Pilot Custom 742 Falcon Update #101/31/2011
That cranky Pilot Custom 742 Falcon returned from its spa visit improved but not perfect. Not that it isn’t a handsome pen and comfortable to use. It is certainly that but the nib and flow just challenge me in a way that other fountain pens don’t.
To give the pen a fair chance, the original Pilot piston converter was temporarily swapped for a Pilot cartridge which improved the flow somewhat. Since sucking up ink from a bottle proved utterly useless with the converter, I purchased some pipettes with narrow tips to better fill the stubborn thing. Although it took a bit of doing to get the ink to zip along, the nib is much improved over its initial performance and the converter is now useful.
Funny how the pen seems to work best with Pilot ink, from Pilot Blue-Black to the black cartridge to a fill of Iroshizuku Asa-Gao. Hopefully, it will expand its repertoire to include a few other inks known for shading like Noodler’s Apache Sunset and Golden Brown. However, for now Asa-Gao will do.
Nevertheless, the flow still cuts out especially on descenders. It does not happen nearly as often as it did prior to its trip to the spa for some corrective work but the issue is still there. The nib has not been customized for my hand and might work beautifully as is for someone else. Someday I may put that to the test.
Another issue is that the nib sometimes catches unless held at what for me is an unforgiving angle. Again, the nib has not been customized for me so even though a monkey owned it first, I have to assume this is what is normal for the 742 Falcon nib. It is not an insurmountable problem but rather one that requires practice to overcome or possibly modification for a wider range of contact.
Of this I am certain: modern flex cannot compare to vintage flex. The mechanics are very different in how that wider line is accomplished and the effort necessary is much greater. Perhaps once the 742 FA has broken in to the degree my Namiki Falcons have, it will demonstrate enough suppleness to sustain a comfortable rhythm. Maybe a better flow will result as well. In the meantime it will get some use as held lightly, the nib is quite soft and nearly effortless to use. It will suffice for journal writing but not for correspondence where legibility is more important. After all no one needs to read my journal. Heh. Not even me!