Pilot Custom Black Stripe Steel Pen


A new puppy joined the pack today, a used Pilot Custom from January, 1977 in the black stripe look that is so sought after by Myu fanciers. The brushed stainless steel finish has seen some use but still looks great. Unfortunately the clip is imperfect, most likely damaged during the manufacturing process, but no functionality has been lost. It just has a rough spot that I’ve seen on a couple of Pilot pens with the plastic insert, a defect but not a deal-breaker.

The fine nib is a honking-big white gold beauty that has significant flow, more like a Sailor than a Pilot. The nib is typical for a Pilot though with nice feedback but no scratchiness. It’s a handsome marriage of functionality and aesthetics.

Some reviews of the black striped Custom mention that it is heavier than most pens and that is true. However, it is only relevant if one posts the cap but since it is a full sized pen, posting isn’t really necessary. The barrel length and balance are quite comfortable for use without the cap so the overall weight is less than a similarly designed pocket pen like the Pilot Isaac Newton, a pen that is too short to use without posting the cap. So on that score the Custom exceeded my expectations.

As with any used or even NOS pen there is no exchange program so caveat emptor. I’ve purchased pocket pens with hairline section cracks, poor ink flow and scratchy nibs. Only the crack is an insurmountable problem. This striped Custom has an issue that may prove to be similarly insurmountable. Older Japanese pens rarely come with converters, so I popped in one I had on hand. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seat well and that can make a nasty mess at the most inopportune moment. Over the next day or two, I will try swapping a few converters from other Pilot pens to see if the problem was caused by a bad converter. Hopefully, that is all that’s wrong because it is an excellent pen that ought to get consistent use here.

Pilot Custom Steel Fountain Pen

Pilot Custom Steel Fountain Pen

Another review and fantastic photos can be seen at Pen Review Corner.

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  1. A classic beauty.


  2. I have this pen; ‘bought it NOS about 20 years ago. The old pilot converters work quite well…..those are the polished chrome converters that have the outward shape of the pilot ink carts along with a side squeeze bar. I’ve not tried, but this pen should work well with all pilot converters.It also works just fine with pilot ink cartridges.


  3. Thanks for the tip. That’s the CON-20 converter. The pen seems to be a bit funky and doesn’t seat a converter or a cartridge firmly. When the current fill is empty, I will try a few different converters. Maybe I just have a faulty one that’s a tad too large.

    How does your BS look after so many years of service? Reports are that this model holds up very well with little if any signs of use.


  4. wow, what’s a beautiful pen


  5. Hi – sorry to resurrect an old thread but I just acquired one of these and it has the same issue with cartridges and converters – it will not seat either properly. I looked at my Murex, Volex and Vanishing points and all have a different means of seating the cartridge, the Volex being the most similar and it has an extra part in the section that the cartridge and converter seal/seat around. Were you ever able to solve this issue with yours?


    • Hi Phil! No problem with the time lapse. My Black Stripe hasn’t enjoyed a slot in my rotation in a very long time. I think it leaked at the section the last time and got put aside for more trouble-free pens. It’s a great-looking model and a favorite with purple and burgundy inks. Sorry to hear your pen has an issue. I don’t have a similar model to make a comparison. Have you asked at FPN? You might find help there from someone who really knows those pens.



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