Pilot Elite (E95s)
The Pilot Elite feels really elegant to me. It reminds me of fancy lipstick and old Hollywood. Even the nib looks kind of like a manicured nail, the sides sort of reminiscent of that half-moon 1940s look. It just rings all my bells.
Writing with it is a very different experience than all the other pens I own. It’s incredibly lightweight, first of all, which is rather a shock after using the Conklin All-American. But I argue that it isn’t light in a disappointing way; it’s light in a convenient way. Much like how it is compact when capped.
You have to hold this pen pretty far back because the attractive nib is also really long, so holding it without posting it would be a challenge for many. Though, unposted, it just feels like a pencil you’ve sharpened a million times. Not the end of the world.
I get ink on my middle finger all the time from touching the edge of the nib, though, because my comfort is in holding closer to the nib I guess. It is pretty annoying and is one of the costs of the attractiveness. But I am forever impressed by Pilot and their evolving designs–even the recycled ones. They make interesting pens even if sometimes it’s form over function. They are the antithesis of Lamy.
Besides being pretty, the nib is fabulous. I was so pleased to find how springy it is, even though it is not a ‘soft’ nib by definition. It isn’t like writing with a stiff Sailor nib, it has a lot of movement to it and that is something I always welcome.
Judging just by what I’ve read from other fountain pen nerds, I think this pen checks a lot of do not buy boxes for most collectors. It is very small, very thin, and very light. But it’s also very compact and very beautiful. I’ve quite enjoyed using it as small and thin are two of my favourite things in a pen.
Another important note is that it’s called the Pilot Elite in Japan, but the E95s in the US. It is the same pen, but the Elite actually has the word “Elite” written on it. I have that version.