Archive of ‘Pilot’ category

Pilot Plumix fountain pen review: this is a weird pen.

Borderline NSFW. I make a couple of slightly crude jokes.

So, there’s this thing called a Pilot Plumix, and it looks like a sex toy. Unfortunately, it’s actually just a pen, though it can be used for other things if you’re creative. For example, actually, this weekend I was fixing my car, and I couldn’t get my finger into a position to put a screw in a hole I had just drilled. So, I actually whipped out my Plumix and shoved it in there, and the Plumix successfully guided the screw in the hole. Amazing! Then, I lost my Plumix somewhere in my car, and I hadn’t yet taken any of the pictures for this review, so I had to postpone it. I found it a few minutes ago in the innards of my car. Now we’re back and better than ever, though, so here we go.

I have literally no memory of where I bought this thing, but I did get it a while ago. Today, you can get it from Jetpens for $7.25, or isellpens and Goulet closer to $9. In fact, while I buy a lot of stuff from isellpens, increasingly I am discovering that the truly inexpensive pens are best bought at Jetpens…or from China on eBay. You know how I roll.

Some quick housekeeping: Remember, the blog is pens.funkmon.com now, so update your feed, and we have a poll in the sidebar where you can say what kind of pen you want reviewed. There’s an “other” option, too. Also: if you have terrible and negative comments, please write them in response to the blog posts. Oh, also, I’m about 85% sure I’m going to do an under $5 pen shootout. Good idea? Thanks. Review time.

Appearance: 9/10 if you’re PZ Meyers, 5/10 if you are a normal person.

Oh wait. That might…that’s not the pen. What is that?

Oh, no here it is. You can tell because this one is ribbed for her pleasure.

Oh, no here it is. You can tell because this one is ribbed for her pleasure.

This is a truly weird looking pen. It’s equal parts squid lure, Jell-O mold, unmentionable stuff, desk pen, and calligraphy pen. The barrel is long and thins as it goes farther out, like a desk pen, the cap is clearly a squid, the whole thing is weirdly translucent, and it has ribbed texture exactly where you don’t hold the pen. The whole thing’s a little strange. Let’s start at the top and work our way down.

The cap appears to collect condensation. Bad design or the result of being in my engine block after a rain? You decide.

The cap appears to collect condensation. Bad design or the result of being in my car’s underbelly after a rain? You decide.

I’m really upset I blew my Squidward gag on the Parker IM review, when this is the one that could use it. The cap is clearly reminiscent of the body of a squid or cuttlefish. I thought this was really stupid, until I realized that they shoot ink! That actually fits! I’ll allow that! No complaints here. The only problem is that when you look at the capped pen, it actually is a little too reminiscent of a squid, in my opinion.

I could catch a fish with this pen. Oh, is this not the pen either? Man, it looks just like a squid with a stupid face.

And don't you deny it.

And don’t you deny it.

In fact, this pen looks so much like a squid that when I had it in my pocket (and the top was peeking out) people have asked me about why I have a squid pen. That’s a little something you don’t want to hear, I don’t think. If you want a big novelty pen, you buy a big novelty pen. This is not supposed to be that.

That said, it’s not unattractive once you get past the fact that it looks like a squid, something my last girlfriend has said about me which I think fits here. The section looks really cool, despite the fact that it was completely ripped off from the Lamy Vista, but the nib ain’t so hot.

If I went back in time to 1924, and told a no name pen company to give me a nib with zero design, this is what I'd get.

If I went back in time to 1924, and told a no name pen company to give me a nib with zero design, this is what I’d get.

Oh, it’s super quality? Thanks, Pilot. I wouldn’t have bought the pen if I wasn’t assured super quality. What year is this? When was this nib made? It’s entirely functional and lame looking, which is fine for an $8, but not fine when the $8 pen looks like it just got hauled in by some druggist who just dropped some acid. Why add a business suit to a squid?

At least Octodad’s got that power tie.

The barrel, as is fitting for a 10 armed creature, has 7 grooves in it. Go ahead and scroll up and count them. I’ll wait. I can imagine what possessed the designers to add these things in.

“Yes, it looks like a squid, but it’s much too easy to put into your pocket. Maybe we should add some fins to make it harder.”

“That sounds like a plan. Oh, also, if you’re carrying it on the roof of the car, it will be more aerodynamic this way, and so you will have better gas mileage!”

“Brilliant! Let’s move to production!”

“Wait, wait! I don’t think I could shove this in any orifices very comfortably. Can we add a long soft taper to the end as well?”

