The Scholar E is a marvel for Pilot fans. It combines features from a few Pilot Japanese models and then some.
The pen has the torpedo size and shape of the Custom 74 (and the Custom 67 before it) but with a different cap band and – most notably – guilloche-like chasing on the black plastic.
Under the cap, the pen sports a large inlaid nib – a distinctive design that debuted on the Pilot Elite series of pens, and is available these days only in 18K gold on expensive offerings like the Silvern series or last year’s Elite 95 reissue. This is a steel nib though, just gold-plated.
The squeeze-filler on the pen is unique too. It looks like a larger CON-20 (Pilot’s current production squeeze converter) and it screws into the section housing. The filler is easily unscrewed but the section lacks a piercer for cartridges. The sac is clear plastic – probably vinyl.
The Scholar E was (is?) made in Korea, apparently by a licensee of Pilot that is still in business according to Bruno Taut. The pen can’t be imported into Japan it seems.
Maybe I’ve been spoilt by other pens, but I paid about US$50 for this Pilot Scholar E and I think the weight and materials are just about OK for this price point. Cosmetically, the cap and barrel are a different material and shade of black from the captop and barrel end. The chasing is interesting but cut shallowly. The gold-plating on the nib has flaws too. The plastic for barrel and cap feels a bit too light. The ends unscrew easily as well.
The nib is stiff as a nail. Not scratchy but also not as smooth as a Japan-made steel Pilot nib e.g. on the Prera. And on my pen ink seeps out from the back of the nib. No serious leaking or blobbing, but I do need to be careful not to put my fingers there when I write.
In all, a budget-priced curiosity or treat for Pilot fans.
Capped length: 14.4 cm
Uncapped length: 13.6 cm