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Friday, November 16, 2012

Pilot Metropolitan



The new Pilot Metropolitan is awesome. I handle a lot of fountain pens, that's no secret. And I can often see a pen and quickly judge what type of writer will enjoy the pen the most. Not all pens are for all people, though there are certainly some that are more universal than others. Often, it's the less expensive pens that are most coveted, as beginners can start using them without a great investment. Veteran users can stock up on many of them to keep them different inks and in different locations (work, desk, car, bathroom, whatever!). The type of pens I'm talking about are ones like the Platinum Preppy and Lamy Safari, the ones that everyone seems to have. It's rare that a pen will come along that I feel will become as widely popular as these pens, so I don't say the following statement lightly: the Pilot Metropolitan is a pen that has the potential to be as popular as the Preppy and Safari. 






Now that's a bold statement, I know, and it's also going on the assumption that Pilot will expand beyond the medium nib and gold, silver, and black colors. But I bet that they will, because there will be a demand for it. Seriously, I know I'm a retailer and sell these pens so take what I say with that in mind. I'm also an enthusiast and the build quality, writing quality, and incredible value of this pen are something I just don't see every day. This pen is only $15, and that comes with a converter…I honestly don't know how they do it.

I was excited about these as soon as I saw them, and had to double- and triple-check with our distributor that the price was only $15 because I just couldn't believe a pen this good could be so inexpensive. Whatever you're doing Pilot, keep it up! Reviews of the pens are coming in now that they've been available in the US for a few weeks, and I'm not the only one swooning over these pens. The biggest drawback with the Metropolitan is that it's only available with a medium nib right now. But it's a Pilot medium, so it's as fine as most Western fine nibs (like Lamy), or maybe even finer .






I think this pen is really something, and I'm absolutely thrilled it's here. I look forward to hearing what you think of it! Just leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

59 comments:

  1. I ordered one yesterday — I can't wait to try it out!

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  2. Those nibs look a lot like Prera/78G nibs, so I'm sure an intrepid user could pull and swap to their heart's content. I'd love to have a wider assortment from the factory, though.

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  3. When these first came out, I was really excited about them. Then I saw, unbelievably, that they only came with a medium nib, my least favorite size. Yes, I know that they write finer than a Western nib but a smooth writing Japanese fine nib is an ideal for me.



    I am still tempted (and they'll make great Chanukah and Christmas gifts) but have you heard any hints coming from Pilot that they plan on coming out with a fine nib version?


    Thanks for another excellent review, by the way. I always look forward to them.

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  4. Could this be Pilot's answer to the 78G for the North American market?

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  5. How well do they start up after not being used for a week? Inexpensive pens whose nibs don't dry out are what I need more of, and I don't find the Plaisir attractive (though it works)

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  6. Ordered one for my wife who likes fountain pens (and grew up wiring with them), but thinks "they're too expensive" for her...because she tends to lose pens. At this price it's worth the gamble :)

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  7. Seems like a metal version of the Pilot 78G. 78G come with F, M, and B nibs, include the identical squeeze converter (at least where I buy them), and can interchange nibs with Prera, Penmanship (EF), and Plumix. 78G are very light at 13g.

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  8. Brian, is it possible to get the plumix nib to fit this pen?

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  9. Thanks for the video, Brian. I've been thinking about buying one of these to use as a dedicated BSB pen. But you mention in the video that this is a metal pen (i.e., has a metal body) and the converter appears to have some metal components as well. Some reports suggest the relatively high alkaline levels of this ink don't mix well with metal, so I'm hesitant to pull the trigger. Obviously, you can't speak for Noodler's, but do you have any experience or comments on this issue? Thanks again!

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  10. I've heard in the past that BSB will eat away at the typical Pilot feed on the Metro/Prera/78G/Plumix/Penmanship/etc...

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  11. Love this pen (which I happened to win from you!!). I will probably have to get another one but fingers crossed Pilot brings out a fine nib - that would be perfect!!

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  12. I hope these pens don't get undermined by all the "for the price" qualifiers. I was lucky I got a Japanese one before reading anything about it online. Had I waited to read opinions of it, I may have been reluctant to buy, simply because I'm not in the market for "beginner bargains". I suppose it won't make a huge difference, since the Safari doesn't seem to be struggling despite the stigma of being a "beginner's pen". Hope they get fine nibs over there soon, and I hope they take off in popularity.

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  13. Well, I was too slow. Hope y'all get some more of these in soon. I'll place an order when you do.

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  14. Think you sold them a bit too well - all sold out! At $15, I'll grab one when they're back in stock.

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  15. I hope we get fun colors like they have in Japan. The pink ones in particular look really cute!

