30 April 2013

Super 1970s

The Pilot Super line of fountain pens is well known among the readers of these Chronicles. It was, let us remember, the family of pens that formed the core of the Pilot catalog in the late 1950s. The basic characteristics were a nail-shaped nib with a totally hidden feed and a sac-based filling system. More often than not, it was the hose system (some people call it quarter-switch filler). Later evolutions, already in the 1960, changed the shape of the cap and created the cartridge filling Super V series (Super 200V, for instance), overlapping the E series and followed, later, by the Elite models. It is interesting to note that the nail-type nib and the hidden feed scheme remained basically the same –save changes in sizes— until well into the 1980s.

A Pilot Super 300 from late 1950s (with maki-e seirei-nuri decoration) and a cartridge-converter Super from the early 1970s. Note the different design of the section.

In the early 1970s, Pilot launched a nostalgic reissue of the original Super model with a large nib. The basic modification in this newer pen was the use of ink cartridges and converters. The section was also re-designed –in line with some of the Elite models—and now the cap was perfectly aligned with the barrel when closed.

Two units of these Pilot Super pens made in the early 1970s. They implement very different nibs, as will be shown on other pictures.

The insides of one of the newer Pilot Super pens.

The wide golden ring of the cap, so characteristic of the original Super pens (although not all of the variations carried it) was now plated with 22 K gold. The engraving on the ring says 22 AKG, but nobody seemed to really know what it stood for. As for the nib, some inscriptions on them seemed to recreate an old Pilot logo –that with a stylized L underlining the O—and some others use a more modern script for the company name.

A script and a soft nib. Note the different geometry of both--the soft nib has longer and thinner tines. The imprinted logos are also different.

Several nib points were available including some unusual ones. Here I am showing a very stiff and quite fine script, and a semi-flexible one labeled as “soft”. This nib can provide a significant line variation while being quite soft—little pressure you had to apply to create that effect. Manifold nibs were also available on these modern Super pens.

Writing samples --excuse my poor hand-- with the previously shown nibs. The paper squares are 2 mm wide.

These are the measurements of these cartridge-converter Super pens:
Length closed: 136 mm
Length open: 121 mm
Length posted: 149 mm
Diameter: 12 mm
Weight: 21.2 g (dry)
Ink deposit: 0.9 ml (cartridge), 0.8 (CON-20), 0.6 ml (CON-50)

Both units shown in here were manufactured at the Tokyo plant in 1973.

Pilot Super (cartridge-converter), soft nib – Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Brown

Bruno Taut
Yokohama, April 8th, 2013
etiquetas: Pilot


Papish said...

I've got a Pilot Super 80 that has lots of problems with its nib... But it has a different filling system. Maybe it's other fountain pen model that only shares with these part of their name?

Bruno Taut said...

Thanks, Papish, for passing by and commenting.

The Super 80 is, most likely, a model of the first family of Super pens, from the late 1950s. If so, its filling system is sac based, and most likely, the hose-system. Please, check this chronicle:


Thanks for commenting.

Ah! If you needed information on Nagasawa inks, you know where to find me.


Post a Comment

Your comments are welcome and appreciated.