“Sure!”

And thus came the Pilot Plumix.

Build Quality: 8/10.

When not being thrown on the ice at Red Wings games, the Plumix enjoys sitting there, not rolling off the table because of the wings on the cap.

When not being thrown on the ice at Red Wings games, the Plumix enjoys sitting there, not rolling off the table because of the wings on the cap.

The pen is all plastic, but it’s really sturdy plastic. I have had no problems at all with this thing in general.

The cap design is strange. It’s a screw on cap, which I actually don’t normally like, especially in a cheap pen. This pen is cheap enough that you carry it around with you in case you need to predict world cup matches or something, and bothering to unscrew the tiny little cap makes you less inclined to use it. In the past week when I’ve had it with me, I’ve more frequently gotten out my 50 gram Sheaffer and given my whole arm a workout than grabbed this, because it’s just not fun for quick notes as a result of unscrewing. Or maybe I’m way too picky. We’ll see.

The cap also picks up condensation, which is a negative, BUT keeps the pen from falling off the table, a nice design feature. So I’ll call that a wash.

Except it is still lame because that cap is SMALL. Look at it up there. It’s barely bigger than a penny. It’s so inconsequential as to possibly be lost or forgotten, which I do all the time. Of course, you could post it, but that’s even stupider (totally a word) than normal.

Somehow, this looks even more like a squid.

I know this should be in the appearance section, but it’s my review, I can do what I want. A lot of pens are beautiful posted, like the Monteverde Intima. This ain’t one of them. This pen posted looks like someone made a horrible, horrible mistake, and needed to cap two wires they twisted together at the end of the pen. It seriously looks like the world’s fanciest wire nut.

Cap to twisted wire pair, or cap to $8 pen? If you don’t know, you haven’t been reading closely. Shame on you.

It sticks on about that well, too. Mine, if I press it on there too hard, which I do sometimes just to laugh about the design of the pen, won’t come off until I put a significant amount of pressure on it. That’s fine if you have a proper cap and you can get more than a finger tip on it, but this one’s like trying to pull a pebble out of your dog’s mouth. You can do it, but the people watching you will giggle.

They also giggle because of the size of the pen.

It's actually not objectively huge or long, but it is the longest pen of these pens I've collected here, and the shape makes it look even longer still. Top to bottom, Parker Reflex, Jinhao 599, Pilot Varsity, Pilot 78G, Bic Disposable, Cthulu, Faber Castell Basic, Parker 51, Sheaffer 300, and Parker Frontier.

It’s actually not objectively huge or long, but it is the longest pen of these pens I’ve collected here (including some really long pens) and the shape makes it look even longer still. Top to bottom, Parker Reflex, Jinhao 599, Pilot Varsity, Pilot 78G, Bic Disposable, The Watcher of Moria, Faber Castell Basic, Parker 51, Sheaffer 300, and Parker Frontier.

So, while Cthulu here isn’t cartoonishly long, it is the longest of my collection of normal pens, including, as we can see, some really big pens like the Basic. But, it doesn’t look big. It looks long and skinny, like a long and skinny tree. What an analogy. As a result, the pen feels weird in the pants pocket, and looks weird in the shirt pocket. It writes fine, as the plastic is so light the weight works out.

There’s also no clip on the pen, but with a pen this size, it’s not like you’re going to lose it somewhere and have it bounce around in your shirt pocket, so I don’t care that much, However, if the incredible size and dumb shape didn’t deter you from using this pen with your Midori notebook, then the lack of clip will eliminate the possibility for you. It doesn’t matter much to me, but I have been in situations where the lack of clip was lamentable, and hence it’s being noted here.

Let’s move on to the section, which is, in my opinion, the best part of the pen. It’s also the best part of the Lamy Vista.

The worst pen with the best section? I think so. I should probably review one of these at some point. Readers, if you have some you don’t care about (and why would you), send em in.

If you look at that section there, and then look here at this section…

The section of the Plumix is the same transparent plastic with nearly the same shape as the Safari demonstrator, the Vista. It's triangular, with the bottom side being rounded, exactly like the Safari. If you're wondering why my hands are so dirty, it's because I just fished this stupid pen out of my engine block.

The section of the Plumix is the same transparent plastic with nearly the same shape as the Safari demonstrator, the Vista. It’s triangular, with the bottom side being rounded, exactly like the Safari. If you’re wondering why my hands are so dirty, it’s because I just fished this stupid pen out of my engine block.

