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  • A Fleeting Ripple

clicky pens: pilot vanishing point fountain pen vintage and new

As the spring nears, the mornings get longer. Lately, the sun has been rising before me, and I get to open my eyes to the sunlight streaming through the sides of the curtains. When I go to the kitchen to make some coffee, I watch the clouds while the coffee drips down to the mug. They chase away, the silver edges stark against the grey sky, with no rays of sunlight hitting the ground. Around midday the clouds part and you get to bask in the sun, a sun that barely warms your bones in the chilly weather.

Vintage Pilot Vanishing Point fountain pen detail.

Pilot Vanishing Point was one of the reasons why I had wanted to start writing this blog. It all started with three black pens, pens that were wildly different from each other, but outliers in my collection, simply due to their colour. One of them was the Vanishing Point, which I actually sold over a year ago. In the meantime, I got two other ones, a Pilot Decimo and a Majohn A2. I want to start this three-part series about comparing four fountain pens with trapdoor mechanism with the ones I talked about before.

Vintage and modern Pilot Vanishing Point fountain pen clip comparison.

You can find the longer review of the vintage Pilot Vanishing Point here, on the Pen Addict.

And, the old review of the modern Pilot Vanishing Point here.

Let’s start with the modern Vanishing Point (VP), it is probably more familiar to most. It’s a brass bodied fountain pen with lacquer on top, which gives it a solid heft. It has a 14k gold nib in a mid-sized range, from EF to B and a stub that’s a little narrower than 1.1. The clicky mechanism has a very satisfying feel to it, and it’s somewhat loud. The clip is can be obstructive, as most people’s fingers fall around it while writing. That never really bothered me, but the size and weight eventually did. In my writing about two years ago, I mentioned that the balance of the pen was good, therefore the weight was distributed evenly. In the end, I decided that I genuinely preferred lighter, thinner pens and the mighty VP was not inked at all for a while.

Vintage and modern Pilot Vanishing Point fountain pen comparison.

The VP worked practically perfectly, and it was all I could’ve asked from it. I knew the weight might be a problem, and during the honeymoon period I thought it was something I could look past. It didn’t get used for long periods of time anyway, and it didn’t feel like it was intended for that due to the clicky mechanism. It was fast, durable and hefty; I’m a little amazed when I read stories of people just forgetting a VP in their pocket or something. In the end, I decided that it was better to let this pen go to a home that would appreciate it more and I needed to move onto a lighter VP. The only question was whether it would be vintage or a Decimo.

Vintage Pilot Vanishing Point fountain pen nib detail.

Since the modern VP had not satisfied the itch for a VP, I had decided to order a vintage one. The clip allows your fingers to rest on the pen more easily, but that means that when you clip the pen to a pen case, a significant amount of the pen’s top is unprotected. Compared to the softer nib of most modern pilots, including the VP, the vintage pen has a drier, harder nib. The best part about this pen is that the thinner plastic body gives it a more manageable weight. The only complaints after using this pen for over a year are that the nib does tend to dry out quicker than modern VP’s and the short old-style cartridges are a bit annoying to deal with.

Modern Pilot Vanishing Point fountain pen.

In all honesty, the modern one feels sturdier and made for a fast-paced daily environment, and the vintage one is made for slower days and sitting down behind a heavy, comfortable writing desk. Maybe it’s just my own imagination getting a little ahead. The only common ground the both have is the clicky nib deployment mechanism. The shape can be vaguely similar if you squint your eyes and keep the pens at an arm’s distance. Otherwise, they are two completely different pens.

I think I prefer the vintage one, but even that didn’t get much use due to the nib drying out if it wasn’t used for a couple of days. I love the idea of a trapdoor mechanism instead of the simpler solution of the cap. I want to love the Vanishing Point, but maybe not these two.

Thank you for reading! I have another exam week coming up, so this post needed to be on the shorter side… Don’t forget to enjoy the music while reading :)



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