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Pilot Custom 74 Fountain Pen Review

Pilot Custom 74
Fountain Pen Review

- Handwritten Review -

Specs:

  • Description: A nicely balanced demonstrator at a reasonable price with a great 14k gold nib.
  • Nib: Fine, 14k gold, rhodium plated
  • Filling Mechanism: Cartridge / Converter – CON70
  • Weight: ~23 grams
  • Measurements: 5.50″ closed, 6.25″ posted
  • Color Options: Blue, Clear, Orange, Purple, Smoke – See them here!

Handwritten Review Scans:

Intro/About:

Pilot Custom Heritage 74-7I’ve been interested in the Custom 74 for quite some time now. The $150(ish) price range has a ton of options, and it’s always good to try out another pen in the range. I feel as though $150 is the middle ground in the fountain pen world and some of the best pens are around that price. I have a Custom 823 with an architect grind that cost around double the 74, so I was very happy to check its little sibling out when Pen Chalet offered one up for review. The Custom 74 is a gold-nibbed demonstrator style fountain pen that fills via Pilot’s high quality pump converter – the CON70. The pen is a great looking work horse, and at $160 it makes a great entry into the mid-level price tier.

Pilot Custom Heritage 74-5

Huge thanks to Ron at Pen Chalet for sending me a Pilot Custom Heritage 74 over for review. I’ve had the Custom 823 for a while now (and love it), and I am happy to report that the Custom 74 is just as great!

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Appearance & Packaging:

Pilot Custom Heritage 74-1

The Custom 74’s packaging leaves something to be desired for those who want a really nice presentation. It’s a cheaply-made box with a viewing window in it, displaying the pen. It’s not nearly as ornate as the fabric-lined box that came with my Custom 823, but it gets the job done. Personally, I file away packaging should I want to sell the pen so the smaller, the better. The pen itself looks great. The translucent blue resin has a smoke-colored grip and tail cap. The silver trim nicely compliments the rest of the pen. The clear body allows you to see the premium CON-70 converter inside which has nice chrome accents. The large chrome portion of the converter adds a nice pop to the pen, better showing off the brilliant blue color of the pen. Overall, it’s a classically inspired design that looks great.

Nib Performance & Filling System:

Pilot Custom Heritage 74-8I opted for a fine nib on my Custom 74. Being Japanese, the nibs tend to run a size finer than Western Pens. The fine nib on this pen is very, very fine. It has a fair amount of feedback, but it’s not scratchy or annoying. The ink flow is generous and consistent. If you push the gold nib a bit, there’s some nice cushion. It is by no means a flex pen, and line variation is slim-to-none. The pen will put down more ink when pushed slightly harder though. I actually prefer to write with a little more pressure with this pen. Ink flow, as mentioned before is pretty much middle ground. Even though the line it lays down is very fine, you can still see some shading. Overall, I’m happy with how it writes. Especially the fact that the fine nib can be used on cheaper paper due to its fine-ness.

Pilot Custom Heritage 74-3

As for filling, the CON-70 is a pump style converter that holds a fair amount of ink. It feels substantial and adds a nice amount of weight to the pen. Considering it is inside the pen, it adds a great balance. To fill the CON-70, you submerge the nib into the ink, and repeatedly press the button on top of the converter. The ink draws up easily and quickly. It’s reminiscent of how the old Parker Vacumatics fill with a button.

Feel:

Pilot Custom Heritage 74-4The Custom 74 is nicely sized. It’s a perfect medium – nicely weighted and nicely sized. The plastic is high quality and I have no worries of the pen cracking. The injection molding is nicely finished too. There are no visible seams and the construction and fit of the parts are all top-notch. The pen really feels like it is worth the price. I think Pilot consistently nails it in quality and construction of their pens, from the $5 Metropolitan to the near-$400 Custom 823. The 74 fits nicely in the middle. The cap is capable of posting, but it makes the pen a bit too long for my liking. The pen practically disappears in hand. I definitely like how it feels.

Pros:

  • Great 14k nib
  • Solid construction
  • Demonstrator doesn’t look cheap

Cons:

  • None!

