :happyberet:

 

Thanks to the persuasive comments at FPN, especially here in Fountain Pen Reviews, I took the plunge yesterday morning and purchased a Pearl White Pilot Capless Decimo (w/Fine nib) from Mr. Tadashi Yamada, owner of Japan Ujuku Shop. Mr. Yamada is an absolute pleasure to do business with: Fast, efficient and very thorough. The time that had elapsed from my initial e-mail and online order form --- to the ultimate receipt of my payment invoice -- took a grand total of 33 minutes. Not too bad, huh?

 

I really like my blue décimo. (It's DACE-ee-mo, by the way.)

Richard -- I was REALLY tempted to purchase a Dark Blue Decimo, like yours, in lieu of the Pearl White, but I already own a Parker Sonnet in virtually the identical color. I thought the two contrasting colors may add a little eclectic flair to my fountain pen quiver. In normal room lighting (typically indirect), the blue appears as a 'nothing special' navy. However, when you observe the pen in direct sunlight, or under fluorescent lighting, MY GOD does the color jump out at you!!! It HAS to be one of the most beautiful, rich, deep-blue lustrous finishes I have ever experienced.

 

Shortly after I receive the pen (sometime this week, hopefully), I'll attempt to write a hands-on review for the Forum.

 

Until then, happy writing and collecting! :thumbup:

-Clive

-Clive Merrick Morel

. Please do not send PMs...E-mail me: clivemmorel@earthlink.net

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Ahh the alure of the VP...I was very dubious then Pendaddy convinced me to try, then the bliss, then just a few days ago I "lost" my VP when my wife realised that she had forgot to get her mother a birthday present (note: she did not lose HER VP), and since mine was in such good condition, box and all, it was wrapped and given away as new...of course there should be a new one on its way in a day or two to replace it but still...I miss it.

Lamy 2000-Lamy Vista-Visconti Van Gogh Maxi Tortoise Demonstrator-Pilot Vanishing Point Black Carbonesque-1947 Parker 51 Vacumatic Cedar Blue Double Jewel-Aurora Optima Black Chrome Cursive Italic-Waterman Hemisphere Metallic Blue-Sheaffer Targa-Conway Stewart CS475

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