The Pilot Timeline is an entertaining pen. What makes it a bit unique is how the tip extends and retracts as it is a mesh between a traditional twist barrel, but coupled with a sort of telescoping effect. Pretty wild, right? JetPens was kind enough to send me over this Timeline as a sample for review.
From the outside, the Timeline is a very handsome looking pen in my opinion. The barrel is a glossy black with chrome accents and a smokey plastic grip section. The shape of the pen is very unique. It is sleek but with a pretty large helping of "futuristic" design. I'm thinking more the sterile, robotic, spaceship type futuristic as opposed to the post-apocalypse type of futuristic. More 2001: a space odyssey and not Mad Max. I think we all get the picture...
Even the packaging it comes in is futuristic. Pilot did a stellar job on the presentation for sure.
The pen comes in a simple, glossy white box wherein you find a glossy white tube (or capsule) that simply has the "Timeline" logo printed on the front. Inside the capsule the pen is seated upright securely between two foam rings, one at each end of the tube. Upon opening the capsule the pen is standing tall and at attention firmly held in place like an important component or instrument. I'm really getting quite hung up on this futuristic thing, but Pilot set the stage so well I can't really help myself.
The pen has a nice weight distribution and is very well balanced. It does not feel awkward or heavy in the hand one way or the other. It isn't heavy, but feels sturdy. Pilot has a hard time making junk, don't they?
The barrel is fairly wide (likely to house all of the twist/telescoping mumbo jumbo going on inside) which does make gripping slightly uncomfortable. The grip section being plastic isn't the most pleasant of grips, but may just be due to me having larger hands.
The pen is quite short, but in a good way. It fits nicely in a shirt pocket and the clip pushes all the way up to the top so it is almost hidden when tucked away. I really like this more conservative design element as it adds to the sleekness. Even while put away it does not distract by towering out of your pocket like a show off.
Referring back to the mechanism, to extend the tip you simply grab the grip and barrel with separate hands and twist the two parts in opposite directions. With the grip section being a smoked plastic, you get to see some of the moving parts in action.
As this model is ballpoint, the refill quality is to be expected I suppose. More your typical ballpoint: not terribly smooth, space in the letters, boring ink. Gets the job done though. Pilot does make a gel pen called the Ageless that is very similar (although I think the Timeline looks way better) and I wonder if the refills are compatible? I may have to do some investigating on that as swapping in a gel would be amazing.