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Pilot Elite Pocket Pen Review


Aurko
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Pilot Elite Pocket Pen (18k Gold Nib, Fine, Vintage) Review

Ink: Diamine Monaco Red

Paper: Rhodia No. 16 5x5 Grid

 

I picked out this pen on ebay because I thought it looked very interesting. It was a used pen, and did not come with a box or converter, but it was in fairly good condition (it only had micro scratches). I fell in love with the design the moment I saw it, but to my horror I found that the pen did NOT write well. Thankfully, after a quick check with a loupe, I found that the tines did not have any space between them. I quickly fixed it and used it for a full day with several different inks.

 

The following is my handwritten review of the pen:

For those who can't read my handwriting, I took the liberty of typing up the review as well:
1. Appearance and Design: 10/10
To me, the design is one of the most appealing aspsects of the pen. It looks sleek, modern and very classy both capped and posted. The integrated feed really drives the appearance home. It is a nice glossy black with elegant gold trim.

2. Construction and Quality: 10/10

There is nothing that I can justify deducting points for. The pen is very solid, and the capping/posting mechanism process is wonderfully smooth but with just enough resistance. The pen does not feel cheap in the hand. It feels solid enough that I would not be afraid if I dropped it.

 

3. Weight and Dimensions: 8/10

The pen is a bit on the light side but not quite light. The section may be too thin for some but I find it to be close to ideal. It is about 4.5 inches capped and about 6 inches posted. The pocket pens are made to be posted.

4. Nib and Performance: 8/10

The nib is smooth with just the right amount of feedback. It is made of plain 18k gold, and is a nial, more or less. It's a great Japanese fine, and has average flow.

5. Filling System and Maintenance: 5/10
A standard cartridge/converter. Not much to say. Takes the con20.
6. Cost and Value: 7/10
I got it on ebay for very cheap for a wonderful smooth gold nib. I don't see them very often, but I feel as though $90 was a fair price.
7. Conclusion: Recommended!
A very pleasing vintage pen that I found to be functional and handy I would definitely recommend this pen.
Addendum:
I only rated the nib so low because I had problems initially and for a while I also had some problems with the occasional hard start. That has since been worked on and it is seemingly fixed. After that it has been a very pleasant experience and it is one of my favourite pens for everyday use. I would only rate my Sailor 1911 higher, and my flex nib Eversharp ties with it.
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  • rudyhou

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  • Bigeddie

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  • Sblakers

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  • Aurko

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I rather like the elongated barrel section which places the threads well above the average writers grip. This would be a very good concept for more pen makers when the cap will remain un posted.

Rob Maguire (Plse call me "M or Mags" like my friends do...)I use a Tablet, Apple Pencil and a fountain pen. Targas, Sailor, MB, Visconti all wonderful.

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i got a similar one. where yours labeled 'elite', mine labeled 'pilot'. mine comes with a semi-hooded nib. not sure if it is also a 18K nib, but the look of our pens almost exactly alike. black with gold trimmings. it was love at first sight when i saw it online. glad i made the purchase. it seemed to write rather stiff at first, but it is really growing on me. a Pilot vintage certainly worth having.

 

link to my blog on the pen: http://rudyhou.wordpress.com/2013/12/24/pen-du-mois-dec13/

-rudy-

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i got a similar one. where yours labeled 'elite', mine labeled 'pilot'. mine comes with a semi-hooded nib. not sure if it is also a 18K nib, but the look of our pens almost exactly alike. black with gold trimmings. it was love at first sight when i saw it online. glad i made the purchase. it seemed to write rather stiff at first, but it is really growing on me. a Pilot vintage certainly worth having.

 

link to my blog on the pen: http://rudyhou.wordpress.com/2013/12/24/pen-du-mois-dec13/

I had both at one point, they are the same in performance, although I prefer the semi-hooded look.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I personally think that the "fingernail" style (as I heard it described somewhere) looks sleeker but I wouldn't complain with a hooded one either. It's one of my most convenient pens and it's a very good writer. The stiffness of the nib takes a little bit of getting used to but once you get passed that, I think that for what it is it's unparalleled.

