26 April 2014

Capless Speciation

Up to the Capless model of 1971, the decision of whether two Capless pens were different models or just variations on one single model was relatively easy: each Capless model had its own type of nib unit. And even though there existed variations, most types of nib units –check, for instance, all the variations in models from 1964, nib type II, and 1965, type III--, all of them were compatible and interchangeable (albeit with some occasional problems, as was pointed out on these Chronicles).

Capless nib units from several models--the key to separate models from variations?

This characteristic changed with the 1973 model (CN-400BS). From 1973 on, all nib units are compatible. One could, in fact, use 1973-nib units on current (model of 1998) Capless models including those called Fermo (2006) and Décimo (2005). And the other way around—current nib units could be implemented on old Capless from 1973.

Model of 1998 on top, and of 1973 on bottom. Their nibs are not identical, but can be use in any of the empty boxes.

This new feature has several effects. The most obvious is the convenience of use—the user has now a large number of pen bodies in which to install that nib unit of choice, that favorite writer.

But traders can also take benefit of this to create perfect-looking but anachronic combinations, like a 1981 model (FCN-500R) with a nib manufactured, say, in 2010. This, we know, might be all right for many users and totally unacceptable for many a collector.

From top to bottom, Fermo (2006), Décimo (2005) and Capless (1998).

Finally, this compatibility among these nib units (the type VIII) makes it more difficult to decide whether that new Capless is a new species or just a cosmetic variation of a known model. Case in point: are the current Capless , the Décimo, and the Fermo different models or mere variations on the modern concept of capless pens according to Pilot? This is a sterile discussion, of course; one with no end or conclusion. Both answers have their merits, but for the taxonomical purpose, some decision must be adopted.

Décimo (on the front) versus the faceted model from 1981 (on the back). Different models or just variations?

My decision is to consider the variations in shape and structure in Capless pens after 1973 as different models. And my final argument is purely utilitarian: the description of each model will be easier.

Back to the "Pilot Capless - 50 years" page.

Sailor Pro Gear Senior – Daiso Black

Bruno Taut
Shinjuku, April 16th 2014
etiquetas: Pilot, Capless

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