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Pilot CON-70N, a new version of CON-70



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KLscribbler

Recently, one of my old CON-70 converters wore out and broke after years of intensive use. So off I went to buy a replacement. To my surprise, I found that Pilot has redesigned the CON-70 slightly.
 

It is now labelled as the CON-70N. The upper metal part of the CON-70N is silver; previously, only CON-70 converters that came bundled with pens were silver-coloured, while old CON-70 converters sold separately were black. Now it seems all CON-70N are silver regardless of whether they are bought separately or not.
 

The new design of the CON-70N differs from the old CON-70 in two respects:


Firstly, there are now moulded ridges on the inside surface of the converter - a narrow band of ridges near the top of the clear plastic part close to the metal top, and a wider band of ridges in the region of the "neck" of the converter where it narrows somewhat towards the front end. I am not sure of the function of these ridges; perhaps they are meant to help guide ink flow downwards.


The second difference is that on the metal rod that hangs in the middle of the converter, the new CON-70N has an additional small metal cylinder bead (presumably an agitator?) on top of the black rubber stopper thing that was present in the old CON-70. This metal agitator (?) moves freely and independently of the black rubber stopper along the axis of the central rod, and it does make a slight clunking noise as it moves. This clunking sound remains audible when the CON-70N is installed and inked in a pen, although it doesn't seem quite as loud as the clunk of the big agitator in the discontinued CON-50 screw converter. It is more like a dull leaden "thunk" sound, which I find less annoying than the bright rattle of the ball bearings inside the current CON-40.


Apart from the above differences, the CON-70N is the same as the old CON-70 in dimensions and in operation. I was able to fit it in a Kakuno and it is now installed in my Custom Heritage 91; I think it should fit in any pen that was able to take the old CON-70. Having now inked it (with Sailor Sei Boku, in my Custom Heritage 91) I do not find any functional differences. It works exactly the same, no worse, nor any better. It fills well, all the way to the top, just as my old CON-70 did. Alas, it still exhibits some degree of converter wall surface tension issues, although my past experience with the old CON-70 has been that after about two weeks of continuous usage, the surface tension issues tend to abate and the converter then functions very well. I shall see whether this will also be true of the CON-70N.
 

Lastly, a note regarding pricing. I bought mine for RM45, which is about 11USD.  Not sure whether there will be price differences in other regions.

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A Smug Dill
7 hours ago, KLscribbler said:

The upper metal part of the CON-70N is silver; previously, only CON-70 converters that came bundled with pens were silver-coloured, while old CON-70 converters sold separately were black.

 

That does not align with my experience and observation.

 

This is from my stash of spare converters sold as standalone retail products. Given the dislike I've since developed for the Pilot CON-70, I haven't bought any more of these since ordering this one from PenGallery Malaysia in 2018:

 

large.232171687_UnopenedstandalonePilotCON-70retailpackagefrommystashofspareparts.jpg.30d7b7f82b91b96422379c2a7c00f407.jpg

 

and, images from current listings by retailers with independent online shopfronts, as well sellers on platforms such as eBay:

 

Product listing for Pilot CON-70 on Pensachi.com

Source: Pensachi

 

s-l1600.jpg

Source: eBay

 

The only unit I have of the CON-70 with a black collar came inside the retail package for the Pilot ‘Hannya Shingyo’ I ordered from Japan in 2013.

 

7 hours ago, KLscribbler said:

The new design of the CON-70N differs from the old CON-70 in two respects:

 

Those are well-observed. Thank you for highlighting them!

 

7 hours ago, KLscribbler said:

Lastly, a note regarding pricing.

 

The MSRP for the CON-70N is ¥700+tax. The MSRP for the CON-70, even as far back as 2013, was also ¥700+tax.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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hari317

Thanks for the update. The 70N is on the website too

 

https://frvbtxie7fnfiqdm2ls7k4wvue-adwhj77lcyoafdy-www-pilot-co-jp.translate.goog/products/pen/fountain/converter/converter/

 

 

the black con70s came with more expensive pens like the 845 etc. 

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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KLscribbler

Thanks Smug Dill and Hari for sharing your observations re: where and how the old black CON-70 could be obtained. This makes me think, perhaps my observations are long out of date, as the last times I shopped for CON-70 converters were all in 2014-2016. At that time, shopping in brick and mortar fountain pen shops here in Kuala Lumpur, I was only able to get the black kind when buying a CON-70 separately, whereas the converters I saw bundled with pens like the Custom 74, 912, 743 and so on were silver. So my experiences are likely only reflective of that time period in the Malaysian market.

