Pilot 95th Anniversary Pen – The Rising Dragon 昇り龍
As we waited anxiously for Pilot 95th Anniversary pens, The Rising Dragon 昇り龍 , to be launched to commemorate its heritage and to feature the beautiful pens they had made. Let us take a retrospective look on some of the Pilot Limited Edition Pen that was made in the past to mark Pilot’s milestone.
The vision and the courage of two pioneers, Mr. Ryosuki Namiki and Mr. Masao Wada in 1918 to make original Japanese pen models and designs inspired them to make pens that are characteristically Japanese.
Many of us are reminded of unique design of pens made by Pilot ranging from the Vanishing Points, Silvern range etched with uniquely Japanese icons like Mount Fuji, Miku (Chrysanthemum), Ryu (Dragon) and many other interesting designs.
The aspiration to be the best pen makers spurred the company to create world renown Maki-e series which are all so sough after by collectors worldwide.
Pilot 65th Anniversary
In 1983, the year when Pilot was established for 65 years, a commemorative 65th Pilot Anniversary Limited Edition pens (Pilot 65) were made in a new balanced shape (round top round bottom) and shaped to look like the 1930s model.
The entire pen has engine turned patterns with the number 65 engraved on a decorative cap band. 6500 pieces were made. Some smaller quantities were also made in maroon and blue black.
It was decided to have a commemorative edition to be made every other 5 years and on auspicious years.
Pilot 70th Anniversary
Since then, another Pilot Anniversary 70th Anniversary Limited Edition was made in 1988 of a vest typed fountain pen with gold plated clip and 14 carat gold nib and ball ended clip. The barrel is graced
with the words “PILOT 70” and the edition number out of 7,777 pieces.
In 1993, to trace its roots back to days of the 1930s of hard rubber, the Pilot 75th Anniversary pens were made with over sized black lacquered hard rubber. The pen clip has a characteristically Kikuza style and only 7500 pens were made.
Pilot 80th Anniversary
The premium range of Maki-e pens has always been the soul and darling of Pilot. In 1998, recognizing the demand for high quality maki-e pens and being the auspicious Pilot 80th Anniversary occasion, three models of premium quality Maki-e pens were made – Bugaku (LE68) 舞樂, Soushi-e (LE65) 草紙 and Kaiawase (LE55) 貝合せ
By then, individual master maki-e artist like Kyusai Yoshida, Yasunori Sakamoto and Masaru Hayashi came to prominence with their superior skills in making these maki-e pens.
The trio collection had dazzled the eyes of international pen connoisseurs. As collectors scrambled to try to collect matching numbers trio set; they were already gone with the wind.
They are now all so rare that even individual pieces are hard to come by.
At the same time, one black and one vermillion Yukari Royal size urushi limited edition fountain pens of 1918 pieces were launched , Shijin 四神
Taking a breather from the high demand of high quality maki-e pen, Pilot 85th Anniversary collection featuring the Hiten 飛天 Collection is a modest one because in 3 years time, the auspicious 88th Anniversary is a more interesting time to launch an interesting collection.
Pilot 85th Anniversary
Pilot 88th Anniversary
In the Fall of 2006, Pilot launched its Pilot 88th Anniversary in two collection – the special edition is a vest type pen called the Nioh 仁王 LE880 made of jim maki-e and taka maki-e. The premium Pilot 88th Anniversary edition, Shishi-komanu, is made with taka maki-e, jim maki-e in an edition size of 88 pieces.
Pilot 90th Anniversary
Again, the success is unstoppable and in 2008, Pilot 90th Anniversary is celebrated with an extremely interesting maki-e collection called the Toki Raden (LE900) 朱鷺螺鈿 and the premium edition, Toki (90)朱鷺. The former is a simple vest type with a silver ibis inlaid at the cap band by hyomon and decorated with raden. However, the beauty of the premium Toki is dazzling with kinji, rankaku, taka maki-e, raden and shishi-ai taka maki-e.
Pilot 95th Anniversary
It’s the time of the year in 2013 that Pilot is launching it’s Pilot 95th Anniversary pens. The special edition will only be a 400 pieces edition with a dragon 龍 on the cap band and hyomon to decorate it. While the premium edition, 95 pieces, is the best we have ever seen, The Rising Dragon 昇り龍! The poise and energy of The Rising Dragon featuring Pilot 95th Anniversary is an auspicious omen of Pilot’s success for the past 95 years as well as the years to come.
You can see these pens at Elephant & Coral Singapore and we wish Pilot Corporation, more success in its next milestone and more beautiful maki-e pens to be made for all pen aficionados. Congratulations to Pilot 95th Anniversary Pen Collection !