Conclusion:

Pilot Custom Heritage 74 Fountain Pen Review-1The Custom 74 is a solid workhorse pen. It’s priced right, at $160. I really like the CON-70 converter – it holds a ton of ink and looks great through the transparent body of the pen. The 14k gold nib lays down a very fine line with a bit of nice feedback. I’ve used the word “middle” a lot in this review, and I feel like it’s been appropriate. The Custom 74 would make a great alternative for those looking at a Lamy 2000 or Vanishing Point, but want something that looks a bit different. In my opinion, it would be just as great of a choice as either pen. You won’t be disappointed if you chose to get one!

Thanks again to Ron over at Pen Chalet for sending this over to review, if you’re interested in buying it, check out the product page here!

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Disclaimer: This pen was provided to me as a review unit, free of charge, by Pen Chalet. I was not compensated for this review, and this did not have any effect on my thoughts and opinions about the pen. Thank you for reading!

Pilot Juice 0.7mm Gel Pen Review

Pilot Juice 0.7mm Gel Pen
Dark Red

- Handwritten Review -

 

  • Review Paper: Doane Flap Jotter

Pilot Juice Dark Red 0.7mm Gel Pen Review-2

Notes:

 

I’ve heard so many good things about the Juice and thanks to JetPens, I and finally trying one out. The pen is very similar to the Pilot G2, but with a beefed up, spring-loaded clip. The pen has a similar plastic body and rubber grip, but there is one big difference. The ink in the Pilot Juice line of pens is a pigmented gel ink! This means that once the ink is dry, it will be much more resistant to water and will last longer on the page. If you’ve accidentally spilled something on a page of gel ink writing, you know how messy it gets. This water and fade resistance puts the Juice well ahead of the gel pen pack. It’s very smooth and a pleasure to write with. The plastic body is sturdy and has a nice slightly textured rubber grip. The refill is the same size as a Pilot G2, which means that it will fit in a wide range of machined pens – This is a big plus for me. At $1.65, it won’t break the bank. Head over to JetPens to see the 36 colors and line widths of the Juice line!

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Check out JetPens for tons of awesome Japanese pens and stationery. Free shipping on orders over $25, and hitting that is pretty easy with all the great stuff they have. Stop by!

Pilot Juice Dark Red 0.7mm Gel Pen Review-3

Pros:

  • Pigment based ink
  • Many colors
  • Many line widths
  • Great price point

Cons:

  • Nothing!

Thanks again to JetPens for sending this over to review, check out their site for more info on the pen!

Pilot Juice Dark Red 0.7mm Gel Pen Review-1

Disclaimer: This pen was provided to me as a review unit, free of charge, by JetPens. I was not compensated for this review, and this did not have any effect on my thoughts and opinions about the pen. Thank you for reading!

Montblanc “Power of Words” Film Premiere – Event Overview

Montblanc Power of Words Event-1On Friday, December 5th I was invited to the Montblanc “Power of Words” film premiere in New York City. The films were made as a celebration of Nelson Mandela’s life and each film was inspired by one of his quotes. Admittedly, the event didn’t have so much to do with pens as it did the films. While they were all good, I really enjoyed three of the five – “Lift you Up”, “Of the Unknown” and “Truth Booth” were my favorites. You can watch them on the Tribeca Film Institute’s website here. There was a calligrapher present who was writing out holiday cards for attendees.

Montblanc Power of Words Event-11The screening and celebration, co-hosted by Caroline Rupert, was attended by Tribeca Film Institute Co-Founder Jane Rosenthal, Africa Rising Foundation Co-Founder Kweku Mandela, Chrissy Teigen and participating director Nabil Elderkin, members of the Tribeca Film Institute and an intimate selection of international guests.

It was a fun night out, thank you to Montblanc for inviting me!

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Kaweco Skyline Sport Fountain Pen Review

Kaweco Sport Skyline
Fountain Pen

 

  • Review Paper: Doane Paper Flap Jotter

Kaweco Skyline Sport Fountain Pen Review-6Specs:

  • Description: A great pocket pen with updated colors
  • Refills: International short cartridges / Kaweco Converter
  • Body: Grey Plastic
  • Measurements: 5.270″ long, 0.360″ diameter
  • Color Options: Several! Check them out at JetPens!

