2012 was the year of stealth pen and while many makers jumped on the matte black bandwagon, Pilot proved they were still top dog. Their modern flavor of the Stealth Capless became the pen du jour, and I have to admit that few writers looked so good alongside a MacBook Air 11 or a Mission Workshop messenger.
The packaging is different from what housed the black carbonesque VP I once owned. It’s less box and more escape pod in execution. I love how the Japanese devote such attention to even the smallest details. It just pushes the ownership experience from “what do we have here?” to “that’s how you do it!”
The nib is a rhodium plated Broad that writes as wide as its Western counterparts and flows about as wet as Hannover’s fulhalters. The tip hydroplanes with ease on paper and though I usually like to feel the nib as it works, I could get used to this. It’s also a tad springy, which gives a cushioned albeit hardly flexible feel.
I spent a rainy afternoon fussing over an ink that would suit the VP and decided on Diamine Graphite. It seems to match the pen without seeming contrived and would not raise eyebrows if I chose to sign office papers with the Pilot. Given how much ink is on tap, you’d forgive me for confining this writer to signature duties.
Anyone who’s owned a Capless bewails the modest capacity of the CON50 converter. Cartridges hold enough ink for a day’s ride but none came with the package. I’d be lucky to go half a day on one tank. It isn’t a fatal flaw but something to keep in mind if you’re considering one of these pens.
I’ve seen several modern Stealth VP’s earn scars after a few months. Not pretty, as the underlying brass practically screams against the matte finish. The clicker thingy also picks up character marks in time, and gouging the clip or the nose is bound to create a homely looking beast. The gunmetal barrel seems more forgiving of rough play, so this pen should age like Obi Wan more than Palpatine.
It may be half a Stealth , but I think it’s twice as good!