It’s with some sadness and nostalgia that I’m letting you know the 78G is being discontinued.
The classic red and black and teal and green colours are soon to be gone from our shelves! We have a good inventory right now, as we stocked right up as soon as we heard, but once they’re gone, that will be it.
We have carried the 78G for about as long as we’ve had Pilot pens, and it’s been a real staple in our shop for an entry-level pen, and a personal favourite of mine.
I think what has really drawn me to this pen is the style and look of it. Most Pilot pens in the entry-level range come with silver trim, but on the 78G, the slightly tapered shape of the body, the finishes, the clip, the band around the cap – it seems a bit quintessentially old-style Japan, maybe even more “old-style” than even their now classic higher pens, like the Custom 74 or Custom 92 (which I also love).
The style is a bit vintage, which is no surprise since model has been around for a long time – it was originally released in 1991.
The 78G comes in fine or medium, and as with most Japanese nibs, the fine will be really fine and the medium will be pretty fine, too. The nibs are technically interchangeable with the Prera or Metropolitan, but they are gold in colour, to match the trim of the pen, rather than silver coloured, like on most of Pilot’s other pens.
I sometimes keep my fine 78G with a permanent ink to use for addressing envelopes – I don’t have to worry as much with different paper quality because the fine nib doesn’t lay down too much ink as compared to my wet mediums and broads, and also about rain or snow making my ink bleed and my address illegible.
There is often a lot of comparison between the Metropolitan and 78G as entry-level pen. The Metropolitan is far more popular, and I think it’s largely due to its material (metal) and its weight, which gives the Metro a bit more of a hefty feeling to it. The main advantages to the 78G over the Metro are the price, its screw-on cap (the Metro has a snap cap), and its light weight.
That being said, I don’t mind a lightweight pen, and in fact I generally gravitate towards lighter pens, maybe because my hand is smaller.
I guess I kind of see the 78G as an inexpensive, classic Pilot pen – reliable and robust and a workhorse. It’s the kind of pen I imagine sending Caleb to school with when he gets old enough to need to take notes in class, and with maybe a back up in case he runs out of ink.
The 78G comes with a squeeze converter, but if you’d like a piston or screw converter, you can get the Con-50. The Con-50 holds a bit less ink, but is easier to fill, and because it’s clear, you can see inside to how much ink is left. I guess I like to live on the edge a bit, and wait for my ink to run out on me by surprise, mid-sentence, so I’m okay with the Con-20 squeezie.
The pen is being discontinued due to increases in production costs. Pilot has already created a new model to replace it, but the new pen, the 16-G, is currently only available in Asia due to limited production. We would love to carry it in the future, so stay tuned, but for now I’ll keep my small stock of 78Gs nestled safely in my stationery cupboard.
I guess I’m a bit nostalgic over this pen because it was one of our very first Pilot pens, and one of the first pens we carried in general – it was in those early days when we special ordered these 78Gs straight from Japan, and we would wait months for them to arrive.
And, I’m especially nostalgic since the 78G features prominently in the first photo I ever took that got published somewhere – if you’ve been following us for a while, you might remember it appearing in the enRoute magazine photo, the magazine that comes in the seat pouches of Air Canada airplanes.
I remember enRoute asking if we had any photos to share, and having a panic attack over the fact that they were going to be counting on my photos, instead of sending some sort of legitimate photographer, and not someone who still has to tape down rolling pens to get everything into the shot.
“Tiny emporium.” What a crazy time of life that was.