My fall quarter started today, so back to school it is. However, as promised, I will be holding a Welcome Back Week of Reviews. For this week (starting today), I will be posting a minimum of 1 review per day. One of the days (most likely Friday), I will be putting out all the ink reviews I’ve been procrastinating for months now. That totals to about 6, I think. I’ll be posting a couple of paper reviews over the weekend, so look forward to that. It’s gonna be a hectic week with homework and all, but I just love you guys that much. So without further ado, here’s what you’ve all been waiting for.
For a budget pen that is usually a “first fountain pen” for a lot of people, the packaging is really nice. Mind you, it doesn’t compare to Pilot’s more expensive options, but it’s nice nonetheless. It reminds me a lot of the tins in which I stored my Camlin geometry set. Thin yet durable, secure when closed, and easy to open. The one visible drawback would be the plastic window being a huge dust magnet.
One of the first things I noticed out of the box, was the size of the pen. Photos can be deceptive, as it is longer than it looks. Albeit being slimmer overall, the length is comparable to that of a Lamy Safari. The heft was noticeable when I lifted it. The weight was distributed more towards the front, but was balanced very well. For a plastic pen, it sure doesn’t feel cheap.
Once uncapped, there was a noticeable decrease in weight, but it maintains balance well. This is where I discovered my first problem with this pen.
As you see in the picture above, the transition from the barrel to the grip is too sharp. This results in a rather annoying edge which feels uncomfortable if your grip is too hard.
On the positive side the pen posts very well. While I usually post my pens, this one didn’t require it. Even without posting, the length is comfortable in my hand (and I have big hands). This is one thing that surprised me, as I thought that I would definitely need to post. However, anyone who wants to post can do so. When posted, the weight is still balanced nicely, and the cap is secure.
I opted to get the M nib, as I was seeking a writing experience and line width similar to my Pilot VP. After a couple of hours of use, I’m really impressed with how good this nib is. I can safely say that at this pen’s price point, you will be hard pressed to find a nib that performs like this. Not that I had any doubts of course, with Pilot being so strict with their QC. It wrote like a dream when I had just filled it up, but the experience slowly deteriorated with the declining ink level, which brings me to my main quibble with this pen.
When I unscrewed the barrel, I was greeted with the sight of a Pilot squeeze converter, which made me cringe. These are cheap and hold the least amount of ink possible. While I wasn’t expecting a Con-50 coming standard, I thought to replace it with my own spare one. Lo and behold, no matter how hard I pulled, the converter wouldn’t budge. After putting as much pressure as I could possibly muster, the converter finally gave in and popped out. I fitted my spare Con-50, and inked it up. The skipping problem I was initially having disappeared like it never existed. So my advice would be to either have a spare Con-50, or purchase one along with your Metropolitan, as the standard converter is not even worth mentioning.
All the hype I hear about this pen has all been justified after using it for some time. I find myself thinking about why it took me so long to purchase and review it. Since it’s release, this pen has come a long way. Pilot has expanded the colors and patterns to cover the tastes of a large amount of people and have kept the quality at a decently high level. While not perfect this pen performs better than any I have ever used at its price range. It truly is one of the perfect starter pens and will last a long time. I highly recommend this pen to everyone who wants a cheap, durable pen that performs beyond its’ price range.