I won this Pilot Metropolitan fountain pen in a giveaway held by Goulet Pens - during their evening broadcast on Fountain Pen Day. It was the last prize they were giving out and I was racked with anxiety over trying to win the previous prizes (which I did not win, obviously) that I couldn't believe my luck when one of the other winners was drawn again and she was very gracious about being a double winner! So lucky me, I got my hands on one of these!
Vanishing Point). I also really like the Plumix, which I know has mixed reviews, but for the most part, I think they are favorable. Therefore, I was really eager to try this pen. I had heard good things about it and I was terribly curious to see it for myself.
Body Material: Gold matte brass
Length (capped): 5.4 inches
Length (posted): 6.0 inches
Diameter (body): 0.5 inches
Nib type: Medium
Nib material: Stainless steel
Weight: 26 grams
Barrel design:Round, torpedo-shaped
Fill type: Cartridge/squeeze converter (comes with pen)
For $15.00, I wasn't expecting much packaging. I was thinking it would be something like the Plumix, which basically comes in a blister-pack with cardboard backing. Nope. I was wrong. The Pilot Metropolitan arrived in a classy box, inside a black cardboard sheath that had "Pilot" written on it in silvery writing. Props to you Pilot, for making this impressive from the get-go. I mean, it's not an incredible box, but for the price, it's pretty good. It does the job and the inside looks good. I've seen lesser packaging on more expensive pens (i.e. Lamy Safari).
Appearance & Build
I must say, I was pleasantly surprised by this pen. Not only is it a good, solid pen in hand, it looks quite nice. It comes in three colors at the moment - black, gold, and silver - with two patterns, or no pattern - on the band around the center of the barrel. Not a bad selection for a $15.00 pen. The gold color is not overwhelming - to me, it appears to be a warm champagne color. The zig-zag pattern is unassuming and tasteful. The grip is smooth and black and tapers towards the nib.
I suspect most users may be concerned about the squeeze converter that comes with the pen. It's the same "cleaning" squeeze converter that comes with Pilot's Parallel calligraphy pens, but you're not supposed to use the converter for ink in that case. With the Pilot Metropolitan, I wasn't sure what to expect. Turns out the squeeze converter, first of all, fits into the barrel very well. It's much more snug than in the Pilot Parallel. This alone made me feel more confident in using it. I made sure it was tight in the barrel before I inked the pen and so far, I have not had so much as a drop spill because of the converter not fitting properly. It doesn't hold a whole lot of ink and this may deter some, but most converters don't hold a lot when compared to eyedroppers or piston-filler fountain pens.
The stainless steel nib is pretty standard looking - not huge, not tiny, clean cut and has Pilot and "M" for medium on it. It also has an interesting little lined pattern that starts at its shoulders and heads diagonally down towards the tip.
The only downside you may find is that the nib is currently only available in a medium.
I exercised a heck of a lot of discipline when this pen arrived. I flushed it with a little bit of dish soap and water, and left it to dry for several hours before inking it up. Seriously. This took major discipline. Eventually, I presumed the feed dry and inked it with Noodler's Red-Black. The moment the nib hit the page, I was more then pleased. No hard starts, no skipping, nothing negative. Lines are consistent and full, and a typical Pilot "medium" size (which tends to run a little smaller than a German medium). The pen has great weight and balance to it, and it is wonderful to write with. Even after its its for a few days, it picks up writing with no problems. Wish I could say the same about some of my other "economical" fountain pens...
Goulet Pens - $15.00
Upgrade to CON-50 Converter - add $5.50
This pen is like a magic pen. It's a wicked deal - I won't even say the quality is great "for the price". It's just great, hands down. I'm surprised this is only $15. Not only does it come with a converter and cartridge to get you started, it has decent packaging. It also performs really well.
I think Pilot should make more colors because I'd buy a whole lot of them. The Metropolitan would make an awesome gift for family and friends who may be new to fountain pens, but also to experienced fountain pen users as well. No tweaking necessary to get this baby working.
It looks good, feels good, writes wonderfully. So long as you're happy with a medium nib, there's no reason not to add this one to your arsenal!