Pilot Vanishing Point Fountain Pen
- Review Paper: Nanami Paper Seven Seas Writer
- Time Owned: ~4 Years (since 7/13/2012)
- Nib: 18k gold
- Material: Metal Body and components
- Filling Mechanism: Cartridge / Converter
- Weight: 30 grams
- Measurements: 140mm
- Ink Capactiy: ~0.7-0.9ml
- Link to Original Review
- Buy on Amazon
The whole point of the “Review Redux” series is to tell you if a pen has held up over the years, especially once that honeymoon period is over. You can check out my last entry in the series on the Lamy 2000 here. This time, I’m revisiting the Pilot Vanishing Point fountain pen in matte black. I’ve owned the pen for just over four years, read on to see how it’s held up!
The matte black finish on the VP has its fair share of complaints. Some users report that the finish wears off, and others went as far as sending theirs back to Pilot for replacement. I haven’t sent mine back, but admittedly I usually carried the pen in a case. You can start to see some spots where the brass is showing beneath the surface of the finish, and honestly I can’t wait for more of it to show through. It reminds me of an old black Leica where the brassing comes through the finish, resulting in a beautiful vintage look. I hope that my VP gets there some day! The metal body has been quite durable, no major dings, scratches, or dents.
The nib on the VPs tend to run a bit dry, and the fine nib on mine was no exception. Since it’s a Japanese pen, the nib sizes tend to run a full size smaller than their Western counterparts. After a few months with the fine, I sold it off and bought a medium nib unit from Richard Binder that was adjusted for smoothness and increased ink flow. Boy is it great. It’s glassy smooth, lays down a ton of ink, and is a pleasure to write with. Since the ink capacity is on the lower end, it does need to be topped off more frequently. I’m much happier with the pen since swapping the nib out, I’m glad I went for it.
Mechanically, the pen has performed well. The click mechanism is operating just as well as it did on day one. There are a lot of moving parts in the VP, and I’m happy to report that none of them have broken. Between the click mechanism, trap door that keeps the nib wet, and awkwardly (for some, not me) placed clip there’s a lot going on. I haven’t had any problems with the pen and I’m sure it will continue to serve me well for years to come.
The Pilot Vanishing Point was my second expensive pen purchase. Way back when I first started the site, I was between the Lamy 2000 and the Vanishing Point. I opted for the Lamy 2000 initially, but it didn’t take long for me to add the VP to my cart. The pen is convenient for quick notes and was great throughout classes in college. I still use the pen, but admittedly not as much as I used to. I’m not even entirely sure why, as it’s a great writer that’s nice and portable. Redoing this review prompted me to ink up the pen and I’m excited to use it at work this upcoming week.
- Unique design and sleek looks
- Retractable nib for quick notes
- Metal construction has held up
- Fine nib was dry and scratchy
- Finish isn’t so durable (not a problem for me)
- Small ink capacity
Does It Hold Up?
Yes, I believe it does. The Pilot VP has been around in one form or another for many years now, and I don’t think it’s going anywhere. Since my initial purchase I’ve acquired two more VPs (but sold them – I didn’t need three) because I liked the first one so much. Pilot regularly releases different colors and finishes, so there’s no hints that they’re abandoning the form factor. Over time, I’ve used my VP less and less, but after spending some time with it I am excited again to use it. It’s been durable and convenient over the years, definitely pick this one up with confidence.