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February 9, 2014
Quick summary: if you...
Quick summary: if you ever wished there was a high-end, converter-ready Pilot Petit1... well, there sort of is, and this is it! Folks with big hands probably need not apply, but if you like small pens this is an absolute dream.
Until I unboxed my Prera I had no concept of how small this pen was. For some reason I was expecting something closer to the Metropolitan range, just a bit higher quality. My shock quickly turned to delight- I'm a huge fan of Pilot's Petit series, going as far as to refill my Petit cartridges with syringes fairly regularly. I wanted something similarly small, but with a better nib, a metal clip, and the ability to use a converter. Ladies and gentlemen, this is as close as we're likely to get from Pilot!
With the cap posted, the Prera's only a little bit longer than an uncapped Lamy Safari, and if I'm recalling correctly, about a centimeter longer than the Petit1 with the cap posted. Really, really small pen. That doesn't mean it's not of good quality though. The medium nib writes like a western fine, as is generally par for the course for Pilot, and it's been unbelievably smooth with any ink and any paper I've thrown at it. Starts fast and doesn't skip. The satisfying "click" when you cap the pen hasn't lessened at all in weeks of regular use. The green accents add a little bit of playfulness to the look, but it's not overwhelmingly distracting in a pocket or on a desk.
I only have a few real complaints with this pen, and one of them has very little to do with the pen itself. It's merely the capacity of the Pilot CON-50 converter. Could you fit a larger twist converter in this pen? No. Could I get more ink in it with a CON-20? Sure. But it's a demonstrator, and you wanna see that ink! And see that ink you will, as it disappears over the course of the day. I find myself refilling this pen nightly- while that might annoy some, it just goes to show you that this thing rarely leaves my hand during the work day.
Another is the translucent plastic insert in the cap- it looks awful when ink collects in it, or worse yet, behind it, and it's a major pain to clean. It can be removed, but being vigilant with q-tips can save you the trouble. I just wish it were opaque and, well, any other color. It hurts the look of an otherwise gorgeous pen.
Last complaint: the price point. If it were a little less expensive this is the pen I'd point fountain pen beginners toward without a doubt. However, the lower price point and ease of swapping nibs to find what one likes best would still have me pushing them toward the Safari every time. Do I think I got my money's worth? Without a doubt. Maybe I'm just sore because I find myself wanting more of them and they're priced a little out of the easy "collectible" price range, haha.
Still, it writes like pens that cost twice as much or more! If you're in the market for a pen on the small side you absolutely cannot go wrong here.