You’ll notice they’re broadly similar. The triangular section is absolutely fabulous to use. That was top of the line design. I’m really glad Pilot stole it for this pen. Now why isn’t it on all their pens? It’s very curious. Even much more expensive pens like the Metropolitan, or … uhhhh, you know, whatever else they have, don’t have this nifty section, and as a result they are worse to write with. And it’s not that they can’t do it. This is the same feed and nib that are in a bunch of Pilot products, like the Metropolitan and the 78G, and…their other stuff. Okay, I’m not well versed in Pilots. So sue me. Please. I would love the publicity from that lawsuit.

Refilling and Maintenance: 7/10.

This is the pen with the back taken off...it looks even weirder like this, doesn't it? Like the bad guys in the water levels of Mario.

This is the pen with the back taken off…it looks even weirder like this, doesn’t it? Like the bad guys in the water levels of Mario.

Normally, for a 7, this pen would need to come with a converter. It doesn’t. But, one can be bought for like $3, so no big deal. Also, this feed and nib are basically used on all of Pilot’s inexpensive pens, so if you want a different kind of nib, you just buy one. It may require buying a 78G on eBay or a Metropolitan or something, but it is possible. You can easily get fine, medium, and broad italics (or in the real world parlance, medium fine italics) from these other pens, then shove it right into Oswald, here. That’s utility.

Performance: 7/10.

Okay, this is an italic nib, so we’re not going to get much higher than stale Oreo on the food smoothness scale, and this is right up there at somewhere between unripe pear and saltine cracker.

For those who don’t know what an italic nib is, it’s a nib that lacks that ball on the end, the tipping, that makes it a smooth writer. This is why you can see in the above picture that downstrokes with this pen, the 78G, and the Frontier are thicker than the side strokes, because the ball shaped tipping isn’t there to even out all the strokes, as can be seen in the Basic pen and below.

This pen is marked as an italic medium nib, though it writes more like a fine. This is actually good if you want to do italic writing, but write small, like in a narrow ruled notebook. It gives you a great effect without filling in your letters, like what happened in my Frontier’s writing. However, if you do do italic writing, you will look like a complete jerk.

This owl’s such a cock.

But, if you use normal rounded script, the italic nib does lend a lot to it. It makes your handwriting simultaneously worse to read but seem better, like adding more sugar to your carrot cake.

Let’s talk about this for a minute. It used to be that carrot cakes tasted good because they were good. I got one for my birthday this year that probably had a family sized shampoo bottle of frosting on the top, plus a 4 inch high carrot, plus the cake itself was so sugary as to be practically uneatable. I still ate the whole thing in one hour, BUT I DIDN’T LIKE IT. Let’s move on from this in carrot cakes, world. Some stuff can be sweet, like chocolate. Let’s just leave carrot cakes alone.

This is a letter I'm sending to a new penpal. Much of it was written with the Plumix. All of it was written by me, making it practically unintelligible.

This is a letter I’m sending to a new penpal. Much of it was written with the Plumix. All of it was written by me, making it practically unintelligible. I am counting on this, because if she can understand what I’m saying, she’ll probably realize how dull of a person I actually am. I crave approval.

So, if you write normal like this, and you don’t have the handwriting skill of a squirrel with two fingers chopped off or worse, like myself, the italic nib isn’t hard to use, and it adds spice to your writing. As a bonus, because it’s finer than, say, my Frontier nib, you don’t need to refill it with ink every page. I managed to plow through a cartridge in about 20 pages, but on my Frontier, I literally do have to refill every single page. No joke. That thing’s an ink hose…but I love it.

I was able to write those 20 pages because the pen was so well balanced and the section was so nice. It’s lighter than a Safari by a few grams, and even easier to write with, if my memory serves me right, so it wasn’t tiring. Where my Safari would get all weird and slippery, this pen never did, and I never got bored with writing with it.

A nice happy medium is the 78G, one of the crappiest pens I’ve ever used. It’s leaky and cheap and ugh. So, I’d find that thing online with a B italic nib, and shove that nib on this pen, and then you’re in business with a fun writer that’s really eye catching. Then you must, for the love of god, destroy the 78G. Cut it up and burn the pieces. Mail them to the four corners of the Earth with a curse on the box.

It’s not necessary to go get the broader nib, though. The Plumix, as it is, is subtle and easy to use for an italic (it’s a cursive italic), and that’s pretty good. But, it IS an italic, and it’s your only factory option. I just can’t give a score better than 7 to a pen that forces you into a niche nib. I like how I say that as if these numbers mean anything.

