Sunday, October 25, 2009

B is for Bold

And we're now back to regular programming... Err, pens. Yes, we're back to the topic of pens.

As a newbie FP collector, I read (and heard) a lot about Pilot 78Gs as being excellent starter pens. I thought the pens looked simple and unpretentious but I liked that because it made them look classy and neat.

During my first pen meet, I saw my fellow Pinoy fountain pen collectors getting their 78Gs from Sir Butch Dalisay who brought a couple of the pens for them from his Shanghai trip (I got a black Hero 616 from that giveaway, though). And then I read about 78Gs from the FPN forums and good reviews from a lot of pen and paper blogs, but the best are from my good friend Tom and Paul David Krishnan's Phase Ignition.

My Pilot 78G B rests on the rim of my Cusco, Peru shotglass. Another opportunity to mix the stuff I love to hoard: pens and shotglasses. :)

After months of waiting, I made it to Cosmos Bazaar in Binondo, a store recommended by Pidoy Velez, another Pinoy FP collector, and found a couple of 78Gs with medium and fine nibs among a vast selection of other Pilot pens. Typical hoarder that I am, I bought all available colors with medium nibs: black, teal, green. A medium maroon was not in stock so I wasn't able to complete the four-color set, but that's okay. I inked the black pen as soon as I got home, and I was disappointed that despite being a medium, I was not satisfied with how it wrote. I realized that in nib language, Japanese medium becomes a Western fine (or even extra fine). I don't have anything against that, a lot of FP users prefer fine or extra fine nibs, but I am a medium nib user. I always find my writing to be uncomfortably ugly when I use thin nibs. I want wide strokes using broad, bold and wet nibs.

I knew Pilot 78Gs are also available with broad/bold (B) and double broad/bold (BB) nib, yet I couldn't possibly think of a way of getting one. But I had to get one. It's amazing that while chatting with Tom one time, I asked him if he happened to have a 78G with a B nib. And he has! :) Tom kindly sent the pen to me right away. Hurray! Applause!

The black broad/bold 78G did not look any different from the black medium pen I inked earlier, except for its nib. The pen is made of plastic, yes, but still looked classy to me. I don't mind the gold-plated metal clip and the two gold bands near the cap rim. Who cares? I got a classy pen that writes smoothly and that's all that's important, I guess.

The Pilot 78G B. Above: Barrel with the Pilot sticker on, and section with the converter. Below: the pen's cap and barrel.

The name Pilot is imprinted downwards on the clip, and Japan is printed on the back side of the cap, breaking the wider of the two gold bands. The nib is almost a stub, and looking at it through a 10x loupe shows its tines properly aligned. This pen, like the ones before it, has an aerometric filling system, but further reading says it can also be inked using international cartridges. The pen is very light owing to its plastic body, and that makes it easy to hold when writing. Cleaning it is a breeze because the nib assembly can be removed from the section with a slight but firm tug. (Thanks to John Raymond Lim and Mona Caccam for the useful information.)

The section when I fully diassembled it. The pen part on top is the converter. Parts below, from left: nib, feed, and section barell.

Oh, what more can I say about this great pen? I'm happy to have it now that I'm learning to write italic and script. Below is a writing sample using the broad/bold/stub 78G inked with Lamy Black.

And again, as my small token of gratitude for the help extended to me so I can get and enjoy this pen, here's to you, Tom! :)


  1. Liked the post and especially the great writing samples!

    Walang anuman, Clem.

  2. Thank you again, Tom! :)

  3. May is very happy with her BB. I'm very happy with my F, M and B. I think the Pilot 78G series is great - congratulations!!! - Mona

  4. Someone has a blue Plumix with medium nib. :) I'd like to borrow the nib sometime and use it on one of my 78Gs. :) It will be nice to have a comparison of Japanese and American medium nibs. :) Writing samples to be posted. :)

  5. Thanks for the mention :)