As a computer geek, I’ve never been much of a “pen” person. If I wanted to write something, I would type it on my laptop, that’s why they invented keyboards. However, in this fast-paced, email/social media world in which we live, I’ve found that I needed to slow down and think about what I was writing. My already meager writing skills were atrophying because I was writing too fast.
Last year my wife and I happened upon a small pen/paper shop in Asheville, NC. On a lark we both decided to buy a fountain pen. The owner of the shop suggested the Pilot Metropolitan. He thought it was a great “entry” fountain pen option. So we each bought one, and now I can’t stop writing with mine. (as I’m drafting this post on paper, I’m using a Pilot…)
Even though it is an entry-level fountain pen, I found little need to upgrade yet. In fact, I just keep buying more of these Pilot Metropolitan pens. I now own 4 of them. I store them at home and work, so I always have one around when the mood strikes to put words on paper.
Things I Like About this Pen
Price: This is a great “bang for the buck” fountain pen option. At a price point of less than $20, you can buy one to try without taking out a small loan like with other fountain pens. In fact, you can buy a few of them (I have!)
Quality: Especially in view of the price, the Pilot Metropolitan is well made. While there are some plastic components, it has a sturdy metal barrel and cap. Even the plastic is heavy, providing a solid feel when writing. However the “piece De la resistance” is the stainless steel nib. It writes smooth and with a steady ink flow, surpassing more expensive fountain pens for writing quality.
Style: OK, this is not really an important element for me, but my wife is a big fan. She loves the different colors and patterns. Pilot recently launched a Retro Pop version of the Metropolitan, and they are particularly nice looking, with a variety of metallic colors, including red, green, orange, turquoise and purple.
Things I Don’t Like About this Pen
Replacement Nibs: Or more accurately, the lack of replacement nibs. I recently lost one nib down the sink (don’t ask), and I was disappointed to find out that Pilot does not sell replacement nibs for this brand of their pen. If you want a different nib, you have to buy a new pen. While this isn’t a big deal considering the overall cost of a pen, it is a little annoying.
Ink Replacement: I’m not even sure this is a real issue. It could be that I’m using these pens so much, but it does seem like I’m going through ink reasonably often. On the plus side, replacing ink cartridges is simple and clean, and the cartridges are not expensive.
Short Barrel: I’m a big guy with big hands, so for me, the pen barrel is a little short. While not a problem for someone with average sized hands, it is a little annoying for big fellas like me. Of course, I’m probably one of the few big guys that uses a fountain pen, so maybe Pilot is just thinking about their typical users here.
In summary, the Pilot Metropolitan fountain pen is an excellent “value” choice for anyone considering a move to the fountain pen writing experience. It writes great but doesn’t cost a lot. We found it a great “entry”-level fountain pen. Check it out.