Review: Pilot Metropolitan

Just a quick disclaimer: This is not going to be a comprehensive review; there are a lot of already-written, more in-depth review of the Pilot Metropolitan out there. This is going to be a short review.


Pilot Metropolitan (which I affectionately call the Metro) is usually one of the first few fountain pens mentioned when asked about good entry-level fountain pens. It’s relatively cheap, well-built, a great consistent writer, and now quite easily accessible locally. It has a full-metal body, which makes it on the heavy side. It can use either cartridges or converters, although both are proprietary to Pilot, which means you do have the option of using bottled inks (with the converter) or not if you can’t be bothered (cartridges).


One of the things I like about the Metro is the nib. It comes in either fine (F) or medium (M), being Japanese both of which are usually on the narrower side compared to European/American nibs. This is how I prefer my pens; the narrower, the better! Another thing I like is how sleek and professional they look, even the more colorful ones. The brushed metal finish is very elegant, and the patterns in the middle give a good contrast and personality to the pens.


Now, one thing I don’t like about the Metro is the lack of an ink window. It is very hard to tell how much ink you have left in the pen unless you go through the trouble of opening up the pen to check the converter or cartridge. Another thing I don’t like is the converter. The pens usually come with a black cartridge and a squeeze-type converter. I immediately replace that converter with the CON-50, the screw-type converter as seen in the purple and red Metros below. The drawback to these is the very small ink capacity. My solution to these is to just reuse the cartridges once I have consumed the ink, but refilling them can be an exercise in frustration until you get the hang of it.


Pilot Metropolitans go for around Php600 or less, depending on where you buy. It is available online at Everything Calligraphy. Big stores such as National Bookstore also carry them, but the supply is rather spotty. There is supposedly another source called Cosmos Bazar which is located in a place I rarely go to, but as far as I know they are the official distributor of Pilot in the Philippines, so their prices are cheaper. My black Metro was from National Bookstores in one of the rare times I was able to catch stocks, and my two Retro Pops are ordered through a Massdrop deal.

Now, the only reason I don’t have more of these is because I believe in using what I have. If I have too many pens, then I can’t possibly be maximizing the use of all of them. Otherwise, I would have bought all colors of the Retro Pop line, and a gold and silver version from the basic line as well! They are that good!



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