29 June 2010


On the previous post, I spoke about how to modify the current Platinum converter to use it in the old Platinum pocket pens from the seventies. That is an unnecessary worry when dealing with Pilot pocket pens and other old pens by this company.

On this picture, the whole gamut of Pilot converters is displayed:

All four Pilot converters.

The long CON-70 converter is, to many pen enthusiasts, the best converter in the market. It has a great capacity and it has a very efficient filling process—it becomes almost completely full. The catalog (MSRP) price is JPY 735 in Japan.


My experience with it is mixed. I do not like the idea of pushing down a button while the precious nib of my pen is so close to the bottom end of the inkwell. Not to mention that I do not fully understand how this converter works.

The major inconvenience of this converter is its size—it only fits in full size pens. This is the reason behind the other models.

The CON-50 is a piston filler of much smaller capacity. This seems to be the standard converter in a number of markets for the range of modern Pilot Capless pens. The price in Japan is JPY 525 (MSRP).


This is the converter I like less. The ink tends to stick to its walls instead of flowing freely to the feed. This is clearly a surface tension problem associated to the material of the ink deposit. On the positive side, being transparent it is possible to check how much ink is left in the pen.

The CON-20 is an aerometric filler. This is most basic, cheap and reliable of the whole lot. This converter works in almost any Pilot pen, including the pocket pens from the seventies. The price, JPY 210 (MSRP).


Its main inconvenient is not being able to check the amount of ink in the pen.

The last converter is an oldie—the CON-W. Oldie, but still on production. This is the converter to be used in Pilot fountain pens manufactured up to some time in the mid sixties. Those pens used the so called “double spare” type of cartridge that went out of production in the mid seventies. It consisted on two smaller cartridges that allowed the pen user to have a full spare one always inside the pen—much in the fashion of the small international cartridge. On some pens using these cartridges, you can either use one full size cartridge or two small size ones inside the barrel.

CON-W, on top, and CON-20.

The CON-W is very similar to the CON-20 save for the nipple—narrower on the former. The price in Japan is JPN 735 (MSRP).

1964 model Pilot Capless (manufactured on December 1965). This model requires a CON-W converter.

The most interesting detail of this story is the fact that Pilot still produces converters for pens long gone from the production line, pens from the sixties. This is certainly a very nice detail for the user of those old pens. No need of reusing old cartridges or modifying other converters to fit in those pens. Quite different from the practice of other companies.

ADDENDUM March 17th, 2011: Information on the actual capacities of these converters can be found on the chronicle "Pilot Converters".

(Pilot Telescopic Pen – Waterman Florida Blue)

Bruno Taut
(Inagi, June 28, 2010)
[labels: Pilot, Platinum, conversor]


Kinno-san said...

Vale, lo reconozco, muy buena la entrada. No conocía el CON-W, pero claro, tampoco tengo ningún sitio donde ponerlo. Haré todo lo posible por eliminar ese problema.

Por cierto, tengo una de las pocas Parker21 que tienen plumín de 14K de la 51 ( M, maravilloso ).

Un saludo.

Leigh said...

You mean the CON-W is still available? That's amazing. I think I might need one! I can never get any CON-70 to fill. I think it's me being stupid. The easiest is the CON-20, hands down.

Bruno Taut said...

Yes, the CON-W is available. Only a small number of shops have it right there, but any shop should be able to order it.

I agree with you--the CON-20 is very good. Easy and reliable.

Thanks for commenting.


Edward Nonay said...

Hi Bruno!

I recently got a vintage Pilot Super 200 14K Fountain Pen. The model has the old switch or quarter-turn filler, the one with a hose inside. However, the hose is already lost and I believe this filler is no longer in production.

I can't use a cartridge either because the 'extension' that's made to secure/hold the cart got chipped off. The plastic got brittle because of age.

I'd like to know, can I use a CON-20 for this model instead so I can make it work (considering it has a chipped off part) ?

Hope you can help me.



Bruno Taut said...

Thanks for your comment, Edward.

It is hard to give any advise without having a clear picture of the problem. However, I will do my best.

My first attempt would be to replace the sac. Now, if the nipple were broken the only option would be to cannibalize another hose system from another pen.

And that might also apply to the possibility of attaching a CON-20 converter or a cartridge. I have in fact seen several of those pens --Super series-- with current Pilot cartridges attached as way to ink the pen without replacing the sac. To do that you need to take the metal sheath out and carefully an open cartridge or the converter.

So, answering your question, yes, it is possible to use a CON-20 or a (current) cartridge on those old Pilot pens, but the attachment must be free from leaks and cracks.

Hope this helps.


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