What top-tier piece am I not seeing here? (crazy prices)

This inconspicuous lot includes a Newman etched drafting pencil, which would certainly fetch at least ¥30,000…

…but ¥300,000? What the heck am I missing here?

(The price of Newmans is skyrocketing thanks to Japanese Twitter activity, but there’s no way this Newman drafting pencil is suddenly in H-5005 territory…)


It’s the P207 with the bandaid grip. Those are rare.


Other pieces of note:

  • Colleen Jib WK-1035 in blue
  • Pilot 2020ST Slim (poor condition)
  • Pilot 2020ST (good condition)
  • Staedtler Microfix
  • Pilot black resin barrel with frosted grip (one just went for ¥13,000)
  • Pentel PG1505 early version

But all these together should barely be over ¥50,000. What gives?!?


Some rich Japanese kid must be the biggest Newman fan ever.

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I’m tellin ya—these kids on Twitter have being going off about Newman, and the appearance of this etched drafting piece has obviously sent a couple of them over the edge.


Sometimes I feel a bit out of the loop by not being on Twitter, FB, IG. But at the same time I enjoy the lack of it.


I don’t get it either… but I assume it is because of the Newman. Who the heck knows anymore :upside_down_face:


I don’t understand the biddings. I love Newman for drafting 2000, but as you said that should be in 30k range (maybe somewhat more, last ones were north of 40k).

the rest looks worn down and not soo interesting to me?!?


I got into vintage Newman for a while. There was one particular drafting model I wanted with lead indicator, but going auction prices were a little higher than my target. I figured one would eventually come around. Then, suddenly, a cascade of bidders on them, sending prices way up. I once saw that Newman all steel drafting pencil with lead indicator close at a price you’d expect for a PILOT Automatic. It’s a very nice pencil, but AFAIK it doesn’t have an automatic feed mechanism (or if it does, it won’t hold a candle to PILOT or Pentel). Maybe those crazy bidders are back again.

The only drafting Newman I’ve gotten thus far is the striped one (above). No lead indicator. The images below were grabbed off the Internet.


Ironically, I’ve never seen the striped one you posted—it’s the only one with a tip shape similar to that found on the etched drafting model.


were biddings removed in the end? https://buyee.jp/item/yahoo/auction/x1091374136?conversionType=service_page_search end result was 111k, which is somewhat in a calculable range (newman2000 50k, accu1505 20k, and rest).

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Still an insane result, but yes, some bids were removed under the guise of “fraudulent or intentionally disruptive activity.”

But no PG1505 is worth ¥20,000—nearly every one that’s sold recently has been under ¥10,000.

yes, I just took a loose upper bound to include rare versions, stickers and the like (and to come at least near the result, which is – as you said – still insane).

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Here’s another one, a pen/pencil lot that went surprisingly high (¥164,000) given most of what’s in the lot…

In this case, I can only surmise that the urushi pencil was the gem here.


I think that 0.9 is a nothingburger.

The pencil people cared about is the ¥800 Pilot with a red ring—the leadholder version almost never comes up.

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Yeah, I agree… that ¥800 black knurled grip Pilot is a decent pencil, but it’s nowhere near that kind of value. True, the 2.0 mm holder isn’t common… but still.


We were discussing that particular lot in the chat, I also didn’t understand what was so special about it. I would have never bet it was for that leadholder.
Our beloved 2f4 battled with someone called abd for this set, so I guess the value really was there.

By the way, I may have slightly overpaid for this one, but I snagged the other set

I think that if it wasn’t for abd, I would have been able to get it much cheaper.
I really wanted that Pilot Vanishing Point FP with the clip and tip fused together. There’s listings from time to time but they are becoming harder to get at a nice price I believe.
Also, something that may have gone a bit under the radar about that set is this piece

Both are early 2+1 multipens (early versions have rounded tip, later versions have straighter tips) which alone go for about 8000-10000 yen each. But what I think is nuts is that the above one has パイロット萬年筆株式会社 (Pilot Fountain Pen Incorporated) engraved on the body, so this was given to a company employee. How much it’s worth? Anyone’s guess. For a Pilot fan like me, quite a lot. It’s the first time I ever see a pen with Pilot’s full company name engraved on it.

