The Pilot Namiki Falcon (called “Elabo” in Japan) is a pen that should be of more than passing interest to pencil people. The way Pilot introduces this pen is almost exactly the same as the way Mitsubishi promotes its Penmanship Pencil – that is to say, both are said to be capable of producing the finely nuanced strokes that make up the Japanese writing system. However, the Falcon operates on a lot less pressure, and produces beautiful fine lines on Clairefontaine Seyes-ruled paper, whose 2mm lines defy most pens and pencils.
The Falcon became the subject of intense interest a few years back with this video, which showed a specially customized version performing all manner of flexible-nib acrobatics. The model quickly sold out, including vintage stock, and somehow the impression was created that the Falcon could stand in for a vintage flex-nibbed pen. It is interesting to note, though, that Pilot doesn’t seem to think so. It reportedly sent out “directives” to major retailers in Tokyo (to warn novice consumers of hazardous practices?) at the height of the craze, and in any case Japanese pen users are a conservative lot and seem to be wary of anything that might wear their precious pens out.
The most that can be reasonably expected of the Falcon is probably the slight variations in thickness and shading in the strokes, as in this review. As for myself, I’m willing to use it as an extra-fine-tipped pen that has a bit of a spring to it. If I need line variation, I’ll go back to my Tachikawa G nib.