Review by Laura Cameron
Aesthetically, I’ve never like the look of the Pilot Vanishing Points and Pilot Decimos. Until recently, I never understood the need to have a retractable fountain pen, and I thought the clip just looked odd in the middle of the pen.
Then I attended a conference and had to take notes in a seminar. Each time I had to write something down I had to unscrew my pen cap, and then screw it back on when I was done writing, or else my nib would dry out sitting open for too long. I found the experience frustrating and suddenly understood the need for a retractable fountain pen.
And so I set out on a quest to buy a pen I didn’t have in my collection: a retractable one. I looked at Vanishing Points and Decimos and then came upon the Raden collection. Rumor has it that Pilot is discontinuing the Raden collection, so the pens are now a hot item. I couldn’t find a Raden Galaxy, which was my first choice, but I did find a Raden Stripe on eBay for a reasonable price and spent a lot of time staring at it. Ana cautioned me to wait and try out both the Vanishing Point and the Decimo at a pen show because she thought the Decimo is better sized for my hand, but then eBay had a 20% off coupon and I pounced. And so a Vanishing Point came to live with me for my 40th birthday.
The Vanishing Point is a full size pen with a diameter of 0.5″ (13 mm), a length of 5.5″ (140 mm) and a weight of 1.1 oz (30 g). It has a black lacquered body, with delicate abalone shell hand-placed in stripes around the middle of the pen. All accents are rhodium and the nib is a rhodium-plated 18k gold nib. The craftsmanship on this pen is really amazing.
For my first use, I inked my Raden up with Pilot Iroshizuku Yama Budo, and I wasn’t disappointed. I have a medium nib on this pen and while it’s larger than I usually use, it creates such a thick beautiful line that I love (although this does mean I need to use it with thicker paper to avoid bleeding through to the other side). The nib itself is very springy, but at the same time it just glides across the page. The diameter of the pen is probably just on the edge of comfortable for me to use. In truth, the Decimo is probably a better fit for my small hand, but I just couldn’t resist the Vanishing Point. I’m also grudgingly forced to admit that even though I still don’t like the look of the clip, it doesn’t bother me at all holding the pen to write.
So I guess the lessons here are never say never, try every pen you can get your hands on, and keep an eye out for good deals on eBay!