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Pilot 100Th Anniversary Pens (Maki-E)


Seiryuu

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This thread is going the way I expected.

 

I think there are several issues in play.

 

The first is expectations. I did follow the threads for the past few years leading up to this anniversary. The reality is that most of what people expected were not very realistic. I have been telling people to save up a lot of money because the pens they were going to release were always going to be very expensive. The person who owns the 100th Anniversary Kakuno said that the prices were actually lower than he expected. Pilot is celebrating their 100th Anniversary and they have established a long track record of Anniversary releases. I see that a lot of people keep bringing up the E95S. That pen is not a LE pen and was introduced into the standard catalog. If you just started in pens around that time, you might think that was the norm. This is actually rather rare. Before the E95S, you probably had to go back to 2002 when Pilot introduced the 845 and then you have to go back to 1993 when Pilot released the Custom 74 series. The numbering on the E95 is not that special. While it was part of the 95th Anniversary celebration, the numbering follows Pilot's standard scheme. 74 in the Custom 74 is the 74th year of Pilot, the 84 in the 845 is the 84th year. So anyways, going back almost 30 years, Pilot only released a less expensive main line pen 3 times. It would be 4 if you include the Balance shape used in the Yukari Royale that was introduced in 1998. It was unlikely Pilot would do the same for the 100th.

 

You can always expect the maki-e pens. Pilot built a large part of their reputation on maki-e. For those who might not know, Pilot was the first to successfully use urushi on fountain pens and the first to bring out maki-e fountain pens. This is a large part of their history and legacy. So maki-e being the focus of the 100th anniversary is not unfounded. Some could argue that they should save the big maki-e celebration for 2026 which is the 100th Anniversary of the first Pilot maki-e pens. But we digress.

 

As for the mid-range pens as part of the Anniversary, this is a wild card. Pilot is all over the place. The M90 is probably the cheapest and you could also think about the 65th Anniversary pens. Then you have some pens that are in the middle like the 75th Anniversary pen which was $600. Is $600 cheap or expensive? So there is no predicting what they Pilot will do. However, an Anniversary pen that is cheap is really rare. I can only think of the M90. It is not that common for the other Japanese pen companies either. Platinum's 90th was $1000 but not maki-e if that makes you feel better. Even the department store anniversary pens like Mitsukoshi lean more towards the $1000 and up range.

 

At the end, this is all about the money. Every time a pen company comes up with a pen that has a high price, we get these kinds of threads. Someone is always angry because a given pen is expensive and feels put out that they cannot buy the pen. This happens even with a company like Lamy. There were a lot of complaints when they released the 50th Anniversary Amber Black. I suppose this kind of reaction is only human. It's is not limited to pens but almost every hobby where the price range spans a large range.

 

As for marketing, I think Pilot understands marketing very well. The North American pen market is borderline stagnant. Most of the growth of fountain pens has been in other countries. Pilot doesn't even sell their complete line of pens in the US. Why would they based their strategy on North America. When this annoucement was released by Pilot, I was notified by a friend in Hong Kong. His comments are the exact opposite of this thread outside of Yuan and Brian. His friends were worried about reserving their sets rather than the cost. These pens will sell out very quickly. It is a very different perspective.

2020 San Francisco Pen Show
August 28-30th, 2020
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223 Twin Dolphin Drive
Redwood City Ca, 94065

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But I matter, and what I say to a tiny group in a tiny corner of the internet should matter to a company with $900 million in annual revenue!

 

Dammit, its about MY feelings! Dont they understand that?!?!

 

(And, why the (bleep) is FPN still destroying my punctuation?!?!)

Edited by lsmith42
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Pilot has been releasing expensive LEs for 20 years since 1998. I don't see why some members complain about the price.

1998 Shijin LE $800, Miyabi Set $24,000

2003 Maiden of Dunhuang $1000, Shark? $12,000

2006 Nioh LE $1,000, Shishi LE $12,000

2008 Toki LE $1,000, Toki Emperor LE $12,000

2013 Dragon LE $1,200, Dragon Emperor $12,000

And most of the high end version increased price over time. Especially the earlier ones if you can get a minor discount when purchasing.

Pilot have not made any lower end LE or SE pens for their 80th, 85th and 88th anniversary.

The only thing I could compain about their 100th anniversary Mount Fuji Emperor is that the orders were so large that stores need to have their order placed by a lottery method.

And the Six God LE is way less complicated in terms of art and techinique comparing to their 80th LE.

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This is how we do it in the US. Clearly better marketing.

http://www.parkerpen.com/en-US/jotter-anniversary-colors

I think Ill switch brands too.

San Francisco International Pen Show - The next great pen show is on schedule for August 27-28-29, 2021. If we all do what we need to do...you can Book your travel and tables and make SF 2021 the Return. 
 

 My PM box is usually full. Just email me: my last name at the google mail address.

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Leaving aside all the discussion of what Pilot should have done/should have been expected to do, my only experience since getting into pens with a Pilot anniversary was the 95th. It never occurred to me that was a one-off anniversary year. I never had any reason to think it was odd for there to be so many pens at different price points. Even at the time, the Elite 95S was an anniversary edition, if my memory is accurate. It's my understanding that it was so popular that it became a permanent part of the lineup.

