I seem to have become smitten with Pilot pens. This is a major shift for me over the past year as I've traditional been more interested in German brands like rOtring or Lamy, but my experiences have been so good with Pilot that I can't help but keep buying them.
The only other "demonstrator" pens I've owned thus far have been the Lamy Vista and the TWSBI Mini and 540. Whilst these pens are quite nice and of good quality, using them couldn't prepare me for the feel, fit, and finish of the Custom Heritage 92.
The TWSBIs (not so much the Lamy) have always felt a bit "loose" to me as in not extremely sturdy. The plastic is a bit thin and they are prone to cracking or breaking from time to time. Still, an excellent piston filler option for the $50 range though.
Upon removing the Pilot from its case, the first thing that stood out to me was how thick and sturdy the plastic felt. Nothing felt shaky or loose and the build quality took me completely by surprise. Even the clip is well affixed and solid with next to no wiggling. First thumbs up...
I purchased my Pilot Custom Heritage 92 from Pen Chalet about a month or so ago and have enjoyed getting acquainted with it. In addition to the new pen, I also opted to pick up some new Iroshizuku Yama-budo ink which is WAY outside of my normal comfort zone.
It is often described as "wine" colored; almost a reddish-purple. I'm normally a blue-black sort of guy, so a reddish or even purple ink is something that is not in my day to day. Nonetheless, I've actually really enjoyed it. Sometimes it takes stepping outside of our comfort zone to grow a bit.
I decided to get a medium nib on the Pilot which is wet and smooth. Not a skip in the lines since I've had it which is always a good thing. Thumbs up #2.
Although I bought a medium, I'm finding myself more partial to the Pilot fine nibs. The lines seem a bit more crisp, a little less ink (although I enjoy dark lines), but the medium is very enjoyable.
I've mentioned it before, the jump from a fine to a medium Pilot nib seems huge. The medium seems to be nearly two times the width of a fine. Maybe there are proportions to these things? What makes a medium vs a fine? Is an extra fine half of a fine?
The nib is of 14k gold and has some slight flex to it but I wouldn't consider it overly springy. It still feels solid as it hits the page.
The idea of a demonstrator pen is pretty fascinating and the 92 has a super clear barrel and a big ink reservoir to show all the colorful goodness. I'm not sure all people enjoy seeing what goes on "behind the curtain" so-to-speak. I'd love to hear opinions: do you enjoy the look of demonstrator pens?
Pilot does make a more traditional, solid barreled Custom Heritage 91 which is similar, but does not have a piston filler. Brad did some good reviews of the 91 and 912 awhile back which were great. Or, if you wanted a bit more subtle (well, sort of...) demonstrator, you could still buy a piston filler 92 in a variety of "smokey" colors like greyish/black, blue, or orange.
Now, even with all that swooning talk at the beginning of the review, is the 92 one of my new favorite pens? I'm not so sure. I've really enjoyed writing with it and the quality is top notch, but I'm not sure if it is really interesting to me if that makes sense. The silver furniture does class it up a bit and provide a bit of the bling factor, but doesn't quite aesthetically push a lot of my buttons.
Maybe the benefit of a demonstrator is almost a curse that it can be a bit distracting to look at because all the parts and pieces are just staring at you all the time. Whilst it is neat and amusing to see the goings on inside the pen, I look at this pen and don't think I would consider it beautiful, nor exciting. Functionally, it is amazing to use and feels great. Is it worth its pricetag? Maybe. Personally I could be just as happy with a solid barreled cartridge/converter of the same model. Am I enjoying having it? Absolutely, but I do have opinions about it.
If you are interested in the Pilot Custom Heritage 92 or other Pilot pens, visit Pen Chalet to peruse their wares. Also, for an additional 10% you can use the promo code CLICKYPOST at checkout. Pen Chalet is adding new brands and models all of the time to their lineup, so I check in often to see what they might have in stock.