PILOT Sprinter oddity

There were 2 versions of the PILOT Sprinter. One had an attractive tear-drop style nose piece and full body length of “coiled spring” steel. The other version had a more traditional nose cone design and a plastic grip, which could be provided in a few different colors.

In all of the versions searchable online, I’d never come across a Sprinter with a coating on the coiled spring body.

Perhaps when NIPPON STEEL commissioned PILOT to make a branded version of the Sprinter for them, they had a coating applied as well to make it look more like brass. If you look very closely at the cap, there’s some additional lettering provided that’s non-standard. All I can make out is “TANIUM.” So my suspicion is that it’s “TITANIUM” and the coating is perhaps capturing a shade of the titanium made by NIPPON STEEL… providing the pencils haven’t suffered a uniform color decay.

Here’s my lame attempt to digitally remove the NIPPON STEEL name.


Yep, better have a thread than hidden in the chat. I am quite sure there was an image showing the full word “titanium” in the auction.


Yes… you’re right. I hadn’t looked at that other image.


Saw these and to be honest the color of the metal wasn’t exactly the most attractive to me.

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Looks like Elton bought these… “NIPPON STEEL NAME” still on the body… selling individually for $450 each, claiming they’re made of titanium (when they’re simply coated in a “titanium color” stainless steel).

The original auction closed at just under ¥25k. One hell of a markup.


Speaking of PILOT Sprinter oddities… for the longest time, all I could find on the web were photos of the 2 Sprinter release versions (one with angled nose cone, the other a tear drop nose cone) and a few colors – black, red, and orange. Then came the yellow version, by way of a YAJ listing.

Totally legit. And in fact, @xiaozhenyang4444 managed to win the auction for it. Looking forward to him posting higher resolution photos of it once in hand and possibly a group shot of all Sprinter teardrop variants. :blush:

So, is it possible there are some other colors? Did PILOT ever do a press release or detailed catalog page that showed all of the color options?


Yes, there is an identical one with every yellow part on this pencil changed to red(or orange).


That’s crazy pretty! Reminds me of the Rotring 900 pencil For some reason, which would be one of my Holy grails if it weren’t a 0.7 mm.

Circling back to the Sprinter once more. From a PILOT 1988 catalog, there was a page showing 4 different Sprinter colorways, with the model having a flat angled nose (instead of teardrop) and a colored grip section. Does anyone here know if there’s another PILOT catalog showing the teardrop version? I wonder if it shows all colorways that were available. From all I’ve seen, it looks like blue and green weren’t made for the teardrop variant.


I had one of these first models in green (G) it was fine but not really as interesting as the new one… I regret not getting one when they were accessible (even on ebay). Some pencils have a distinctive click that sets them apart from the others — these are of that sort, imo. Just like in the 2mm range where the Rotring 1035 is pretty unique or the PYRAMID 2.0 has a soft cushioned “drop” which is unlike any other pencil. (sorry, I’m digressing…)

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Originally I’d thought that this version shown above was the 1st release, but I’m starting to think it’s the other way around. That the teardrop nose cone version was the first, followed by this one with a more traditional nose cone and a colored plastic grip sheath over the metal body.

I find it rather surprising, seeing the pricing PILOT had officially stated in their catalog pages. There’s quite a disparity in quality for models priced at ¥1000. Some feel like they should’ve been cheaper, while others feel like they could’ve been priced at ¥1500 or even ¥2000.


Could be! I suppose it’s the black oxide coating that speaks to me as a more recent thing… but of course that’s not necessarily so.

I’ve thought this many times—Pilot’s pricing vs. quality plot is all over the place, especially for non-drafting pencils.

The Sprinter spring, clip, and end cap hint at a ¥2000–¥3000 price point, yet it checks in at a paltry ¥1000.

It seems Pilot were able to manufacture various alloys into whatever shapes they wanted for pretty cheap. Because of this, the pricing variance seems to come more from the finishes, and Pilot didn’t hold back here—they offered every fit and finish under the sun at one point or another between 1965 and 2000.

Ultimately, I assume the Sprinter was cheap because it didn’t have much of a finish (and you can run an inexpensive process to coat clips before attachment).