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Pilot Capless/ Vanishing Point: Old Vs. New



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This post serves two purposes. Mostly, I would like to show some differences between the old and new versions of the Pilot Capless/Vanishing Point (which I'll call VP). But I would also like some advice about the converter on my old VP.

I bought an old VP last year. I don't know how old it is, but the Japanese price-sticker is still attached - ¥2,000 - which at today's exchange rate is about US$20. I liked the pen so much that I recently bought a new version, in matte black. There are some clear differences between the two, most notably the following (and see pictures, below):
Material: plastic and metal (old) vs. Metal (new)
Weight: 18g (old) vs. 29g (new)
Clip: less obtrusive in older version - flatter, shorter. This is a big deal for me.

Visual balance: front end of pen is much longer with the new VP model
Section: longer section on older model means less interference from the clip when writing - much more comfortable
Girth: older VP is fractionally thinner
Ink delivery: both models use a converter, but the new version is simpler - just stick a converter on, vs. using an additional 'converter cap' to affix the converter to the older nib unit. Conversely, the older VP feels more secure.
Nib size: new nib looks longer and better-affixed, nib size marked on new nib, but not on the old
Nib material: 14k gold (old) vs. 18k gold (new).
Nib unit: older version is much shorter, given the extra 'cap' for the converter

 

post-106543-0-69363500-1404482053_thumb.jpg

Old VP model abover, new VP model below

 

post-106543-0-10403500-1404482055_thumb.jpg

New model on left (silver colour), older model on right (gold colour)

 

post-106543-0-43370200-1404482056_thumb.jpg

New model on left (silver colour), older model on right (gold colour)

 

post-106543-0-85412300-1404482057_thumb.jpg

New model above (longer unit), newer model below (shorter unit)

 

post-106543-0-28206900-1404482059_thumb.jpg

Shows the converter and 'converter cap' on the older model

 

Compatibility: The new converter can be used on the old VP, but it got stuck in the 'converter cap' and was a hassle to remove. The old converter doesn't sit securely on the new VP nib unit and is too long anyway.

On the whole, I prefer the older version, as I find it easier to use (that clip!) and really enjoy the usefulness and feel of it. Unfortunately, the converter is cracked, so it holds nearly no ink.

That brings me to part 2: does anyone know the specific part number of the old converter, and/or whether it is possible to either repair or replace it? See picture.

 

post-106543-0-51911700-1404482060_thumb.jpg

Motage of pictures to show the crack on the old converter

 

PS: I thought about putting this in the Reviews section, but decided that it isn't quite right for a review. I quite like the idea of comparing old and contemporary versions of the same model.

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Look for date stamps on the old nib... usually a letter followed by month and two digit year.

 

A red and a black version can be seen bellow, VPs from the mid 90s. It has nib width and date stamped on nib.

 

I'll try to get some closeup pics fot you.

 

Note this version has long front, short back, but slim plastic body.

 

http://www.fototime.com/574337F5B4702D3/medium800.jpg

Edited by jar

 

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The old style converter is a CON-W. They seem hard to come by, but I think that Pilot is producing a limited number of them for the Japanese market. Try posting in the Japanese forum, someone there might have more information.

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Here are the innards of my dark blue one:

 

http://www.fototime.com/912F473C955EA01/medium800.jpg

http://www.fototime.com/A2A6C94F892410F/medium800.jpg

 

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Thank you, both

 

 

Look for date stamps on the old nib... usually a letter followed by month and two digit year.

 

 

So, I guess mine was made in September 1965 (if I've done it right, you should see a close-up of my nib). Lovely close-up photos in your second response, by the way: thank you.

 

fpn_1404505015__pilot-vp_oldnibcloseup.j

 

 

The old style converter is a CON-W. They seem hard to come by, but I think that Pilot is producing a limited number of them for the Japanese market. Try posting in the Japanese forum, someone there might have more information.

 

Thank you, I'll do just that armed with good information. (edit: have now done so; here, in the interests of completeness)

Edited by stephanos
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Thank you, both

 

 

 

So, I guess mine was made in September 1965 (if I've done it right, you should see a close-up of my nib). Lovely close-up photos in your second response, by the way: thank you.

 

fpn_1404505015__pilot-vp_oldnibcloseup.j

 

Carmen Rivera has a fantastic history of the Vanishing Point and the changes over time.

 

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I have had another thought. What you are calling a converter cap on the old model may not be such. That original model took what were called double spare cartridges: 2 short cartridges that slipped into that sleeve. These are no longer in production and have not been for quite a while.

 

But perhaps more to the point: I don't think that sleeve was meant to be used with the converter. If you have been using the sleeve with the converter, you may have added enough length to the whole nib unit to add stress to the converter to crack the plastic on the mouth of the converter. I have several of these, but, unfortunately packed away and not to hand, so I can't say for sure. But I do know that the redesigned models came with a sleeve for use with cartridges.

 

And yes, Carmen Rivera's site is quite useful. He might also know for sure about the use of that sleeve...

 

ETA: You are correct about the date code.

Edited by ehemem
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Carmen Rivera has a fantastic history of the Vanishing Point and the changes over time.

 

Thank you, that is very useful.

It provides support for ehemem's comment that what I have taken to be a 'converter cap' is in fact an ink cartridge cover. Shows the power of assumption: I received the pen with both the converter and the cover fitted, so I assumed all was as intended (the converter was already cracked).

 

 

From ehemem (multiquote info somehow deleted)

But perhaps more to the point: I don't think that sleeve was meant to be used with the converter. If you have been using the sleeve with the converter, you may have added enough length to the whole nib unit to add stress to the converter to crack the plastic on the mouth of the converter. I have several of these, but, unfortunately packed away and not to hand, so I can't say for sure. But I do know that the redesigned models came with a sleeve for use with cartridges.
Edited by stephanos
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