Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Pilot Varsity Fountain Pen

When I hear the words "disposable" and "fountain pen" I grab my wallet and without having a second thought, pay up... you can count me in. Lady's and Gentlemen, the Pilot Varsity Fountain Pen.

I don't think this was my first fountain pen I ever owned, but it was up there early on the list and I probably have burned through 100 of these since then. All colors, all styles and I have refilled these before. The usual process: yank the nib, rinse, syringe ink in and pop the nib back. I hate to throw them away if the ink is flowing and the nib is still solid.

You can tell this one gets thrown around. It's beat up and has seen a ton of paper and use. Cheaper is not always better, but in this case, cheaper means a dependable pen that you can loan to someone to use if needed and not fear having your nibs pointing east and west from some heavy handed Bic user.

Posted by Picasa


bahullett said...

I love the Varsity as well. I recently took a friend to Artlite in Atlanta (my new pen paradise) to browse around. Strictly a roller ball girl, I talked her into demo-ing nice vanishing point fountain. She was convinced her handwriting wasn't pretty enough to use such a fancy pen. She was intimidated by the fact that it was a fountain pen, not the $100+ price tag. So, I talked her into getting a $3 Varsity as her fountain pen "training wheels" and won her over. The Varsity is always a safe bet - I never pass them up!

Rosemary said...

Have you gotten a Varsity lately? The one you photoed is the older style - the newer ones have an even BETTER nib. I like to refil with a different color ink - no rinsing - and watch the color slowly change as I fill up the page. Bliss!

I've not tried the Pilot "V" - which I hear is a fine nib. I've only tried the varsity, which is rather wide (the new ones. The one in the photo has a finer nib, but the newest ones are DA BOMB!)

From a fellow Varsity lover,

Sharon Delman said...

I love the Pilot Varsity fountain pens! I had no idea that you could refill them . . . I clearly need to challenge conventions a bit more. Thanks for your insights and a reminder about a great pen!

OfficeSupplyGeek said...

Nice review, the Pilot Varsity is the reason I decided to buy my first non-disposable fountain pen. I figured that if it only cost $3 and it wrote that nicely, the investment in a higher end fountain pen must certainly be worth it.

oneloneman said...

having someone sending me one. I appreciate you telling us how to refill them as that is just what I intend to do when it runs dry!

Michael W. said...

I love the Varsity pens! I am extremely picky with my pens. I am a lefty and have a number of high end specialty fountain pens. I do not like to loan them. I never loan a pen without keeping the cap. Having a Varsity in my pocket all the time is a security blanket. I can feel ok loaning it for a signature or taking to stores to check things off as I buy them or just scribbling around the house, without worry of losing or damaging my expensive pens that I use in my office.

Space and Clarity said...

Have you noticed how Pilot Varsities are instant starters? I wonder how Pilot gets this behaviour with a $3 pen when its hard to reproduce with several more expensive ones. I've let my Varsity stand for over a week and have had no trouble with getting it to start instantly. They're super smooth pens, btw. I can't help feeling more expensive pens are difficult to justify when a $3 pen simply performs so much better.