I am not good with numbers so I could never remember what are the model numbers of my pen. Thanks to the Internet, I managed to find the number of my Pilot fountain pen effortlessly — it is the 78G.
As I couldn’t seem to get a proper picture taken of my own 78G, I will post a picture that I have seen on Google search:
I have one the colour of the extreme left (turquoise). Being a gift from a friend, I had no idea of the price of this pen until I saw the forum where I got this picture from: it’s just below US$10! This means it’s cheaper than my Hero 1382. So let me describe my experience of this pen as a review of its price’s worth.
The one I own is of a fine-sized nib. Even though it is “Fine”, it feels more to me like an Extra Fine, somewhat like the Pilot G-TEC-C4 with a 0.4 or 0.5mm tip.
Writing with it initially was a real pain, as being a left-handed person makes me push the needle-like nib across paper, generating lots of friction. The ink also does not flow well. I love ultra-thin nibs so I made myself use it all the time to season it, but it seemed to take a long time for the nib to be seasoned to my writing style. I use it often on the laboratory book at work, which is made of low-quality paper, so sometimes when the pen decided to bleed lots of ink, coupled with my leftie pushing, it sometimes dug up tiny fibres from the paper. It seems like a pain in the hand but please take it that I am exaggerating. It doesn’t happen that often. But happening a few times can be frustrating enough already.
So one day after being fed up (mostly due to the poor ink flow), I squashed the nib a little, separating the two tines, and released it again, letting them bend back together. Ever since then, the ink flow was slightly more consistent, but apparently this job that I did to it also caused the tines to be slightly misaligned, making it scratchier than before. Nevertheless, I continued using it stubbornly.
Then one day, when I was in the laboratory, I accidentally dropped the pen nib-down onto the floor. Hell broke loose for 5 seconds as I hurried to nurse the pen and clean up the blots of ink that splattered on the floor. Surprisingly (or not, I’m not sure), the nib of the pen was bent backwards almost at a 90-degree angle, making a hook shape. It was quite a pretty albeit horrifying sight: pretty due to the perfectness of the hook, and horrifying because my heart sank thinking that this pen was a goner.
Desperate to set it right again, I bent it against the inner surface of its cap. Voila, the nib was somewhat straightened again. I tested it on the nearest piece of paper I could grab: it writes perfectly well. I couldn’t believe it. I tested it again and again, and it felt as if the accident-and-recovery had caused it to become a nice old pen, with hardly any scratchiness, and ink flow slightly heavier than before.
My conclusion from this experience: if ever I encounter a pen with a difficult nib, maybe I could consider dropping it to destroy the nib, and set it right again. 🙂
So whether this pen is a good one or not, it is up to you to decide. At the moment I would say it’s on its way to becoming close to perfect. 🙂