My war horse: A Review of The Pilot Metropolitan (MR)

P1010159Once 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. P1010160The 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. P1010157

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.

P1010162Now 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


7 thoughts on “My war horse: A Review of The Pilot Metropolitan (MR)

  1. Not particularly an attractive pen, but it sounds as though it has caught your fancy. Always good to find a good product at a reasonable price. Keep finding these for those of us who think a pen that cost above $100 is approaching grail status. Srvnt, brthr Shirl.

  2. I own a medium point and fine point version of the MR and they both very smooth. These pens write better than most of my more expensive pens. I carry both of these pens on a daily basis. Well worth the money. Kent

    1. Thanks for the comment Kent. I haven’t got one with one of the fine nibs yet but I couldn’t agree more…

  3. These are great pens for gifts to people who don’t tent to use fountain pens. They’re classically styled (unlike it’s Lamy counterpart), and reasonably priced. I bought one for my boyfriend as a gift, and he was really pleased with it. Depending on where you get them they can come in a nice gift box with a converter too (I keep on seeing different packaging) which is a plus.

    Also the nib is apparently compatible with a range of Pilot’s other nibs. So if you really like the Metro’s body you can swap the nib with one from a Prera, a Plumix, or a Penmanship.

  4. Got one of these as my First fountain pen this past Friday. What a joy !! I opted for the Silver with Python design. I really enjoyed reading your article as well.

    I’ve had so much fun stepping back into the lost world of cursive handwriting that I decided to write a blog post with the pen itself. If you’re curious have a look.

    Best regards.


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