18 Jul 2015 edit:
Pilot calls this the Pilot Capless Bamboo fountain pen, but the material is dyed birch wood, and not bamboo. The red one is Cherry Bamboo and the black one is Black Bamboo. Birch or Bamboo, I love it very much!
Question: What does it take for Maybelline to decide that she absolutely wants a Pilot Capless (Vanishing Point) fountain pen?
Answer: Make the Capless using black or red wood.
Someone handed two Capless fountain pens to me, asking if I wanted to review them. I was hesitant at first, as I had already reviewed it once before. The Capless pens in wood did not stun me at first sight. It was more like a “wow, nice wooden colour!” type of reaction initially. But I let them sit in their box, in another box (where I keep stationery pending reviews) for a couple of weeks, took them out again, switched on the table lamp, and that was when my eyes sprang wide open and I finally took notice of the pens.
I had never seen a fountain pen made with such beautiful wood colours before. One was black and the other was red. The material is birch wood. There are pretty ripple effects in the wood making up the overall design of the pen. I have had a couple of wooden fountain pens before, and I loved them as well, but they were more of the natural wooden brown colours one may call to mind when talking about “wood”. On the tags of the pens, the word “Capless” is printed, and below it are two Japanese characters “木軸”, which means “wooden shaft”. These pens are a pretty new addition to the Pilot Vanishing Point (or Capless) family. They have already been launched in Japan and may soon be available in Singapore (within this year, I suppose)!
Wooden Capless pens are not new to the Capless family, as Pilot had already released the 50th Anniversary commemorative Special Edition Capless pen back in 2013, made with maple wood with a very nice brown colour. FP Quest has it reviewed right here. If you love wooden fountain pens but did not manage to own the 50th Anniversary one, wait for this edition of the birch wood pens to be released outside Japan!
Upon taking apart, the insides look similar to a regular Capless. This pen is able to use the Con-20 or Con-50 converters to carry ink. It is not difficult to dismantle the pen: just unscrew the barrel and pull out the inner portion where the nib is attached to. I forgot to mention in my last review of the Vanishing Point that there is a little groove in the threads of the barrel where you can slot in the inner part of the pen, so as to be sure that the nib aligns properly to the trapdoor opening:
Speaking of the trapdoor of the pen, I happened to curiously peek into the opening of this Capless with my macro lens and saw that it looked different from the one I reviewed before! Instead of a spiral spring, this new wooden Capless has a hinge-like spring mechanism instead. Also, the trapdoor is a flat round disc instead of a slab of metal like what I saw in the other pen.
It’s also important to test out the writing experience of the pen as always, so I wrote in a fountain pen-friendly Paperblanks notebook with Perle Noire (pretty much my standard black ink if I choose black ink for reviews):
As I have scribbled in my writing sample, the 18K fine nib of this fountain pen gives friction, unlike the very smooth nib of Olli’s Vanishing Point, but doesn’t catch on paper or feel scratchy. Ink flow is very controlled and does not give a very saturated line, which is fine for me as a leftie – a more controlled ink flow meant less ink is put on the paper, and can reduce smudging when I write across the page. On the other hand, if I wanted my Perle Noire to give a saturated black line (which it is capable of doing), this nib may not be the best choice for that.
Overall, this birch wood Pilot Capless Wooden fountain pen has surely caught my eye. Being convenient (writing with a click), functional, having controlled ink flow, this pen has already given me enough reason to want it. Now that it appears in such beautiful wooden colours, I am pretty much won over. As I’ve mentioned earlier, I do believe that these pens will come to Singapore this year, so I’m all geared up to buy one for myself!
Check out my video on the two trapdoor mechanisms, close-up (and subscribe to my Youtube channel too)!