28 December 2010

Super 200 (Small Nib)

Review of the Pilot Super 200 with small F or EF nib.

The Super range of pen, I already said on these chronicles, were the Pilot workhorse during the 1950s. They were the last complete line of Pilots implementing a self-filling system. The next generation of pens, already in the 1960s, were cartridge/converter pens.

Pilot Super pens came in a variety of nibs including music, falcon (flexible) and script (rigid) nibs. The pen under examination today is a Super 200 with a small size fine nib.

I bought this pen at a flea market in Tokyo for about a couple of euros. Some work it needed—the filling system had disappeared and the pen had to be inked with a CON-W converter.

1. Appearance and design. (8.0/10)
This is a classic looking pen in black with golden ornaments. The nib in 14 K gold is of the nail type. The filling system is a quarter turn lever operating the sac.

Design wise, this is a conservative pen, but a lot more interesting that the current Pilot workhorse—the Montblanc looking Custom series. And this is a self-filler!

2. Construction and quality. (8.5/10)
This pen was made in 1960, according to the nib engraving, and the materials still keep their original look despite the heavy use this pen undertook. The cap still fits perfectly both when closing the pen and posted on the barrel.

The disappearance of the original filling system might due to not knowing that sacs could be replaced. After the restoration, the pen works perfectly.

The name of a previous owner engraved on the barrel.

3. Weight and dimensions. (8.5/10)
Medium sized pen. Very well balanced either posted or unposted. The possible inconveniences to use this pen do not belong to this department.

Length capped: 134 mm
Length open: 119 mm
Length posted: 146 mm
Diameter: 11 mm
Weight: 17 g

4. Nib and writing performance. (7.0/10)
This pen is equipped with a fine or extra fine 14 K gold nib. It is slightly springy and fairly wet. It always starts right away with no hint of drying up.

The nib. No indication of the point on it. Just the brand, Pilot, the Japan Industrial Standards logo, and the production date, December 1960.

The nib’s look is not attractive—this is small nib with no interesting design or engraving.

All in all, it is a nicely reliable nib, correct not enticing. Nothing to call home about.

The feed.

5. Filling system and maintenance. (8.0/10)
This is a self-filling pen. The sac is contained inside a steel cylinder. A plastic lever pushes the plate pressing on the sac. This is a reliable system whose only maintenance is the periodic replacement of the sac. Disassembling it, should the pen require a deep cleaning, is very simple—the metal sheath is removed by pulling it from the section, and the sac is elastically attached to the feed.

Therefore, maintenance, although a bit harder than in a cartridge/converter pen, is easy.

The filling system in another Pilot Super.

6. Cost and value. (--/10)
This is a difficult element to evaluate. As I said, I bought this pen for almost nothing, and I had to work on it for some time looking for the missing parts. This, of course, is not the regular way to get to a pen like this.

Therefore, I will skip this point.

7. Conclusion. (40/50=80/100)
Interesting pen from the historical point of view—Pilot relied on the Super line for some years, and the quarter turn filling system is specific of these pens. However, this pen is not particularly attractive in any feature—regular nib, regular looks.

(Pilot Super 200 – Visconti Sepia)

Bruno Taut
(In exile, December 27th, 2010)
[labels: Pilot]

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