Namiki Vanishing Point


This journal entry was written with the Namiki Vanishing Point.

I have found a fountain pen I love and recommend to whoever will listen to my fanatical raves about Moleskines and pens: The Namiki Vanishing Point, Fine Nib, the only retractable fountain pen available. They can be ordered online at in many colors, although I suspect that lovers of the sleek Moleskine
will go for the brushed silver pen. At $100 the pens are an investment
in this little obsession, but it has such a nice heft, the nib glides
smoothly and you don’t have to keep track of a cap. With a refillable
reservoir, the pen can use any fountain pen ink you please. Though I do
love my Namiki, it does run dry from time to time, so always keep a
Micron 01 in my pocket for backup!
Rod Torrez
Annapolis, MD

Photo courtesy of the author

22 thoughts on “Namiki Vanishing Point

  1. I have been using a Vanishing Point for the last ten days and it works very well with the Moleskine. My VP has a broad nib and, combinded with Noodlers ink, offers a great writing experience. This combination of pen and ink also does not seem to cause “bleed through” to the following page, which my Mont Blanc certainly did.

  2. I too love my Vanishing Point, but I never could get used to having the clip in the way when writing. So I stopped using it for journaling, but love using it for noting, signatures, etc. Wish they offered pens with clips in different positions.

  3. I love the VP. I’m a medium user, normally with non-Japanese pens a fine user. I think the older version was nicer than the series two they have out now. I think I got mine (two of them) at the Levenger Outlet store fairly cheaply.

  4. Agree that the VP is a fine pen – not officially sold here in the UK, though, so I got mine from the US, paying about half the price that they go for in France.

    I have to say I’ve not tried the pen in a normal ‘skine because I started using it in my ’06 Moleskine Journal and got pretty bad bleed – this with a medium nib and an Italian homemade ink.


  5. When it runs dry, one can always pop in a cartridge. One can actually just use cartridges all the time, and carry a box of spares. Or not… 😉
    I have the previous generation, with the integral clip, and I like it better. But the current versions do come in great colors. Old and current versions, are often available on the used market (online auctions, etc) for quite reasonable prices. And the insert mechanism fits both the new version and the previous version, (though there are much older versions, usually only found in Japan, that don’t use the same interior).. this means that if you buy a used one, and you don’t like the nib, or its damaged, you can easily get another nib.

    They are great pens, and if you only want to have one fountain pen, this is a great one.

  6. I love my VP, and it works just fine in my ‘skine with its fine point and Noodler’s ink. It isn’t, however, the only retractable fountain pen on the market. Stipula makes a couple of models, for example.

  7. How does the Namiki VP stack up against the Lamy 2000, especially for use in Moleskines? I want to get a good fountain pen but I can’t afford two. Which would be better?

  8. Does anyone have any suggestions for a good first fountain pen? I’ve never used one before… I’d like something that’s affordable and would work in a Moleskine. Any ideas?

  9. I have both the Lamy 2000 and the Namiki(Pilot) VP. Both are excellent pens. The Lamy is bottle fill only, while the Namiki can be filled from a bottle, or use pilot/namiki cartridges.
    Also, Japanese points are generally finer than western points, i.e. a Japanese F is finer than a European F, and the finer the point, the less chance of bleed on moleskine (or any) paper.
    That said, I like the classic look of the Lamy far more than the current Namiki VP, though the previous generation VP is nice.
    One more thing about the VP, the inner mechanism is replaceable, so if you want, you can buy an extra nib/filler assembly in a different point size, and have two pens for less than the price of two complete VPs. Depends on what you think is more important.

  10. I also have a VP with a fine nib, but I don’t tend to use it too often. There are a couple of reasons for this. The biggest issue I have is its size. The pen itself is just a little bit too large to be carried around easily in a pocket. The other reason is that the fine nib tends to be a bit scratchy for my liking on the Moleskine paper.

    I actually really enjoy using my vintage Parker ’51 and ’21 fountain pens. They write quite wondefully, don’t bleed, and are a good size for carrying. However, I recently acquired a Montblanc Mozart fountain pen, and find that its size and writing are quite nice for the smaller Moleskines. There is also a pocket pen made by Waldmann which is quite nice for portable journaling.

    Just my two cents. Cheers!

  11. I recommend using Rotring Newton (black) with medium point. There’s a new series out now that’s a biiiit too flashy for my liking, but u can’t beat the classy look of the all-brass Newton. Might be available on eBay. Doesn’t bleed, accepts standard cartridges. Great pen, bought a couple on-stock.

    My three cents, then.

  12. I love my VP also. It’s also called the Pilot Capless (same pen different market). A couple of things to keep in mind: (1) Since it keeps the nib upward, the clip is on the nib end. If you have a “schoolbook” grip, no problem, but some people have a problem with the clip getting in the way of their usual grip. Try one first.

    (2) Namiki/Pilot converters don’t hold much ink. I have the piston converter and use the “syringe” technique of tapping the air out before sucking ink in (then a couple of drops of ink back in the bottle and air back in to keep it from becoming an “ink bomb.”). But still, not many pages before I have to do this again.

    Someone above solicited a comparison with the Lamy 2000. I don’t have a 2000, but the 2000 is a piston filler and would hold much more ink. I also have a couple of piston Pelikans and the ink capacity of a piston makes a big difference. So… it depends how important that is to you. The main point in favor of the VP is that it’s a retractable which I find much more friendly to the office environment (note taking, sticky drafting, etc.).

    Anyway, just my $0.02. Doug

  13. I am about to buy a VP. I would like some help on the nib size. I generally prefer Fine, so I`m wondering if I should choose F or M nib size for the VP, since japanese pens usually have.. finer nibs. Thanks!

  14. Vassilis, get a medium nib and it’ll give you that fine point you’re looking for. I’ve got the broad nib and it totally writes like a medium, though I don’t mind. Have to say, love the VP, seems to be the pen I use the most, besides my Lamy Safari (its my main sketcher, and what I take for signing log books when I teach a scuba class) Im about to buy another VP, thinking Red, with a broad left oblique.

  15. Hi, I just bought a Super Needlepoint (XXXXF) Namiki Vanishing Point Fountian Pen. I bought it from
    Just before buying it I visited the nearest Kinokuniya Bookstore where they sell it for $187.50(with the gold accents), and in they sell it for $170 for the Decimo Model (the latest one).
    I bought my pen for $165 with the specialty nib already! Usually to have a nib customized by Richard Binder would cost $65 so its a really good deal to just buy the pen from him. The shipping was $6 so I spent $171.00 all in all.

    Ill keep you guys posted when i get it next week (the XXXXF has a time frame of 1 week delivery).

    Good luck to you guys, hope this pen turns out the way you want it.

    A little background on me, I have relatively small hands (my ring size is like 5-6) and i write tall and slim lines which is why I like fine pointed pens. I really hope I like the vanishing point. So far it didnt feel so bad in my hand when i was trying it out in Kinokuniya.

  16. One more thing: Levengers ( is a good source for Pilot/Namiki Vanishing Point fountain pen cartridges. They have a variety of colors available, good prices, are very helpful. blah-de-blah. I’ve worked with them for years. I’m going to give them a real challenge and see if they can scrounge up some ink cartridges for the tiny baby Sailor; if they can pull that off, they really will be miracle workers!

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