Thursday, October 20, 2016

Review: @PilotPenUSA Custom Heritage 912 Soft-Fine @GoldspotPens

Can't get enough of those bouncy nibs!
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Body Material: Resin
Trim: Rhodium-plated
Nib material: #10 14kt gold rhodium-plated
Cap: Screw on
Posts: Yes, friction
Length (capped): 140.2 mm/5.52"
Length (uncapped nib-end): 125.0 mm/4.92"
Length (posted): 155.0 mm/6.10"
Barrel Diameter: 11.2 - 12.7 mm/0.44" - 0.50"
Section Diameter: 10.5 - 11.4 mm/0.41" - 0.45"
Weight (all): 24 g
Weight (cap): 8 g
Weight (body): 16 g
Fill type: Pilot Cartridge/CON70 converter
Price: $223.95 USD
Where to buy: Goldspot
Goldspot Pens


The Pilot Custom Heritage 912 is presented in a solid black gift box with a clear plastic window on top. The pen sits on a felt-lined plastic bed inside the box. This bed can be removed and underneath, there is a Pilot ink cartridge in world's thickest Ziploc bag, as well as a Pilot/Namiki use and care guide. The gift box slips inside a black cardboard sleeve. It's simple packaging, but it doesn't waste a bunch of space and it feels solid. I like it.
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Review @PilotPenUSA Custom Heritage 912 Soft-Fine @GoldspotPens 2
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I have reviewed the Custom Heritage 912 model (PO nib | music nib) before, but this nib is new to me. The 912 is a pretty large pen, though not an oversize. It has a round cap and barrel, narrowing at the end of the barrel slightly into a blunt, flat end. The finial is also blunt and flat, and is simply polished black resin. The clip is attached below a band near the top of the cap, through a clean, snug cut out. The clip is plain and, to my weird self, it resembles a flat dagger. I like the shape a lot.
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There is a raised center band near the end of the cap, as well as a flat band right above it. The wider band is engraved with Custom 912 ** Pilot Made in Japan. The section is a little small, and it is round, made of matching smooth black resin. It tapers towards the nib and ends in a flared ridge. At the back, there is a metal band that separates the section from the barrel joint. There is one more ring at the end of the barrel, and the barrel itself is stickered with the nib grade - SF. Do you leave your stickers on? Do you tear them off the second the pen lands in your hands? I tend to leave mine on for no reason other than I don't notice them much.
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I like the classic shape and rhodium-trim set up on this pen. The polished black resin is pretty and shiny, and it holds up well to scratches and general wear, especially if you treat it well. The pen looks well made and feels good - no rough edges, large gaps, or strange blobs of anything.


The nib is a size 10 according to Pilot's nib sizing. It is a 14KT gold in soft-fine, with rhodium plating to match the rest of the trim on the pen. It has a single slit, a round breather hole, and is engraved with tiny banner-like flourishes around the edges, Pilot, 14K-585, 10, and . There is quite a bit going on on this nib, and I actually prefer Pilot's more plain nib design (like that found on the FA).
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Review @PilotPenUSA Custom Heritage 912 Soft-Fine @GoldspotPens 10
The last soft-fine Pilot nib I used was a letdown - it would run dry really quickly, and it would also hard start and skip. Quite disappointing, and surprising as well - my experiences with Pilot nibs have been otherwise very positive. I expect that was a one off experience, and I was looking forward to this nib. I gave it a good flush as I usually do with new pens. It is a smooth writer, and much more pleasant than my previous soft-fine experience. It has a little bit of feedback, but it is a very enjoyable nib. It is on the wet side, and it only requires the lightest hand for ink to flow.

With a light hand and no pressure, the nib feels like a slightly soft writer. It flows well and has a touch of bounce. It is a little wider than a typical Pilot fine, likely because of its softness and wet flow. With moderate to pressure, the nib has a bit of bounce to it, and feels soft because although it is responsive and snaps back, it isn't as firm as a (typically) hard steel nib. It offers a small amount of line variation, from a fine to a wet medium. It is a lot of fun to write with, and can handle fast writing with a bit of pressure as long as it doesn't keep going on and on. Perfect for those who like fine, softer writers, and who want the ability to add a little bit of line variation to your letters.
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I like that it is not an extremely rigid nib, and that it is smooth and wet. A much better writing experience than my previous one!

The CON70 converter holds a fair amount of ink, although if you ever want to prime a feed with it, it is an exercise in control to not drop ink everywhere. I like that the converter itself is quite easy to clean. Solid performance. I really like this.


The clip is really nice. It is quite snug but it is still usable. It's a great clip for sliding on and off pages, pockets, and pouches. It holds snugly in place, so it's unlikely the pen will fall off the pages.

The section is small and comfortable. Those with large hands will likely feel the section threads, but they are not sharp. I do not find the resin slippery, and the flared ridge before the nib keeps my fingers off the nib.
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Unposted, the pen feels fairly light, and is easy to use. The balance leans a little towards the front, and I find the pen comfortable during short, long, and fast writing sessions. The cap can be posted by friction. It is snug and secure, and adds some length to the pen - great if you have larger hands or just like larger pens. The added length evens out the balance. Overall, quite comfortable and not too heavy.
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This pen is not inexpensive, but it is well made, attractive (to me, anyway), very comfortable to write with, is classic and good looking, and the nib is very pleasant. Whether you want the nib as a regular, daily user, reliable, smooth writer, or if you're looking for something with a bit of bounce and fun, it can do both.

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I received this item free of charge for the purposes of this review. I was not compensated monetarily for my review. Everything you've read here is my own opinion.


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