I’ve had this pen in hand for, let’s see, a few months now. I’ve got some thoughts together about it, and here you go. I hope this helps for anyone who’s been on the fence about buying this pen!
Aesthetics. I love demonstrators. So there you go! I think the nib is gorgeous despite its slight busyness. The CH92 comes in a couple other colorways, but only in Japan, so if you want those you’ll have to get them imported (a little bit more on that later, in the price section).
Writing experience: length. The CH92 is quite a short pen, and my hands are slightly larger than average (6.7″ long, and I’m a very short person!). However, I do find it very pleasant to write with, as the threads are fine and don’t get in the way of my fingers. The back of the pen rests nicely on the webbing of my hand. It’s quite light, due to the resin/plastic/what-have-you construction. Uncapped, it’s just a smidge shorter than a Metropolitan. If you’ve got hands larger than my oven mitts you’ll probably want to use this posted, but I like it as it is.
Writing experience: touch. Probably the most important part, right? So, Jetpens recommends this pen for people who have a heavier touch. And I definitely agree. I tend to write lightly because of some lingering wrist problems, which would probably explain my preference for wetter pens, as they tend to need less pressure. So the first couple of times I wrote with the CH92 I found it a bit unpleasant; it wrote, definitely, but it was dry and not the best. I tuned the nib ever so slightly, but what worked best was writing with a slightly, slightly heavier touch. I’m not saying gouge your paper! Definitely do not do that. But that little bit of pressure absolutely helped with the writing experience.
I haven’t tested a different ink in the pen yet and I’ve got Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-Syogun running through it right now, which might contribute to the dryness. I’m gonna pop something a bit wetter in the next go around, and let you guys know how that works out.
Price. If you look for this pen on authorized retailers, you’ll probably find it somewhere in the ballpark of a whopping $200 USD. That, in my opinion, is highway robbery. I’m not the only one who thinks this way, luckily! Pilot’s pricing in North America has already been quite the point of contention in our little pen and ink world. Not only that, but you can only actually get the transparent version here in the good ol’ US of A. If you want the orange or the blue, you’ll have to get it imported, so that might cut down on your options with regards to retailers anyway.
I bought my PCH92 from an authorized Amazon retailer for something in the vicinity of $108. It took about four weeks to get to me. Nailbiter. If your desires are a bit more constrained (for example, if you only want a demonstrator and like finer nibs) you can probably find a transparent version on eBay for under $100, not including shipping. I know we all love our NA authorized retailers and if you have the extra hundred to pass on, do buy from them, as they also provide warranty opportunities. But other than that… Yeesh. I can’t say that I would pay full market price for this guy, not when there are quite a few excellent options at the $200 mark. Save your bills, folks.
Value. Gold nib. Piston filler. That sounds pretty sweet, right? Well, not necessarily. This pen holds a pretty dinky amount of ink, so if you’re someone who writes constantly you’ll probably end up writing this pen dry a lot. Especially if you like a juicier broad nib like I do. Just by eye I’d say it’s probably about half the capacity of my TWSBI Diamond 540. It also has a very demure set of nib options: EF to B, if I recall correctly. And that’s it. If you’re looking for Pilot’s music nibs and what have you, you won’t find it here. Maybe you can get it switched out? But I don’t know which retailers will do that for you, if there are any. I will say that I do think this is a great pen for the price you can get it at; for a pen under $110 I don’t see it leaving my hands anytime soon.
Conclusion. So: I love this pen. I really do! I find all kinds of situations for me to write with it. But! But. If you’re on a budget and you don’t want to throw an extra Benjamin into the wind, if you can manage to find a loose Pilot gold nib, which in my opinion are lovely, you could shove it onto a TWSBI and get the same effect, possibly for cheaper, and with a tank of ink. I hope that’s not, like, evil for me to say. But Frankenpens aren’t bad, they’re just misunderstood. At least, that’s what I got from Frankenstein…
Regardless. For me? This pen is a keeper. I love it to death even with its quirks and frankly horrifying US price tag. I highly recommend it, but if you’re looking for a pen specifically in the $200 range I’d personally say skip it. Get a big ol’ handful of pens instead. Heck, for a little bit more you can get a fine artisan to make you a dang pen. But for $110? You certainly couldn’t do worse.