Once in every while there pens that eschew their lowly price-tags and prove themselves worthy of greater respect than their retail value suggests. Of this ilk is the Pilot MR (called the Metropolitan outside of the UK)
Description: This classically styled fountain pen comes in a variety of colours and finishes. Originally it came in the three colours of matte black, matte silver and matte gold adorned with a middle ring with either a plain, zigzag or a dot grid pattern on (the one I’m reviewing here is silver). Since then this range has expanded to include white and violet and a more wide range of patterns (including some animal prints). I have a couple of these pens, and have bought them as gifts for friends to introduce them back to fountain penss. Each came in a differently styled Pilot box, all of which are smart and functional. The cap and barrel are smooth and well-rounded at the ends. the cap has ‘Pilot’ and ‘Japan” printed on the reverse in a nicely understated way and has a long silver clip which runs almost the whole length of the cap. The clip also has Pilot and Japan stamped into it near the top. The black plastic grip is quite a good size and comfortable. The barrel itself tapers away nicely toward the rounded base. The pen takes standard international cartridges. I happen to have fitted a Faber-Castell converter to mine which is a good fit and allows me greater flexibility to change the ink in the pen.
Dimensions: Posted this pen is 152 mm long. Uncapped it comes in at 127mm long and capped 138mm. at its widest the barrel is 13mm wide.
On Test: I was interested to test this pen in particular because its had something of a hard life. I was given it as something of a joke. It had arrived in the shop with the nib twisted in manufacture. I straightened it and gave it to my son who is at University who promptly re-twisted the nib almost beyond repair. So I gave him another (sigh) and set about carefully straightening it again but initially I was only partially successful. I did mange to straighten and align the tines to the best of my vision but the nib was now very scratchy, in fact to the point of being unusable. However I persevered with the nib and eventually smoothed it using different grades of the very useful ‘mylar’ paper. For information how to do this check out Brian Goulet’s excellent video here.
Now smoothed to my liking this pen is pat of my ‘every day carry’ The nib is smoother than other editions of this pen that I own. It skates across paper as though it were on glass. Now DIY fixes like this must always come with a disclaimer. You work on your own nibs at your own risk… don’t say I didn’t warn you!
In the hand these pens feel solid and there is a nice attention to detail in the manufacture. I think that they decry their ‘entry level’ price tag. In comparison with say the Lamy Safari/Vista/AL star set I much, much, much prefer these. The only advantage the Lamy has, in my view, is the range of nibs that are available for it. The Metropolitan initially only came in a medium but now a fine nib is becoming available
Summary: This pen is a singular pleasure especially in terms of its value for money price-point. It is a great performing pen, good-looking, and solidly built. OK it’s not perfect but what is? It was held back by the fact that it only came in a medium nib but now the fine nib is here I’m sure it will do even better! AFWAP