Description: A lightweight pen with a unique looking semi-flex nib
Nib: 14kt gold Semi-flex nib
Material: lightweight resin
Filling Mechanism: Cartridge / Converter
Weight: 10 grams uncapped, 19 grams posted
Measurements: 5.4 inches capped, 5.9 inches posted
Ink Capacity: .87ml converter
Appearance & Packaging:
The Falcon was originally produced by Namiki, Pilot's higher end line, the pen is now being produced under the Pilot name which is why you may see it called by either name. The pen's packaging is really nothing special, it comes in a plain pilot gift box which is lined with a soft material to prevent scratching. This plain gift box is nice though because it prevents the cost of the pen going up more just to account for some fancy packaging. The pen itself is rather sleek and classic looking especially if you opt for one of the black resin models which are polished to a deep shine. The bright red model I have is quite nice and really stands out in my collection, the silver toned trim is also a nice contrast to this bright poppy red. The nib itself is quite unique looking and is reminiscent of the nose on the Concorde airliner, the first supersonic commercial air craft.
The nib design is what gives the pen its name as it is also somewhat resembles the beak of a falcon with the way it is curved and angled down. Other than the nib the pen is pretty low-key and understated with its design, almost like its hiding its most impressive feature that can then be revealed and appreciated at any time.
Nib & Performance:
The nib on this pen that gives it the falcon name is truly something unique and special, the feed for this nib was actually specially developed and made by Pilot to provide this nib with enough ink so that the user didn't have to worry about railroading or skipping. The nib is classified as a semi-flex so while it is flexible you should be careful not to treat it like a full flex and push it too hard or else you will end up springing this pretty soft nib. One thing to note when thinking about a nib size is that the wider the nib size you go with the less flex induced line variation you'll be able to get so if you want something really noticeable go down to an EF or F nib which will give you some really variable lines. The nib I have is the soft broad which as I stated earlier doesn't give as much line variation but is a very wet and consistent broad nib that I've been really enjoying, the flex is comparable to the nib on the Pelikan M800 but is not quite as springy as the M1000 which is much more springy with their Medium resembling something more like a Broad or double Broad.
This nib has not skipped on me or railroaded on a "full" tank of ink but once the capacity starts getting a little low the pen becomes prone to both those issues so combined with the relatively small capacity of the converter I find I have to fill this pen rather frequently. The one gripe I have with this pen is less to do with the pen as it is to do with the con-40 converter that it comes with. This is the same converter that is in the Pilot vanishing point and in my experience, it's very hard to get a good fill with this converter. I've inked both my Falcon and VP numerous times and am lucky to fill the converter halfway which is annoying because I feel like I'm constantly refilling these things. This problem can be fixed with a snorkel filler which basically allows you to draw from the bottom of the ink bottle in a smaller opening to prevent air getting into the converter instead of ink allowing for a better fill. While this is a somewhat easy fix its just annoying to have to deal with when picking up a new pen.
- Interesting and unique nib and feed system
- Good value for a gold nib at around $150
- Price increasing by 15% on Sept. 1st
- very light in the hand especially unposted
- Con-40 is hard to get a good fill with
- Competing with other very good "starter" gold nib pens
Price & Conclusion:
The price of this pen puts it in a very difficult spot, especially now that the MSRP is increasing on September 1st from $190 to around $218.5. This price increase puts it even closer to the price of the Lamy 2000, in my opinion, a way better bang for your buck due to the large ink capacity and piston filling system among numerous other reasons and for only $200 compared to the new price tag of the Falcon at around $175. This pen also competes directly with the Pilot vanishing point and custom 92 which are often sighted as the "go-to" gold nibs for beginners. This isn't to say the Pilot Falcon is suddenly not a good pen with this price increase, it just puts it closer to pens that have a little more to offer in terms of unique materials like the Makralon of the Lamy 2000 or higher ink capacities and filling systems. This pen is still a fun choice and interesting introduction to gold flex nibs but I wouldn't necessarily recommend it over the Vanishing Point or the Lamy 2000 simply because those, especially the 2000 have more to offer for roughly the same price.
In short, this pen is very interesting and the nib gives it quite a unique look and feel when writing with it but the price increase pushes it to a little more than I would pay for the pen. This pen is a great choice and addition to an established collection due to the unique nib design and performance but I think there are better value pens in this price bracket, that is unless you are looking for a lot of line variation that regular nibs can't offer. Whatever you decide on, make sure to enjoy and keep writing!