An inquiry revealed something interesting about PILOT pen co in Japan and their catalog records

Pilot Japan has contacted us to let us know they although they do have all of the old catalogs, they are not shared with the public and are for internal purposes only. This is the reason you may be finding difficulty with finding them anywhere else. If you need information on a specific item Pilot Japan may be able to provide it depending on what information you need and the item.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Thank You,

This was the response I got after writing to PILOT USA regarding earlier catalogs of their products. They said they’d reach out to the Japan HQ office and keeping to their promise, a response was tendered. So… according to this, PILOT does have all of the earlier catalogs, but just doesn’t share them with the public. I’m going to see if I can make some headway with an inquiry regarding the exact initial release dates and discontinuation dates of the H-2003/2005, H-3003/3005, and H-5005 models.


I don’t hate this answer from them. I wish it were different but any answer is much appreciated.


My item specific inquiry:

We had been told by a contact at PILOT USA that the H-2003, H-2005, H-3003, and H-3005 mechanical pencils had been initially released in 1983, and then discontinued some years later at different points in time. We’d been told that the H-3003/3005 was dropped in 1988, and then the H-2003/2005 dropped in 1995. However, we managed to come across some reference material that attributes a release year of 1970 for the H-2003/2005 (HH-200K-03, HH-200K-05).

So to recap, what seems to be correct about the production start of these particular models is:
1970-08 HH-200K-05 (H-2005)
1970-12 HH-200K-03 (H-2003)

Are the HHP-300S-03 and HHP-300S-05 (H-3003, H-3005) models sharing those same dates or started in different years?

Also, is it possible to get confirmation of when production ceased? What’s interesting is that using the “Wayback Machine” internet archive service, it’s possible to find some of these pencil holder models at various years. The first was for 2006, where not only was the HHP-300S listed, but also the HHP-200R (H-2103, H-2105). No sign of the HH-200K. Going forward all the way to January of 2012 shows the HHP-300S still listed on the PILOT Japan website. Here’s a LINK.

Note that on the Wayback Machine, the Sept 2016 entry is supposed to be the last one, but attempting to access it throws an error (LINK).

Anyone have an idea as to why the HHP-300S is showing from 2006 to 2012… and there’s no sign of the HH-200K under the site category of “pencil holder”?


OK, one more step forward. My contact at PILOT USA sent this:

You are very welcome and I’m happy to help get you the information you need or as much as Pilot can provide. Hopefully Japan can provide exactly what you are looking for. I will let you know as soon as I hear anything.

Hopefully I’ll get a useful answer and we’ll be able to put to bed the mystery of PILOT double-knock dates. If this comes through, I’ll then see about making another inquiry for a few others. And then I’ll have to send Sheila a gift card for all of her effort. :wink::grin:


Anticipation Popcorn GIF




Deer Popcorn GIF


No popcorn- on a diet


Well, I heard back from my PILOT USA contact. They got a response back from Japan. And… it’s frustrating.

  • When did the HHP-300S-03 and HHP-300S-05 models launch?
    → Both of them launched in 1992.

  • When were the HHP-300S-03 and HHP-300S-05 models discontinued?
    → Both of them discontinued in 2006.

OK, so the discontinuation year sort of makes sense, given how the PILOT Japan website still had them listed. But beyond 2006, you could still find them up to 2012. And that’s puzzling… unless it was just an oversight that they were left on the product listing.

However… 1992 as the launch? That seems really late. That strikes me as odd that the H-3003 / 3005 wouldn’t have released around the same time as the H-2003 / 2005. And in fact, earlier information we’d obtained attested 1983 as the official launch year (and who knows, maybe that’s the international launch, versus a JDM launch some years earlier?).

They also completely ignored my inquiry about the H-2003 / 2005. As was raised earlier, it looked like 1970 was the very first production. And later on in official Japanese catalogs, one could see an image of the H-2005 included in a 1978 catalog.

Of course, in all of this exploration, there’s no exposure of details about who responded. It could’ve been a customer relations intern, for all I know… who might’ve invested a little time looking into this and then just threw in some missing info as a guess.

Short of visiting PILOT Japan in person, I’m not confident that more accurate information will be obtained. Sorry, folks!


The later production would explain the strange and horrendous price difference between h200x and h300x…

How do you consider ¥1000 a strange and horrendous price difference? Now, if it had been ¥2000 I’d consider that quite extravagant.

I’ve seen a few brands enact some seriously surprising price differences. Like TOMBOW EXTA Deluxe. The normal ash wood model was ¥2000, but then the mahogany one with gold accents was priced at ¥5000, which was an obscene markup. I suspect it might actually be real gold plating… although it’s not halmarked.

But there is a notable difference between exta standard and deluxe. I don’t see a quality or material difference between h200x and h300x …

Yes, but the EXTA has a price increase to justify it. More than double the standard model.
The H300x price increase is a different nose cone design and more elaborate etching. ¥1000 isn’t a huge amount on its own. Of course, the resale market prices are a different story.

On a similar note, the Staedtler Regulator from Germany. 925-85 vs. 925-95. Same mechanism. Notable price difference, because of aesthetic design.

I don’t consider 3/2 a marginal price increase for a different etch pattern. Today the lower priced model tend to be more expensive.

Completely different pencils. I don’t know their prices. At least here there are no fixed pricing schemes like with Japanese pencils.

How are the 925-85 and 925-95 “completely” different? They are both regulator function equipped. I don’t see any different features between them.

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They look completely different? You don’t pay per „feature“. Most pencils have exactly one „feature“, that is push button advance.

I would’ve thought they might’ve included an extra feature, similar to what Platinum provided in their 171 Pro-Use. The manual pipe slide length control. Or maybe a different mechanism with a weighted knob for adjusting lead length.

To my eye, the most obvious difference is the nose cone. Very similar in other respects. Sure, the clip is different (925-85 looks better, IMHO) and the eraser is colored on the 925 series by lead size. Clearly, they are very much related.

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And which one was more expensive? Where they sold at the same time in Japan?

It’s a very good question, and I’m glad you asked it.

Apparently… the 925-95 came first, around 1995 and ran until 2005. Then discontinued.
In its place came the 925-85, released in 2005 and ran until 2014. This is why it’s pretty common to find the 925-85 in a sealed plastic clamshell package, while the 925-95 is usually box-free or with a cardboard box. In all likelihood, the price either remained the same or came down by some amount.

The cheapest I’ve seen registered for the 925-85 when it was still available by retail was $23 at Jet Pens. I do not know what was the original 925-95 price. I have seen companies take a model and retire it with a replacement that’s very similar and make it cheaper, as a benefit of cost cutting measures and streamlining of production.

It sure would be interesting to learn why Staedtler Japan changed the design from 925-95 to 925-85. Maybe it was just cheaper to manufacture the chromed conical nose cone versus the stepped conical one.