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It was YOU!!!!

 

You were the one that outbid me on that pen!

 

Ah well, I wasn't too fussed, it's not like it was a drool-inducing gold-filled Conklin Crescent or something (already got one of those in the mail). I just thought it may be interesting to write with. But it looks like you're appreciating it more than I would have! All's well that ends well!

My Vintages:

Sheaffer Triumph, Saratoga, Targa Slim and Targa Standard; Waterman 3V and 52 1/2V; Mabie Todd Swan Self Filler x 2; Eagle Unbreakable in sterling silver; Eversharp Bantam; Parker Duofold Lucky Curve BCHR and Duofold in red hard rubber; Spors Co. glass nib pens x 4; Conklin 2NL and 20P.

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FYI. Pilot has released a re-make of the pen in commemoration of their 95th year. The Elite 95S is available in black or maroon. It is only available in the Japanese market, but can be obtained from online sellers like Engeika for less than $100. There are a couple of good reviews by hari317 and troglokev. I have both the old and new and like both of them, although I do prefer the new one because of the different and unique nib and slightly wider body.

 

Dave

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Cult Pens has it as well. I was kinda tempted, since I share the same birth year as the original and a person feels the need to make such a birthday as painless as possible...

 

Nice review, Aurko - thank you.

 

Cheers, Al

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I was very tempted with the re-issue, I kept a look out on e-bay and a sterling silver baby came up for a good price. Condition is not great but that saves me from worrying about it too much, and I have never seen one quite like it. They write really nicely too.

 

Edited by Bigeddie

For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love. -Carl Sagan

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I have the same one as you Bigeddie, along with a MYU 701; I was turned onto these pens by Gary (MYU)'s review of his long-cap pocket pens:

 

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/67232-pilot-pocket-size-pens/

"Truth can never be told, so as to be understood, and not be believ'd." (Wiiliam Blake)

 

Visit my review: Thirty Pens in Thirty Days

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I have the same one as you Bigeddie, along with a MYU 701; I was turned onto these pens by Gary (MYU)'s review of his long-cap pocket pens:

 

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/67232-pilot-pocket-size-pens/

 

That link may prove to be the most costly (time and money) that I have ever followed. Thank you and damn it in equal measure!

For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love. -Carl Sagan

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I have what ws a NOS 18K Elite with a soft fine nib. The soft means springy, and while not really flexy, it is a spriongy pleasure to write with. The sticker on the pen says 2,000 Yen, and I think I paid $80 US several years ago. Sometimes a hard starter, but it writes well after a nice water-in, water-out cleaning. I would not sell this pen.

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I was very tempted with the re-issue, I kept a look out on e-bay and a sterling silver baby came up for a good price. Condition is not great but that saves me from worrying about it too much, and I have never seen one quite like it. They write really nicely too.

 

 

 

very nice. i've always interested in getting one but worried if it might be too heavy for my liking. is it a heavy pen?

-rudy-

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Just out of curiosity, how does it feel when posted? Is the pen length an inconvenience to you?

 

It is very comfortable posted and not at all an inconvenience. I have somewhat large-ish hands and I find it to be perfectly balanced.

 

It was YOU!!!!

 

You were the one that outbid me on that pen!

 

Ah well, I wasn't too fussed, it's not like it was a drool-inducing gold-filled Conklin Crescent or something (already got one of those in the mail). I just thought it may be interesting to write with. But it looks like you're appreciating it more than I would have! All's well that ends well!

 

And sorry about that! But I do have a passion for Japanese pens, and I'm especially interested in Japanese vintage pens. Though I've recently been going for some American vintage pens too (Eversharps and Sheaffers for now).

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  • 3 weeks later...

 

very nice. i've always interested in getting one but worried if it might be too heavy for my liking. is it a heavy pen?

 

It's not too heavy. When it's posted the silver cap/body fits nicely between thumb and index finger (largish hands) which supports it nicely. It's surprisingly well balanced considering the cap is about twice the weight of the body :)

Edited by Bigeddie

For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love. -Carl Sagan

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