Be blinded by the striking colours of the new Pilot Metropolitan Retro Pop fountain pens! Pilot Singapore has generously sent me these pens to drool over and caress, and I got to keep one of them. I spent a long time deciding which pen to keep, and finally decided on the purple one as I don’t think I have a purple pen yet (I might be wrong… lost track of all my fountain pens). But keeping any or all of the colours was definitely possible, since they all look so gorgeous!
As always, the condition I make to my sponsors for pen reviews is that I would like to provide my personal honest opinion of the pen, and this is the same case for this review. Pilot has in no way influenced my opinion of the pens.
The Pilot Metropolitan Retro Pop is the third series of Metropolitan fountain pens that were launched in October by Pilot. In Singapore, the Metropolitan pens are very popular especially among beginners, and even some of the more seasoned fountain pen users seem to like them very much. No wonder 3 full series were launched.
These stylish pens are a refreshing change from previous Metropolitan (MR) series, where the colours were more subtle and, in my opinion, “serious”. The first MR series, MR1, came in colours like black, silver, and gold. They looked more corporate-like and had very simple and subtle designs on the middle band, such as zig-zags and dots. The second MR series, MR2, featured animal prints such as the crocodile and the tiger. I had fallen in love with the white tiger prints on the white MR2, and had to buy it for myself. Here was the review I made of it some time back.
Now, with the MR3, Pilot has stepped up on the boldness and variety of colour options. The pens come in black, red, orange, green, cyan and purple, all in pop art colour tones. The pens retained the nice old cigar shape with tapering ends, while the middle bands have different retro motifs to suit the colours of the pens.
By the way, other than adjusting the brightness of the photos and cropping them to size, I did not do any other enhancements to the pictures. Credit goes either to my awesome photography skills, or the vibrant beauty of the pens themselves, or both, which helped make the photos look so great. (And here, my shameless plug ends.)
Writing with the MR3
The purple pop art pen that I chose to keep for myself has an M nib. I used an F nib for the MR2 White Tiger and thought that it was good to have a change of nibs to compare the writing experience. After 2 weeks with this pen, here is my verdict:
I made a comparison of the nib sizes of the two pens. The one on the left is the White Tiger with F nib, and the other is the Purple Pop Art with M nib. Sorry for the blurry photos, but you should be able to see that there is a visible slight difference in the size of the nibs.
When writing with the M nib, there is less feedback than the F. Traditionally, Japanese pens that come in an F feels more like an XF by European standards, while the M likely feels more like an European F. You could probably gauge the difference by this illustration. When I wrote with the Metropolitan F, there is always some feedback although not much scratchiness. The feedback comes from me being a left-hander, and pushing the nib across the page while writing. With the M nib, The line width remains rather fine, while having much less feedback with the paper. I may start to prefer M nibs on my Japanese pens from now onwards!
Here is the writing sample with both pens. I inked them up with Pilot Iroshizuku Asa-gao ink, which is a lovely blue. I reviewed the Asa-gao ink in my awesome Iroshizuku ink series (shameless plug again, sorry). You can see from the photo that there is a visible difference between the F and the M nibs in terms of line width. Both pens gave good and consistent ink flow. During the 2 weeks that I used the Purple Pop Art, I did not encounter any flow or starting issues (of course, I kept it well-capped when not in use).
My MR2 White Tiger has a glossier surface on the pen body, reminding me of spray-painted smooth materials. You can see how the light reflecting off the pen surface is more concentrated on a plane on the White Tiger body. The Purple Pop Art, on the other hand, has a matte look to it, which you can also observe by seeing how the reflected light is more diffused. Both surfaces are very smooth, but I felt that the matte surface is a little more slippery.
And of course. the middle band is different with the different series of Metropolitan fountain pens.
This new release of the Metropolitan fountain pens has not changed my liking for the Pilot Metropolitan series. I know of people who collect all the Metropolitan pens, so this new series would be a colourful addition to such a collection! On the other hand, besides the change in the outward appearance, there isn’t a huge difference in the inner workings of the pen. The pen still takes Con-20 or Con-50 converters (of which I am using the latter, of course).
If you do not care for the appearance of the pen and already have a Metropolitan, you would probably find that this would not differ too much from your existing pen. If you haven’t bought a Metropolitan for yourself, now is the chance to choose from a wide variety of colours and designs, from the MR1, MR2 and MR3 series! In addition to the fountain pen, there are also the rollerball and ballpoint pens available, in the same colours as above.
Now I’ll need to think of a name for my Purple Pop Art pen. 🙂