The Pilot “Tank” Non-Self Filling Fountain Pen (a.k.a Pilot Vintage Fountain Pen)

I recently discovered a lovely little gem in Mustafa!

Pilot Tank Non-Self Filling Fountain Pen
Here is the Pilot Tank Non-Self Filling Fountain Pen

I don’t know what its official name is. The salesman referred to it simply as a vintage Pilot pen. It’s not really a vintage pen, it’s more like a modern re-creation of a vintage edition.

Some websites call it the Pilot Tank Non-Self Filling Fountain Pen. Non-self. Haha… Reminds me of Buddhist philosophy. There is no self, no pen, no money to buy pens for one’s self…

Anyway, it comes in a few colours: Teal Blue (the one above), Red, and Black.

I chanced upon this very interesting looking pen while browsing for things at Mustafa, and fell immediately in love with it. I didn’t buy it immediately. But, like a person who has fallen in love, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I was obsessed, you could say. Days later, I went back to Mustafa and got this pen.

Best of all, it’s only SGD$7+! So the damage to my wallet wasn’t so bad.

The colours are very charming. The teal blue and gold was so pretty and attractive that I knew I had to get one. It’s strange… I’ve always been a silver and cool colour (blue, grey, black) kind of person. I never thought that I’d find a colour like this really attractive.

Pilot Tank Non-Self Filling Fountain Pen
It even has a matching gold-plated nib!

Perhaps what makes this pen really unique is the fact that it’s designed specifically to be used as an eye-dropper pen.

Eye-dropper pens are pens where you can use the body of the pen to store the ink. You would usually use an eye-dropper to refill such pens (hence the name). There’s no need for a cartridge or a refillable pump (i.e. a converter). They’re great because you can store a lot of ink inside. At least 2x or 3x more ink than usual!

This pen even has a special silicon part that allows it to be used safely as an eye-dropper pen without any spillage. If the eye-dropper thing isn’t your cup of tea (or bottle of ink, hur hur…), you can take out the silicon part and use a standard Pilot convertor or cartridge.

Pilot Tank Non-Self Filling Fountain Pen
It prevents ink from spilling out, and it directs all the ink down into the feed.

The amazing thing about this pen is that its parts are fully compatible with other Pilot fountain pens, such as the Pilot Prera or Kakuno. You could take out the feed, the nib and even that silicon piece from the pen, and transplant it to another Pilot pen. I’ve tried it on my Pilot Prera and it works like a charm. However, days later I transferred it back simply because I was in love with the teal blue and gold colour, and the way it writes (the feeling I get writing with this is much better than with the Prera, for some reason).

At SGD$7+, it’s a pen that you could cannibalise for parts.

I was also very pleasantly surprised to learn that the nib is capable of some line variation (with minute varying degrees of light pressure). It can’t flex, but the line variations are enough to create very lovely handwriting.

Pilot Tank Non-Self Filling Fountain Pen
The various line widths that you can do with this pen.

I’ve used this pen for more than a week, and I must say, this is an amazing pen.

The weight of the pen is just right. Of course, this is subjective. But for me, it’s not one of those heavy pens, and neither is it too light. It has just the right amount of weight such that I can simply move my hands around to write comfortably and with a sense of stability.

Perhaps what I love most about this pen is just how solid this pen feels. Not all pens have this quality. In fact, none of the pens I owned has this amazing feeling of sturdiness.

The last time I experienced this was when I modified a Muji pen and fitted it with a Prera nib. But that pen is no more thanks to my itchy hands (too much modding).

When I write with this pen, it feels as though my hand and the pen are one – the pen has become an extension of my being. It’s an amazing feeling and one that makes me feel so in touch with what I write. It is as if the intangible thoughts and ideas are flowing out of my mind, through my hands, and through this pen – as the intermediary and interface between the intangible and tangible, the spiritual and the physical, the conceptual and the material – and finally as ink on the paper.

I don’t get this feeling with the other pens. It’s strange that pen-makers don’t go for this. Maybe most people don’t like that feeling. I don’t know. For example, the Prera has a soft feeling. It’s ok, but there’s no satisfaction when I write; I just don’t get that sense of one-ness with my body and the paper.

It is this feeling of solidness, of sturdiness, of union of mind, body and paper that immediately made it my favourite writing pen.

Oh gosh, and I haven’t even talked about the nib. It’s so smooth! Maybe it’s because the nib is a medium sized nib. But the writing is so amazingly smooth it feels as though my hand is gliding along the paper. When writing in cursive, it feels as though my fingers, wrist and arm are dancing on ice. My hand moves so swiftly, so smoothly, so effortlessly, as it glides in a circular motion on the page.

What is just as enjoyable is to witness ink flowing so lusciously, so vividly onto the page. Pure pleasure just watching the ink flow onto the page.

I have not experienced a pen as wonderful as this! It’s simply amazing.

Here are some writing samples with this pen:

Pilot Tank Non-Self Filling Fountain Pen
The usual words…
Pilot Tank Non-Self Filling Fountain Pen
Notes I wrote using this pen while at work.

It’s a really smooth and enjoyable pen to use. It allows me to write in a very expressive way. See how the lines flow with energy and life? Simply amazing.

So the next time you’re at Mustafa, do consider getting this pen. I’m sure it will give you an amazing writing experience.

  • Raunak Sinha

    What is the ink capacity of the pen?