Pilot Custom 823 (Smoke Black)
The Pilot Custom 823 is one of Pilot’s flagship pens but has never been sold in the UK. Visually similar to the Platinum #3776 and indeed many other ‘cigar-shaped’ Japanese pens, it is however a larger pen. It has a vacuum filling mechanism. Instead of a piston pulling the ink in directly, it works the other way round. When the piston is pushed in, it creates a vacuum behind it which when released sucks in the ink. When the end cap is then screwed in, it seals the large ink reservoir from the ink feed. This prevents evaporation and leakage, but means that if writing for a long time, the cap must be slightly unscrewed to allow the ink to flow into the feed. This smoke black model is semi-transparent and has a fine nib.