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  • A Fleeting Ripple

its own pen: pilot decimo fountain pen review

It’s the first day where the sun actually warms you, penetrating deep into your winter weary bones. The wildflowers weave a colourful tapestry, whites and reds and yellows and purples through the green grass. They sway in a light breeze, the same breeze that caresses your cheeks. There isn’t a single cloud in the sky, but the sky itself is a blue-grey colour, a reminder that it’s only March and the fool’s spring won’t last very long.

Close-up of the clip of a Pilot Decimo fountain pen.

It is impossible to think about the Pilot Decimo fountain pen without thinking about its big brother: the Vanishing Point. I don’t want this whole post to be a comparison between the two, but the more I write and think about it, the more everything comes back to the Vanishing Point. So much so that the biggest question I have is whether Decimo is its own pen or is it just a smaller Vanishing Point? 

A Pilot Decimo fountain pen.

Let’s start to break this pen down from the most obvious point: the size and weight difference. This pen has a brass body with a resin-adjacent lacquer. Combined with the chrome plated parts, this pen doesn’t have the rugged look that I tend to associate with brass pens. It’s an elegant looking pen. Despite the material and a thick coat of lacquer, the pen is not overly heavy as well, and of course the slimmer size and the single ring band help with these.Though I cannot stop thinking if the brass walls are a little thinner as well, considering how different the two feel in hand. I only handled the matte black coated Vanishing Point extensively and that pen does feel like you have a brass pen in your hand. The coating felt thinner, and the pen felt more rugged. 

A Pilot Decimo fountain pen in hand.

Another striking difference for me was the hardware. The narrower nose cone and the clip make for a less intrusive writing experience. Due to my super traditional grip, I already hadn’t had a problem with the Vanishing Point, and the smaller clip makes it even more comfortable. My fingers fit neatly around the curves of the clip, it’s quite satisfying. Though if someone didn’t find the Vanishing Point’s clip obtrusive, they probably wouldn’t like the Decimo very much as well as the clip still sits in the middle of your grip.

When all of these are combined, the Decimo feels much more comfortable in my hand. The weight of the pen sits comfortably in the curve of your thumb, towards the middle of the pen, and the tip is free to be moved to form the letters. The tip-heavy pens feel slower to form the letters with, like the pen itself is fighting you; and when the balance is too far back, it always feels like the nib is trying to lift off the page. This one is a happy medium. 

Close-up of the nib of a Pilot Decimo fountain pen.

My previous Vanishing Point had a medium nib, which was buttery smooth, but it was too thick for my intended use of the pen. I write even smaller when I’m trying to jot down something fast and a medium nib was not a good fit. The main reason I had gotten the white one was that I got this pen through Reddit as only tested. The guy who had bought it thought that the body was too slim and had only written about a quarter of a cartridge with it. It was a good deal, in a nice colour and I didn’t want to pass it up, especially when it had a fine nib. This nib writes a consistent fine line without being dry or overly wet. I expect the highest quality from Pilot nibs, especially since it aligns the most with my taste out of the three big Japanese pen companies, and this pen delivers. As simple as that. 

Close-up of the branding of a Pilot Decimo fountain pen.

The finishes I’ve seen on the stock Decimo have been sparkly ones. I like the lacquer they mix; it is understated most of the time, and when the light hits right to it, the sparkles come to life. I have the basic white one, even though I had my eyes on the pink champagne colour. The finishes are just extremely cute, and the white sometimes makes me feel a little girly with my fancy little planner. Smiles and a good time all around. 

A Pilot Decimo fountain pen and its writing sample.

Lastly, I want to talk about the colours and choice. I know I have not seen all the limited releases of these pens, so I am talking from the point of view of a person that does not follow the releases throughout the year and occasionally stumbles upon some through mostly Instagram. Take it with a grain of salt. I feel like the Decimo colours are a lot more interesting. The store limited or Japan limited edition releases are so much nicer compared to the Vanishing Point. In Europe, the difference is even more stark. The stock colours or the designs that are brought more often for the Vanishing Point seem formal, muted and dark; whereas the Decimo comes in a sparkly pink. 

Apparently Decimo means 1/10 in Italian, and I wonder why they named this pen that. Maybe it’s just because it sounds cool.

I want to come back to the initial question that I had, whether the Pilot Decimo can hold out on its own without the Vanishing Point. I don’t think so, the pen is great, but it is a Vanishing Point, only smaller. Most people would probably prefer the one or the other, not both. If the famous clicky fountain pen mechanism fascinates you, but you prefer thinner, smaller pens, don’t even look at the Vanishing Point. Decimo would serve you better. 

Thank you for reading!

1 comentario

22 mar

Heya. Actually, décimo means tenth in Spanish, and my understanding is that its name commemorates the tenth anniversary of something, maybe the revival of the VP model.

Great blog, by the way! :)



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