07 September 2010


Some weeks ago I published a Chronicle entitled Champion on which I spoke about flexible nibs on Japanese pens. My conclusion was that the Pilot’s Falcon nib in size 10 was significantly more flexible than the rest. And I bought it.

But as some other have reported (
I, II), this pen has some serious problems. The nib is certainly impressive—flexible and smooth. But its feed is not up to the challenge. The feed is simply unable to supply all the ink the nib demands.

So, I took it to the Wagner Pen Clinic. I asked several attendees what they thought about this pen. At the end, they concluded that the problem laid mainly on the way the nib flexes—it does so very suddenly breaking the ink drop in the process.

So, before taking any drastic decision by hand of nibmeister Mr. Yamada –his works are
impressive as well as radical—, I decided to see what Pilot’s technical service had to say. Therefore, to the Pilot Pen Station I went. In there, in Kyobashi area, Pilot has its technical service.

I had the opportunity to talk to a technician and to a salesman. I explained my problem, and I showed how often my pen ran out of ink to them. Their explanation was very frustrating.

They claimed that this pen was not thought to be pressed down against the paper. Actually, the technician pointed out that I pressed the nib too much against the paper. “Well, I said, I bought this pen for its capability to flex and to change the line width”. “You should write with very little pressure”, they replied… But this does not make much sense—to write lightly, Pilot has a number of nibs that create no problem at all. They handed some of them for me to try —fine, soft fine, soft fine medium nibs—, and sure they are reliable and nice to use, but they provide barely any line variation. So, what is the real point of a falcon nib if not to flex it?

In my opinion, Pilot has failed terribly with this nib, and they know it. However, they do not accept it publicly. Their last suggestion was to attend a Pilot pen clinic at some department store and see what they have to say. Puzzled I am: if the pen was right, why would they suggest to attend a workshop to fix the unbroken pen? But this is Japan and this might be their way to subtly acknowledge their mistake.

Very short-sighted this is on their side. Pilot has a big number of pens and the company takes its pride –fountain pen wise— in the large variety of nibs. Mistakes are always possible and, even, unavoidable. But not supporting their products and their customers is very bad for their reputation.

I will attend some of those events and will report on them. But so far, the verdict on Pilot regarding this falcon nib is not satisfactory.

(Pilot Custom 742 with FA nib, holding my breath to write – Pilot Iroshizuku Yama Budo)

Bruno Taut
Inagi, September 1, 2010
[labels: Pilot, plumín]

Post data: The results of attending the above-mentioned Pilot Pen Clinic can be seen on this chronicle: Inadequate (September 21, 2010).


anele said...

Curioso. Cada día me sorprendo más con el intrincado mundo de las plumas... y yo que pensaba que eran instrumentos con poca enjundia!! madre mía, una variedad infinita de plumines, de materiales, de posturas al escribir, de flujos, etc...

Pero lo que aquí comentas no deja de ser una contrdicción. Primero, porque me sorprende siendo como sn tan precisos (un fallo tan evidente me choca) y segundo, porque como bien dices, qué sentido tiene no presionar al escribir siendo un plumín flexible? se supone que ahí radica su gracia...
En fin, ya nos contarás en qué termina tu reclamación.

Bruno Taut said...

Gracias por el comentario. Por supuesto que continuaré con la historia de cómo responde Pilot.



a-z said...

My suspicion is this pen is designed for writing in Japanese. Short stokes with minor line variation. But this is just a guess.


Ndr said...

i agree with a-z the pen is not thinked for the european calligraohy bu a nibmeister could help with the feed ;)

Bruno Taut said...

Well, I have a different stand. And the fact that the nib became so easily dry is a huge handicap to write Japanese. Some old ads of Namiki-Dunhill actually bragged about how prompt their writing was--quite a contrast with the performance of this falcon nib.

I think, though, that news units have the ink flow corrected and do not show this problem in such an extreme way. The pen I showed on this Chronicle was simply not apt for writing--not Japanese, not English, not Spanish.

Thanks for commenting.


DL said...

I also have the same problem. I am write Chinese.

Anonymous said...

I am Japanese.
Sorry in Japanese.

Bruno Taut said...

Thanks, Anonymous and Daniel Liao, for your comments and contributions. It is interesting to see how Pilot gives up on solving the problem, suggesting a nib exchange, while still offering the falcon nib in the catalog. It might be tiem to write a follow up on this story.



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