From the first time I laid eyes on a Pilot Murex I knew I HAD to have one. Then I read the history around this storied pen. Then I checked their availability. Then I checked the price. And then I realized it will be a long time before I own a Pilot Murex.
Luckily for me, I have some amazing friends. Not only did Thomas hook me up with the Pilot Custom Heritage 91 and 912 that I reviewed last week, he also sent me the Pilot Murex shown above. Knowing that my podcasting partner Myke Hurley had never seen or heard of this pen I sent him a link to the Murex to check out. My headset was promptly filled with OMFG-type expletives and then he said something I agree with completely: "If Apple made a pen this is what it would look like."
The orgins of the Murex date back to 1971 (Correction: The MYU actually came first, followed by the Murex), making it the second greatest creation introduced to the world that year (behind me of course). Pilot created this pen for the Japanese market only, and the stainless steel, portable design was a big hit. The Murex line was only in production for a little over a decade, with only a half dozen or so different models. Since they were made for such a short period of time and were so popular there is quite an aftermarket for these pens today.
Russ Stutler is the king of all things Murex and runs a website devoted to the same. I gathered a huge amount of information from his site so be sure to check it out. And wear a drool bib.
My experience with the Pilot Murex has been nothing short of wonderful. The build quality is everything you would expect it to be. Thomas' model is dated 9/1980 and is in pristine condition. The Fine nib (they were only available in Fine and Medium) is firm and writes a much drier line in comparison to the Pilot Custom Heritage 91 with the 14K EF nib (I used Pilot Blue Black ink in both for consistency).
I will never, ever commit to using one pen and one pen only for the rest of my life, but if I did, the Pilot Murex would be in the running. That a pen several decades old still looks this good and writes this well is a testament to the design prowess of Pilot.
For a holy-grail type of purchase I think I will keep my eyes peeled for for a 1971 produced Murex. I imagine the cost would be outrageous but I can't imagine a more fun goal to shoot for.
This Thomas guy is going to cost me a lot of money.
(To save a lot of replies in the comments section I have a review of the Pilot Myu 2008 Limited Edition coming up later this week, so stay tuned.)