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What Are Pilot Varsities Like?


NewPenMan
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If a pen is a "nail," is that a good thing?

 

Depends on how much you want it to write like a ballpoint.

 

The more nailish a fountain pen is, like the Preppy and most of the Platinum line, the more it will feel just like a ballpoint. Most people actually prefer this.

 

Pilot's signature, what makes them stand out from the other two big Japanese FP manufacturers, is that their nibs, even the cheap stuff, have quite a bit of spring to them. If you are not used it, it can be a bit of a surprise and hard to adjust to.

Edited by tinkerteacher

Semper Faciens, Semper Discens

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I wrote with fountain pens a little in school. I then didn't use them for years.

 

A consultant showed up at my office with a Varsity. I thought, "Hey! That's cool!" and decided to buy some. I told myself, "If I use up the whole box, I'll get a nicer fountain pen."

 

After I finished my second box, I remembered I was going to get a nicer pen, and wound up at Goulet's web site and here. Thus the madness began!

 

The Varsity is a gateway pen. And, at the price point, it's hard to beat.

 

I still carry them - to give to people. Someone says, "Ooo, a fountain pen!" and I hand them a Varsity. Usually, I try not to get it back. :)

 

I have several Preppies which hardly ever get used. I prefer the Varsity nibs. I've found the Preppies scratchy and stiff. In addition, I've had a Preppy break, and several come open in a pocket, which the Varsity never did.

 

I'll also suggest the color pack, as just plain fun.

--

Lou Erickson - Handwritten Blog Posts

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Great to hear all these experiences as thoughts. .. the varsity sounds like a great pen to have and use and to hone one's pen - tuning skills on.

 

Amazon has the ten pack dirt cheap, too.

Franklin-Christoph Stabilis 66 and Pocket 40: both with Matsuyama CI | Karas Kustoms Aluminum, Daniel Smith CI | Italix Parson's Essential and Freshman's Notator | Pilot Prera | Pilot Metropolitan | Lamy Safari, 1.1mm italic | Muji "Round Aluminum Pen" | Waterman Phileas | Noodler's Konrad | Nemosine Singularity 0.6mm stub | ASA Nauka, acrylic and ebonite | Gama Hawk | Wality Airmail | Noodlers Ahab | TWSBI GO | Noodlers Charlie | Pilot Plumix |

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I've found they are excellent writers. In fact, I have several more expensive FP's that don't write nearly as nicely.

 

+1 for Varsities. It's sad, but true. They are reliable, when some of my (much) more expensive pens aren't.

 

I've never tried a Bic FP. Can anyone tell me how they write? How do they compare with the Varsity?

Franklin-Christoph, Italix, and Pilot pens are the best!
Iroshizuku, Diamine, and Waterman inks are my favorites!

Apica, Rhodia, and Clairefontaine make great paper!

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Thinking of grabbing a bunch of them...curious what they're like..similar to other Pilots, such as the 78g?

 

Thank you

They are allright. I am using a few for the last few weeks.

In case you wish to write to me, pls use ONLY email by clicking here. I do not check PMs. Thank you.

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Great to hear all these experiences as thoughts. .. the varsity sounds like a great pen to have and use and to hone one's pen - tuning skills on.

 

Amazon has the ten pack dirt cheap, too.

 

Honestly, mate. You can't go wrong with these. And if you get one that's a bit dry, squeeze the wings apart as I suggest above. If you bugger it up, you're down two quid/three bucks, or whatever.

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they are nice pens for Rs100 or USD1.8 that they cost here in India

Pilot custom heritage 74 all nibs, 742 Fa and PO nibs, 823 F 92 F,M, 3776 FM,EF,1911F

And all indian pens

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so, a "quid" is about 1 buck, US? current exchange rates, or has it always been about that much?

Franklin-Christoph Stabilis 66 and Pocket 40: both with Matsuyama CI | Karas Kustoms Aluminum, Daniel Smith CI | Italix Parson's Essential and Freshman's Notator | Pilot Prera | Pilot Metropolitan | Lamy Safari, 1.1mm italic | Muji "Round Aluminum Pen" | Waterman Phileas | Noodler's Konrad | Nemosine Singularity 0.6mm stub | ASA Nauka, acrylic and ebonite | Gama Hawk | Wality Airmail | Noodlers Ahab | TWSBI GO | Noodlers Charlie | Pilot Plumix |

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I wrote with fountain pens a little in school. I then didn't use them for years.

 

A consultant showed up at my office with a Varsity. I thought, "Hey! That's cool!" and decided to buy some. I told myself, "If I use up the whole box, I'll get a nicer fountain pen."

