18 July 2020

Pilot Custom 72

In 1988, Pilot became 70 years old and released the corresponding anniversary pen—the Pilot 70, a limited edition of 7000 units (some say 7777 units) described as “Vest Type Fountain Pen". This pen, already reviewed on these pages, was the template of a regular edition pen, the Custom 72, marketed initially in 1990.

From top, the Pilot 70, Custom 72 fountain pen, and Custom 72 mechanical pencil.

The Custom 72 is, therefore, a flat-top pen with identical measured dimensions to the Pilot 70, and with very similar decoration.

.Pilot Custom 72.

Length closed (mm) 141
Length open (mm) 129
Length posted (mm) 164
Diameter (mm) 13.6
Weight, dry (g) 15.9
Ink deposit (*) (ml) 1.0 / 0.9

(*): Capacities of the converter CON-70 and of the regular Pilot cartridge.

On the Custom 72, the plastic body shows a subtle gilloché together with some vertical lines of plain plastic. What separates this model from the limited edition is the presence of two cap bands, one of them much wider than the other, and with a triangular decoration. On the flat ends we can see two golden rings. All those details resemble the limited edition pen of the 65th anniversary.

The cap bands. The gilloché decoration of the body is also visible. Note the engraving of the model "CUSTOM 72" on the cap lip. On the opposite side it reads "JAPAN".

The clip is the well known Pilot ball seen on many other models of the brand.

Inside, the nib is a size 10 decorated as most modern Custom nibs. What is more unusual is the nib point, labeled as HF, hard fine, and there were also HM and HB nib. This particular HF point is more rigid that a regular F nib of size 10.

An HF nib. Hard fine. Hidden are the manufacturing date (1990) and the JIS mark.

As for the rest, the components are what we usually see on modern Pilots—typical plastic feed with an internal core, and the CON-70 converter. Of course, this pen can also use cartridges.

The paradox is that this pen, appealing as it is, is also relatively rare. And there is little information on it—A. Lambrou and M. Sunami, for instance, do not mention it at all on their Fountain Pens of Japan (2012). We know there were matching mechanical pencil and ball pen, and we can venture that this pen is likely to be on production for about two years—until the Custom 74 and related pens were released and took over the niche used by the 72. The price is likely to have been JPY 20000. The mechanical pencil was sold for JPY 10000.

Custom 72 mechanical pencil.

What Pilot did instead was to use this flat-top structure as the base for a number of commemorative pens in limited editions. But that should be the topic of another Chronicle.

Pilot Capless LS – Pilot Iroshizuku Yama-budo

Bruno Taut
Nakano, July 18th, 2020
etiquetas: Pilot


Scott in GA said...

Nice! I am loving your Pilot history posts. I get new entries in my Pilot database almost every time you post!

Bruno Taut said...

Thanks, Scott. We might need to compare notes.



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