Edit: I looked it up, “Pilot Fountain Pen Incorporated” was the company name up to 1989. Then it was changed to “Pilot Corporation” ( 株式会社パイロットコーポレーション)

Now, I wanted the set for those two pieces but of course I am intrigued about the rest. The black P205-ish pencil on the bottom, does anyone know more about it? I guess it is a very old model, maybe from the 60s. There’s another one with gold trim on mercari right now.
I guess none of these pieces are exceptionally rare, but the emerald grip on the top one is super cute. Blue/green tones are my favourite.

I also don’t know much about these two guys. I think both are ballpoints. The capped one may be from the 70s? Which is when Pilot started doing all of their striped models (Pilot Custom, H-200x, Striped Myu, Striped Capless). The bottom one is also quite intriguing, seems somewhat inspired in the pilot sprinter…

Anyway it’s the first time I ever buy such an expensive set and I’m quite excited.


That PILOT Vanishing Point is a transitional model that came out just before PILOT transitioned the VP line to the Namiki brand (with the faceted plastic bodies also using the integrated clip and front end). I was lucky to get one a long while back and yeah, bidding can get a little out of hand on it.

The all steel 2+1 multipens had fairly steady auction prices for quite a number of years. While the rounded tip models are 1st release and the conical tip models are the 2nd release (and last), prices seemed to be about the same. I’d gotten my first one about 10 years ago. For a number of years since then, I’d seen and won auctions where these would sell for ¥2,000 in excellent condition, and upwards of ¥3,000 with tag. Sometimes used examples would go for around ¥1,000. While prices seem to have elevated a bit since then, I think these two that you bought are indeed rather special. Without knowing Kanji lettering, I’d have expected these were names. But being PILOT Fountain Pen Incorporated… wow. So this was during the period when the company’s brand identity was most closely associated with the fountain pen. We rejoice in vintage mechanical pencils, but PILOT was more prolific in their fountain pen production for so many years. Probably by the 1980’s, the manufacturing domination had begun transitioning to ballpoints & rollerballs.

One thing that always catches my eye about vintage PILOT is how some design and ornamental aesthetics were incorporated when a simpler, less costly variation could’ve been made while taking nothing away from performance. There was clearly a design passion among the writing instrument designers of PILOT.

I don’t know how many of those 1970’s and 1980’s product designers are still around, but wow… what a golden opportunity that is slipping away. I wish someone in Japan would track these old guys down and interview them about their work back then!


One thing very annoying about fountain pen prices is that the values they sell for vary wildly. I saw a set of two vintage VPs going for ¥30000 (albeit one of them had a person’s name engraved), then a week later an individual listing went for ¥27000. It really makes no sense.

I see, ¥2000 is an incredible price for these pens. To be honest, there should be virtually infinite supply of early multipens (pilot 2+1, zebra sharbo) since they sold in the hundreds of millions of units. I think that the reason for the recent high prices is that, as always, they’ve been getting quite some traction on Japanese twitter. Also, these 2+1s are amongst the most affordable engraved Pilot mechanical pencils one can get.

And I would definitely love to hear/read some interviews with their former product designers! I wonder if there are some already on the net.


As the resident Pilot freak, I can add a bit of information about these pieces.

The turquoise-gripped pencil is a second run of Pilot’s flagship executive (the counter to Pentel’s ML5). First-run pieces were ¥500 and featured the same tip style; later runs were priced at ¥700 (like yours), and others featured water droplet tips and barrels flattened on two sides near the cap.

Another quirk—some of these early executives have “0.5” engraved on the barrel, and others don’t. I’m not sure which came first, but I do know this turquoise piece is rarely seen with both a pricing sticker and the engraving. (I actually really want this one :joy:)

The second piece is a shorty hybrid with grooved clip. This pencil was also released in brown and blue versions in two different axis lengths. (I’m not certain each color was released in each length; I’ve only seen this silver specimen with a short axis.)

Finally, the third piece is the star of the show—it’s one of Pilot’s earliest drafting pencils. I suspect this piece (and other similar variants) were released in the late 1960s and early 1970s—before Pilot began the H-215, H-225, etc designations.

This pencil is identified by a flattened barrel with raised “PILOT” lettering, and it was available in both 0.3 and 0.5. Interestingly, there was an even earlier version with a hexagonal barrel and a variant of the tip found on the turquoise specimen in your picture (Pilot’s oldest drafting tip).

Also, you mentioned a version of your pencil on Mercari with gold trim; this was a later commemorative release that used a gold water droplet tip (and DAMN it’s sublime). These pop up on Japanese resale markets all the time for low prices, but they can fetch much higher sums on eBay because they look so fancy.