08 March 2012


NOTE added on December 11th, 2012: My interpretation of how this hybrid pen worked was totally mistaken. A (more) correct explanation can be read on this newer chronicle: Nomikomi-shiki (呑込式).

Early Pilot pens used a variety of filling systems: eyedropper, lever, plunger, safety… Today´s report is on a pen with an interesting hybrid filling system.

This Pilot pen, closed and open.

On this pen, the barrel is attached to the section by friction. Inside, a transparent cylinder, screwed onto the section, works as the ink deposit. Its filling was performed with an eyedropper (or, nowadays, with a syringe). The feed, a very long feed, goes out of the section well into the ink deposit, almost all along its length; and this creates a problem: how much ink should we pour into the cylinder without overflowing it when inserting the feed? But this might have been a very minor inconvenient at the time.

On this picture, the barrel is detached from the section. The ink deposit, with the feed inside, is now exposed.

This filling system is indeed original and advanced for its time. It seems a hybrid between an eyedropper and a refillable cartridge, and the fact that the barrel could easily be disassembled from the section makes this pen really innovative for its time. The barrel is engraved with the old company logo –the N encircled by the lifebuoy--, which shows this pen was manufactured before 1938. And indeed this pen was marketed, according to the data available at the Pen Station (Pilot´s pen museum in Tokyo) in 1938.

The long feed, exposed, enters the ink deposit, the orange cylinder, that screws onto the section. The slits on the feed are clearly visible on the picture.

As for the rest of the pen, not much of interest can be said. The nib is a size 2 made of steel; the cap screws onto the barrel when closed, and it does not post securely; the clip, in steel, is not engraved with the company name, contrary to the usual policy of Pilot.

The nib is made of stainless steel. The clip, on the back, is not engraved.

These are its dimensions:
Diameter: 13 mm.
Length closed: 134 mm.
Length open: 119 mm.
Length posted: 166 mm.
Weight: 16 g.
Ink deposit: 1.9 ml.

(Muji aluminum pen – Diamine Teal)

Bruno Taut
March 7, 2012
[labels: Pilot, soluciones técnicas]


Vivian said...

Wow! This looks like a pen that I would own. Just the internal mechanism is something that appeals to me. Is this available in America?

I'm particularly interested in the elongated feed that stretches deep into the cartridge/body. Thanks for the heads up. :-)

Bruno Taut said...

Japanese vintage pens, other than those with maki-e and urushi decoration (mostly by Pilot-Namiki, marketed by Dunhill), were not really marketed outside Japan. So, I guess it might be really hard to find them in the US.

This particular pen is not common in Japan either.

Thanks for commenting.



guilherme.atencio said...

I found a Pilot pen that appears to have that filling system, but externally it looks like a 53R like the brown one you posted elsewhere. This one has a 14k nib, which makes it very interesting to me.
Thank you for your article, otherwise I probably would never find out what model I was looking at.

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