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  16. Does the Metro look like the Pilot Knight to you? I don't know much about the Knight; it doesn't seem to be much available here in the States. Just from the images I've seen of it, mainly in the way it steps down from the barrel to the grip, it looks so similar to the Metro. How do you see it? I realize, of course, that the main difference, or at least the most significant, is that the Knight sells for about US$48 while the Metro is $15. Thanks in advance for any insights.

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  17. Be careful of spreading rumors. Yeah, some nib guy said that, and maybe it happened to him. But I've used Bay State Blue in my Pilot Penmanship, even leaving it in a hot backpack in my car to the point the ink leaked, but the feed and the rest of the pen are fine.

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  18. Awesome! Good thing, our first two shipments are gone!

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  19. Yup, you can swap between the Prera, 78g, Plumix, Penmanship, and Metropolitan...maybe even the discontinued Knight as well. I wish they offered nibs alone!

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  20. We're VERY strongly encouraging them to offer fine nibs, but I don't have any confirmation that this is actually in the works. That would be great though.

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  21. It could be. The 78g is long-since discontinued though, and was never imported through Pilot USA since we've been carrying the brand the last few years.

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  22. I find it to do really well. I keep mine stored in my laptop case nib-up, and it starts up every time. The cap seems to seal well.

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  23. This pen should be perfect for her, then!

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  24. These are twice as heavy as the 78G, totaling 26g. The nibs are the same, though.

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  25. Haha...you answered your own question :) Yes, it is.

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  26. This pen would be fine with any ink. The only reason I mentioned the metal parts was if anyone was considering eyedropper conversion, that you would not want to do. But if you're using a converter, then only metal the ink would touch is the nib, as the whole inside of the converter is plastic and rubber. This would be well-suited for a BSB pen.

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  27. If BSB really destroyed all Pilot feeds, you wouldn't be able to stop hearing about it. If you have any hesitation about it at all a $15 pen would be the one to 'risk' with BSB, but honestly, I don't think you have anything to worry about.

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  28. Great! A fine nib would be awesome, but at this point I'll take anything if they can just get restocked!

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  29. I'm not even worried about a stigma. It's a great pen, and the fact it's $15 makes it a no-brainer to try in my opinion, not a 'beginner' pen. It will be great for beginners and veteran pen users alike...heck, I have tons of pens and I'm smitten with it!

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  30. We have a lot of outstanding orders....we're backordered from the distributor at the moment! It seems these are catching on :)

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  31. We're doing our best to get more, but we're at Pilot's mercy!

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  32. The Knight was discontinued about a year and a half ago. The nib was the same, but the Knight was MUCH heavier, and the step was much more drastic than it is on the metro. It's a totally different pen.

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  33. Hm, the section looks EXACTLY like the 78G section. I bet they are interchangeable. Means that the F & B nibs of the 78G and the EF from the Penmanship will fit. Also means that the sections of the 78G for the european market will fit the barrel/cap -- will allow to use international cartridges !

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  34. Since when was the 78G discontinued? I can still reliably buy them with F, M, and B (stub) nibs from Hong Kong at less than $8 USD ea. plus a couple of bucks for insured international mail - and no, they are not fakes.

    BTW, I've had a lot of trouble with the 78G's and flow problems. Turns out it was the converter loves to hang on to the ink, almost any ink. If you have flow issues, chuck the converter right out the window and syringe fill the Pilot cartridge.

    Finally - the lovely colored ink cartridges for the Pilot parallel pens work perfectly in the 78G's and will probably work in these pens too. The parallel pen ink box says not to use the ink in any other pen, but I've had zero issues with the 78G and parallel pen colored cartridges during long term use. Also the parallel pen cartridges have a nice metal ball in them instead of plastic, really gets the ink flowing.

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  35. That could be, I'm not sure. I have actually never used a 78G so I can't say for sure. I have heard the 78G and Penmanship nibs will fit though, and I know the Plumix and Prera nibs will.

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  36. I heard they were discontinued, and they are not on Pilot Japan's website. I wasn't able to get official word on it from my distribution chain just because the pen was never imported through the US distributor. I haven't had any flow issues with the Metro at this point, but I know a lot of folks who prefer to refill cartridges with a lot of the Pilot pens, including VP's, Falcons, Preras...they hold more ink and don't hang up like the converters can do.

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  37. Does the nib have any flex to it?

    In a similar vein-- I tried one of the $12 Bulow X450 pens on amazon and am very impressed with the quality to price ratio. Despite the product description not saying so, the one nib size is a semi flex. Recommend giving it a looksie if you haven't already. :)

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  38. No, this nib is pretty stiff. It writes really well, though, I've actually been using it as much as anything else lately, especially when I want to go somewhere I think I could lose/damage my pen.

    I've never heard of Bulow but I'll check them out. Looks like they're a Chinese import

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  39. The pen is really nice, thou can't choose an suitable ink, lately i was thinking about Diamines, are they do well with Pilot pens?

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  40. Diamine inks would do well, sure. I haven't really found a 'bad' ink in this pen yet.

