As much as I love things that are all black, I do get a craving for some color once in a while. This picture of the Pilot Vanishing Point fountain pen in its box reminded me how important it is to have some color in your life, hence the first image above with the bow ties for the background. This particular Pilot Vanishing Point in matte black comes courtesy of our friends at JetPens where they have plenty in stock.
One thing you will notice is that the nib on the Pilot Vanishing Point is very small compared to most other nibs. Its really pretty cool to think about the fact that this is a retractable fountain pen and how precise the mechanism here had to be designed. The smooth action on the plunger for this pen almost makes you forget how odd it is that you are writing with a fountain pen thats retractable. Notice the shape of the opening for the nib on the pen body? With most retractable pens you would just see a perfect circle there for the pen tip to come out, but with a fountain pen you end up with a uniquely shaped challenge. Put the pen together in the wrong position and it won’t work. Not to worry though, the good folks at Pilot made it very easy not to screw this up, you will see the simple solution below in a minute.
Here is a closer look at the mechanism that keeps the nib of the Pilot Vanishing point protected and concealed when not in use. The silver bottom part there with the spring is the little trap door that the nib pushes open, and that closes once the nib is retracted.
The Pilot Vanishing Point comes with the nib and converter seen in the foreground, as well as one ink cartridge. Because the nib and converter make up the retractable workings of this pen, you can easily swap the nib for a different size with minimal effort. Its easier than changing the ink because you literally just unscrew the pen, take the old nib out, and put the new one in.
Remember before when I said that because of the shape of a fountain pen nib you need to be careful about how you reassemble the pen, and that Pilot made it easy to not screw up? Above is what I was talking about. That notch in the threaded end of the body and the raised tab on the converter align perfectly so that when you slide it in properly, the nib also comes out of the hole at the end of the body at the perfect angle. You basically cant put the Pilot Vanishing Point together incorrectly.
Trying to keep with the idea of adding a splash more color here and there, when I was loading up the pen for about the 4th time now I thought it looked kinda cool all messy like this so I snapped a quick picture. I mention that it was about the fourth time I filled the pen because I get the sense that the converter really doesn’t hold a ton of ink as I don’t usually have to fill up this often.
Writing with the pen has been awesome to say the least. I love the quickness with which you can open and close the pen because of the retractable nature of it. Even for such a small fine nib, the pen writes incredibly smoothly. Its been my every day pen for about two months now and has done well with the above pictured Pelikan Edelstein Topaz ink on both Rhodia Levenger Circa refills as well as Black n’ Red notebooks and the 100g paper found in the Levenger smartPlanner.
The overall balance of the pen is great, and long writing sessions don’t seem to cause any sort of fatigue. I’ve only noticed two minor issues with the pen so far. My first issue was that the plunger itself can be slightly rattly at times. Its not a huge deal but that is one thing that always gets under my skin, when you are writing and you hear rattling or can feel it going on. Second was an interesting anomaly where I found that Noodler’s Bad Green Gator ink did not behave well in the pen. Quite often when I would deploy or retract the nib, there would be a faint mist or spattering of ink due to the movement of the nib. Initiallly I thought this was a problem with the pen, but when I went back and re-read my review I recalled that the Noodler’s Bad Green Gator ink actually caused a bunch of nib creep, so it makes sense that the mechanical action of the pen would cause some splatter if there was excess ink getting on the nib. All in all this is a great pen that I’ve converted to my go to every day pen for now.
Pilot Vanishing Point Matte Black Summary
A few things to keep in mind about this pen. First, you definitely wont want to use an ink that is known for having some nib creep because you will probably end up with it spattering on your paper, clothes or desk. Second, if you are terribly adverse to the plunger rattle sound and feel, stay away from this pen, although I did get used to it. Lastly, check out some other reviews, especially this one from EdJelley where he mentions the issue with the finish starting to come off. I have not had the pen long enough for that to become an issue, but this definitely seems to be happening for some folks. Either way I really love writing with this pen so its a permanent part of my rotation for now. Special thanks again to our friends at JetPens for sending over this Pilot Vanishing Point in matte black.