19 May 2010


(Commentator Anele was right, by whatever means, in discovering the non-pocket pen among those displayed on my previous post. Finally I got some pictures and here you have a review and some comments on that pen. I also wanted to thank my fellow blogger Leigh Reyes for her permission to reproduce the scan of the 1968 calendar advertising the pen).

According to A. Lambrou, or to whoever wrote the chapter on Japan, in his book Fountain Pens of the World (London, 1995), in 1968 Pilot was in a difficult economic situation. The company’s reaction was to launch the very successful Elite series and, as a result, Pilot became the leading fountain pen company in Japan.

However true this might be, year 1968 also saw –as I mentioned on my May 17th post— the birth of pocket pen concept: a short pen that becomes regular sized when posted. Aiming at the student market —again citing Lambrou— a cheaper Elite version, named S-Karakara, and the Telescopic Pen were released.

This Telescopic Pen could be seen as an alternative to pocket pens: short when capped, long when needed. But the means to become full size are totally different. The Telescopic Pen has a barrel that, by pulling by its ends, or simply by uncapping it, becomes about sixteen millimeters longer: from 114 mm to 120 mm long, unposted.

This pen came with 14 K gold and steel nibs, the metallic parts could also be golden or steel in color, and the section and the barrel could also have several colors. The following picture is taken from a 1968 calendar and displays this pen under the name of "Short":

(Courtesy of Leigh Reyes)
The one I am using now has a fairly wet 14 K medium nib. Very smooth. But dries fast and occasionally it does not start promptly after some seconds of hesitation in my writing. Nice pen to write with, although it certainly lacks character.

As it is often the case on pens from the 50s and 60s in Japan, mine is engraved with the name of one of his owners. I like this detail as it shows this pen had some life and saw some action.

I have not seen many of these pens on the second hand market in Tokyo. When I bought it, though, there was another unit with steel nib and non textured steel finish for the same price. Only later I saw a small defect on the clip.

At the end, the pocket pen won the battle to the origami pen.

(Pilot Telescopic – Waterman Florida Blue)

Bruno Taut
(Shinjuku, May 19, 2010)
[labels: Japón, Pilot]


anele said...

Great pictures. And nice fountain pen (never heard about it).

Bruno Taut said...

Me soprende tu comentario. No sabía que eras aficionada y conocedora de plumas estilográficas.

Gracias por el comentario y por las alabanzas a las fotos. Toda la culpa es de la cámara.


anele said...

¿Te sorprende? A ver, yo no tengo ni idea de plumas, sólo lo que se me va "quedando" cuando os oigo hablar de ellas. Pero es que nunca os había oído hablar de una pluma "telescópica", por eso me sorprendió verlas en este porst. Y me gustan. Aunque sea profana.

¿Culpa de la cámara? No te quites mérito...

Bruno Taut said...

Te alabo el gusto... salvo en ciertas, o ciertos, aspectos. Es una pluma muy original, es cierto. Muy funcional.

Sobre las fotos, todo depende de tener buena luz.


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