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Vanishing Point LS-how many are out there?


Doug C
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When the Pilot Vanishing Point LS came out, I was very intrigued but balked at the price. $550 when the normal VP's go for half that?!!

Even the Raden version I have had a list price of $380 when I got it.

I found one place that had an exceptional price on it so I bit.  The early '90s style VP I have is very easy to use for me; the modern VP less so due to the clip placement (as everyone knows). 

The LS is slightly more accommodating, but just by a smidge. It is still an acquired taste.

Other than some cosmetic changes like the clip and the little turbine motif at the middle, the biggest change is to the retracting mechanism. It has a knock to push down when you extract the nib, but does nothing when you press it again.  The back of the pen has a cam that you move clockwise.  With a gentle push, it will slowly retract the nib while the cam moves counter clockwise back to its starting position.

 

Very cool and it is a pen I will keep but a 200% premium for this feature? I think not.  I am guessing that very few of these have sold. Maybe it will be to my advantage and be a collector's item in the future, but in the meantime, I'd like your thoughts on this pen. Do you have one? Does intrigue you enough to pick it up at a discount?  Is it on your wishlist?

 

Just curious.

Vanishing Points.jpg

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1 hour ago, Doug C said:

Do you have one? Does intrigue you enough to pick it up at a discount?  Is it on your wishlist?

 

No; maybe, depending on the discount; and no.

 

My wife and I love our Pilot Capless (Vanishing Point and Décimo) pens, but I've largely stopped using them — now that I don't work in an office or in the field any more — because the disadvantage of a relatively ineffective sealing mechanism to prevent ink evaporation, coupled with low ink consumption rate in application (because I'm at home and there are always over a hundred inked pens from which to choose), outweighs the convenience of quick deployment of the nib without having to worry about the cap. Most of the time my Capless pens aren't inked, whereas my other Japanese (including Pilot) fountain pens tend to all stay inked and ready to write at a moment's notice.

 

The design differences in the Capless LS don't inherently mitigate that issue or improve the performance of the sealing of the nib and feed; whereas the procedure for nib retraction and the clickety-clack of the ‘knock’ mechanism has never been a problem, not even when in a boardroom or client meeting.

 

That said, if the Capless LS is discounted heavily enough to roughly the same price point as a Capless VP, then all things being equal if I wanted to spend that kind of money on another Capless pen I'd buy an Capless LS just for the novelty and variety; only then would the Capless LS be competitive against its own kin in my book.

 

There's an offer right now for either a purple one or a black one at the effective price to me (inclusive of delivery and tax considerations) of €235, but at that price it's not intriguing enough. My Capless 2020 Limited Edition Link Black cost me significantly less than that; and given I'm not a big fan of glossy smooth lacquer finish on metal, I'm certain which I would prefer even for the same price.

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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I’m only interested enough to want to try one in person. I’m happy with my VP and doubtful that the Capless LS will impress me enough to want to use it over my VP (I was lucky enough to get the Raden Galaxy one when it was <$400 too!).

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Sad to say but I do not think the extra price premium is worth it though LS is in co-lead with my Pilot Fermo as top Capless.

 

Balance/weight:

On paper, the weight is heavy but surprisingly it feels more balanced and more comfortable with the extra girth. I do not like heavy pens, but magically it does not feel heavy to me.  I also like the skinnier and less obtrusive clip although it feels cheaper like they just snapped in some sheet metal in there. Unlike my Fermo, LS does not have that nice Pelikan-like clip upturn at the end for easy shirt clipping. With cotton t-shirt you have to do that fingernail pull up clip to gain cloth purchase.

 

Mechanism:

HA! the reason I got it was the new mechanism, but honestly it feels mushy on retraction and something to get used to. It is almost too quiet (which was the point, Luxury Silence, LS) like an electric car. I like the silent stealth deployment over the slow mush retraction. I'm used to the quick spring jerk nib hide that even my Fermo has, but LS is unique here. Did the nib go all the way back to its home? Again the contrast in retraction is something to get used to.

 

Enjoyment:

This mini-review may sound like bashing but I actually enjoy/cherish the LS very much. Like the Fermo, it is not a pen that invokes passion and go gaga over perhaps like a blingy Raden or sweet Pilot FA writing experience.  It feels more like a well-engineered tool that offers direct writing when I need it much like a mechanical pencil, but unlike a pencil or the standard capless, the silence is really soothing. Think: Lamy 2000 was added to the Capless R&D discussions. There is no other pen I have like it and I really am glad I got it as my last pen evar... 🤣

 

🤔 Ponderings:

I think sales if not strong won't carry the LS line to uber popularity although the underrated Fermo is still alive. I think LS is worth it if the price were lowered, but then the Luxury reality distortion zone is affected which is what Pilot was going for. Most Capless fans probably have a bunch and aim for the Raden as grail like Toledo for Pelikan. I mean really WE WANT MORE COOL CAPLESS PENS.  Domestically I think it's going for 38500 yen or $440 USD in the States. I'd like if it were 300 USD or slightly under then hopefully sales would sustain the line and Kaizen R&D could be supported well. Actually, all Pilot needs to do is follow those limited Decimo Kobe Gradations 😋coloring and I think the current price is justified or even raised. But what do i know, i just like mannenhitsu 🤩

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I have been looking at LS recently and I don't think I will be purchasing it anytime soon.

The premium over the normal capless line is a bit much and I don't have any issues with the current capless.

 

That being said, I do find that ink sometimes get trapped on either side of the trapdoor near the writing end of the pen.

I wonder if this is caused by the jerking movement of the nib and if LS (with its smooth movement) would not suffer from this

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