23 August 2012

Demonstrators in Japan

Apparently, along the nearly 50 years of history of the Capless family of pens, only the short model marketed in 1965 had a demonstrator version and, as was the case with most transparent pens, was not intended for sale but to show the internal mechanism. These were, in fact, tools in the hands of Pilot’s salespeople to convince retailers of the virtues of the pen. What most demonstrators intended to show was the filling mechanism, which was a primary battlefront in the market of pens. Then, cartridges became the filling system of choice and transparencies lost its ground, although with some exceptions. In Japan, this happened in the early 1960s, after Platinum had launched the Honest Cartridge in 1956.

The rare Capless demonstrator from 1965.

The Pilot Capless belong to a different breed of pens. Instead of showing the filling system –a regular and uneventful cartridge-converter—it shows the retracting mechanism and the movable nib unit. And that puts on quite a show! Or, at least, an original one that many a user would be willing to buy.

The latest demonstrator by Platinum. It is named after one of the five lakes around Mt. Fuji: Shoji (精進湖). However, there is not much of a mystery inside the barrel.

And no show is provided by most Japanese modern demonstrators. Save a couple of exceptions –Pilot’s Custom Heritage 92 and Custom 823--, all of them are cartridge converter pens with nothing special to reveal. And, after all, cartridge and converters were removable and of easy access to the user.

Three demonstrators. From top to bottom, the cartridge-converter Pilot Custom 74, the piston filler Twsbi Diamond 530, and the piston filler Pilot Custom Heritage 92.

In the meantime, the Taiwanese brand Twsbi shows that it is possible to make affordable demonstrators with self-filling mechanisms. Now, a transparent modern Capless, that would really shake the scene!

My thanks to Mr. Hiroshi Shimizu.

Pilot L pocket pen – Sailor Sei-boku

Bruno Taut
August 20-22th, 2012
etiquetas: Pilot, Capless, Japón, Taiwan, mercado, Twsbi, Platinum

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