But, needing another pen like I need another hole in my head, I didn't go further than Taki's thread to check out the pen. Besides, the dimensions are important for me. I've got this rather limited range of sizes I can handle for long periods of writing.
So...someone knew that my birthday is approaching and someone was a very bad girl and this little jewel arrived in my mailbox this past Friday. Friday the 13th worked out well for me.
Please forgive the picture quality. I don't have a decent set-up these days so this is outdoors with a lampshade and a cheap digital camera and failing batteries.
I will try to take better pics later when my batteries are recharged. And the camera batteries as well.
First, a writing sample plus a rather poor image of the pen.
A close-up of the handwriting. I'd planned on writing this review by hand but my handwriting sucketh to say the least. But this pic will give you a comparison of the line width of the Prera Fine, a Namiki VP fine, and one of my Pelikan Place Series Fines. I can't tell you the precise line width - I don't have the tool for that measurement. It is the finest nib I own. Prior to the Prera, my Estie 9128 and my VP F were the finest nibs but they are a hair wider than the prera. Of course, ink flow will make a difference. The Diamine ink in the VP has a little more generous flow than the mix in the Prera so they are not terribly different probably. Suffice it to say, I would call this an XF or XXF, having never used an XXXF.
Despite this extremely fine line, the nib is extremely smooth. As smooth, if not smoother, than my VP Fine that was purchased from Mr. Binder (who, as we know, checks nibs before they are shipped.) Honestly this surprised me because I didn't believe a nib of this size could get as smooth as my Namiki F. Certainly not smoother. But, there ya go. I do have a light touch - if one has a heavier touch than I do, I believe the nib would give and you would lose some of that smoothness. My VP nib is stiffer than this nib.
I was shooting a close-up of unadorned nib when my battery died entirely so here's the next best thing...
The above image shows the Prera next to my beloved Pelikan M400 White Tortoise. Had I aligned the section ends vs. the other ends of the pen, you would be able to see more clearly that the Prera section is slightly wider than then the Pelikan. At it's narrowest, my calipers tell me it is 12mm in diameter. My M400 at it's narrowest is 11.5mm. For comparison, the M600 is 12.5mm in diameter at it's narrowest. At it's widest, before the section ring, the Prera section is 14mm. You can see from the picture that the section of the Prera is longer (25mm) than that of the M200/400 (15mm up to threads) range and has no threads. Conclusion, If you like the 200 section size but the threads bother you, the Prera should suit your grip just fine. And at the same time, it would allow you to grip a bit higher comfortably if you prefer a wider grip.
Prera: 12 cm
M400: 12.4 cm
M600: 13.2 cm
Prera: 13.6 cm
M400: 14.3 cm
M600: 15.5 cm
Prera: 10.8 cm
M400: 12.1 cm
M600: 12.3 cm
In short (pun intended) the Prera is one of few pens I would post. I can use it unposted, but it's more comfortable when posted.
Unofficially - a tad heavier than the M200. Don't have immediate access to my scale and I nearly sacrificed my Torty to this review* so I'm not carting it back there. The difference is very slight and mostly in the cap. yet because of it's length, the cap does not impact balance negatively. So, to Betty, no this isn't a heavy pen at all. It is plastic, not laquered brass. But the plastic feels substantial, not fragile.
Officially - my scale only goes to 10ths of an ounce and both my 400 and the Prera weigh in at .5 ozs.
The Prera uses cartridges. I haven't tried either of the Pilot converters in the pen but will do so and update on that. Edit: The Piston converter does fit. I assume the bladder converter will as well but have not checked it.
The cap is a snap cap with a good solid snap much like a Waterman.
The look is clean and simple. I liked the ivory because, well, I just did. It reminded me of the Waterman Charleston color that I have always liked but never owned. Or the Caran D'Ache Dunas that I also liked but never bought.
Clip: I can't evaluate this in depth as clips are of minimal importance to me except in terms of appearances. It's a simple, clean design and seems to slip onto the leather of my pen case easily but securely. But I don't carry pens in pockets much so I can't tell you much past that.
Cost: Judging by the prices Taki mentioned, I think this pen is worth its price. I've been using it almost non-stop since getting it. The super-smooth extra fine nib is delightful. Of course, the price you'd pay for it in the US includes the cost of importing it so if you happen to be going to Japan for other reasons, it's probably worth picking one or two up for the more comfortable price that Taki mentioned ($19 I believe was the minimum she found.)
I don't seem to have any complaints. I suppose my major complaint would be that it is only available through an importer like Ujuku and I doubt that will change. If Pilot won't sell the Decimo here, why would they sell this one here? And of course, I always prefer piston-fillers to cartridge fillers but because I am learning to love Pilot pens, I'm learning to get over that one. Pilot carts are proprietary of course so that may be a drawback for some.
Thank You Thank You to the wonderful person who sent me this lovely Birthday Gift. Not just because it's a great little pen, but because it was such a kind and thoughtful gesture and clued in on the things I like most about pens. I guess that's why it's hard for me to find any negatives re: this pen.
Finally, I dunno why, I just liked this picture
*I was measuring my torty and juggled it onto the tile, nib down. First ever nib-down pen drop. ACK! Knocked the nib out of kilter with the feed but it seems okay now.
Edited by KCat, 26 December 2008 - 18:11.