Thursday, March 23, 2017

Review: Pilot Custom Heritage 92 Fountain Pen - Broad @PilotPenUSA @PenChalet

My experience with Pilot pens has been pretty positive thus far. How about the Custom Heritage 92 piston-filler? Let's take a look!
Review Pilot Custom Heritage 92 Fountain Pen - Broad @PilotPenUSA @PenChalet 16


Body material: Acrylic
Trim: Metal
Cap: Screw on
Posts: Yes, friction
Filling system: Piston
Ink capacity: 1.2 ml
Nib material: 14kt gold, rhodium-plated
Length (capped): 136.4 mm/5.37"
Length (uncapped): 122.2 mm/4.81"
Length (posted): 150.1 mm/5.91"
Length (section): 18.2 mm/0.71"
Diameter (barrel): 11.4 - 11.6 mm/0.44" - 0.45"
Diameter (section): 9.9 - 10.9 mm/0.39" - 0.43"
Weight (all): 20 g
Weight (cap): 8 g
Weight (body): 12 g
Price: $220.00USD
Where to buy: Pen Chalet
Pen Chalet
10% off with discount code: gourmetpens


The Pilot Custom Heritage 92 is presented in a solid black gift box with a clear window in the top. The pen sits on a felt-lined plastic bed. It can be removed easily and underneath is a Pilot/Namiki use and care guide. The box slips inside a plain black cardboard sleeve. It's simple and doesn't feel excessive.
Review Pilot Custom Heritage 92 Fountain Pen - Broad @PilotPenUSA @PenChalet 6


The CH 92 is a pretty pen if you like clear pens. If you don't like clear pens, you probably won't like this one! It's not a massive pen, like most other Pilots I have used (74, Kak√ľno, Metropolitan, 78G, CH 912). It is a flat top with a round cap and barrel. The finial is a clear grey acrylic top. The clip is attached just below the grey top through a snug cut out in the cap. It's a simple clip - no markings on it. 
Review Pilot Custom Heritage 92 Fountain Pen - Broad @PilotPenUSA @PenChalet 7
The center band is near the end of the cap with a small piece of thin acrylic after it - I worried this little bit could crack but so far, even with posting the cap, it's intact. The center band is raised with "Pilot Japan CUSTOM HERITAGE 92" engraved on it. The last bit of trim is a silver colored band to mark the piston turning knob. Uncapped, there is also a metal band between the cap threads and the section. 
Review Pilot Custom Heritage 92 Fountain Pen - Broad @PilotPenUSA @PenChalet 13
The whole pen is clear, though some parts are more clear than others. The cap is clear but there is a clear grey inner sleeve that covers the nib in there as well, so it throws off that really clean and crystal clear look. I never have been a fan of these darker inner sleeves companies put in their clear pen caps. The barrel is also clear, so the plastic piston mechanism inside is visible. The piston-turning knob is grey, matching the finial. The section is clear, round, and tapers slightly towards the nib. There is a small flare before the nib, which is not very obvious.
Review Pilot Custom Heritage 92 Fountain Pen - Broad @PilotPenUSA @PenChalet 17
Personally, I think clear pens are fun and I find them appealing. I enjoy seeing ink inside the barrels, especially if it's a piston-filler instead of a converter. It can be a pain if you are concerned about maintaining a pristine barrel. Ink can get trapped in funny places and that can be an aesthetic issue. Most of the time, any stains can be cleaned out or hidden once re-inked, so none of these are deal breakers for me. As such, I like the CH 92. It's a good looking pen overall, although a little "busy" with all the added details - lots of plastic parts, metal bits, and striations. I actually prefer the look of the TWSBI Diamond 580 Clear pens over this one because the facets make it practically glitter, so it seems less busy to my eye.


I ordered a broad nib, expecting it to write like a medium. The 14kt gold nib has rhodium-plating to match the trim. The nib is a Pilot #5: it has a single slit, a round breather hole, and is engraved with Pilot 14K 585 5 B, and has a flourished border. I find it a very busy looking nib, like other Pilot nibs, and it's not my favorite nib design. I wouldn't not buy a pen based on the nib design though. If it works well and I really like the performance, I can pretty easily look past the design.
Review Pilot Custom Heritage 92 Fountain Pen - Broad @PilotPenUSA @PenChalet 11
Review Pilot Custom Heritage 92 Fountain Pen - Broad @PilotPenUSA @PenChalet 12
However, that doesn't affect the performance of the nib! This is a delightful writer - smooth, not scratchy, a touch of feedback. JetPens recommends this nib/pen to those who write with a heavier hand. With light pressure (ie. free weight test), I did find the nib on the dry side. It didn't skip or hard start, but I prefer a wet ink flow. With a touch of pressure, the nib is wet and has a bit of spring. It's pleasant for me, and offers the kind of writing experience I like. This is my kind of nib - smooth, broad, wet, and just a little soft. 
Review Pilot Custom Heritage 92 Fountain Pen - Broad @PilotPenUSA @PenChalet 2
The piston-filling mechanism worked smoothly, but the knob is so small to handle. That only becomes bothersome if you have large fingers, have trouble gripping small items, or if you have to crank that knob over and over cleaning out a stubborn ink.


The clip is stiff but can be slid on and off pockets, pouches, and papers. It is snug and holds the pen in place securely. 

The section is comfortable and the cap threads at the back of the section are pretty smooth. It picked up oils and felt a little slippery, but only if my hands were already greasy (like from hand cream). It's a small section so even with my grip, I could feel the threads. Fortunately, they are not sharp, but I was still aware of them. if you have large hands or grip high, you'll feel the threads and if you hate feeling threads, beware.
Review Pilot Custom Heritage 92 Fountain Pen - Broad @PilotPenUSA @PenChalet 8
Review Pilot Custom Heritage 92 Fountain Pen - Broad @PilotPenUSA @PenChalet 9
Review Pilot Custom Heritage 92 Fountain Pen - Broad @PilotPenUSA @PenChalet 10
Unposted, the pen is a comfortable size, and is well balanced. It does not feel too short, nor too heavy. I prefer using it posted as the cap can be posted securely and snugly by friction. It added a little length that made it feel just right in hand. Great balance, not heavy, comfortable.
Review Pilot Custom Heritage 92 Fountain Pen - Broad @PilotPenUSA @PenChalet 15
Review Pilot Custom Heritage 92 Fountain Pen - Broad @PilotPenUSA @PenChalet 14


Review Pilot Custom Heritage 92 Fountain Pen - Broad @PilotPenUSA @PenChalet 3


Performed well, attractive, pleasant nib that performed reliably. The pen is luxurious in terms of price and writing experience. The main issue for me is Pilot's weird pricing. Companies that import this pen from Japan offer it almost $100USD less than companies that use Pilot USA distributors. It's frustrating for the consumer and for those distributors who have to retail the pen so much higher than other places. Is it worth $220? That's steep. $150, totally. What do you think?


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GourmetPens by Azizah Asgarali is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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