Late last year, while browsing Instagram, I stumbled upon Giftionary Delta’s live stream. For those unfamiliar, Giftionary Delta is a charming stationery shop located in northern Osaka, Japan. While watching the stream, despite my limited knowledge of Japanese, I couldn’t help but be captivated by a particularly attractive pen – the focus of today’s discussion.
What made this pen so alluring was its captivating colour combination. Without much hesitation, I reached out to the shop owner to inquire about it. Thankfully, they shipped internationally, and within just five days, the pen was in my hands!
What sets this pen apart is its origin – a collaboration among a consortium of stationery shop owners, striving to bring innovative stationery to the market. What’s even more intriguing is that this is an opaque version of the Pilot Custom 74, a departure from the usual translucent design. But we’ll delve deeper into that later.
The Pilot Custom 74 arrived in the typical Pilot box, leaving little to comment on. However, it did come with informative literature about the “Benifuji.” The elegant gift box added to the overall experience of owning the pen.
The Custom 74 is a remarkable pen that strikes a perfect balance between comfort, smooth writing performance, and convenience. Its midsize design fits comfortably in your hand, making it a pleasure to use for extended writing sessions. However, one of its standout features is the secure ball clip, which adds a touch of practicality by allowing you to confidently carry it in your shirt pocket without worrying about it slipping out.
One interesting aspect of this pen is its inclusion of cartridges, a choice that reflects the Japanese preference for this refilling method. These cartridges provide a hassle-free and mess-free way to keep your pen inked and ready to go. This simplicity can be especially appreciated by those who value efficiency in their writing tools.
But, for those who prefer the flexibility of using bottled ink, the Custom 74 also offers an option to use the Con 70 converter (available separately in some markets). This converter allows you to fill the pen from a bottle of your favourite ink, expanding your colour choices and potentially saving money in the long run.
Of course, this pen is on the mid-size and one with larger might er at buying, but rest assured, posted, this pen is exceptionally well balanced.
The “Benifjui” finish, with its red wisteria motif, is undeniably beautiful and hopefully a sign of more exciting releases. Pilot’s track record for store exclusives may be elusive, but when they do release something, it’s usually exceptional. For instance, when Bungubox introduced the store-exclusive Custom 823, it sold out within minutes.
Pilot does offer intriguing finishes with the Pilot Capless, but beyond that range, some of their other models appear somewhat plain. Thus, it’s refreshing to see this pen become a reality. Looking ahead, I hope Pilot continues to experiment with the Custom 74 and 912, as they are both affordable options with a wide variety of nib choices.
Returning to this pen, I appreciate how the Benjifuji finish strikes a balance between restraint and a splash of colour, complemented by the harmonious gold appointments. Although I don’t always favour cigar-shaped pens, I find the Custom 74’s size comfortable and the way it sits in my hand quite pleasing.
Writing and Drawing experience:
The writing experience with the Pilot Custom 74 is truly noteworthy. From the moment the nib touches the paper, it exudes a sense of precision and control. The nib glides effortlessly, providing a seamless writing experience that is both enjoyable and reliable.
What stands out most is the consistent ink flow. Whether you’re jotting down quick notes or indulging in a long writing session, this pen delivers a steady stream of ink without hesitation. This consistency ensures that your words flow smoothly across the page, free from the interruptions or ink skips that can plague lesser pens.
The nib itself plays a significant role in this exceptional writing experience. It strikes the right balance between firmness and flexibility, allowing you to control line thickness with ease. Whether you prefer fine, medium, or bold strokes, the Custom 74’s nib accommodates your style with grace.
The pen’s weight and balance further enhance the writing experience. It feels substantial in your hand, offering just enough weight to provide stability without causing fatigue during extended writing sessions. The carefully designed grip section ensures that your fingers find a comfortable resting place, promoting a natural and relaxed hand posture.
In summary, this is a respectively exciting release from Pilot and a pen that exudes simplicity, and elegance with a pinch of fun. The size is comparable to other mid-sized pens on the market and with the vintage-esque design, it really looks the part.
If you happen to purchase a Custom 74 fountain pen in Japan, you’re in for a delightful surprise – a plethora of nib choices awaits you. Japanese fountain pen manufacturers are renowned for their craftsmanship and attention to detail, and this is particularly evident in the Custom 74’s diverse nib options. This variety allows you to select a nib size that perfectly suits your writing style and preferences. Whether you prefer an extra fine nib for precise, detailed writing, a broad nib for bolder strokes, or something in between, the Custom 74 offers a range of nibs to cater to your needs.
It’s somewhat regrettable that this level of choice isn’t as readily available in the Western market. Western fountain pen enthusiasts may find themselves envious of the extensive nib selection offered in Japan. However, this scarcity of choices in the West doesn’t diminish the appeal of the Custom 74; it simply highlights the unique advantages of sourcing this pen directly from Japan.
When it comes to assessing the value of the Custom 74, it’s clear that it stands out as one of the top options in the world of gold nib fountain pens. Gold nibs are celebrated for their flexibility, responsiveness, and durability. They provide a writing experience that’s often considered superior to steel nibs, making them highly sought after by fountain pen aficionados.
What’s even more remarkable is the price point of the Custom 74 in Japan. Starting at around 54 pounds (or its equivalent in Japanese yen), it offers exceptional value for a gold nib fountain pen of its calibre. The combination of a comfortable design, smooth writing experience, and a variety of nib options makes it an attractive choice for both novice and seasoned fountain pen users.
In the Western market, where import costs and distribution may lead to slight price fluctuations, you might find the Custom 74 priced at around 134 pounds. While this represents an increase in cost compared to the Japanese market, many enthusiasts still consider it a worthwhile investment given the pen’s exceptional quality and the unique nib options it offers.
In conclusion, the Custom 74 fountain pen from Japan is a true gem in the world of fountain pens. Its extensive nib choices and gold nib construction make it a standout option for those who appreciate the art of writing. While it may come at a slightly higher price point in the West, its performance, comfort, and versatility make it a compelling choice for anyone looking to elevate their writing experience with a gold nib fountain pen.