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Vanishing Point, Etc. Worth Price Increase Of Metropolitan



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reductioadabsurdum

I am a new fountain pen user with only about two months of experience using fountain pens. I am looking to replace my Pilot Metropolitan whose nib was damaged beyond my ability to repair after it was dropped (capped, but the snap-cap was knocked loose by the impact). As I am very much enjoying fountain pen use, my indulgent side naturally saw this as an opportunity for an upgrade. The Pilot Vanishing Point seemed to fit my needs perfectly. My question to you, therefore, is, is [sic?] the Vanishing Point so much better a pen (nib, convenience, feel) than the Metropolitan that it is worth a price increase of $125 (10x the price)? I understand that the relation between price and pen is not linear, but as long as it is a noticeable improvement after writing the first few words, then I would count it as worth the price.

 

As a side note, I am interested in the fine nib.

 

If you have different standards for what "worth the price" means, please feel free to use them in your response. Of course, everyone's definition of noticeable is different.

 

Thank you for your time and thought.

 

Edit: I apologize for the typo in the title. Such is the effect of carelessness! :headsmack:

Edited by reductioadabsurdum
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reductioadabsurdum

Thank you. Is there any specific area of great increase, or is it just a much better pen in every aspect?

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openionated

I have a Vanishing Point with a fine gold nib, and Pilot ink. It is easily the nicest feeling, writing pen I have. It costs 25X what I used to pay for the Pilot Varsity disposable pens.

 

Being a self appointed cheapskate, I wondered the same as you if the extra price was worth it. Get the Vanishing Point, you won't regret it.

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reductioadabsurdum

Thank you both for your very helpful responses.

Edited by reductioadabsurdum
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TheGreatRoe

I'll start by saying that I like the Vanishing Point. I've had one in the past and I have another in the mail to me right now.

 

Now, to your question....is it worth the price difference?

 

Answer: Maybe.

 

What do you like about the Metropolitan? Because your answer to that could change the answer.

 

The VP has its quirks, and you might not like the pen. Some people HATE where that clip is placed. For me, the clip actually helps me hold the pen correctly. I like the convenience of the clicker, but I'm a little OCD and I tend to click it a lot. So my wife might not like me using the VP as much as I do.

 

But I do like the VP nibs better than the Metropolitan nibs. I'm not a huge fan of Gold nibs, but I like those.

 

The Metropolitan is between $15 and $20 and I think it's definitely worth the price.

 

I do not think the VP is worth $140. But because so many people can't abide the clip, and because they're so common, they can be had used for very good prices. The one I just bought was $80 including shipping, and I do think the VP is worth that.

 

Personally I wouldn't go over $100 for one, but I'm sure others would go higher.

"The Great Roe is a mythological beast with the head of a lion and the body of a lion, but not the same lion."

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reductioadabsurdum

Thank you for your in-depth feedback, dcroe05. I like the Metropolitan well enough, although I find the grip section to be slightly uncomfortable. I have trained my hand into a relatively standard pen grip, so I don't think the grip section on the Vanishing Point would be a problem. Have you ever had a problem with the trustworthiness of Ebay sellers?

Edited by reductioadabsurdum
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TheGreatRoe

Have you ever had a problem with the trustworthiness of Ebay sellers?

 

That's a topic possibly more in-depth than your original question. I have not had problems, but I know people who have. I would look in the classifieds here first.

 

Another 25 posts and 20 or so days and you can post a wanted ad in the classifieds. I did that and I got 3 offers within a few hours. But even if you just look for pens that are posted for sale, VPs come up fairly often.

"The Great Roe is a mythological beast with the head of a lion and the body of a lion, but not the same lion."

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Personally, I would just get another Metropolitan. It is available in both F and M nibs.

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Try a VP if you can before you buy one. The clip placement can be very annoying for some people, to the point where they don't use or own one.

 

Having said that I love my VP and would recommend it.

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The metropolitan is probably the best value for money fountain pen out there but you can get better writing experiences for more money. Look into j-subculture, they have the VP for US$80ish new.

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SujiCorp12345

Both are excellent pens. I would say get the Vanishing Point if you can try it out somewhere first to make sure that the clip's placement doesn't bother you.

Pelikan 140 EF | Pelikan 140 OBB | Pelikan M205 0.4mm stub | Pilot Custom Heritage 912 PO | Pilot Metropolitan M | TWSBI 580 EF | Waterman 52 1/2v

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superglueshoe

+1 on looking in FPN classifieds - VPs come up often.

 

Tried a VP multiple times. VP has a good nib. Bit of spring, very smooth. Clip drove me nuts though, so I never bought one.

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The Vanishing Point is absolutely worth the price jump... I am glad I bought the VP first and used that as a baseline for my other Pilot purchases - Falcon / 743 / 912 because they all work really well in my hand. Somewhere along the line I purchased a couple of Metro's and I am firmly in the minority of people who consider them to be a wasted $20. Let's leave it at "my Metro is uninked, unloved somewhere and I don't care to look for it".

