Wednesday, May 10, 2017

On the Capless Clip

Pilot’s Capless, in all three or even more variations, are indeed successful models, well known by aficionados. Its design is often praised and deemed as functional, but its clip also remains as a point of contention for many. Is the clip really intrusive or the problem is in the user? Interestingly enough, though, there are very few examples of clipless versions along the more than 50 years of history of this model: the “seirei-nuri” version of the 1963 model (C-600MW), the never-marketed transparent version of the RW model (1965), and the Hermes Nautilus based on the current Fermo.




Three clipless Capless pens by Pilot, although the last one is marketed as a Hermes.

The first model of Capless, the C-600MW from 1963, sports a very short clip located on the lower side of the nose. It is just 16 mm long to allow for the middle finger to grab the pen on the classic tripod fashion. On the top side, two arrows show the position of the nib point.


The very short clip of the first model. Note how it is located on the lower side of the nib. The pen on the picture is the gold plated version of it, with catalog reference C-1000GW.


The arrows on the top side of the section-barrel pointing at the nib.

Today I am showing two prototypes of this first model. On one of them, beautifully made in stainless steel, there is a clip on the upper part of the barrel-section.


A prototype of the C-600MW made in stainless steel. Note the clip on the top side.

On the second prototype, made of aluminum, there is no clip. The overall look points out at the “seirei-nuri” limited version of the first Capless.


This prototype is made of aluminum. It has no clip.

There are some other small variations among all these pens, particularly on their noses and how they are cut with respect to the axis of the pen. The basic dimensions are approximately the same for all of them, save for the weight, where the manufacturing material really shows its presence.



The marketed model C-600MW, on top, and the two prototypes. Note the subtle differences on the curve on the nose.

The conclusion might be that it is not an easy task to design a clip for an “upside-down” pen like a capless, any capless. But few of us stylophiles and users would object to any of those prototypes.


My thanks to Mr. Shiomi and to Mr. NK.


Nakaya Cigar – Platinum Black

Bruno Taut
Nakano, May 10th 2017
etiquetas: Pilot, Capless

2 comments:

Nikos said...

Thanks for showing these two prototypes. The stainless steel especially is amazing. I really love all the experimentation in order to achieve the optimal design. Certainly, Pilot must have anticipated that this would be a best selling model and kept working on it to find the "right" design. They have produced plenty of models that were relatively short-lived making the history and evolution of the Capless a wonderful story to follow.

Nikos

Bruno Taut said...

Thanks, Nikos, for passing by and commenting.

Indeed! The Capless history is very interesting, and the success of this unorthodox proves how good of an idea and of a design it is. But I might be biased!

BT

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