Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Pilot’s Pocket Pen: Elite 95S Review

The Elite 95S (or E95S in US) was released as Pilot’s 95th anniversary pen in 2013, sporting a Pilot 14k nib, which is larger than a standard Pilot#5 nib. The Elite S was originally a pocket pen designed by Pilot in 1968. The second run of these pens occurred in 1974. The 95S is more of a evolution of the Elite S fountain pen and as it was launched 95 years after the company’s inception (i.e. 1918) it does carry the first two digits of the model number as ‘95’ with the S and the third digit is by default ‘1’ usually refers price at launch of the pen (i.e 1 X JPY 10,000). It’s referred as the E95S in the US market due to copyright obligations.


                    The Elite 95S (for the Asian market, Model #FES-1MM-DR/B-EF/F/M) comes packaged in a standard pilot gift box (Z-CR-GN) which is usually more of a protection rather than presentation.

DESIGN - FOR YOUR POCKET (6/6)


The E95S comes in two standard designs of acrylic resin with a double anodised aluminium cap - Black, Deep Red (or burgundy) in gold plated trims. The acrylic resin material feels sturdy but light, I guess a defining feature for a light pocket pen sharing one dimension with your shirt pocket. You will definitely like the E95S if you like Kaweco Sport pens.

The tapered geometry starts with a flattened finial of a pearly cap (with a hint of red shade) with a gold plated clip syncing nicely with concentric cap bands and a differentiated ring from the section before it concludes with burgundy of the barrel. The glossy red resin shines moderately under light and creates a good contrast with the cap. This pen seems to preserve a vintage look both in terms of design and make. The cap is light and and can be pulled out quite smoothly, revealing a big dazzling gold nib.
The grip section is moulded from the same burgundy resin and a thick golden step announces its beginning as well as the end stop for posting the cap. But as usual, the nib dazzles out the rest. The posted pen gains considerable length and renders both beauty and a deep red contrast to the pearly finish of the cap. 

The snap cap with a slightly domed finial preserves a rather classical look. A few things etched across the lower band of the cap includes the model name of Elite on one side and PILOT & JAPAN on the other. Two concentric bands of golden paint render aesthetics to the entire pen, as the cap is quite significant for this pen. The spring loaded clip with an associate loop, has a rectangular top view with geometrical cuts. It’s engraved with PILOT vertically. The design of the clip is reminiscent of older Pilot pens. 


FILLING SYSTEM (5/6)


The barrel unscrews from the section which has a metallic insert carrying the necessary threads for syncing with the resin threads inside the barrel. One of those rare pens, in which the section is considerably longer than its barrel.

The pen takes only pilot CON-20 (0.5 mL) converter and pilot proprietary cartridges (0.9 mL) because of its size limitations.


NIB - ALL THAT MATTERS (5/6)


The nib is inset and comes in a 14k design across three stock widths - EF, F & M. The tail end of the nib specifies the month and year of manufacture. It has no other scrollwork apart from branding and nib specs. By the way, the productions are limited to 5000 pieces and that’s why you mostly see 413 (April-2013) as timestamp (or monthstamp) on these nibs.

     All branding and nib specs namely 14k-585 (58.5% Au Alloy), PILOT, along with the nib width & country of manufacture i.e JAPAN are imprinted below the breather hole. The tines are relatively short, given the longish nib. While this was not the best of nibs I had from Pilot, I have asked the seller for a replacement.

A partially enclosed or rather hooded bluish grey plastic feed with big feeder hole provides ink suction and a decent buffer.


PHYSICS OF IT (5/6) – RELATIVELY SPEAKING


This is a pocket pen and measures only around 12 cm closed. It is meant to be posted for writing and in addition to the length the cap does add some weight. Though the cap itself is quite light and weighs only 6 grams, the snap mechanism does make it a quick note scribbler. The grip is comfortably tapered ending with a longish nib.
  • Closed ~ 12 cm
  • Uncapped Length ~ 10.5 cm
  • Posted Length ~ 14.7 cm
  • Nib Leverage ~ 2.4 cm
  • Overall Weight ~ 17 g (without converter)
Capped, uncapped and posted comparisons with a Pelikan m200 cognac go below for your reference.




ECONOMIC VALUE (6/6)


The E95S retails at around USD 136 in the US, although it sell at USD 100 or even less, in Japanese shops like Engeika or Rakuten. I had bought the first pen from Engeika’s Indian Arm - Pensindia. It’s a definite VFM pen. 

OVERALL (5.4/6)


The fine nib has some feedback but is graced with a moderate flow. Although pilot does not associate any softness with these nibs, these nibs are quite springy and have a decent amount of flex, the leverage coming from their unique shape. The verticals can grow thicker with slight pressure. The nib has a moderate flow, taking less than 25 seconds to dry a wet Diamine Majestic Blue ink on MD Paper. The paper grids are 5 mm squares.
PS - I got the fine nib replaced with a medium one, since I felt that it was giving more than the usual levels of feedback. The medium nib has the same springiness/softness but runs quite on the broader side. I am happy with this nib, though people who prefer pilot fine and medium nibs might find this width a bit too broad for their taste.

Thank you for going through the review.
You can find some more pen and paraphernalia reviews here.

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4 comments:

  1. great pen, need to get one for myself :)

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    Replies
    1. A Medium nib might be a safe bet
      Thanks :)

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  2. Very nice review, beautiful pictures superb blog. I think I will buy one very superb looking pen and light weight too

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your wonderful words, Sanjay :)

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