Jump to content
Classifieds is broken, please do not submit any new ads ×

Pilot Capless 50Th Anniversary Limited Edition - Maple



Recommended Posts

Like numerous Pilot Capless/Vanishing Point collectors, I have been eagerly awaiting this year’s limited edition which happens to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the first model released in 1963. To celebrate this important milestone Pilot produced a limited edition of 900 pens with maple wood barrels with a special matching wood box. I picked up mine this afternoon and thought that I would share my impressions of this fantastic pen.

 

post-66460-0-02017000-1383856861_thumb.jpg

 

Pilot chose to create a very well made fitted wooden box for this pen which is simple and beautiful. It came in an understated dark brown check-pattern box and was well padded. The fitted converter box is again maple wood and contains 2 tiny magnets to keep it securely closed. The pen fits well into its slot with a soft thick silk lining. They also included a booklet of the history of the Pilot Capless. While Visconti's boxes may be flashier and more visually striking the simple beauty and fine construction from Pilot makes this my favorite pen box yet.

 

post-66460-0-51124200-1383857138_thumb.jpg

 

post-66460-0-69203900-1383857486_thumb.jpg

 

post-66460-0-60143500-1383857263_thumb.jpg

 

post-66460-0-22886600-1383857538_thumb.jpg

 

post-66460-0-60312600-1383857551_thumb.jpg

 

 

Appearance and Design

 

While at first glance this looks like any other Capless or VP when you take a closer look it has some subtle differences. Instead of being marked “Pilot Japan” on the barrel it is marked on the metal barrel end near the threads opposite from the limited edition number. The front and end metal pieces are slightly more substantial to hold the wood barrel but this is well executed and blends in with the design. The maple wood is beautifully finished and works well with the gold furniture. It is a classic design that has stood the test of time and the addition of the maple wood has only improved the appearance of an already great pen.

 

 

post-66460-0-66987300-1383858019_thumb.jpg

 

post-66460-0-84409200-1383858039_thumb.jpg

 

post-66460-0-30715800-1383858052_thumb.jpg

 

post-66460-0-45243300-1383877290_thumb.jpg

 

Construction and Quality

 

This pen is astonishingly well made and the fit and finish are extraordinary. I was expecting something a bit crude for lack of a better word when I imagined a wood barrel but this is nothing like that. The maple wood is smooth and lightly finished; securely held in gold plated furniture. What truly impresses me is how the maple wood’s grain is matched from front to back of the barrel as you can see in the photo below. This must have taken an extraordinary amount of effort to accomplish and really speaks to the attention to detail and care that Pilot put into this pen. The engravings are perfect as well. My only concern is for how durable the maple wood will be under normal use.

 

post-66460-0-62103000-1383877440_thumb.jpg

 

Weight and Dimensions

 

Here is where it really gets interesting for me. A regular current model Capless/VP’s barrel is 11.6mm at its narrowest point near the nib and 13.0mm at its widest by the threads. The limited edition is slightly wider which being a huge fan of oversized pens is a huge plus for me. The 50th anniversary pen’s maple barrel is 12.2mm near the nib and 13.3mm at the barrel. I tend to grip a Capless at the very end of the colored barrel so this extra width is great. It does not seem like a huge difference on paper but it does feel more substantial and comfortable in my hands than the regular version. The 50th anniversary Capless is the largest and widest pen of its type which I guess makes this the only "oversized" Capless out there.

 

It is substantially lighter than a standard model weighing in without the nib and converter at 20.3g. My regular black Pilot Capless is 25.2g and my blue carbonesque is 24.8g both without nibs. Not close to the 12.3g of an empty faceted VP but still 20% lighter than its brethren. The nib unit and converter adds 5.4g without ink. It’s closer in weight to some of my favorite celluloid vintage pens than the metal bodied version which is a good thing.

 

Nib and Performance

 

I decided to leave the included M nib (the only nib grade it comes in from the factory) uninked but did try the body with my favorite custom stub. It writes as well as any Capless and because of the lighter weight and increased girth was even more comfortable for me to use. These are my favorite type of pen to write with and while I generally prefer to write for extended periods of time with my old faceted VPs this may change that.

