16 May 2011

More Capless

I have already said on these chronicles that Pilot cannot claim the fatherhood of the retractable nib in a fountain pen; but –sure enough— Pilot’s version of that idea has become the most popular and long lived in the market.

The first Capless –the chronicles say—was released by the end of 1963 on the occasion of the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. That first model was twist operated –like the current Fermo model—and was very expensive: JPY 6000 at that time. Now, it is very demanded by collectors and is priced accordingly.

This expensive price made Pilot to market a cheaper model –some say aiming at college students— released in 1964. However, JPY 3000 was still a hefty price in the mid 1960s.

Such is the pen I am presenting now—four different variations of this 1964 pen. Three of them are in pristine condition—never inked and with the original sticker still on their bodies.

The nib units –just like in the current models—are easy to remove. They are made in 14 k gold. The filling system is a cartridge/converter. This early Capless use the first cartridge system made by Pilot—the double spare, now very hard to find. However, the CON-W converter is still available in the Pilot catalog and in some shops in Japan.

There are their dimensions:
Diameter: 12 mm.
Length closed: 143 mm.
Length open: 137 mm.
Total weight (empty): 19 g.

These pens are the first variation of the model: only 6 mm of the nib go out of the body when pushed. The next year models had a more visible nib when in the writing position.

(Pilot 1998 Capless model with steel M nib – Diamine Teal)

Bruno Taut
May 8th, 2011
[labels: Pilot]

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