 

After I finished my second box, I remembered I was going to get a nicer pen, and wound up at Goulet's web site and here. Thus the madness began!

 

The Varsity is a gateway pen. And, at the price point, it's hard to beat.

 

I still carry them - to give to people. Someone says, "Ooo, a fountain pen!" and I hand them a Varsity. Usually, I try not to get it back. :)

 

I have several Preppies which hardly ever get used. I prefer the Varsity nibs. I've found the Preppies scratchy and stiff. In addition, I've had a Preppy break, and several come open in a pocket, which the Varsity never did.

 

I'll also suggest the color pack, as just plain fun.

 

Great gateway drug introduction to the fountain pen world aren't they.

 

Pass it on, buy a few boxes of Varsity/V pens yourself and pass 'em out to friends and especially enemies, spread the addiction fun of fountain pens.

Edited by tinkerteacher

Semper Faciens, Semper Discens

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so, a "quid" is about 1 buck, US? current exchange rates, or has it always been about that much?

 

Right now the British pound (AKA "quid") is about $1.50. It varies.

Until you ink a pen, it is merely a pretty stick. --UK Mike

 

My arsenal, in order of acquisition: Sailor 21 Pocket Pen M, Cross Solo M, Online Calligraphy, Monteverde Invincia F, Hero 359 M, Jinhao X450 M, Levenger True Writer M, Jinhao 159 M, Platinum Balance F, TWSBI Classic 1.1 stub, Platinum Preppy 0.3 F, 7 Pilot Varsity M disposables refillables, Speedball penholder, TWSBI 580 USA EF, Pilot MR, Noodler's Ahab 1.1 stub, another Preppy 0.3, Preppy EF 0.2, ASA Sniper F, Click Majestic F, Kaweco Sport M, Pilot Prera F, Baoer 79 M (fake Starwalker), Hero 616 M (fake Parker), Jinhao X750 Shimmering Sands M . . .

31 and counting :D

 

DaveBj

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so, a "quid" is about 1 buck, US? current exchange rates, or has it always been about that much?

 

As I said, two pounds/quid = three dollars/bucks. The exchange rate, as I type this, is 1.49.

 

I notice, however, that you lucky Yanks can get a 7-pack for $14.07 on American Amazon, including postage.

 

So $2 each. Giving them away!

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Alright..delivery guy just left off the 7-pack of varsites. From staples, $18 US including tax, so $2.57 each.

 

Very impressed. Each one wrote immediately..no startup issues, decent ink and I'll look forward as each runs out, so that I can eyedropper them.

 

Seems like a very serious value. Thanks for everyone who pointed me to these things. OH, and I think I now get, "nail"...as opposed to a wet noodle nib..heh..

Franklin-Christoph Stabilis 66 and Pocket 40: both with Matsuyama CI | Karas Kustoms Aluminum, Daniel Smith CI | Italix Parson's Essential and Freshman's Notator | Pilot Prera | Pilot Metropolitan | Lamy Safari, 1.1mm italic | Muji "Round Aluminum Pen" | Waterman Phileas | Noodler's Konrad | Nemosine Singularity 0.6mm stub | ASA Nauka, acrylic and ebonite | Gama Hawk | Wality Airmail | Noodlers Ahab | TWSBI GO | Noodlers Charlie | Pilot Plumix |

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Alright..delivery guy just left off the 7-pack of varsites. From staples, $18 US including tax, so $2.57 each.

 

Very impressed. Each one wrote immediately..no startup issues, decent ink and I'll look forward as each runs out, so that I can eyedropper them.

 

Seems like a very serious value. Thanks for everyone who pointed me to these things. OH, and I think I now get, "nail"...as opposed to a wet noodle nib..heh..

 

I didn't understand that last sentence. Did you find them soft or hard? (Forgive me if I'm being thick. I'm fifty and I've had a few jars.)

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  • 2 weeks later...

How many times can a Varsity can be refilled pulling the nib off before is un-safe (spillings) .

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I just wrote my black Varsity dry yesterday, and I'm going to try the syringe-and-tube technique of refueling. I will update on how it went.

