In the high days of the fountain pen, before the second world war, most of the fountain pens nibs were flexible and mostly Fine. The way to write with such a nib is completely different from the way most people write nowadays. The importance of a good and readable handwriting was much higher back then. In elementary schools you were forced to write well. The fine hand control increased an was on a level that can only be reached by some calligraphists and artists nowadays.
Semiflex nibs then and now
To make a long story short: most people don’t have the right motor skills to write in a beautiful way. Nowadays we put too much pressure on the nib while writing. Manufacturers counteract this phenomenon by producing sturdier nibs, for example by using harder and thicker metals. The steel nibs and the modern golden nibs can handle this pressure, but something is lost in this process. The possibility to alter the thickness of a line by applying a little bit more or less pressure gets smaller. Writing in a really pretty way with a fountain pen with a modern nib, with thinner and thicker lines doesn’t exist anymore like it used to do. The solution is buying different fountain pens, or a fountain pen that has interchangable nibs. But that’s a solution born out of necessity. Nowadays the thickness of a line can be influenced by altering the angle that you put your founain pen to the paper, but the art of calligraphy stands or falls with a very flexible nib.
The nibs made by Pilot
Pilot is internationally know for producing excellent nibs. A Pilot fountain pen is always a interesting purchase. The nibs of Japanse firms are most of time a lot finer than the European nibs. Most people in the west don’t know that countries like Japan and Chine still value calligraphy a lot more than we do in the west. Poems written by famous calligraphers are sold for high amounts of money and hung on the wall like we do with paintings. Most of these poems are made with brushes, but handwritten poems with fountain pens are highly valued. Because the tradition of calligraphy is highly valued in Japan, a lot of nibs are more flexible than their western counterparts. Writing with a flexible nib is really different than most modern sturdy nibs. There is a lot more need for motor skills and that makes writing with a flexible nib quite tiresome.
Pilot Falcon, ideal fountain pen for calligraphy and penmanship
If you are looking for a fountain pen to take quick and easy notes, and you don’t have a connection with penmanship or calligraphy, the Pilot Falcon isn’t made for you. But if you are interested the Pilot Falcon is the right fountain pen for you! To be honest the design of this fountain pen isn’t very daring or very special. But qualitatively seen this is a top fountain pen. In car terms I would compare it to a Toyota, solid but not very challenging design wise. The pen is made of metal, but nevertheless feels quite light. The pen is well in hand and you can write with or without the cap on the back. I prefer to use it posted, but that’s a personal preference. The thing that makes this fountain pen special is again the nib. Even more than with other Pilot fountain pens, the soft nibs in the Falcon are specially designed to make the best penmanship possible. The nib is sturdier than older fountain pens I own though. The durability and quality of the nib is in my opinion a lot better than those older fountain pens, where you risk bending the tips of the nib if you apply too much pressure. The Pilot Falcon won’t have this problem very fast. In my opinion the Fine nib is too small, I would prefer to buy a Medium nib with this pen. The Pilot’s use their own cartridge filling system which also allows you to use a converter. The clip on the cap is fine, you can carre this fountain pen with you in any way you like.