The Pilot Stargazer fountain pen is one I've wanted to review for awhile and is one that I feel doesn't get a whole lot of exposure. If it weren't for Keegan from One Star Leather Goods telling me about it nearly a year ago I probably wouldn't have even taken notice!
The Stargazer stands out in Pilot's lineup not only due to its super awesome name, but also for its size. It is very small in comparison to some of its counterparts, but I wouldn't quite put it in the category of being a "pocket pen". If you are familiar with the Prera, it runs just slightly smaller, which makes it quite petite.
The first time you pick up the Stargazer, one thing that takes you by surprise is the weight of it. Unlike the nearly all-plastic Prera which is extremely light, the Stargazer barrel and cap are mostly made of metal which provides some considerable heft. Its like picking up a little kid that you think will be light due to their size, but then they feel like a tank. I would say this adds a point or two to the scoreboard for the Stargazer as it creates a sense of perceived quality like it isn't going to fall apart.
I picked up this pen from Pen Chalet and received great service as always. They have such a great selection!
The barrel is coated in what appears to be a lacquer or enamel of some kind which creates a shiny and glossy finish which looks great. Again, adds a bit to the curb appeal of the pen.
The downside to this finish is that it also makes the pen surface very slick. With the small size, a slick and smooth surface mixed with large hands (or if you are prone to sweaty hands) makes the pen slightly difficult to hold. Writing hasn't been uncomfortable, but the finish and size do not create an ideal size for my hand I think.
One of my main reasons for wanting to give the Stargazer a review was due to the inclusion of a 14k nib. A pen the size of a Prera, but with a gold nib was intriguing. As can be imagined, the fine nib writes great and I'm finding that this size nib from Pilot is becoming my sweet spot for the brand. The lines are so crisp and dark and I have yet to have a problem out of the box with one.
I have been using the standard Pilot/Namiki blue/black carts lately, but also ran a converter with Shin-kai through it which made for a great experience.
In Japan, this pen is also called the Stella 90S. Personally, Stargazer appeals to me more...
Overall, I really like the Stargazer. Great nib and solid feel. There aren't really any negatives, but the only thing I can point out is that it is simply a small pen with a slick surface. These aren't really "flaws" per se, but are something to consider if you find smaller pens less appealing.
Pen Chalet has the Stargazer in four different colors. I decided on the Sapphire (blue, but looks darker than on Pen Chalet's site), but the white is also stunning (almost bought that one). Give them a look if it caught your eye and fits your hand...