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Pilot Custom 74 Soft Fine Medium Nib


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#1 Notgatherox

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 12:42

Hi all! This is my first review, and I hope I'm doing it right!

 

Alright let's jump into the review proper!

 

I was not a lover of cartridge converter (c&c) pens because I am a lazy soul who disliked refilling the pen all the time. Yet, this pen has the CON-70 converter in it, which meant at least 1ml of ink and I had to refill less often. Plus, it had a soft nib. And it's 14k gold! I jumped onto it immediately.

 

Some pictures before the actual review:

 

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Appearance and Design: 8/10.

 

This pen resembles a Montblanc. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with that, in fact one is getting a pen that looks like a Montblanc without the Montblanc price, so why not? What I meant to say is that it has a classic cigar design that appeals to me :). The pen is made of resin and has a glossy finish to it.

 

It has gold trims, which really stand out against the black body (yay!)

 

 

Construction and Quality: 7/10.

 

The pen is one solid guy in the hand! There are no manufacturing flaws (at least not any I can see). Still, it's a light pen, and I would definitely fear dropping it on a solid surface.

 

 

Weight and Dimensions: 8/10.

 

Yes, it's a light pen, but a well made one. Despite being lightweight (22 grams according to Goulet Pens), it does not feel cheap in the hand. It is just over 140mm/14cm, and I find it comfortable to write with even when not posted (my hands measure 6 inches/15cm from the wrist to the tip of my middle finger). The cap posts, but I find it a little top heavy for me (the cap weighs 8 grams, the body 14 grams according to Goulet Pens)

 

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Nib and Performance: 9/10.

 

It has a Soft Fine Medium (SFM) nib. Other nib options include the Soft Fine (SF), Soft Medium (SM), F, M and B. I got SFM because I wanted a soft nib and I decided to go for the middle of the 3 soft nibs available. Attached is a photo of the nib (sorry for the poor quality, was taken at night so I had to turn on the lights)

 

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It is a 14k gold nib. with no plating on it. This is one heck of a smooth and wet writer! Much to my taste! Since this is a soft nib, there is some line variation (see picture below). Although it is a soft nib, it can still be used as a daily writer.

 

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The paper used was Rhodia 80gsm grid. As a comparison, here's a Pelikan Fine nib that I grinded down to 0.3mm. The ink used in both pens are the same.

 

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Filling System and Maintenance: 8/10.

 

The pen is a c&c one, and has a button fill converter. One has to submerge the nib unit in ink and press the button rapidly. Three or four rapid presses will give it a full fill. This is one huge converter, holding at least 1ml of ink. The only risk of leakage is if one did not press the converter in tightly enough (I did that the first time I filled it up cough cough), and then the ink would end up all over the barrel. Maintenance is simple enough, one simply removes the converter and clean the whole pen throughout.

 

 

Cost and Value: 9/10.

 

There's a soft nib. And it's 14k gold. Smooth juicy writer. Plus it cost way below the retail price of 160USD. What's there not to love? This is an awesome deal, and the one of the best deals I've gotten so far. But it's a c&c... if it were a piston I would give it a 10!

 

 

Conclusion: 8/10.

 

I've only gotten this pen yesterday, and it has displaced my M200 to be the daily workhorse. This pen made me fall in love with soft nibs, and it seems that I would be saving up for the Heritage 91 SF ;). Would I buy the pen again? Why, yes of course! This is a great pen and value for money! :D

 

 

 

~Epic

 

 

 

 

PS. Here are some pictures of my friend writing with the 74 (I was taking the pictures).

 

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#2 dneal

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 12:51

Very nice.  I wish the U.S. market had the same pens available.



#3 Notgatherox

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 12:54

Very nice.  I wish the U.S. market had the same pens available.

 

Well the US does have this pen, but they don't have the soft nib option, and theirs is the demo version IIRC. Check Rakuten out, that's a Japan site :)

 

 

~Epic


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#4 dneal

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 13:01

 

Well the US does have this pen, but they don't have the soft nib option, and theirs is the demo version IIRC. Check Rakuten out, that's a Japan site :)

 

 

~Epic

 

I haven't found it in anything other than transparent colors, not counting Japanese vendors.



#5 Notgatherox

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 13:09

 

I haven't found it in anything other than transparent colors, not counting Japanese vendors.

 

Get it from the Japanese! Here's one link to check out :)

 

http://global.rakute...em/fkk-1000r-b/

 

 

~Epic


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#6 h.farmawi

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 13:48

nice pen thanks for the review and for the photos.
riend writing is magnificent i hope i can write like this one day..... do you have any idea how ?


Edited by h.farmawi, 10 April 2014 - 13:49.

postcardde9.png


#7 Notgatherox

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 13:51

nice pen thanks for the review and for the photos.
riend writing is magnificent i hope i can write like this one day..... do you have any idea how ?

Thanks!

 

Eh, with regards to the handwriting, I would say to practice calligraphy. He started out by following others' handwriting, and then he slowly developed his style. Try searching for copperplate and write away! Enjoy!

 

~Epic


Edited by Notgatherox, 10 April 2014 - 13:53.

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#8 h.farmawi

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 13:59

Thanks!

 

Eh, with regards to the handwriting, I would say to practice calligraphy. He started out by following others' handwriting, and then he slowly developed his style. Try searching for copperplate and write away! Enjoy!

 

~Epic

Thanks alot :) i think i will start practicing soon.


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#9 Uncle Red

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 15:08

Thanks for the review, great pen. I often wonder about Pilots decision making, these nibs (and some of their other nibs) would sell well in the US. BTW, here is an 1843 handwriting book on Google Books

 

http://books.google....epage&q&f=false



#10 Notgatherox

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 15:15

Thanks for the review, great pen. I often wonder about Pilots decision making, these nibs (and some of their other nibs) would sell well in the US. BTW, here is an 1843 handwriting book on Google Books

 

http://books.google....epage&q&f=false

 

Hmm, maybe the Japanese want to help other Japanese retailers? It would make sense ;)

 

Thanks for the link to the book! :D

 

~Epic 


Edited by Notgatherox, 10 April 2014 - 15:15.

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#11 discopig

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 23:37

 

Get it from the Japanese! Here's one link to check out :)

 

http://global.rakute...em/fkk-1000r-b/

 

 

~Epic

 

I've had great experiences with Rakuten sellers, they also have great prices on a lot of Japanese pens.



#12 andymcc

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 12:18

Great review and thanks for the link to the shop, I love the design of the pen and at around £60 including postage it's a bargain :)