 

 

Until you ink a pen, it is merely a pretty stick. --UK Mike

 

My arsenal, in order of acquisition: Sailor 21 Pocket Pen M, Cross Solo M, Online Calligraphy, Monteverde Invincia F, Hero 359 M, Jinhao X450 M, Levenger True Writer M, Jinhao 159 M, Platinum Balance F, TWSBI Classic 1.1 stub, Platinum Preppy 0.3 F, 7 Pilot Varsity M disposables refillables, Speedball penholder, TWSBI 580 USA EF, Pilot MR, Noodler's Ahab 1.1 stub, another Preppy 0.3, Preppy EF 0.2, ASA Sniper F, Click Majestic F, Kaweco Sport M, Pilot Prera F, Baoer 79 M (fake Starwalker), Hero 616 M (fake Parker), Jinhao X750 Shimmering Sands M . . .

31 and counting :D

 

DaveBj

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I didn't understand that last sentence. Did you find them soft or hard? (Forgive me if I'm being thick. I'm fifty and I've had a few jars.)

Yeah. ..I am relatively new to much of the fp terminology. Someone here referred to the varsity as a nail. I'd no idea what that meant. I've also been hearing the term, "wet noodle. " I managed to infer these terms to describe both ends of the nib spectrum with respect to flexibility.

 

So the varsity offers virtually no flex, to my experience. While it is smooth to very smooth it's too broad for my taste, even on fp-friendly paper.

 

A bit like writing with a felt tip pen, to me.

 

I will probably try to modify at least one of them into a stub/italic.

 

I'm still very glad I got these pens and look forward to some productive learning in pen modification.

Franklin-Christoph Stabilis 66 and Pocket 40: both with Matsuyama CI | Karas Kustoms Aluminum, Daniel Smith CI | Italix Parson's Essential and Freshman's Notator | Pilot Prera | Pilot Metropolitan | Lamy Safari, 1.1mm italic | Muji "Round Aluminum Pen" | Waterman Phileas | Noodler's Konrad | Nemosine Singularity 0.6mm stub | ASA Nauka, acrylic and ebonite | Gama Hawk | Wality Airmail | Noodlers Ahab | TWSBI GO | Noodlers Charlie | Pilot Plumix |

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I just wrote my black Varsity dry yesterday, and I'm going to try the syringe-and-tube technique of refueling. I will update on how it went.

 

 

 

fpn_1429544587__capture.jpg

Until you ink a pen, it is merely a pretty stick. --UK Mike

 

My arsenal, in order of acquisition: Sailor 21 Pocket Pen M, Cross Solo M, Online Calligraphy, Monteverde Invincia F, Hero 359 M, Jinhao X450 M, Levenger True Writer M, Jinhao 159 M, Platinum Balance F, TWSBI Classic 1.1 stub, Platinum Preppy 0.3 F, 7 Pilot Varsity M disposables refillables, Speedball penholder, TWSBI 580 USA EF, Pilot MR, Noodler's Ahab 1.1 stub, another Preppy 0.3, Preppy EF 0.2, ASA Sniper F, Click Majestic F, Kaweco Sport M, Pilot Prera F, Baoer 79 M (fake Starwalker), Hero 616 M (fake Parker), Jinhao X750 Shimmering Sands M . . .

31 and counting :D

 

DaveBj

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Well-done, Sir!

Franklin-Christoph Stabilis 66 and Pocket 40: both with Matsuyama CI | Karas Kustoms Aluminum, Daniel Smith CI | Italix Parson's Essential and Freshman's Notator | Pilot Prera | Pilot Metropolitan | Lamy Safari, 1.1mm italic | Muji "Round Aluminum Pen" | Waterman Phileas | Noodler's Konrad | Nemosine Singularity 0.6mm stub | ASA Nauka, acrylic and ebonite | Gama Hawk | Wality Airmail | Noodlers Ahab | TWSBI GO | Noodlers Charlie | Pilot Plumix |

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How many times can a Varsity can be refilled pulling the nib off before is un-safe (spillings) .

 

I am wondering the same thing. Surely the friction fit will become looser after doing this multiple times?

 

The dip in hot water then dip into ink vial method looks safer.

 

I was wondering, do you need to "clean" it out before changing ink brands/colors? I know people have mentioned in other posts that mixing inks can be dangerous.

 

I'm looking at the Pilot Varsities again ... since I just noticed the Pilot Varsity 7-pack in the Pilot Fountain Pen Starter Set on Mass Drop that ends in 8 hours. (https://www.massdrop.com/buy/pilot-fountain-pen-starter-set) , not that I really need all the other stuff that is bundled together (Pilot Metropolitan, 3 Plumix, 1 Rhodia pad) .... my excuse is that I can share it with my 10 yr old, and she can bring them to school to share with her classmates. :)

Everyone should be respected as an individual, but no one idolized. -- Albert Einstein

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The syringe-and-tube technique works best. Hot water is easy, but does not fill very well.

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