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  41. dear Brian,
    I am from india. we have pilot metropolitan pens with fine nibs available here. they cost 1200 in indian rupees($21).compared to USA , the customs are high here making it $5 pricier at least.

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  42. Is there any chance Pilot might bring out a broad stub nib for the metropolitan, like the one in the 78G? i wanna buy a new Pilot, and can't decide whether to go for the stub nib of 78G, which, I've read in many places, is quite dry, or the Metropolitan, which only has Medium (which is kind of dull).

    Also, talking of recent releases, I came across a Sailor Profit Junior (clear demonstrator). I am a student, so I never dared to dream of a Sailor pen just yet, but this one is priced almost equivalently to the Metropolitan here, in India (approx. Rs. 1200). which one would you say would be better nib-wise?

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  43. I doubt it, it seems like the Metropolitan is only going to have a medium nib for the foreseeable future. The Plumix has a stub though, and it's only a $9 pen and the nib swaps with the Metropolitan (and Prera, for that matter). I've never heard of or used the Sailor Profit Junior, so I can't speak to its quality, but I can say I'm a big fan of the Metropolitan, the Sailor would have to be pretty incredible to beat it.

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  44. osman nuri altınışıkAugust 20, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    I want to get one of this and I want to use it with edelstein or mont blanc but I have doubts. Because I read it somewhere and it says western inks and eastern pens doesn't fit well. Is is a fact for this pen and these inks? Thanks already:)

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  45. Where did you read that? I've never heard anything even remotely like it, nor have I been able to find anyone who has. The closest thing is "eastern nibs tend to be finer" but it would be a stretch apply that to pen/ink combinations. You'll always have some inks that work better/worse in some pens, but it really isn't a east/west thing.

    I'm certain I can find you plenty of examples of "mixed" eastern/western ink/pens with no problems whatsoever.

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  46. I'm having a little trouble pulling out the converter from my pen, do you have to pull it out a certain way? In the video I'm pretty sure you easily slid out the converter. Thanks in advance <:

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  47. Nevermind, finally got it out. x3

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  48. Yeah, that's insane. Of course these pens and inks will work with each other. Sometimes, for liability reasons or whatever, pen companies will say that only their ink should be used in their pens in order to keep the warranty. But that's just so they can either sell more of their ink (probably not that big of a deal to them) or keep people from putting motor oil in their pen and complaining it won't write! But yeah, if you're using ink intended for fountain pen use, it doesn't matter who made what, you can use it.

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  49. For nib swappers:


    I found that the newer Metropolitan nib/feeds are now very tight in the body. That's in comparison to that of the Penmanship (EF nib) and Plumix (stub italic, or technically a "Music" nib), which pull out easy as shown in the video. I put a paper napkin around the nib/feed and grip it with my thumb and index finger, hold super tight, and pull straight out with minimal wiggling. Once you pull out the Metropolitan nib/feed the first time it won't be as tough the next times. I pull everything apart and rinse in tap water when I change ink colors.



    Be sure to look in there before and after you pull the first time, to see what orientation the feed should be in the body - since it's friction fit you could put it back at any angle (though I don't know if it actually matters).


    Again I don't know if it matters, but I kept the nibs/feeds together when I swapped out the stock Medium nib for my EF and Music nibs. The Penmanship comes with a very dark translucent purple feed, and the Plumix/Metropolitan come with a dark solid gray feed. Feed shape and construction appears to be identical.

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  50. What if after filling the pouch thing with ink, it doesnt write? What should I do?

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  51. I'm new to fountain pens. After some research and your helpful videos, I chose a Pilot Metropolitan. I am loving it. I'm just using a cartridge in it right now. I hadn't used it for a week or more and got it out to do some writing. After a while I noticed some ink on my hands. Apparently it had leaked some and it was on the grip. What should I do to fix this?

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  52. I have both the Metro and the 78g and the sections on both are exactly the same size/configuration. If you want to swap nibs, it's as easy as unscrewing one barrel and replacing it with the other.

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  53. This happens to me a lot, I'm starting to notice -- both M and F Metros leak ink into the caps, so when I open them a little ink splatters on my desk or papers. So far no disasters -- I guess I open them aiming away from clothes -- but I'm concerned, and wondeering there's anything I can do.

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  54. Hi, I'm new here so this might be a dumb question but here goes. How do you clean this pen? Do you have to get another converter so you can clean it out and change colors or do you use the squeeze one that's included? Thanks!

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  55. Question, every time I completely cap and uncap my metro, when I remove the cap there is ink splatter on the top of the nib. If I don't completely cap it there is no problem. I'm currently using the bladder converter supplied with the pen.

    I don't have this problem with any other pens any ideas on how to fix this? I love this pen but it's getting annoying, having to clean ink off every time I uncap it.

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  56. Are Pilot nibs interchangeable between different pens?

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