Many of you may know that Platinum is my favourite pen brand. Despite their rather narrow range of pens, models like the President, #3776, and Preppy represent some of the best pens at their price point, ever.
This brings me to a rather unique pen, and one that could only come from Japan, the Maki-e, which was sent to me by Massdrop.
For those of you that don’t know of Massdrop, it’s a site that curates a bunch of superb products that are suggested by users. Each product must receive a certain number of votes from the community, and once it does Massdrop will get in touch with the brand to organise a group-buy. The best thing about a group-buy is that the higher the quantity, the lower the price, like buying in bulk. So, you get to vote for the products you want, then buy them at a reduced price. Win-win, right? International shipping is also very competitive, and can be as little as a few dollars for small items like pens.
About a week ago the guys at Pen Chalet contacted me to see if I would give an honest review of the Pilot Knight fountain pen. I’ve been a long time fan of Pilot pens in general, so naturally I said yes.
I know a bit about the Knight, but in particular I know that this pen houses the same nib assembly found on the cheap 78G, the mid-range Prera, and a few other sub-$100 Pilot pens. I think it would be suitable to see how the Knight stacks up, and just give you my thoughts on this pen in general.
It’s no question that some of the best fountain pens made today are coming out of Japan. Quality and materials beyond most anything ever seen, and nibs that go finer than fine; Pilot, Platinum, and Sailor are Japan’s “Big 3″ pen companies, the ones to go to for a writing experience like no other.
But why? To understand the reason why Japan is one of the best places for writing instruments, you have to look at its history. Over the course of the last century Japan has become a central hub for technology and innovation. This translates to improvements in design, manufacturing, and overall quality of products across the spectrum. If you buy a TV these days, chances are you will be looking at Japanese brands. The same goes for cars, phones, computers, almost any piece of tech you can think of.
Now most people may not associate the term “modern technology” with something as archaic and (perhaps incorrectly) basic as a fountain pen, but the two have blended together significantly over the past 50-60 years to produce futuristic “classic” fountain pens that exhibit the feeling of a vintage writing instrument and the features of a modern piece of technology.