26 September 2011


Pilot model Capless is likely to be the most successful fountain pen of this maker. It is marketed almost worldwide and therefore it is well known. But the Pilot Capless has a long history since it was initially released in 1963, and little remains nowadays from the original model. Along these 48 years some of the models have raised more eyebrows than others.

The 1968 "sliding nib" Capless model.

The pen, open.The nib unit is specific for this Capless model.

Today´s pen is a very special Capless. It is a short lived model from 1968 as it was on production for less than a year. Its defining characteristic is the way to operate the nib to write. This model is the only Capless not having a push button or a twist knob to push the nib through the section. This pen works only with the help of gravity—a subtle lever located on the clip opens the section’s lid and the nib literally slides down by its own weight. But only if the pen is held pointing down. To hide the nib, simply reverse the action: point the pen up, and open the lid with the lever.

Short 1965 Capless model in plastic and aluminum.

On some units of this model, the whole clip acted as the lever, thus making the design a tad cleaner.

The lever is made of black plastic and slides in the clip.

On this pen, the whole clip is the opening lever for the nib.

This is a well balanced model, on the light side (less than 20 g), and quite compact. It is related, shape wise, to the previous push button model from 1965 in plastic and aluminum.

The nib unit. It is very hard to find it as a spare. And the whole unit relies on the plastic feed. This makes this pen quite fragile and vulnerable.

The dimensions of the 1968 sliding Pilot Capless are as follows:
Diameter: 10 mm.
Length closed: 129 mm.
Length open: 136 mm.

Weight: 19 g

It accepts regular Pilot cartridges, and converters CON-20 and CON-50. The nib units in these sliding models are specific for them—no other Capless model uses them.

My thanks to my friend FPN member Haywoody.

(Sailor Profit with Naginata Togi nib – Diamine Evergreen)

Bruno Taut
September 26th, 2011
[labels: Pilot]

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