07 March 2013

Justus Again

NOTE (February 2014): This text has been corrected after fellow blogger KMPN published data on the actual patent of the device to limit the flexibility of the nib.

Well… More advertisment.

Pilot’s last fountain pen is already in the market. Its name is Justus 95 and, as the name pointed out, a re-issue of the model Justus, that pen with an adjustable nib marketed initially in the 1980s.

Or is it? The new pen certainly sports an adjustable nib to fine-tune its flexibility. However, the design of the pen is completely different to the original. This was an original idea of Shigeki Chiba, the man behind the Super line of Pilot pens in the late 1950s and, more important, the Super Ultra 500.

The adjustable nib. This is size-10 nib, in the Pilot way of numbering them.

Chiba Shigeki filed the patent number D260658 in November of 1979, and it was approved two years later, in September of 1981. The key element of the patent was the decorative arrangement of the pen body, although in the drawings accompanying the application we can clearly see the adjustable nib. This feature was also patented by Pilot (invention by Yanagita Shichiki) in 1979. And there is an obvious common goal with the design by Wahl-Eversharp of 1933.

Both Justus, side by side.

The nib in the original Justus, on the front on the picture, is a bit smaller than that of the modern release. The plates to limit the flexibility and the rings on the section to move them are apparently identical.

The modern version, the Justus 95, is, on the contrary, a flat top pen. It is made of black plastic with barleycorn decoration and golden trim. The nib is a size 10 (just like the Custom 742 and the Custom Heritage 912) of limited flexibility. In this regard, it is not different to the original nib—flexible but not excessively so; semi-flex some might say. It comes in three different points—F, FM, and M. The price in Japan is JPY 30000, plus tax. It does not seem to be a limited edition. The number refers to the fact that Pilot (as Namiki Manufacturing Company) was founded 95 years ago--in 1918.

Detail of the clip. The decorative pattern on the body is also visible.

My thanks to Mr. Niikura and Mr. Sunami.

Pilot Short – Pilot Blue

Bruno Taut
Yokohama, March 6th, 2013
etiquetas: Pilot, mercado, Wahl-Eversharp


ML said...

Love the patterning...but I rarely see chased JP pens? I wonder if there's an urushi coating of some sort...

Bruno Taut said...

Thanks, ML, for passing by and taking the effort to comment.

There is no urushi on this pen--that's for sure. About chasing on other pens, which pens do have chasing nowadays? Pilot and other Japanese makers made BCHR pens before the Second World War. I have shown some examples on these Chronicles.



VictorS said...

Thank you very much for such detailed information on this pen. I have an early Justus (with the round blind cap).
The date code on the nib is A393. Would you know when they stopped making the first models of Justus?

Bruno Taut said...

Thanks, Victor, for your comment.

I do not know when the first Justus was phased out. My apologies.



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