Value: 7/10.

Yes, this pen is cheap, and yes it writes fine, but I wouldn’t recommend it over, say, a Reflex or a 599, or even a Bic or Varsity, or any other cheap pens there are out there. If you want to do Calligraphy, I’d suggest a Sheaffer Viewpoint, a pen specifically made for that which is about the same price. This pen is so weird, I don’t know if I could ever recommend it to someone, and there is where it holds its value. It’s cheap enough that it holds value purely as novelty, which is why it gets a 7/10, plus it’s the only cursive italic (rounded italic) nib at this price point, I think.

Conclusion: 7.6/10.

This pen is perfect if you’re a fan of cephalopods, sex toys, desk pens that you can take with you, and/or cheap cursive italic nibs. This pen is absolutely not recommended for anyone else. But, its novelty is enough for me to say it’s an interesting buy, and there is nothing else like it. So, if you have $8 burning a hole in your pocket, give it a shot. Otherwise, save up for a better pen.

The terrible writing? I actually embedded this one in Performance.

Pilot Metropolitan Review

In the world of fountain pens, there are a few rock stars. There’s timeless classics like the Parker 51, mid priced fantasms like the Parker Sonnet, ubiquitous school pens like the Lamy Safari, and there are inexpensive heros like this pen, the Pilot Metropolitan. The Metropolitan exists in a world where the fountain pen is becoming increasingly irrelevant, and also increasingly a status item…I don’t really know where I’m going with this.

The Metropolitan is a new pen from Pilot (as in only a couple years old), and it’s been making waves. In the fountain pen community, people are talking about this pen as much as (if not more than) any other pen out there, and that’s for two reasons: it’s cheap, and it’s good. Not just cheap good, but real life normal good.

I bought this pen brand new for $15 from Todd “isellpens” Nussbaum (where I was mostly going to look for a Hero pen I wanted to buy (also, Phoenix represent!)) on a whim. That’s a nice feeling. And it’s bloody good. Let’s get into it.

Appearance: 9/10. As we can see above, this is a classic, inoffensive pen shape with classic, inoffensive pen accents. When closed, it has a nice little chrome metal ring around where the body and the cap meet. That’s nice. Then, right next to it, you have a little accent ring. It doesn’t look like much in the above photo because it isn’t much. In some pens, it’s just a slick shiny plastic section that contrasts with the brushed metal section of the rest of the pen. However, the Pilot isn’t just available in boring black.

My goodness. Look at those bad mothers. Image from Jetpens.

This pen comes in some cool colours! Silver, gold, black, white, and…purple. That one’s a little weird. Who would buy purple?

Well, you caught me. I bought the purple one.

Well, you caught me. I bought the purple one.

I’m not personally a fan of the leopard spots in the accent ring here, it’s a little too Kardashian, but the colour is very cool. I don’t have any pens like this, I normally go for a flighter look, and colours aren’t usually something that makes me happy since they are typically paired with pens that are plastic and ugly, or the colour is put in an assload of lacquer. This one still has some paint on it, but the metal is clearly felt underneath. Now, about that inset.

Oh, sorry, that’s the cover of Dollhouse, the book “written” by the Kardashians.

Let’s try that again.

As we can see here, the texture on the plastic ring is beveled. You can actually FEEL the leopard spots. It's very nice.

As we can see here, the texture on the plastic ring is beveled. You can actually FEEL the leopard spots. It’s very nice.

So, while I enjoy the colour far more than the inset, it’s well done enough that I don’t mind. It might be more attractive to some of the opposite gender. The nib, though, is attractive to anyone.

Normally, fountain pen nibs for these inexpensive fountain pens are wildly dull. Nothing going on, nothing to look at. And, if you’re trying to impress the guy across the table, he’s looking at that nib saying “what the hell?” so I like a little bit of celebration there. Here are a few examples of how to do it wrong.

Boring Lamy nib. This pen costs $25. This comes from a Lamy Safari, a pen I've had before. It was stunningly mediocre, borderline bad.

Boring Lamy nib. This pen costs $25. This comes from a Lamy Safari, a pen I’ve had before. It was stunningly mediocre, borderline bad. But, this nib is used on MANY of Lamy’s pens which cost much much more.

Boring Parker nib. This pen costs $40, and comes from an Urban. I have reviewed the Urban already. Great looks, meh pen.

Boring Parker nib. This pen costs $40, and comes from an Urban. I have reviewed the Urban already. Great looks, meh pen.

