review: pilot metropolitan

318IMG_2912Oh, Pilot Metropolitan. Pen of pens. You’ve probably heard a lot of good stuff about the Metropolitan, and I’m here to tell you: it’s all true.

The Metropolitan comes in a variety of colors: black, gold, silver, taupe, violet, white… they also have a special “inlay” in different designs. I went for the Silver Plain Body with a medium nib, because I like my pens rather simple. It’s more than likely you will find something that appeals to you! I really like the way this pen looks: it’s a cigar-shaped pen, and it’s quite simple to the eye. The Metropolitan comes in at approximately 5 1/2 inches (cm) capped and 5 inches (13 cm) uncapped. It’s a metal pen, which means it is heavier than something like the Pilot 78G, but it is definitely not uncomfortable. Its metal construction means it feels very nice in the hand: the metal warms a little when you hold it, but it shouldn’t affect the performance of this pen. The grip section is black plastic, and you can just barely see the seam if you look for it. The clip is not spring-loaded and is very simple, but it also doesn’t feel flimsy at all. I don’t usually clip my pens to anything, but if you like to clip your pens to something like your shirt pocket, you shouldn’t have to worry about it. All-in-all, the Metropolitan is a very well-made pen. I’m very pleased with the construction, especially for a $15 pen!

The converter is an aerometric filler and works quite well. If you’ve never seen an aerometric filler before, it’s basically a rubbery sac inside of a metal frame. You depress the bars of the frame, and the sac expels air and creates a vacuum or something, and ink gets sucked in. I am not a physicist, but it’s a system that’s been working for decades and it definitely still works now. It’s not quite as efficient as a piston converter–it’s more likely that you won’t get a full fill–but it works well regardless. The sac, however, is quite dark and it will be difficult to tell if you’re running out of ink. I’ve heard that in Europe, the pen comes with a proprietary cartridge and not an aerometric filler, but I’m not sure if this is true or not.

IMG_2913The nib is marked medium, but like most Japanese pens, this nib will run finer and is equivalent to a European fine. If you’re someone who’s looking for bold lines, this may not be the pen for you, but if you like your lines skinny, this might be the pen to look for. Finer nibs tend to be scratchier than broader nibs, but the Metropolitan knocks it out of the ballpark in terms of performance. The nib is very smooth, and very easy to use. I know, that sounds kind of weird, but a lot of nibs tends to have “sweet spots” where writing feels smoothest. As a lefty, I tend to “push” my pen across the page, which can lead to things like hard starts, skipping, and scratchiness. I have never encountered these issues with the Metropolitan. It’s been nothing but good to me since the day I got it.

Here’s a writing sample, if you enjoy these:Scann1004a

I really think this is a pen you can take anywhere. You can buy a handful in a bunch of different designs, and toss them around the house. They’re relatively cheap but perform extremely well. I highly recommend it!

You can buy the Pilot Metropolitan at JetPens for $14.50 or at the Goulet Pen Company for $15.00.

I’m not affiliated with JetPens or Goulet Pens: just a happy customer!


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