Thursday, June 12, 2014

Pilot Stargazer: Quick Look

The Pilot Stargazer is a handsome little pocket pen that doesn’t sacrifice comfort for size. Typically when I see pocket pens it’s a sure bet that it’s going to mean something cheap and flimsy, but this pen is legit.

Pilot Stargazer - Sapphire
Pilot Stargazer - Sapphire

It's available in a 14k fine or medium nib that's comparable in writing quality to my beloved Pilot Custom 74. Pilot grinds their nibs slightly finer than the European companies do, so that fine really gets down there.

The finish on the Stargazer is sparkly, but not gaudy. It's just enough to twinkle a little when the light catches it. It's available in ruby red, pearl white, sapphire, and black. It comes in a box with a Pilot Con-50 twist converter for bottled ink, and a Pilot/Namiki proprietary ink cartridge. It'll also fit a Con-20 (sold separately) if you like that converter more and want a little higher ink capacity than the Con-50 offers.

Pilot Stargazer - Sapphire

Pilot Stargazer - Ruby Red
Pilot Stargazer - Black
Pilot Stargazer - Ruby Red/Pearl White

Another thing I really like about this pen is the snap cap, which is really smooth, especially to close. The pen's a bit short when uncapped, but posts great and is comfortable even for a big-handed gentleman like me. It's a somewhat heavy pen for its size at 27g, but is evenly balanced and feels nice in the hand.

For more info about the Stargazer be sure to check it out at GouletPens.com, where it's available for $152. This is a pen that's been somewhat under-represented since it came out, so I'd love to hear what you think! Leave me a comment below.

Write On, 
Brian Goulet


  1. I had been vascillating on buying this pen, as the main reason I wanted it was the name. (Jean-Luc Picard's first captaincy, before the Enterprise, was the USS Stargazer). Goulet Pens had a sale, which pushed me over the edge and inspired me to actually buy one. I'm glad I did.

    The Pilot Stargazer is a magnificent pen. I have one in Ruby Red, with a Fine nib.

    The nib itself is one I'd call borderline buttery smooth. It is not a flex nib, but there is a touch of springiness and line variation. It is a visually very tiny nib, sized at #3. It's a rather high-flow nib, so it does seem to write a little wider than you'd expect from a Pilot Fine, but this most likely adds to the smoothness. The high flow also does mean that you will go through ink rather quickly, so you may actually wish to spring for the extra Con-20 just so you can last longer. Unfortunately, it is far too small for the Con-70.

    Speaking of size, this pen is incredibly tiny. It is the same size as a Pilot Prera, and even in my extra small hands requires being posted. It does post well, and is very weight-balanced when posted. It is, especially for its size, a very weighty pen. You will feel like you are writing with something of substance.

    Given all of these qualities, especially the red color of it, I like to call it my Habanero.

  2. Looks nice! I'd been thinking of picking up a Sailor Sapporo, but this looks like an attractive alternative. I'd been put off by the sparkly quality of the Stargazer finish, but when you rotate it in the video, it really does look subtle and tasteful. A good case for video showing a quality that static pictures can't.

  3. In Japan this pen is the "Stella 90S" model, and it costs a whole lot less money compared with the identical "Stargazer' which is marketed in the U.S. If you live in the U.S., see if you can buy a Stella 90S from a Japanese exporter. You will save a bundle of cash, but you will have to endure the delay and (minor) risk of overseas delivery from Japan.

    This pen is heavy for how small it is - I would guess it is lacquer over brass construction due to the weight. I am always wary of lacquer-finish pens because they can scratch and chip.

    If I am not mistaken this pen comes with the chintzy CON-20 converter, but a much better converter may fit. I wonder if the CON-70 converter will fit. Has anyone tried?

  4. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Marlo! I agree with you completely.

  5. It's really subtle, yeah. I wouldn't let the sparkliness (that's not a word, is it?) of this pen turn you off, it's just enough to give the pen a little *something*, it's not like you'd spot the sparkles from across the room like the Shimmering Sands Jinhao x750! http://www.gouletpens.com/Jinhao_X750_Shimmering_Sands_Fountain_Pen_p/jin-x750-sands.htm

  6. I haven't had any reports of scratching or chipping so far, and the pen's been out for 8 months or so. This pen doesn't come with the Con-20, it comes with the Con-50, though you can use either. I actually prefer the Con-20 on my personal one for the increased ink capacity (about 0.9ml in the Con-20 vs. 0.6ml in the Con-50). The Con-70 definitely does not fit, this pen's way too small for that.

    Yes, you can get it overseas, but it's also not warranted. We've actually talked to Pilot about the sellers that are doing this, any many of them are not authorized retailers, which means you're completely taking the risk of what you're actually getting, receiving a knock-off, or having an issue that you then can't have fixed/repaired. You'll have to decide what's right for you, of course, and given the lower price it's tempting for many to want to buy from overseas. This obviously hits me right where it hurts as an authorized US retailer, so just think about the whole picture before you make a decision. It's kind of a bummer that I spend the time to shoot videos and educate folks on a pen like this (for free) and then overseas sellers undercut me on it. But woe is me, right? I still think this is a great pen and hope you enjoy my video.

  7. Thank you Brian for the reply. You cleared up the question regarding the converter sold with the Stargazer - at least the ones you sell.

    As for buying from resellers (authorized or mostly-not) I agree with you. You at GP stand by the product and make a heroic effort to introduce it to your primary market. I made it clear in my post that YMMV in terms of International shipping risk and warranty issues. Perhaps I didn't go far enough in praise of what you do.

    It is a shame that Pilot forces you/us into this tiered marketing/pricing mismatch on a Global scale. I wonder if their motivation is just plain greed(?) Hard to say.

    That said, I'm always looking for alternative sources for Pilot (etc.) Japanese pens because I live in S.E. Asia, and shipping from the U.S. has become unaffordable these days. At some point please revisit your International shipping options.

    Best Regards, David

  8. That's really cute. I love the pearl/white one!


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