The Long And The Short Of It, V:
PEN WORLD|October 2019
The Long And The Short Of It, V:
Pilot’s MYU pen and the Big Three’s “Karat War.
Richard Binder

Perhaps the most sought-after of Pilot’s pocket pens is the elegant MYU (ミユー, pronounced myuu, where uu sounds as in rude). Possibly named after the Greek letter mu (μ), it was introduced in 1972 as the MYU 701 at a price of ¥3,500. Pilotmight have taken the design cue for the MYU’s integral nib from the Parker T-1 of 1970, but with adaptations that made it— unlike the unreliable and incredibly costly (and consequently short-lived) T-1—realistic to manufacture and sell in quantity.

Like Parker’s Flighter models and various Pilot Elite models, the MYU was brushed stainless steel rather than titanium, and it lacked the gimmicky flow adjustment of the T-1. MYU pens were initially equipped with urushi-covered feeds, but these were soon replaced with plastic feeds that proved to be more reliable. The MYU 701 wore the plain stainless steel finish shown above; the ¥5,000 MYU 500BS with black stripes appeared later. There was also a white-striped version (grooved like the 500BS, but with the grooves unpainted), which is quite rare and commensurately costly.

The MYU sold relatively poorly in Japan, and today it is not impossible to find stickered examples still in the original cellophane. The model lasted only until 1977, when it was replaced by the full-length Murex. It was rebooted in 2008, however, in a “limited edition” named the M90.

The M90 was made slightly fatter than the MYU so that it could accept a CON-50 piston converter, and it was fitted with an improved (albeit somewhat less elegant) cap clutch. Its stylistic changes included a longer, more streamlined clip, a subtle script M90 on the right side of the clip shoulder, and replacement of the flat black cap-crown decoration with a blue cabochon.

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October 2019