Sunday, 25 March 2012

Capless of old - CL-300

My history with Pilot Capless pens has been a very difficult love story.
I've had a Pilot Decimo for almost three years now, at first I didn't care for the M nib that came with the pen but I swapped it for an F with a fellow FPNer, by then though I was more interested  in vintage pens so I use it a lot less than I'd like.

Last week I was strolling a local flea-market, almost ready to go back home as it was cold and rainy and here it was, like waiting for me, a vintage Pilot Capless, wishes I didn't know I had went answered: Vintage and Capless!

Look at this baby! It's in a great shape besides a few light scratches that I'd expect on a nearly fifty year old pen.
It's a Pilot CL-300, which apparently was released in the early 60's and the colour scheme reflects those years (Aurora 88 anyone?).

Compared to a Decimo it's much, much lighter, the clip positioning isn't as awkward and very comfortable to write with.
Even if the Decimo is the smaller of the current line of Capless pens (or Vanishing Point in the US) it's clear to see the difference in size compared to the smaller older CL-300. 

The CL-300 came with an assembly that at a very quick glance looks similar to an ink converter, instead it's a cover that fits two small cartridges, called "double spare", that Pilot has stopped making years ago.
In more recent years Pilot has also made a converter that fits old pens like the CL-300, it's named Con-W, but it's not easily available anyway.

I could have refilled the old cartridges that came with the pen but I preferred to save them and give a try with a Sailor ink converter that I had lying around instead (learned from here).
The Sailor converter fits the size of the cartridge opening but it's too long for the pen, so I cut and filed down the turning knob so it could fit inside the cartridge sleeve, the inner piston rod though cannot be extended all the way because it would be again too long, it loses a little of ink capacity but much better than the original tiny cartridges!

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