Review: Pilot Elite

I was looking for some time to get a small pen so I can have it with me even in my trouser pocket without fear of any accidents. The obvious solution – Kaweco Sport – did not really satisfy me, at least aesthetically, while the next choice – Monteverde Jewelria mini – was and is quite scarce.

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The Company

Pilot is the largest writing instruments maker in Japan and has its headquarters in Tokyo. It was founded in 1915 by Professor Ryōsuke Namiki when he left his post at the Tokyo Nautical College as he wanted to found a craft manufacturing golden nibs. Expanding the business, he began building complete writing instruments and in 1918 he founded along with Masao Wada, the Namiki Manufacturing Company. Within 20 years, it expanded to many foreign cities (Asia, Europe, America) and in 1938 the company was renamed Pilot Pen Co.

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Construction

Pilot Elite (95S in the United States market) was re-released in 2013 to celebrate the 95th anniversary of the company’s founding. It is a “copy” of the older Elite model that was introduced by the company in 1968 and again in 1974.

In its modern form, the pen comes in two versions. One has a deep red body made of resin, a stainless steel lid and gold-plated details. The other is made of black resin with gold-plated details. Both of them have a 14-carat golden nib being in continuation with the grip, which does not stand apart from the body but it is part of it.

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As far as the construction material is concerned, despite the beauty and the quality it seems to have proved to be quite sensitive. While I’m quite careful with my pens, both in storage and in transport, on this pen I discovered a dent on the body, just behind the spacer ring. The subject is aesthetic only, but you would expect something more resilient since it is from a Japanese manufacturer.

The snap cap is designed to stand in place in every case. Inside, there is a specially designed mechanism for the removal and placement to give a very gentle and smooth feeling. aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

The Writing Experience

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The Pen has the following paradox: While it is M nib, one would expect to write Fine for the European standards. However it writes fairly wide, so that it looks like European B!

The nib material results in a total absence of feedback, which, depending on the paper (see Rhodia), might be disliked by some.

Writing is continuous and smooth, has never shown start or skipping phenomena, even after a long period of non-use.

Conclusion

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The pen was bought directly from Japan, with a very reasonable transport cost and a very short waiting time. The cost of the pen is about 75 €. It was accompanied by a Pilot cartridge and the Aerometric Con-20 converter. From the converter I am a bit dissatisfied for two reasons. The first is the fact that it is impossible to know at all times how much ink is left inside (or if it is filled properly). The second concerns the fact that it traps air inside resulting in 2 accidents of leaking ink so far, which fortunately remained trapped inside the cup avoiding any further problems. I intend to replace the connverter with Con-40 (piston). On the other hand, the pen has fulfilled and continues to fulfill its purpose of purchase. That is, being a first-class pocket pen.

Technical specifications

Length (Capped): 118,6mm
Length (Uncapped): 105,3mm
Length (Posted): 147,1mm
Barrel Diameter: 11,5mm
Grip Diameter: 9,5mm
Weight, Capped (with ink): ~19g (από το web)
Fill type: Pilot Cartridge/Converter

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