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If You Own Both A Pilot Metro And A Custom 823...

pilot custom823 metropolitan

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34 replies to this topic

#1 TheDutchGuy

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 16:16

...how would you describe the difference when writing with these pens? I have a Metro <M> and love it. Smooth, precisely wet enough, a pleasant bit of feedback that gives me control over my writing. Obviously the much more expensive Custom 823 will be a much better writer, but how would you describe this improvement? I haven't got one yet, but might be able to buy a medium nibbed 823 for a good price, hence my question. Using the Metro as a reference, what can I expect?

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#2 Kodiac136

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 17:06

I've owned both pens (but currently have neither, as I gave away my Metro and sold my 823...). In my experience, the 823 was much smoother, much bouncier (NOT flexible, but not absolute nail either), and felt more luxurious in the hand. In fact, there's something about the heft of the plastic they use for the 823 that feels more premium than the 91, 92, and 74, let alone the Metro. The nib on the 823 is also physically much larger compared to a Metro nib.

 

Do keep in mind though that if your Metro has been tuned to your liking, it may indeed feel smoother to you than a new 823 would. Fountain pens are nuanced objects. Price does not always correlate to better writing experience.


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"That is a very Earthling question to ask, Mr. Pilgrim. Why you? Why us for that matter? Why anything? Because this moment simply is. Have you ever seen bugs trapped in amber?"
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#3 Oranges and Apples

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 17:39

A gold nib is an upgrade, if you're into that.

 

A vacuum filler, if you're into that.

 

I think you're mostly paying for that gold nib.



#4 TheDutchGuy

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 19:08

My little Metro is unaltered. It's my cheapest pen but I use it a lot. It's fun. The 823 seems to be a grail piece for many. I wouldn't normally have gone for it now, but the price is right. I'll think it over for a day or two. Thanks!

#5 Lloyd

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 19:19

If the price is right, you shouldn't lose much (if any) if you decide to resell the 823 in the near future.  Reasonably priced 823s seem to sell quickly in the forum.

 

(is this too enabling?)


Edited by Lloyd, 21 May 2018 - 19:20.

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#6 flyingpenman

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 22:56

 
(is this too enabling?)

Is ther such a thing as too enabling here? :D

The 823 is a wish list/grail pen for me - probably my backup purchase if i cant find a restored Vacumatic I like at the Triangle show.

Glad to hear it feels premium - perhaps my only complaint about my Custom 91 is that it feels a bit thin and plasticky (not to get too technical)...

DutchGuy: good luck in deciding!

Edited by flyingpenman, 21 May 2018 - 22:57.

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#7 Tseg

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 23:39

I've got both and un-inked my Metropolitan when my 823 arrived.  Both are Fine nibbed.  What I like about the 823 over the Metro:

  • I like the smooth bouncy nib - feels very premium
  • No awful step to the barrel
  • Great girth and length, similar to a Pelikan M800 - very ergonomically pleasant
  • Massive ink capacity vs. the puny converter capacity
  • 823 nib is juicier and if I get a little ham-fisted I can really law down a nice wet thicker line

My Metropolitan  when it came to writing is like a Honda with 150K miles on it that can drive for another 150K miles.  The 823 is like a new top-of-the-line Acura... loaded.  If you want the Pilot Mercedes, go for the Namiki Urushi No. 20 and for the Pilot Rolls you can get the Namiki Emperor.  All will put a flawless line on paper 'and get you to the same place' as my dad used to say.



#8 TheDutchGuy

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 05:16

^---that helps, thanks!

#9 FountainClogger

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 05:33

...how would you describe the difference when writing with these pens? I have a Metro <M> and love it. Smooth, precisely wet enough, a pleasant bit of feedback that gives me control over my writing. Obviously the much more expensive Custom 823 will be a much better writer, but how would you describe this improvement? I haven't got one yet, but might be able to buy a medium nibbed 823 for a good price, hence my question. Using the Metro as a reference, what can I expect?

I own both: Metro M and 823 M. Beware:

- the M tip of the 823 is bigger than the Metro's and as a result the line thickness will be greater (and not slightly so);

- the 823 is significantly heavier and the weight is tilted towards the rear end, it might be harder to control;

- the 823 nib is bigger and longer, as a result your grip will be further away from the paper, and it may be a problem if you need precise control;

- the 823 is a smoother and juicier writer.



#10 TheDutchGuy

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 06:38

I own both: Metro M and 823 M. Beware:
- the M tip of the 823 is bigger than the Metro's and as a result the line thickness will be greater (and not slightly so);
- the 823 is significantly heavier and the weight is tilted towards the rear end, it might be harder to control;
- the 823 nib is bigger and longer, as a result your grip will be further away from the paper, and it may be a problem if you need precise control;
- the 823 is a smoother and juicier writer.

I hadn't expected your first point about line thickness! I consider the Metro to be more of a European M and expected the 823 to be more of a Japanese M, i.e. a European F. So I will need to go for a F or MF nib on the 823, because I prefer a thinner line.

