Pilot Namiki Falcon Meets (Basic) Spencerian

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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.

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7 thoughts on “Pilot Namiki Falcon Meets (Basic) Spencerian

  1. I have the SEF version of the Falcon and have to say that I expected more in terms of flex you get for your pressure. OK, the line is very thin, which is great, but according to my subjective impression I need less pressure to get most Pelikan M200 F nibs and the Lamy 2000 in EF to flex – and they don’t mention anything about flex, semi-flex or even soft when they describe their pens.
    It is a nice pen, though, but like you say, not necessarily for line variation.
    According to Shangching’s experience ( http://eastwesteverywhere.blogspot.co.uk/ ) over time you will need less pressure to get it to flex.

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    1. Mine is also an SEF. I am actually very wary of applying pressure to my pens, because I was warned early on that I tended to press down on my pens and it was wrecking my nibs – I had to have some of them fixed. I’ve tried to make myself write without pressure ever since, so going back to pressing down is a bit difficult for me :( I haven’t felt any flexibility with my Pelikans, but I do like the soft springy touch that my TWSBI 580 has. We’ll see how my Falcon develops with time…

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      1. Oh, the bit about having to have the nibs fixed sounds scary.
        Strangely enough my TWSBI (but a 530) is hard like a rock, one of the stiffest nibs I own. All my Pelikan M200 series nibs in F are very flexible (I have about five or so, but all are from the last 15 years, nothing older than that), but they are very different to the M200 EFs which are usually not flexible – neither are my F or EF Pelikan gold nibs.
        In my first comment I forgot to mention that the writing in the photo looks beautiful!

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      2. Thank you – it’s the very basic skeletal Spencerian you write before you move on to the more ornamental, press-release-press version. It’s interesting that your TWSBI is not very soft. I only have the 580 and I am very satisfied with it. Are you going to get the new ECO? I saw it on Instagram and it looked really nice :)

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  2. I thought the Eco was cancelled. It was supposed to be cheap, so that would have been tempting.

    I am currently tempted by Pelikan’s Café Creme. I heard that some places in North America sold / are selling it for as little as 100 USD…

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    1. The Eco is cancelled? I didn’t hear anything about it. Hopefully they will bring it to market, it seems it’s been in the works for quite some time…

      I have a couple of the M200 models, I’ve liked them enough to gift them to friends and relatives, but now I feel like I want to try something different for the price ;) But let me know how it writes, if you do get it!

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      1. I hope the Eco is not cancelled, but I thought it is.
        I’m sure the Café Creme will be an excellent writer, like the other M200s. The tempting bit is more about the look than the nib.
        I also got the ‘stone washed’ Kaweco for that reason, even though I knew the nib would be good but boring. At least the M200 nibs (at least in F) are not boring.

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