One of the joys of being a student is having an excuse to buy new stationery on a regular basis. For some the lure is notebooks, for others brightly coloured stickies, but for me it’s a new pen.
Over the years I’ve narrowed down my choice of pen through extensive experimentation: fountain pens result in more ink adorning my person than the page, gel pens have a tendency to stop working when you need them most, rollerball pens smudge and bleed through the paper, felt tips are too thick for my dainty writing…finally I was left with only one option – the humble ballpoint pen.
While I’m a fan of the BiC Orange fine ballpoint – although I will tolerate a BiC Cristal medium if I have to – the king of ballpoints, and my preference every time, is the Pilot BP-S Fine.
I first discovered the Pilot BP-S Fine as a child. Mine was green, and so was everything I wrote until it ran out. It was light to hold, easy to grip, and made my writing look incredibly neat. I’d almost forgotten how wonderful it was until I came across a purple BP-S Fine in the Student Union shop while doing my undergraduate degree. This time I was wiser; I only used it for important missives and special occasions. I still have that purple BP-S Fine and it works beautifully:
Fast-forward a few years and I began work as a note-taker for students with disabilities. During the training we were repeatedly told how important it was to choose the right pen – preferably black, it would write legibly, and not cause strain or cramp to hands and wrists. For me there was, of course, only one choice – the Pilot BP-S Fine. This was when I found that the BP-S Fine was something of a rarity – no one seemed to stock it, or even have heard of it. In the end, I tracked it down on the Cult Pens website and ordered an entire box. And an extra purple one, just in case.
Recently, while recommending the BP-S Fine to a fellow pen aficionado, I discovered that they’d been discontinued. I’ve searched for them, including on the Pilot website where they’re still listed in the product section, but there are none to be had; it seems that they’ve vanished forever. It’s sad to think that once my little stash has gone I may never again know the joy of writing with a pen so perfectly suited to me.
Rest In Peace Pilot BP-S Fine – you have served me well!