 

Filling System and Maintenance

 

Like all Pilot Capless/VP pens it uses a nib unit with cartridges or converters that is removable from the pen body for cleaning and filling. It is very easy to fill and cleaning is very quick. I do wish it had a higher ink capacity but this problem is nothing new to this style pen. I hope that maple wood does not get marked up but since it will only be used at my desk I am not too worried.

 

Cost and Value

 

This pen retails for 550 USD which is more than double the MSRP of the regular and past years’ limited edition versions of the Pilot Capless. The street price right now is typically 20% off which at $440 is not bad for such a pen. After seeing the presentation, build quality, and unique appearance I would say it is worth its somewhat high price. When considering the cost of other Pilot limited edition pens, $440 is almost a bargain. I would not think twice about buying it at this price if you are able.

 

Conclusion

 

I have been waiting for this pen for months and I feel it was worth the wait. If you appreciate fine craftsmanship and the beauty of simple Japanese design this is a pen for you. While in an ideal world I would have loved to have seen Pilot resurrect one of the 1960s designs for their anniversary model I believe this pen a unique and fitting tribute to 50 years of Capless and Vanishing Point pens.

Edited by Ashram

http://i.imgur.com/Bftqofd.png

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 32
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • Ashram

    9

  • Alan_L

    3

  • usk15

    2

  • hari317

    2

Top Posters In This Topic

Posted Images

I love your review! Great photos and writing! How is the wood finish on this pen? It seems to be raw. A varnished or lacquered surface might be more durable in the long run.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I love your review! Great photos and writing! How is the wood finish on this pen? It seems to be raw. A varnished or lacquered surface might be more durable in the long run.

 

The wood at first glance appears unfinished but there is some type of light clear lacquer or varnish on the barrel. It is perfectly smooth (emphasis on the perfectly) and is just a bit shiny when held up to the light at an angle. This does not come across in the photos. The enclosed booklet gives the wood as Itaya Maple. The maple barrel does not feel fragile but I do not want to put its scratch resistance or lack thereof to the test. I will keep it at my desk and use it with some care. Thanks for reading!

 

Great review.

 

Thank you.

 

You are welcome!

http://i.imgur.com/Bftqofd.png

Link to post
Share on other sites
J English Smith

Thanks for the detailed review! I like some wood pens, but this one just looks a bit wrong to me, with the light wood and the gold plating. Feels like they clash a bit? I do love my slate grey VP, it's my only one and it just happened to go for a good price, but I think I lucked out on the color. Those marbled ones they released at a higher price (I see you have a few) - well, those are pretty nice... Enjoy the pen, that's what makes this interesting, we all like different things...

<i>"Most people go through life using up half their energy trying to protect a dignity they never had."</i><br>-Marlowe, in <i>The Long Goodbye</i>

Link to post
Share on other sites
Montblanc owner and lover

Thanks very useful review...

A people can be great withouth a great pen but a people who love great pens is surely a great people too...

Pens owned actually: MB 146 EF;Pelikan M200 SE Clear Demonstrator 2012 B;Parker 17 EF;Parker 51 EF;Waterman Expert II M,Waterman Hemisphere M;Waterman Carene F and Stub;Pilot Justus 95 F.

 

Nearly owned: MB 149 B(Circa 2002);Conway Stewart Belliver LE bracket Brown IB.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Construction and Quality

 

This pen is astonishingly well made and the fit and finish are extraordinary. I was expecting something a bit crude for lack of a better word when I imagined a wood barrel but this is nothing like that. The maple wood is smooth and lightly finished; securely held in gold plated furniture. What truly impresses me is how the maple wood’s grain is matched from front to back of the barrel as you can see in the photo below. This must have taken an extraordinary amount of effort to accomplish and really speaks to the attention to detail and care that Pilot put into this pen. The engravings are perfect as well. My only concern is for how durable the maple wood will be under normal use.

 

 

 

Hi,

Thanks for the very detailed review! Actually this is the first report I've ever read about the anniversary product from Pilot although I'm living in Japan. And you don't have to worry about the durability of the maple wood. I own three generations of Pilot Custom Maple, and the oldest one is from the 1970s. The manufacturer has long enough experiences with the material. The only thing you have to be careful with is the ink remains. After a few months use you will have your own beautifully aged pen :-)

 

 

post-72216-0-03370600-1384144948_thumb.jpg

 

post-72216-0-27612400-1384144968_thumb.jpg

 

post-72216-0-41234700-1384144976_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this is one of the best reviews I’ve ever read. I love the pictures as well; they merge very well in this review! Congrats!

