I guess this is a pen review. But it's not just a pen review. It's a heroic tale of one man's growth and the realization that sometimes, just sometimes, changing your mind is ok.
If you want a real, actual review of the Vanishing Point, Josh Ginter wrote a pretty good one over at The Newsprint somewhat recently. And as usual his photography puts mine to shame.
Anywho, let's begin.
I hate pen caps. I hated them before I got into fountain pens and I hate them even more now that I am. While twisty bottom pens are a small step up from capped pens, give me a clicky top pen and I'm a happy man.
Needless to say, as I began my fountain pen adventure (penventure?) I was on the lookout for some clicky tops. It didn't take long. It was probably on the Pen Addict Podcast. My ears probably perked up. The Pilot Vanishing Point: essentially the only clicky top fountain pen. I probably got excited. Until I ventured out into the wilds of the internet and looked at pictures of the pen. To say I was unimpressed with the design is an understatement. What the hell was that giant thing poking out of the back?
For over a year anytime anyone mentioned the pen I stuck up my nose and questioned their sense of aesthetics. Then one week as part of their Pen Addict podcast sponsorship, Pen Chalet was offerering a discount on the Vanishing Point. It wasn't a great discount, but it was enough that I figured what the hell and bought one. I had just decided to switch from using Field Notes as my main Notetaking Platform™ to the Midori Traveler's Notebook and my thinking was that while I wasn't crazy about the design, the pen would work really well with it [an idea I probably got from Patrick Ng. (Extra parenthetically, look at the wear on that pen; man it's beautiful)].
I was right (or Patrick was right), it works great. The all metal body is solid and durable. It feels like a tank. I'm not in the least worried about tossing it in my bag and getting damaged from clanking around. I originally bought it with a fine nib, but added a medium nib unit later (easily swappable nibs FTW, as the kids say). Both write beautifully and even though I generally prefer a fine/extra fine nib for everyday writing I'm really digging the medium. Some people complain about the clip getting in their way, but those concerns evaporated the first second I held the pen; it fits my hand like a glove.
I can only think of one negative aspect of this pen for me: you can't check the ink level in the converter without completely disassembling the pen. This is not a huge demerit, however. It's fairly obvious when you're running out of ink no matter what pen you're using.
This whole experience has me questioning my own sense of aesthetics. Next thing you know, I'm going to start thinking that the Lamy 2000 is an attrative pen....