Pilot Vpen

with caps

I tried out a lot of pens for my coloured pens blog a couple of weeks ago. One pen that really stood out was the Vpen (also known as the Varsity) made by the Pilot Corporation. This company is the largest and oldest pen manufacturer in Japan. It was founded in 1918 as a fountain pen company but now makes all kinds of pens.

With its cap on, this pen looks like any other regular pen. Remove the cap and you see the difference – it has a fountain pen style nib. The plastic barrel of the pen itself is not particularly attractive, but the stainless steel nib is good quality. While one of the benefits of writing with a fountain pen is that it is reusable, they tend to be more expensive than standard pens and need to be regularly re-filled with ink. This pen is a good way to try out a fountain pen without the expense. It would also be convenient for traveling as you don’t need to bring along an ink supply.

The ink of the pen I originally borrowed was what the manufacturer refers to as light blue. Personally I think that turquoise is a more descriptive name for this vibrant shade of ink with its lovely sheen. I was curious as to what some of the other colours would look like, so I put down my $4 CDN each to buy some for myself.

Although the Pilot Company wasn’t very creative in naming the light blue ink, they call their purple ink, violet. It is a nice readable shade of deep purple.

It is hard to be descriptive about black ink. This one is a dark, serious shade that would do credit to any signature.


The Vpen writes smoothly on all types of paper but smudged a little on the very smooth Rhodia paper. The line is medium with no feathering or bleeding.

I grew up with someone who is left-handed so I know they have “special needs”. As this the Vpen was originally lent to me by a leftie, I can safely say that this pen is approved for use in both the right and left hands.

Overall, the Vpen is an excellent pen even if it is disposable. Thanks Neil, for introducing me to it.

If the Vpen was a person it would be someone who looks and seems ordinary when you first meet them, in fact you might not even notice them at all. It is just when you get to know them that their sterling qualities shine through.


One thought on “Pilot Vpen

  1. Neil Lazaruk says:

    The Vpen is a great treasure in the niche fountain pen market. These are marked “m” and I suspect that is an indication of “medium”. I’m wondering if there are other nibbed versions out there in the universe? As a “special needs” leftie, I would love to try a fine version.


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