Boring Sheaffer nib. This pen costs $18. This comes from a VFM. I want to try this pen.

Boring Sheaffer nib. This pen costs $18. This comes from a VFM. I want to try this pen.

Now let’s take a look at one done right.

Here's the nib from the Metropolitan. It has those nice carrots next to the , which at this price, is pretty nice, AND it has some detail accentuating the lines of the nib.

Here’s the nib from the Metropolitan. It has those nice carrots next to the m, which at this price, is pretty nice, AND it has some detail accentuating the lines of the nib.

Yeah, they’re just little lines, but it adds a lot to a pen at this price point, especially when compared to the preceding examples I gave. Pilot is doing this in varying places all over the pen. Even the spartan clip, which seems unadorned, isn’t.

Here's the clip on the Metropolitan. Where they could have gone with just smooth metal, they added a few more lines to draw attention to the subtle design elements.

Here’s the clip on the Metropolitan. Where they could have gone with just smooth metal, they added a few more lines to draw attention to the subtle design elements.

In fact, just looking at that clip makes me think of a Chrysler Airflow. I think these guys, whether they know it or not, have stumbled upon to some slight bit of streamline moderne, evoking thoughts and design of the heyday of fountain pens.

Look, it’s like they turned the ball on the clip into a toaster! Okay, this is a bit of a push, but still.

This kind of stuff makes you feel just a little bit better about using a cheap pen: it’s well done, it’s got a unique but not loud colour, the nib is nice, and they don’t skimp on design.

Build Quality: 9/10. As stated in the previous section, the attention to detail with the aesthetic elements is without peer at this level of fountain pens. They textured the accent, they put lines on the clip, they made a good looking nib that performs well, and nothing is out of place. Stuff I didn’t get into there that does add to its good appearance are things like smoothness. If you read my Duke 961 review, you will know I hated the cap on that pen because it seemed unfinished. On the Metropolitan, it looks perfect. I don’t see any lines, and nothing’s unfinished.

Nifty little box. That background's totally not important: I was trying to practice a new way to write and improve my handwriting.

Nifty little box. That background’s totally not important: I was trying to practice a new way to write and improve my handwriting.

The pen comes in a nifty little box, which is saying something, since most pens at this price point come in a nifty little bag, or, if they come in a box, it’s like the Nemosine box.

Nemosine box, courtesy of savingbirds on FPN: I couldn’t be bothered to take a shot of the few I have. The box is a thin paper box that opens on one end like a spaghetti box.

The Metropolitan box, on the other hand, opens exactly like a spaghetti box doesn’t.

Oh, that's pleasant! There's even a faux satin thingy that the pen comes in.

Oh, that’s pleasant! There’s even a faux satin thingy that the pen comes in.

Once you take the pen out of the box, though, you can feel its heft. It’s not heavy, it’s actually about 29 grams, which I consider the perfect middle of the road weight for a fountain pen, even if I tend to like them a little heavier. Excellent. It’s also a great middle of the road size when compared to other pens, at about five and a half inches in length.

Here we have a Pilot Metropolitan at the bottom leaning on a little Clairfontaine notepad, with a Parker Latitude above it, a Duke 209 above that, and a Jinhao 599 above that. And words on a sheet of paper beneath them all.

Here we have a Pilot Metropolitan at the bottom leaning on a little Clairfontaine notepad, with a Parker Latitude above it, a Duke 209 above that, and a Jinhao 599 above that. And words on a sheet of paper beneath them all.

Because of this, it’s easy to hold, and pleasant to write with. However, once you take the cap off and start writing, there may be the single build quality issue of the pen, which is more like a design issue.

The Pilot Metropolitan with the cap posted. Now, make sure you don't do this, or you hate freedom. But, look at the huge step down from the body of the pen to the nib section, and its relative slimness compared to the size of the pen.

The Pilot Metropolitan with the cap posted. Now, make sure you don’t cap YOUR pen, or you hate freedom.
But, look at the huge step down from the body of the pen to the nib section, and its relative slimness compared to the size of the pen.

The problem isn’t with the cap itself, no, the friction fit cap is very nice to use. It’s easy to pull off, and easy to put on. Some pens, like my Baoer 388, require you to hunker down and assume a position before pulling the cap off, and even some of my Parkers require you at least downshift to second in order to get the cap off. On this one, it just comes off. That’s nice. No thinking about it at all. This is how a cap should be.

