06 October 2014


It is well know that post-war years in Japan were very difficult. In the pen business that was reflected with a proliferation of pen operations--over 2500 family business, Masamichi Sunami says on Fountain Pens of Japan (2012), written in collaboration with A. Lambrou. This came to an end when in 1952 the Ministry of Industry implemented the JIS mark policy in pen nibs. It was not mandatory for companies to adopt it, but within the first year, 38 of them registered before the ministry, thus rendering as second class or of dubious quality those that did not register.

A collection of Pilot R pens from different times. On this picture, all of them are made of celluloid, but there are R models made of ebonite.

Pilot’s model of the time was the 53R. In actual terms, it was an evolution of the R model from 1938. But on the newer models, gold nibs were implemented soon after the end of the embargo in the use of this noble metal. Some luxury units had gold plated and even, according to Sunami, solid gold caps. There also exist some maki-e decorated units.

A Pilot 53R-T. A lever-filler with a 14 K gold nib.

Re filling systems, older R models were mostly eyedroppers (with shut-off valve) and lever fillers. However, in 1938, the nomikomi-shiki was also released on some R models, but this system does not seem to be very common. Later on, other systems as the pulsated piston (A-shiki) were added. The 53R were mostly, if not all, lever fillers (the 53R-T, where T stands for teko, lever), and eyedroppers. This model was, in fact, the last eyedropper made by Pilot until the recreation of the old jumbo pens carried out in 1985.

Another 53R-T. This time with a steel nib marked with the JIS logo.

The steel nib of the previous Pilot 53R-T.

The model that put the R to rest was the Super series from 1955 (a general overview of these years in the history of Pilot pens can be seen on the text entitled "Pilot. Super Ultra 500". Please, note it was written in Spanish). These implemented sac-based filling systems (aerometric, hose-system, bellow-type sac) and, already in the 1960s, ink cartridges. An approximated chronology of this evolution is exposed on the Chronicle "Pilot Filling Systems in the 1960s".

Pilot 53R models are not hard to find, probably indicating that a large number of them were made. However, their condition is very variable.

Pilot black pocket pen 1970, Elite – Platinum Black

Bruno Taut
Nakano, October 3rd, 2014
etiquetas: Pilot

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thank you for the info and for letting me link back. Good on you, mate.

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