23 April 2013

50 Years

On this year of 2013, the Pilot Capless, the most popular fountain pen made by Pilot, will become 50 years old. Or at least, the concept of such pen as understood by Pilot, for the Capless has not been just one model but a family of them, as we have already seen on these Chronicles. In any event, the first Capless (or Vanishing Point) was initially marketed by the end of 1963.

That first pen was an expensive luxury. It cost JPY 6000, which was the monthly income of many workers in Japan at the time. And what did Pilot give in return? Today’s pictures show the whole rather elaborated package of the first Pilot Capless.

First, a cardboard box.

And inside, the pen box, quite sturdy, and two packages of 12 double-spare cartridges.

When displayed at the Pen Trading event of the Pen Collectors of Japan this past weekend, many showed their admiration, and I wonder that admiration was just the product of these fifty years of history. It is true that modern Capless come is less fancy boxes (in Japan, at least), as it is also true that the modern version of it is a lot more affordable and less luxurious that they were in 1963.

Twelve double-spare cartridges fit in each box.

The short clip on the lower side of the section/body of the pen. The white dot on the side of the pen shows this was the second variation. The first model had it colored in gold. This particular unit was manufactured in Hiratsuka, Kanagawa, in December of 1963.

The overengineered nib. Note the use of gold (14 K) to attach the nib to the steel cylinder.

Anyway, this was the way the pen was released in 1963, fifty years ago, thus starting the saga of Pilot/Namiki Capless/Vanishing Point (all combinations allowed). And knowing the mechanisms of marketing, it is safe to say that Pilot will celebrate this anniversary appropriately; that is, with a special, in some way, Capless pen. But nobody knows anything. No information has leaked out of Pilot’s offices and we can only speculate—or be patient.

On my side, I hope the 50th anniversary pen was not just another fancy colored Capless, and I look forward to seeing something more daring, more radical.

My thanks to Mr. Shiomi.

Pilot Super 100s in red – Pilot Blue-black

Bruno Taut
April 21st-22nd, 2013
etiquetas: Pilot, Capless, evento, mercado


Unknown said...

Very nice, hard to believe that the capless has been around for so long.
Thanks for the history :-)

Bruno Taut said...

Thanks, Michel, for passing by.

Well, Pilot started exporting the Capless/Vanishing Point to the US as early as in 1966. Now, gaining some popularity might have taken a lot more.



ML said...

There's really going to be a special edition? Wow, I would have never guessed! I hope that it's a clipless, unlikely as that may be. Or that they forgo a VP and come out with another Pilot Myu reinterpretation. Now that would be something; I'm still searching for an M90.

Thanks for the post, Bruno!


Bruno Taut said...

I think, ML, we all expect a commemorative pen. Not that we all wanted it, but marketing nowadays never misses a chance of a limited-special-restricted edition of a pen (or any other luxury).

Thanks for passing by and commenting.



Anonymous said...

buenos dias:
al menos pilot da pistas sobre fechas, para saber hasta cuando tenemos que esperar ?
Un abrazo.

Bruno Taut said...

Nada dice Pilot. Pienso que esperarán a octubre. Pero es solo una conjetura.

Gracias por pasar por aquí y por enviar un comentario.


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