The two series PS315 & PS523 make up the Sliding Sleeve series of pencils in the Pentel P200 Series of pencils. There are a couple of other pencils with Sliding Sleeves, but they fall into the Film series that will be the focus of my next post.
There are three different sizes of Sliding Sleeve tips that have been used in the P200 Series of pencils. All of these have lead guides that slide in showing a length of 3mm out to a length of 5mm.
0.3mm Sliding Sleeve Tip – This tip was only used on the PS523 Sliding Sleeve pencil.
0.5mm Sliding Sleeve Tip – This tip is used on the PS315 and was used on the PF335 for Film pencil.
0.7mm Sliding Sleeve Tip – This tip was only used on the PF337 for Film pencil.
PS315N Gray – Generation 3
I have only seen this pencil a couple of times, and managed to get hold of one of them back in November 2014.
I classify this pencil as a generation 3, since it uses the m/m style of print, and it includes the molded 0.5m/m on the bottom. It also uses the early style of print for some of the lower production pencils, where they did not print Pentel, but instead included a “•” in the printed text, in this case 0.5m/m • PS 315. As far as I can tell, it originally was released in the mid-70’s.
The biggest distinction for this pencil, as opposed to the later generations of it, is that it is Gray plastic instead of the later Blue plastic.
PS315C Blue – Generation 4 (early)
After seeing this pencil here and there, I finally got one in September 2016.
This pencil falls into the Generation 4, due to the continued use of the m/m print style and no longer a molded size on the bottom. It was released before the next pencil (also a Generation 4) because it still used the style of print from the Generation 3 pencil, with the “•” in the print. I believe it was originally released in the late 70’s.
With this release, they changed to a Blue plastic which is darker than the P207C plastic, but not as dark as the later P217C.
PS315C Blue – Generation 4 (late)
I got this pencil in December 2014.
This pencil is a later version of the Generation 4, still using the m/m print style. The biggest change is they went to the standard style of text for the other pencils with the “0.5m/m Pentel PS315”. I suspect it was changed within a year of the previous pencil being released in the late 1970’s.
PS315C Blue – Generation 5
I bought this pencil in September 2016 at the same time I purchased the Generation 4 (early) pencil above.
Released around 1983 to 1984, this was the style that represents Generation 5. This represented a relatively massive redesign of the pencils (see previous post). The most obvious of these is where Pentel dropped the / in the mm.
PS315C Blue – Generation 6
This was the first PS315 I purchased back in 2012, when I first started collecting the P200 Series of pencils.
As far as I have been able to surmise, this was first released in the early 90’s. They made a slight change to the plastic and it is slightly darker. It is hard to tell in the individual photos, but if you look at the picture with all of them at the top of the post, you can see a slight difference. The other change is that the mark in the cutout, now has a letter before the numbers.
PS523D Light Green – Generation 4 (early)
I got this pencil about 1 year ago in November 2016.
It appears to have been released about the same time as the PS315C Generation 4 (early) above, since it has the same print style.
PS523D Light Green – Generation 4 (late)
This was the first PS523 I got back in 2012 at the start of my collecting.
As with the PS315 above, it represents the changeover to the standardized print style with the Pentel in the middle of the print, replacing the “•”.
PS523D Light Green – Generation 4.5
I picked this up in September 2016, thinking it was a Generation 5 pencil. But I later classified this as a Generation 4.5, since it has the outer body of a Generation 5, but the inner components of a Generation 4 (see previous post).
As far as I know, it was released in the early 80’s, and represents the last version of the PS523 that was released. I have never found a true Generation 5 or 6, so I suspect it was phased out of production in the mid to late 80’s.