04 June 2020

Luxury and Silent. I. Context

The year 2019 ended with the release of a new version of the Pilot Capless and the rumor of a new capless pen by Platinum. Platinum soon confirmed the new model while starting a careful campaign on the Internet. On the other hand, Pilot's strategy was almost non-existant, and six months later little has been written about that new model.

Pilot Capless LS.

The new Capless LS –Capless Luxury and Silent-- is a new variation of the well-known Capless family of pens. The selling point is the new mechanism to release and retract the nib. On this pen there is still a push button to release the nib, but the retraction is done through a rotating knob located just below the push button. In actual terms, this mechanism is a combination of the knock system of the regular Capless and Décimo, and of the rotating known of the Fermo. The result is a silent acting pen –even more silent than the Fermo— with a hefty price tag: JPY 35000 (plus tax).

This price puts the LS as the most expensive –and more luxurious?-- model of the Capless line by a large margin. The Fermo costs JPY 20000; the Décimo, JPY 15000; and the Capless, JPY 15000 with gold nib, and JPY 10000 with steel nib (see link ::1::).

Current lineup --save changes on color and trims-- of the Capless family of pens.

LS stands for “luxury and silent”, and the luxury part seems associated solely to the price decided by Pilot. It indeed changed the field on which this pen plays in the market, and makes the LS compete with more upscale pens –I am thinking mostly of the Lamy Dialog 3--, although in essence this pen is little else than a regular Capless or Fermo.

Capless on top, LS on bottom. Two different models, a factor 2 on price differences. Same nib units. Newer nib units, though, have a lower content of gold by making the nib neck narrower, as can be seen on this photo.

And that might be the actual hurdle for the LS to overcome—same nib unit as the Fermo or Capless but JPY 15000 or JPY 20000 more expensive for a silent mechanism that can be operated with just one hand. This sounds a tad too expensive.

The Capless LS on Pilot's website. These are the four colors currently available.

The Capless LS comes in four colors. In Japan only two nib points are available: F and M.

Pilot Custom 74, Yamada Seisakusho nib – Sailor Blue-black

Bruno Taut
Nakano, June 3rd, 2020
etiquetas: capless, mercado, Pilot


Mary Noreen Bucklew said...

Until and unless they make it more visually appealing (ie, a true LTD ED w/styling like Twilight or Turquoise, this is just a nondescript VP.

Bruno Taut said...

I for one like the black matte version of the Capless LS.

Thanks for passing by and commenting.


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