 

Now - on the topic of VP's... they are amazingly versatile pens (as you know) and have a slightly strange grip (that you should try and feel before you buy - I didn't). They come with a "special alloy" nib for the Japanese Domestic market and the gold nib we see in north america. If you see one for under $90 it is usually the alloy version. If you don't mind buying from Japan, I think you can be closed to US$100 - I paid roughly around that. The M is a touch wide for a Japanese nib (to me anyway) and the EF is skinny without being scratchy (my gf has that in matte black). Good luck with your purchase - it is a fine pen!

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I love my VP. The clip doesn't bother me but it could definitely be an issue. One thing I love about the VP is that it's so wonderfully engineered. If you're at all into that sort of thing, you find the open/close mechanism fascinating.

 

It's also an fantastic writer and super convenient to use since it can be operated with one hand.

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I own both the Metropolitan and the VP. The VP is definitely the better made pen, though I can't guarantee that within the first few lines of writing with it that you will be convinced it is worth 10x the price of the metropolitan. The nib on the VP is great, but it is hard to say it is 10x greater than the Metro nib. Your satisfaction will come down to other things, like how you like the look and feel of the pen and how valuable the convenience of the click action is to you.

 

There are MANY great pens in the $80-$150 price range, both new and vintage, any one of which I would consider to be worth the price increase. In some cases it may be because of the immediate writing experience, but most often it will because of the quality and how the pen lasts. I have two or three Metros I no longer use because the click on cap no longer stays on. One of the best features you can get for your extra money is quality construction and materials that will result in years of service, perhaps even a lifetime of use. The VP will certainly provides that kind of quality.

Adam

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Well, 2 bits of advice for you to consider. While I said that go for the VP, these are these 2 points to consider.

1) please try out a VP that is owned by a friend. The placement of the clip can be bothersome for some people.

2) if you decide to buy one, please dont go the eBay way or the Amazon way. Instead, buy from a reputable nibmeister like John Mottishaw or from Richard Binder. They will check out the pen before shipping it, so that you will get a pen that works from the moment you get it, and you will not have to worry about it skipping, hard starts, etc.

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graystranger

I would only buy from an established company that will stand behind what you bought. Goulet Pens gets my business for everything but what they cannot get for me. When I get a new pen from Goulet I usually ask if one of the staff will do a test write with it, and if there is any problem with the nib or feed, they will catch it and correct it before it goes out. You get a nice note written with your new pen.

 

If you get a VP off eBay or Amazon that has a bad nib, it will cost you about $60 to get a replacement nib assembly.

 

My Metropolitan F is a wonderful pen, I love it. First got a Vanishing Point in 1999 and used it daily for 16 years now (still an EDC for me). Wonderful pen, I love it, never gave a problem at all. Has sat unused for two weeks during vacation periods without any start up problems. Now I have a second VP, and both VP's and the Metropolitan are in daily use.

 

I never even thought about the clip being bothersome when I got the first pen, it never bothered me. But it would be good if you tried one out. I love the convenience, the wonderful construction, and the ruggedness of the Vanishing Point. I love the quality, feel, and the way my Metropolitan feels. I switch back and forth often, usually daily. Both great writing pens.

 

The VP is wider, heavier, bulkier than the Metropolitan. The 18k Pilot F nib writes just like the Metropolitan steel F nib. Only difference in mine is the gold nib has a softer feel, a tiny bit springy, which is nice but not worth the extra $$ to me. I have 5 nibs for my two VP's: EF, F, M (2), and a B. Two are in the pens, the other 3 have air tight caps that I make for them and are inked up ready to swap back and forth without having to fill them. That is nice. The F and M nibs are used the most, but I love being able to pop in the B nib when I want it.

 

Goulet just announced that Pilot is releasing a stub nib for the Vanishing Point in August. I'll get one as soon as they come in.

 

My advice: replace your Metropolitan now and save up for a VP. Try one out first if you can. Goulet Pens has had several Vanishing points on their Bottom Shelf for being used by one of the staff, but in perfect condition. These save you some $20 or so. It may take a few months before the next Bottom Shelf VP is in stock.

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cadfael_tex

I really love the feel and writing experience if my VPs and am considering getting another. However, their are so many options. For the price of that VP you could get another Metropolitan, a very nice Platinum Cool, AND a Lamy Safari. You could also get a Pilot E95s which I've found a very comfortable writer, a Pilot Falcon, the iconic Lamy 2000, a Sailor 1911/Pro Gear, a Pelikan M200, a vintage Pelikan 140 with a divine nib, or an Edison production line pen -- all at about the MSRP of that VP.

 

So to answer your question (at long last), yes I think it's worth the price difference. Of course I'd also take this chance to bring another person in on our addiction :D

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Notgatherox

I'll start by saying I don't own a VP - because I find the clip to get in the way (I might be in the minority, but hey, we do exist!)

 

However, having said that, I have tried both the VP and Metropolitan and can tell you, yes the VP is worth the price increase.

 

Of course, when I say it's worth the increased price, I mean that it's worth a price of say ~$80. If you're getting a VP at retail price, I would say to look at several other options available at that price point.

 

My opinion only, I may be wrong and you are free to disagree with me.

 

 

 

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