But, like I said, that’s not the problem. The problem exists with the lip after the section. It’s so big, it’s almost impossible to be comfortable if you hold then pen farther back than the average person. It’s not finished roughly, it’s just goddamn huge. No problem, you think, I don’t hold my pen that far back. But, the section tapers to a small enough area that it may be uncomfortable for some of you. Not Starwalker thin, mind you, but still plenty thin enough to get other reviewers all upset. I am not one of those reviewers. It works fine for me, and I wear XXXL gloves, so that’s saying something.

I don’t think it’s a major problem. At this price, you don’t expect metal threads in the nib section and you don’t get them…kind of. If we take a look at the pen all unscrewed…

The Metropolitan taken apart and junk. And a quarter.

The Metropolitan taken apart and junk. And a quarter.

… even though we can see the plastic threads on the section, the body’s threads are, in fact, metal, just like the body. We can also see that that massive lip is actually WITHIN the body piece of the pen. WHY? This, to me, indicated that perhaps the nib and feed were actually designed for another pen and it was simply transplanted onto this one for cost saving measures. I mean, they have to cut costs somewhere, right? This leads me into

Refilling and Maintenance: 6/10. The pen has the same feed as a few of the other Pilot pens, which means it can take those nibs, and they’re cheap. Indeed, the Pilot Plumix can be purchased for like $9 and its nib can be put on here. Therefore, you have a choice of a medium italic, a medium, and a fine. That’s not bad, and they’re not expensive. But, it’s not good.

You know what else isn’t good? That converter. It’s proprietary, and so are the cartridges. They also don’t come a dime a dozen at Staples, either. They’re pretty expensive. But, considering the pen comes with an aerometric converter, it’s no skin off my nose. A few people have had bad things to say about the ink sac, and I understand why. I don’t like the ones in many Chinese pens or old Parkers as it requires the finger strength of the end boss in Super Smash Bros.

The intended user of a Parker 51

But, on this pen, it’s actually a very good design and a very easy converter to use. It has the ink sac placed in the center of the converter, with two metal bars on either side that move in a clamping/scissoring motion to compress the sac from two ends. The sac is larger than the normal reservoir in converters, so to me, this is a benefit. To other reviewers, it’s the worst thing in the world. Shout out to Pen Habit on Youtube.

But, since the cartridges are hard to find for a person who’s not going to be buying these things on eBay and the nib selection is small and hacky, this isn’t a win in this category.

Performance: 9/10. Zero surprises when writing with this pen. It’s just the right amount of smooth and the right amount of feedback. In my food smoothness scale, this pen is a peanut butter jelly sandwich that you left out for a few hours so the bread is a little bit crusty. You can feel it when you bite into it, but the people you invite around to hear you crunch into the sandwich because of how stale it is will sit disappointed as it’s not an audibly crunchy sandwich yet. Or, like, an Oreo you didn’t let sit in the milk long enough. Yeah, that’s it.

Where was I? Oh, right. This is a smooth writing pen with a medium line. Take a look here.

Some lines and comparisons with other pens. Top to bottom: Parker Latitude with an M nib, the Monteverde Impressa with a B nib, the Duke 209 with an M nib, a Frontier with an M nib, the Metropolitan with the M nib, and the Frontier with the B nib that I like so much.

Some lines and comparisons with other pens. Top to bottom: Parker Latitude with an M nib (I know the Latitude line always looks bold. Trust me, I’ll deal with it in the Latitude review), the Monteverde Impressa with a B nib, the Duke 209 with an M nib, a Frontier with an M nib, the Metropolitan with the M nib, and the Frontier with the B nib that I like so much.

The pen doesn’t skip, even while I was writing a five page letter today, and it has no line variation, either. This thing’s as unchanging as an interstate in Nebraska. To some, this may mean that the pen has no “soul.” To me, the soul is in the neato colour I got. The writing is very good. It’s not perfect, but it’s really good.

It strikes me as I write this that when a pen is a good writer, there’s not much to say, but I can go on for hours about a bad one. Huh.

Value: 10/10. It’s $15, and that’s cheap…but it’s not as cheap as some of those Chinese pens out there that write pretty well. The extra value is added beyond the $7 of a good Chinese pen when you look at all the attention to detail and the almost robotic stability of the line. This is it, man.

Conclusion: 9.1/10. The pen performs really well, it looks good (in my colour), it’s built well, it’s well detailed, it’s not hard to refill, and it’s cheap. There are just a few niggling issues that keep this pen from being a perfect one.

 

Here’s some bad writing.

metrosampleMy god, this was a long review.