I love the Pilot Vanishing Point. Depending on which day you asked, I’d more often than not say it’s my favorite pen. It’s a (relatively) affordable fountain pen with an incredibly smooth 18k gold nib, and a novel retraction mechanism — an unusual feature in fountain pens. In a slightly uncharacteristic move for me, when I saw the 2019 Limited Edition, I ordered it immediately.
The finish is called “Tropical Turquoise.” I like turquoise and thought the blue with black swirl finish looked good in photos. In person, however, it’s much nicer. The finish sparkles in a way that didn’t come across in the pictures. Pilot has made 2019 of these pens, of which mine is #949. And while it’s not technically an anniversary edition, this year marks Pilot’s one-hundredth anniversary, which made it feel a little more special.
The only nib size available with this edition is medium, which can be a bit of a mixed bag depending on which paper you use it with. On high-quality paper like Rhodia or Midori, it’s excellent, and I appreciate the smoothness of the broader nib. On Leuchtturm, it’s acceptable, but your lines will come across a bit thick, and on something like a Baron Fig, it tends to bleed a bit depending on the ink. Since I keep a fine nib in my other Vanishing Point, this was preferable for me, but it’s something to keep in mind. I really wish Pilot made a Medium/Fine nib because the jump is so significant between the two sizes.
If the medium is too thick for you, however, a great feature of the Vanishing Point is that Pilot makes extra nib units available at reasonable prices. And once you have multiple, they can be swapped in around four seconds. Effectively, it lets you own a variety of gold nib pens in different sizes at a discounted price.
I tested using the included cartridge of turquoise ink, and the writing experience was (expectedly) very smooth. If you’ve used steel nib pens and are looking for your first gold nib pen, one of the regular Vanishing Points is hard to beat on value.
Overall, I’m entirely happy with my purchase. It’s just what I expected, was not outrageously priced for a limited edition, and looks even better in person. If you’re on the fence and can find one available, go for it.