This is by far the most recommended beginner fountain pen. It really isn’t even close. For $15 or less, you get a simple, elgant metal-bodied pen with a cartridge and a converter. Pilot nibs are also known for writing well right out of the box. There are many designs to choose from, including the recently released Retro Pop collection that took the fountain pen community by a storm. I mean, what’s not to love about 6 brightly colored, yet functional fountain pens?
I personally own two: the Classic Black and the Retro Pop Green. One I bought through Mass Drop and the other I won from a giveaway. Both are fine nibs because that’s my personal preference. I am writing this review with my Black verson inked with Noodler’s Air-Corps Blue-Black.
The design of this pen is simple. The body is made of metal with a matte finish. There is an accent at the bottom near the cap that has a lacquered finish. With my Classic Black, the accent is a fingerprint magnet. Between the body and the section, there is a metal step. This is the snap-cap mechanism. The section is made of plastic and tapers down really nicely. The end of the section is also slight raised so your fingers don’t slip off.
This is a steel nib with a simple arrow-shaped design on top along with the Pilot logo, an ‘F’ indicating it is a fine nib and a “Japan” marking. The nib, along with the plastic feed, is friction fit into the section. If you don’t know what friction-fit means, it is just a fancier way to say it is “pushed” into the section. Therefore, you can pull it out.
As I said before, this comes with a CON-20 converter and a black ink cartridge. I never used the cartridge with the pen, but I am sure it works fine. The CON-20 fits perfectly fine and is simple to use.
You can post this cap and it is reasonably well-balanced. I do have smaller hands so I find the pen a little top heavy when posted. I need to adjust my grip higher which brings me in contact with my least favorite part of this pen–there is a really sharp edge between the section and the body that hurts a little. It didn’t really bother at first, but after writing for a long time, you definitely notice it. Probably the only downside of this otherwise great pen.
I absolutely love how smoothly this nib writes. Of course, I am not writing with a pristine nib. This nib was dropped and fixed with brute force by me. I can assure you, however, that the nib out of the box is better.
I would say this isn’t as fine a nib as the Pilot Kakuno. That is probably because the Metropolitan writes wetter. At first, I couldn’t get used to writing with a wet AND smooth nib. It felt really difficult to control. I got used to it, eventually, though I still don’t feel like I have the same level of control as with my other pens. The Nemosine Singularity, the Pilot Kakuno and even the Noodler’s Nib Creaper offers much better feedback and/or isn’t too wet.
I think, after a while, I realized this pen isn’t the one for me. It is still a fantastic pen for beginners, simply because it will be an improvement from many other pen types, like ballpoints, rollerballs, etc. I just prefer pens that offer feedback if it is wetter OR that are smooth and drier. I still have to work on my penmanship, so I want pens that offer more control and better balance in small hands. Of course, I still recommend this pen to beginners just getting into fountain pens. If you’re new, you should try this pen, figure out how to write with it, get used to it and then, move on to different pens if you want. You can find it at most every pen retailer: Goulet’s, Pen Chalet, Jet Pens, etc.