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I own three generations of Pilot Custom Maple, and the oldest one is from the 1970s. The manufacturer has long enough experiences with the material. The only thing you have to be careful with is the ink remains. After a few months use you will have your own beautifully aged pen :-)

 

 

attachicon.gifP1080494.jpg

 

 

What a beautifull pens you have!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the detailed review! I like some wood pens, but this one just looks a bit wrong to me, with the light wood and the gold plating. Feels like they clash a bit? I do love my slate grey VP, it's my only one and it just happened to go for a good price, but I think I lucked out on the color. Those marbled ones they released at a higher price (I see you have a few) - well, those are pretty nice... Enjoy the pen, that's what makes this interesting, we all like different things...

 

I tend to prefer silver finished myself but the combination of gold and maple wood is working for me. Life would be so boring if we all liked the same things! Thanks for reading.

 

Thanks very useful review...

 

You are welcome. I'm glad it was useful.

 

nice review and pics!

thanks!

 

Thanks. I tried a new setup for the photos and am pleased with the results.

http://i.imgur.com/Bftqofd.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Hi,

Thanks for the very detailed review! Actually this is the first report I've ever read about the anniversary product from Pilot although I'm living in Japan. And you don't have to worry about the durability of the maple wood. I own three generations of Pilot Custom Maple, and the oldest one is from the 1970s. The manufacturer has long enough experiences with the material. The only thing you have to be careful with is the ink remains. After a few months use you will have your own beautifully aged pen :-)

 

 

Thank you for sharing your fantastic collection of maple wood pens! The more I handle the 50th anniversary pen the more confident I am in its durability. I may have to find myself a Custom Maple for my collection sometime soon.

 

I think this is one of the best reviews I’ve ever read. I love the pictures as well; they merge very well in this review! Congrats!

 

Thanks for such a kind compliment. I tried hard to accurately photograph the maple barrel which was more challenging than I thought. I also wrote the review first then decided what photos I needed to fit in with it. This was something new for me and I enjoyed putting it together.

http://i.imgur.com/Bftqofd.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

Where did you pick yours up? I am a VP collector and have been waiting for months for it as well.

 

I purchased it from my local pen shop after ordering it all the way back in June. I'm glad I did since they were only allocated one. I would keep checking with larger US retailers such as Fountain Pen Hospital, nibs.com, or richardspens.com (no affiliation) to see when they get it in stock.

http://i.imgur.com/Bftqofd.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I purchased it from my local pen shop after ordering it all the way back in June. I'm glad I did since they were only allocated one. I would keep checking with larger US retailers such as Fountain Pen Hospital, nibs.com, or richardspens.com (no affiliation) to see when they get it in stock.

I was going to get one through my local pen shop but they were charging the full price not the "street price" so I have been taking with Rachael over at Goulet.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Hi,

Thanks for the very detailed review! Actually this is the first report I've ever read about the anniversary product from Pilot although I'm living in Japan. And you don't have to worry about the durability of the maple wood. I own three generations of Pilot Custom Maple, and the oldest one is from the 1970s. The manufacturer has long enough experiences with the material. The only thing you have to be careful with is the ink remains. After a few months use you will have your own beautifully aged pen :-)

 

 

attachicon.gifP1080494.jpg

 

attachicon.gifP1080505.jpg

 

attachicon.gifP1080496.jpg

 

that's a very nice collection :puddle: :thumbup:

-rudy-

Link to post
Share on other sites

Very good review, thank you very much. Nice pen

 

You are welcome. Thanks for reading my review!

 

I was going to get one through my local pen shop but they were charging the full price not the "street price" so I have been taking with Rachael over at Goulet.

 

You can't go wrong with Goulet Pens. I hope that they can reserve one for you. Its always frustrating when a local shop that you want to support sells items for prices higher than the going street price. I'm lucky here that my shop sells almost everything at the same price as major online retailers. I hope that you enjoy the pen when you get it!

http://i.imgur.com/Bftqofd.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now







×
×
  • Create New...