Tag Archives: Pilot

A Visit from Pilot

It’s no secret that I love when our distributors or manufacturers come for a visit. They get to check out the shop, we get to chat a bit, but of course, my favourite part is that usually come with some treats! It’s like Hallowe’en for stationery shops! (I guess the trick is usually when they announce a price increase on their way out…)

We enjoy trips from the famous/infamous Mr. Pons of Lamy – I’m not really sure how he has become so well-known in the Canadian pen market. Of course Lamarche brings special treats from Rhodia and Clairefontaine and others, and even (!) banana chocolate chip muffins. You may recall last year, we had a special visit from Mr. Kaweco himself (i.e. Mr. Gutberlet) all the way from Germany, as on offshoot of his trip for a New York gift show, where we got to see a few exciting new things for Kaweco. I was too bedazzled to take any photos.

We had a very exciting visit from Crestar, Pilot’s distributor in Canada, over the weekend! Mr. Robert Goldenberg, Vice President of Crestar, strolled into our tiny shop!

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A kind customer offered to take a photo of all of us, but (HAHA) like I would be caught dead in a photo with two men over 6 feet tall. 

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Robert left these decals or stickers to put on the floor, but I think our landlord might have a few things to say about that. After he left, it occurred to me I should’ve had him holding the decal! Jon reluctantly obliged so you can use your imagination to merge the two photos together.

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Lots and lots of exciting things! Fancy new pens and markers and even highlighters that erase! Pointy and bright. We got a chance to talk about some of the Pilot and Crestar and you know, that crazy pen market.

But most exciting of all, some new things coming in…

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Some of you may recognize the Kakuno, which may be arriving on our shelves sometime soon! How could anyone resist a smiley face on a nib. We couldn’t be more excited for all the things happening with Pilot and Crestar and we’re hoping to get going on some of these in our shop.

One of the most interesting things is that Robert joked that Caleb, asleep during the visit, would be up and sweeping floors and stocking shelves in no time, a true family business. He himself is actually an expert in this because his father founded Crestar, and he has been working at the company since he was but a small fry. It’s so wonderful to hear about the companies and people we work with as other family businesses, because this is one of the real reasons our business, Wonder Pens, has survived and thrived – through families and customers that support us, and through working with local businesses in Canada. 

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As a side note, I’m pretty sure Robert signed the letter he brought with a ballpoint. We’ll forgive him this once.

Pilot 78G

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The Pilot 78G is one of my favourite pens in shop. It’s reliable, it’s inexpensive, it’s good-looking and – it’s one of the only pens in the tester tray we haven’t had to replace because of more “enthusiastic” testing.

It is a great first fountain pen or workhorse pen, especially at its price, and it’s one of our most recommended starter pens along with the Lamy Safari or Kaweco Sport.

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There are four colours: black, red, green and teal. The green is a hunter green and the teal is kind of a greenish teal – very similar. 

 

This is a light pen, as in not very heavy. Sometimes this can be mistaken for lower quality, but it’s not the case here. However, if you are looking for a heavier pen, you may want to look at something else. 

IMG_9140I’ve heard whisperings that 78G has been discontinued for years, but we’re still ordering it, and I haven’t heard any plans of discontinuing it so far. 

The 78G comes with a squeeze converter, the same one in the Metropolitan. It’s not super – it’s not clear so you can’t see how much ink you have left, and it’s hard to tell when you’ve gotten a really good fill.

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The best technique is to give it one full squeeze, and leave it: it’ll take a few seconds for the bladder to draw up the ink, so squeezing multiple times will not do much good.

However, you can also get a replacement Pilot Con-50 converter, which is easier to fill. It doesn’t hold too much, though, so if your priority is getting as much ink as possible, you may have to resort to refilling Pilot cartridges, which are proprietary.

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There is a broad stub available, but unfortunately we can only order it in the fine and medium.

The fine is one of the finest nibs you can get in this price range, or even double it. It’s a very, very fine nib. If you like writing with 0.3 or 0.4 gel pens and are looking for the jump to fountain pens, a 78G with a fine nib is a good bet for you.

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The fine nib is so fine that when we fill it with a lighter colour ink, like an Alt Goldgrun or J. Herbin’s Bleu Azur, it can almost seem like it’s dry. Of course there’s a chance it is actually dry or out of ink, but chances are it’s just that fine. You may need to consider using a darker ink so your writing is more visible. 

IMG_9150The nib is interchangeable with the Plumix or Prera. It’s pretty simple looking, but it’s reliable, smooth and writes beautifully. 

This pen is $16.50, and will serve you well for many years. It has been a tester pen for over a year in our shop, used by people who may have never used a fountain pen before; the fact that it’s still marching is certainly a testament to its durability.