Handwritten Review Scans:
Kaweco Skyline Sport Fountain Pen Review-4

Intro/About:

I’ve reviewed a few incarnations of the Kaweco Sport in the past, but when I saw the new grey model with silver trim I had to jump at it. This review is on the shorter side, as it is more of an update than anything. Huge thanks again JetPens for sending over the pen for review!

JetPens Banner
Check out JetPens for tons of awesome Japanese pens and stationery. Free shipping on orders over $25, and hitting that is pretty easy with all the great stuff they have. Stop by!

Kaweco Skyline Sport Fountain Pen Review-7

Notes:

The Skyline Sport series is a refresh of the regular Sport line, but with new colors and a silver trim. It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a Sport. Since then, Kaweco has improved their nibs. My original burgundy Sport needed some tweaking to write well, but the silver nib on this Sport is smooth and has great flow right out of the box. I’m not huge on gold trim in general, so the silver was a welcomed site. Top that off with a dark grey body, and you have a great looking pen.

Kaweco Skyline Sport Fountain Pen Review-8

The Sport is a smaller pen, shockingly small even. I remember when I took my first one out of the box I was very surprised. Since I knew what to expect, there were no surprises when I unboxed the Sport. I opted to use a Kaweco Aubergine cartridge and I really like the dark purple ink coming out of a grey pen body. I usually have at least one Sport inked up, they are the perfect pocket pen and they’re always reliable and work great.

Pros:

  • Small, pocketable pen
  • Smooth and inky right out of the box
  • New silver trim looks great

Cons:

  • Kaweco converter leaves something to be desired

Conclusion:

I’m a fan of the Sport series, and especially this new color-way. At $23.75, it’s a great entrance to fountain pens and also not too expensive to get one to devote to living in a pocket or with a small notebook. Thanks for reading!

Kaweco Skyline Sport Fountain Pen Review-3

Thanks again to JetPens for sending this over to review, check out their site for more info on the pen!

Gallery:

Disclaimer: This pen was provided to me as a review unit, free of charge, by JetPens. I was not compensated for this review, and this did not have any effect on my thoughts and opinions about the pen. Thank you for reading!

Field Notes “Ambition” – Winter 2014 Colors Edition – Review

Field Notes
Winter 2014 Colors Edition
“Ambition”

Field Notes Ambition Winter 2014 Review-10

Specs From Field Notes:

“Our old friends French Paper Co. of Niles, Michigan supplied “Olive,” “Wine,” and “Chocolate” 100# Speckletone for the covers, with production bouncing around the Midwest for the last few weeks. Printing started in Chicago’s suburbs at eDoc, then the covers were delivered to Nu Wave Diecutting & Finishing in downtown Chicago to emboss the cover logo. After a trip back to eDoc for bindery, they were trucked down to Liberty Book and Bible in Indianapolis for a process nearly as old as bookbinding, but all-new to us!”

Field Notes Ambition Winter 2014 Review-4

Notes:

Wow. That’s what I said when I saw these online for the first time. It’s like they made an edition for me. There is absolutely nothing I don’t like about these. The muted tones, the gold ink, the different (and very useful) rulings in each book, and the awesome gilded edges all add up to probably my favorite FN edition yet. The books each have a different ruling.

Field Notes Ambition Winter 2014 Review-6

The green is a ledger (which I’m using to help myself budget and save) a 56 week day book (which I’m using to micro-journal) and a standard graph book for everything else that doesn’t fit in the first two. I’m currently carrying the book in a Midori-style leather cover that holds the three books in place with elastic bands (Thanks to Cary Yeager of Fountain Pen Day for that!).

Field Notes Ambition Winter 2014 Review-2

Like I said before, there’s nothing about these books that I don’t like. The paper in Field Notes has been historically mediocre when using a fountain pen, but finer nibs and the right ink will work on these with no issues.

I’m probably going to be using gel though, specifically one of my favorites – the Zebra Sarasa 0.7mm in Dark Green. Like all of the “COLORS” editions, this one is limited so get over to Field Notes ASAP if you like what you see. I picked up three packs and I’m seriously considering more!

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This was not staged. I was really wearing all of the colors that this edition came in. Like I said, I think they were made for me.

Gallery:

 

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