Another question: am I correct in thinking that the 743 and the 823 are identical except for filling mechanism (the 743 being C/C and the 823 being vac)?

Edited by TheDutchGuy, 22 May 2018 - 06:39.


#11 FountainClogger

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 07:07

I hadn't expected your first point about line thickness! I consider the Metro to be more of a European M and expected the 823 to be more of a Japanese M, i.e. a European F. So I will need to go for a F or MF nib on the 823, because I prefer a thinner line.

Another question: am I correct in thinking that the 743 and the 823 are identical except for filling mechanism (the 743 being C/C and the 823 being vac)?

If you prefer thinner lines, consider going for an F nib. As I said my 823 M lays down a thick line (definitely thicker than my Metro M).

As for the 743: I do not own one, so I can't really tell. But here's a detailed comparison of various Pilot Customs: http://kmpn.blogspot...lot-custom.html



#12 TheDutchGuy

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 08:07

^---thanks for that link! Indeed the 743 seems to be identical to the 823 except that it is a C/C pen. I personally do not prefer piston or vac over C/C. I'm fine either way. The 743 is readily available with a plethora of nibs and I find that intriguing:
EF
F
SF
FM
SFM
M
B
C
PO
In my case the choice will be between F, SF, FM or SFM. Need to look into the differences!

#13 FountainClogger

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 08:23

^---thanks for that link! Indeed the 743 seems to be identical to the 823 except that it is a C/C pen. I personally do not prefer piston or vac over C/C. I'm fine either way. The 743 is readily available with a plethora of nibs and I find that intriguing:
EF
F
SF
FM
SFM
M
B
C
PO
In my case the choice will be between F, SF, FM or SFM. Need to look into the differences!

Again, beware of the xM nibs, they might be thicker than you expect. I recently posted a writing sample of a C74 SF and SFM: http://www.fountainp...riting-samples/

 

If you want to further investigate the C74x series, have look at this Youtube channel:

https://www.youtube....3Ezh-U2zmF9AoTg

This guy made a bunch of video comparisons between different C74x nibs.


Edited by FountainClogger, 22 May 2018 - 08:24.


#14 TheDutchGuy

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 10:36

^---based on those writing samples, a F would be indeed be the way to go. Food for thought, thanks!

#15 Oranges and Apples

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 03:49

^---thanks for that link! Indeed the 743 seems to be identical to the 823 except that it is a C/C pen. I personally do not prefer piston or vac over C/C. I'm fine either way. The 743 is readily available with a plethora of nibs and I find that intriguing:
EF
F
SF
FM
SFM
M
B
C
PO
In my case the choice will be between F, SF, FM or SFM. Need to look into the differences!

 

I also have a 743 with the PO nib and I use it more than my 823 with the F nib. It is just worth noting.



#16 TheDutchGuy

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 05:15

^---I'm assuming that's because of the 743's PO nib and not because of its C/C design. Intriguing. What is it about the PO nib that makes you favour it over the F...?

#17 magnus919

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 15:12

I've got both. I think the 823 "F" is a good bit finer than the Metro "F". The Metro nib is a rigid nail. The 823 nib is springy (not flexy). The 823 is lightweight but feels a little more substantial in the hand, whereas the Metro feels to me like a step above a Bic ballpoint.

 

I'm going to catch some heat for this maybe, but I think the 823 is a more reliable pen. The Metro is a cartridge/converter pen, so if the converter's not seated just right, it can be fiddly. The 823 just works. Always.

 

I am biased, though; the 823 is my desert island pen. If you held a gun to my head and made me pick only one pen for the rest of my life, I wouldn't hesitate to grab the 823 and run.


Magnus | Raleigh, NC [USA] | @Magnus919TerraMagnus


#18 TheDutchGuy

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 16:13

^---cool, thanks!



#19 Tseg

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 02:39

 

 

I'm going to catch some heat for this maybe, but I think the 823 is a more reliable pen. The Metro is a cartridge/converter pen, so if the converter's not seated just right, it can be fiddly. The 823 just works. Always.

 

I am biased, though; the 823 is my desert island pen. If you held a gun to my head and made me pick only one pen for the rest of my life, I wouldn't hesitate to grab the 823 and run.

 

^^^ This is true.  I travel only with my 823 because I can lock down the ink with the plunger (and I travel a lot).  It is almost so reliable that it lacks some personality (vs. other premium pens, not the Metro).



#20 Old Salt

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 05:01

^^^ This is true.  I travel only with my 823 because I can lock down the ink with the plunger (and I travel a lot).  It is almost so reliable that it lacks some personality (vs. other premium pens, not the Metro).

+ 1...have both. The 823 is a rugged tank compared to the Metro. It can be carried around, travels well, holds a lot of ink and feels good in the hand. Its a much bigger pen than the Metro. Not a show boat, but a real work horse. I have one in medium and one with a broad nib. Love them both, but the broad does put down a very healthy ink line. I find myself using the medium much more.
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