There’s many pencils I’ve desired since I started having interest in stationery, but due to price and/or availability concerns I never got them. During the last years living in Japan with a stable income I was able to scratch the itch of most of those grail pencils, with a bunch of others which I never knew of at the beginning.
Pilot H-3003 and H-3005 - Together with the mechanica, these are the pencils that threw me head first into the world of vintage stationery. I remember many years ago seeing pictures of these pencils from Cytherian and others on the subreddit, and wondering how in hell they even got their hands on them. The Pilot Hi-mecha are all very well balanced pencils, albeit fragile on their center connection. I have used them a lot at university.
Pilot Clutch Point Window Pattern - The double clutch gimmick is one that, after I first heard of it, I became obsessed with it. As someone who likes hearing the mechanical noises inside the pencil when clicking, I was hooked after getting the first one. I’ve got quite a few Pilot Clutch Points in my collection, but I almost never use them because, simply put, they’re ugly. I have no idea why, since these first executive models look stunning.
Pilot Young Double Knock - I was promised tight tolerances, and it didn’t let down. The machining on the body is amazing, and the clip is beautiful as well. A perfect match for the coveted Pilot Myu FP. I use this one less than I would like since it’s a bit thin for my taste.
Pilot Fumi Raku MP - One of my few big finds in brick and mortar stationery stores. The MP version of the recently discontinued Fumi Raku series was only produced for 3 years, and in a very short run—5000 of each color during the first year, and probably none afterwards due to poor sales and thus a quick discontinuation. Easily one of the most underrated pencils of all time. The internals are beautiful, it has one of the most unique mechanisms I’ve seen (twist+shaker+lock) and the streamlined design is lovely. I had this one clipped to my agenda for more than a year, and I’d be doing the same now if I wasn’t scared of losing it.
More photos: Reddit - Dive into anything
Pentel Mechanica 0.3 1st edition - The first ever 0.3mm mechanical pencil. Such an important historical pencil, I wanted to have in its first edition. The problem is that most are in terrible condition, or NOS at astronomical prices. I bought this in a well worn but working condition off a retired architect on mercari, and fully restored its metal internals and plastic body. I really like the final result.
Restoration post: Mechanica restoration
Pentel PSD5 - One of my few regrets in this picture. I overestimated how rare it is, and overpaid for a relatively worn specimen. The guide pipe isn’t bent and the mechanism works perfectly, so at least I can use it without problems. It’s a lovely pencil, and it suits my hands better than the hi-mechas. I’d like to use it more.
Marvelous Wood 0.5 Briar - My latest purchase, while on a trip with a friend around Japan. 590&co is the most unique stationery store I’ve ever visited, and I encourage anyone that has the chance to visit Kobe to check it out. The pencil is quite heavy, with a brass insert running through the body. Custom internals, very well machined back cap and a lovely handmade wooden body make it one of the best non-vintage pencils money can buy.
More photos: Visiting 590&co in Kobe
Mitsubishi Hi-Uni 5050 0.5 - My most expensive pencil. I got a good deal for the time, with stickers and some wear but no box—perfect for someone who seeks user grade pencils. The ffmatic mechanism is incredibly satisfying to use and the balance feels just right. It’s such a simple design but well refined at the same time. The history about the development of automatic mechanisms at Uni and how it led to the creation of the Dive also sets this model as an important historical piece as well.
Mitsubishi Uni Kuru Toga Dive, Grand Blue - I was able to get the first edition Dive at retail by placing a reservation. The hype wasn’t that high at the time. I used this pencil a lot at university, I enjoyed it way more than the previous automatics I had tried. The color is also very unique in my opinion. I tried to find a matching pen, but I couldn’t find anything with the same tone and treatment. I’m glad to see that the madness about this pencil is dying down and the standard production colors can now be acquired without huge markups.
Megapost: All about the Kuru Toga Dive