Here I will write about the Pentel P207C Blue 0.7mm pencil. This pencil was one of the key pencils in identifying the different generations of pencils in my collection.
Prior to September 2018, when I acquired this pencil, I had assumed that the oldest version of the P207C was the Generation 1A, since “P205” was molded into the cutout, and they stamped the bottom with the size “0.7 m/m”. My assumption was that they did that so that there would be no confusion about what size this really was.
Apparently, I was wrong, and they did release the P207C before they started stamping the size on the bottom. This is a very clean pencil that does not look like it ever had anything stamped on the bottom, so I have designated it as a Generation 1. Plus, it has the initial style clip with the Pentel down the front of the clip and the wrap around sides blank. I have only seen this on Generation 1 pencils.
This was the first pencil I received with the size printed on the bottom. It is also, the only Generation 1A pencil that I own, and I have had it since 2012.
When Pentel first released the P205A Black pencil in 1970, they molded the model number (P205) into the cutout. Apparently when they decided to release the P207 pencil, they did not get the cutout changed out and used the same molds with the blue plastic. Well, this caused a minor problem, since the last digit of the model is the size of the lead, and since the “P205” was still molded in, they had to do something to identify this as a 0.7mm pencil, so they printed the size on the bottom of the pencil, opposite the cutout.
Another difference on this pencil from the modern versions, is that the tip has a 2mm guide pipe, instead of the modern 4mm pipe.
In pencils of Generation 1 to 4, the cap stop (what keeps the cap from pushing the eraser into the Inner Body) was inside the cap, where in Generations 5 and later, they molded the stop as a lip on the Inner Body. Most of these pencils had a metal piece in the cap (actually the same piece as around the eraser), but this early pencil had a plastic piece inserted as the cap stop.
At some point they got the cutout changed, removing the “P205”. They still needed some way to identify the size of the pencil, so they left the size printed on the bottom.
But, as you can see in the picture above, this solution had a problem, in that the printed size would start to get worn off.
This pencil still has the 2mm guide pipe, but the cap stop is now the metal insert.
The reason I chose to make Generations 1A & 1B as sub-category of Generation 1, is that the changes were so minor (adding printed size), and changing a minor plate (removing the P205) in the mold, but not substantially changing it, like they do below.
Generation 2 – Short Tip
In August 2017, again, 2 weeks after the blog, I got this pencil, which confirmed that Pentel did carry the Short Tip over to the Generation 2 pencils for the P207C, just like they did for the P205A pencils.
The solution to the printed size getting worn off, would be to mold the size into the body of the pencil. This necessitated every pencil to now have it’s own mold, where before they could use the same molds.
They also switched to the now standard 4mm guide pipe for the tip.
This pencil and the Generation 1B above were acquired in February 2017 off eBay.
I purchased this pencil along with the Generation 1A pencil from Andrey’s Pencils on eBay back in 2012.
At this point, Pentel decided to get the model number back on the pencil, so they started printing the size, Pentel and the model on the side next to the clip. I suspect that they also changed the ink they used, as I don’t find as many with really worn text (percentage wise) as I did for Generations 1A & 1B. Another factor may be the protection of the clip. Being that close to the clip’s band, it holds it off the body a little bit better.
Again, picked up off eBay, I got this in October 2016.
It is the first of the “modern” P200 generations, where they made changes to streamline costs and assembly time.
I don’t remember where I got this pencil, but according to my records it was back in 2009, when I was still collecting mechanical pencils in general, before focusing on the Pentel Sharp.
It is the standard P207 that you can still buy in the stores today, with the letter in the Mark in the Cutout, and shipping with the white Z2-1 eraser.
And Now For Something A Little Different
I purchased this pencil on eBay in 2016. I cannot remember specifically why I purchased it, but when I got it, everything about it was wrong.
First off, at a glance, it looks like a Generation 5 or 6 pencil from the text printed (does not have the “/” in the mm) on the side, but, it has the molded size on the bottom, which ended with Generation 3, so I thought that someone had taken an old pencil and printed the new style text, but on closer inspection, even this fell apart.
When I took the pencil apart, I saw that the Inner Body does not have the Brass spring rest, and is actually a Generation 5 Inner Body, with the molded cap stop.
On closer inspection of the Outer Body, beyond just the molded size, I saw that it had the letter A in the Mark (in the cutout), which was characteristic of the Generations 2 & 3 (and possibly 4, but I don’t have one to confirm this) P207s. BUT, on the inside of the Outer Body, I found that it has the 12 point retainer of Generations 5 & 6.
So, what it looks like is someone got hold of a Generation 2 or 3 outer mold for the body and an Generation 5 or 6 inner mold for the body and used them to make their own copy of the P207 and printed the modern text on it, then inserted the modern inner mechanism.
I keep this pencil in my collection, just as a reminder that not everything is always as it is represented.
EDITS 2019-12-08 – Added the Generation 1 and Generation 2 – Short Tip pencils to this blog.