By the way, here's the old worn out CON-70 that I replaced. It is a black one, which I purchased (by itself, not bundled with a pen) in 2015 from KSGills, a shop quite close to my home.

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P.S. little side-note for anyone out there curious about the failure mode of my old converter - the converter's rear seals wore out, and ink leaked from around the push button. I don't think this reflects badly on the durability of the old CON-70, as this particular one had been used hard for five years, filled multiple times a week and also used to flush the pen weekly. (Its forceful pumping action sure is convenient... sufficiently so that I become lazy to grab a bulb syringe 😅 )

20210307_161916.jpg

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My CON-70 in my CH just stopped filling altogether and I couldn't find any to buy at a reasonable price so since then I've had to use cartridges. 😞

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hari317
2 hours ago, KLscribbler said:

Thanks Smug Dill and Hari for sharing your observations re: where and how the old black CON-70 could be obtained. This makes me think, perhaps my observations are long out of date, as the last times I shopped for CON-70 converters were all in 2014-2016. At that time, shopping in brick and mortar fountain pen shops here in Kuala Lumpur, I was only able to get the black kind when buying a CON-70 separately, whereas the converters I saw bundled with pens like the Custom 74, 912, 743 and so on were silver. So my experiences are likely only reflective of that time period in the Malaysian market.

By the way, here's the old worn out CON-70 that I replaced. It is a black one, which I purchased (by itself, not bundled with a pen) in 2015 from KSGills, a shop quite close to my home.

-----
P.S. little side-note for anyone out there curious about the failure mode of my old converter - the converter's rear seals wore out, and ink leaked from around the push button. I don't think this reflects badly on the durability of the old CON-70, as this particular one had been used hard for five years, filled multiple times a week and also used to flush the pen weekly. (Its forceful pumping action sure is convenient... sufficiently so that I become lazy to grab a bulb syringe 😅 )

20210307_161916.jpg

You can try to repair your older con70 to keep as standby. It can be taken apart. 
https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/236385-pilot-con-70-disasssembly-some-pics/

 

 

Pics are visible if you click the links. 
 

 

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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KLscribbler
1 hour ago, hari317 said:

You can try to repair your older con70 to keep as standby. It can be taken apart. 
https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/236385-pilot-con-70-disasssembly-some-pics/

 

 

Pics are visible if you click the links. 
 

 


Thanks for the link to your old post with great pictures! Your post came at the right moment as I was just thinking about disassembling the old converter and playing around with its internals.
 

 

3 hours ago, Dione said:

My CON-70 in my CH just stopped filling altogether and I couldn't find any to buy at a reasonable price so since then I've had to use cartridges. 😞


Sorry to hear that. Is yours a converter that has been working well for quite a long time, or a new one that hasn't been in use for very long?

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arcfide

I've never known any other company to iterate as much on their converters as Pilot. I can't tell if that's a good or a bad thing. Their pens may be pretty conservative (barring some nice specialty nibs), but I'll give them props for interesting converters. 

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8 hours ago, KLscribbler said:


Thanks for the link to your old post with great pictures! Your post came at the right moment as I was just thinking about disassembling the old converter and playing around with its internals.
 

 


Sorry to hear that. Is yours a converter that has been working well for quite a long time, or a new one that hasn't been in use for very long?

It was a fairly new converter that had not been used much and I did disassemble it and try to make it work better but it would never fill properly.

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Nurmister

It seems the new CON-70 is recently also on the radar of US retailers. Here's a Goulet Pens video comparing the old and the new:

 

 

All in all, this does seem like an iterative but thoughtful update. I'm hoping they release a black version soon, I always found that more attractive -- otherwise I will see if the shrouds on my older black ones can be swapped over into this one. As far as I remember (and correct me if I'm wrong), the black version of the old CON-70 only came out later after the initial release. Perhaps the same will happen now.

 

The metal agitator seems to have been added to solve the reported issue that ink gets stuck behind the rubber "pump" part, which would otherwise require you to shake the pen.

 

 

The topside of a nib is its face, the underside its soul (user readytotalk)

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A Smug Dill
On 3/7/2021 at 11:06 AM, A Smug Dill said:

The MSRP for the CON-70N is ¥700+tax.

 

I just noticed that Pilot has since split the product page for converters, and now the CON-70N has its own page: https://www.pilot.co.jp/products/pen/fountain/converter/con-70n/

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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