 

(When I bought my Burgundy E95, it was certainly sold to me as an anniversary pen that wouldn't be around forever. There were also reduced nib options. When it became a permanent part of the lineup, more nib options were added, I believe. I've seen other manufacturers do that with super-popular SEs, as well. See the Stressemann pens from Pelikan: the M805 was supposed to be it, and then they came with the M405 because demand was astronomical, and both have remained in production, I believe.)

 

So, with that experience, this time I was expecting some truly mind blowing urushi/maki-e work, which Pilot delivered on in spades. The Yukari-sized one is actually right at the price/size point I figured it would be, and it is exquisite. It's actually within my budget because I made the decision to sell off several pens in my collection that I don't actually use enough to keep. Except, it's a bit too nice. Looking at the level of artistry, I cannot imagine using one of those as a daily writer safely. I'm also not in love with the art. It's amazing, but it doesn't call to me the way some other maki-e does.

 

The Seven Gods are in the super-luxe category I wasn't really thinking about--if I had that much to spend I would be paying off student loans or other debts, not buying pens, so I tend not to even ruminate on that stratum of products.

 

I was also expecting something with a gold nib in the 250 USD or less range (similar to the E95), and something in the 400 USD to 600 USD range for something oversize/more unique, but still not urushi/maki-e expensive)--in other words, something analogous to the Justus 95, which I want to say was just under or just over 400 USD at launch. In other words, expensive but doable if you save up for it and want to invest in it.

 

I'm actually really interested in the Yukari Royale Vermillion, but those aren't being produced right now...because of the 100th anniversary models eating up all the urushi. ;)

 

And, I suppose, I was really hoping for some sort of special edition Custom 823. I had no reason to actually think Pilot would do it, and I didn't expect it to actually happen, but considering mine got destroyed a couple of years ago it would have been nice. :P

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The Meiji-Maru is really growing on me the more I look at it. Its symbolism goes deep - both the Namiki founders trained on that ship and it is because of their naval training that Pilot is called what it is today.

 

But I don't like that clip at all.

My pen is smaller than yours. Now get off my lawn.

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The Meiji-Maru is really growing on me the more I look at it. Its symbolism goes deep - both the Namiki founders trained on that ship and it is because of their naval training that Pilot is called what it is today.

 

But I don't like that clip at all.

It's odd.

 

There's nothing wrong with clip. I mean, it's a pretty standard Pilot design. I like that it's embedded in the cap and not attached to a visible clip ring.

 

But.

 

It's also just sort of there. It doesn't seem to flow with the rest of the pen. I'm not really sure what they could have done differently--anything would have broken up the lines of the maki-e.

 

Maybe a roll-stop would have been artistically better, but then people would complain because there was no clip.

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I was also expecting something with a gold nib in the 250 USD or less range (similar to the E95), and something in the 400 USD to 600 USD range for something oversize/more unique, but still not urushi/maki-e expensive)--in other words, something analogous to the Justus 95, which I want to say was just under or just over 400 USD at launch. In other words, expensive but doable if you save up for it and want to invest in it.

 

My records show $312 for my Justus 95 -- October 2013

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> The Meiji-Maru is really growing on me the more I look at it. Its symbolism goes deep - both the Namiki founders trained on that ship and it is because of their naval training that Pilot is called what it is today.

 

That makes Pilot a religion or a sect where one has to buy memorabilia of the founders.

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It's their 100th anniversary... You could just like it because it's a good piece of work too?

 

The symbolism adds to pen but even if it was just a random boat it's still well done and good looking.

My pen is smaller than yours. Now get off my lawn.

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On the 100th Anniversary, Pilot should test their pens, with ink properly filled, and write on different papers.

 

Might I remind them that many of their pens have very bad ink flow and tines too tightly squeezed together.

 

It is a pricey embarrassment if these higher end models turn up like that too.

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> You could just like it because it's a good piece of work too?

 

Sorry, Pilot maki-e looks too much cartoon for me. Next designs contain perhaps Doraemon or MickyMouse.

And if I am already complaining - recently, I think, maki-e designs are way to overloaded - nothing zen, nothing Bauhaus ("less is more").

Other brands go the same direction, it is not only Pilot.

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On the 100th Anniversary, Pilot should test their pens, with ink properly filled, and write on different papers.

 

Might I remind them that many of their pens have very bad ink flow and tines too tightly squeezed together.

 

It is a pricey embarrassment if these higher end models turn up like that too.

This is preference. Some prefer drier flow, some prefer wetter flow. Also the ink. I use sailor and pilot exclusively, never had any problem.

 

Also, I now buy from retail only, so I get nibs adjusted on the spot.

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If someone needs absolutely one or more anniversary pens from Pilot, there are some under auction at Yahoo:

85, 85, 85, 95 - perhaps someone sells the old stuff to buy a new one - if there are. :D

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Not my pen but......the 100 th Anniversary Kakuno does exist.

 

 

29897505477_ec640720a0_c.jpg

 

If you are interested, this is where the Kakuno 100th anniversary pens comes from:

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bhg-W9XFqFm/?hl=id

 

Unfortunately you must be a Pilot shareholder or buy it off from a Pilot shareholder as of now

Edited by penzel_washinkton
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