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Petit 1

Maker: Pilot.

Similar to the Birdie in that it is small and cheap, the Petit 1 goes for short rather than thin.  I like this pen more than the Birdie, as the lack of length makes it less susceptible to torsion damage; it’s one of the few pens I will actually envision clipping to a trouser pocket.

It is also a very reliable pen; the ones I’ve got can go for months between uses and seem immune to drying out, and the big set of baffles in the section prevent any dribbling disasters.  The feed is interesting, in that it uses a fibrous wick to transport the ink from the cartridge rather than an open set of channels, something also seen in the disposable Varsity fountain pen from the same maker; I’d suspect it of being susceptible to clogs rather more than the traditional set-up, but the campaign of neglect I’ve mounted against mine says that’s not the case.

One may also find a Petit 2 and Petit 3, which are a marker and a brush-pen respectively, which use the same ink cartridges.  Between the wick-feed, the diverse modes of writing, and the low cost, Pilot doesn’t actually include this pen among the fountain pens on their home site– if you’re looking there, you want to look under “color pen“.

Production Run: c. 2005 – present.

Cost When New: ¥200 (in North America, somewhere between $3.00 to $4.00).

Size: 10.2 cm long capped, 12.7 cm posted, 8.8 cm uncapped.

Point: Steel.

Body: Plastic.

Filler: Cartridge, capacity approx. 0.6 ml.  I have tried this as an eyedropper, and I have to recommend against it; the coarse, shallow threads that mate section and barrel are a misery to get sealed with silicone grease.

Pilot Petit 1, red – when posted like this, it’s just long enough for comfortable use

Petit 1 blue. There’s a lot of colours, all quite festive except for the black.  The hazing of the cap is condensation from a recent washing; this was my eyedropper experiment.



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