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Pilot nibs are often well made and are in high performance, no matter if they are the lower end stainless steel nibs, or the much more expensive gold ones. The one to be reviewed this time is an entry level fountain pen from Pilot, the Pilot Prera – Light Blue.
Fountain Pen: Pilot Prera – Light Blue
Nib: Stainless steel medium nib
Filling System: Pilot proprietary cartridge/converter
Production: Regular edition
1. Packaging (9/10):
From what I have heard, it seems that even with the same Pilot pen model, there can be quite a variety of different packagings. Therefore, what I have may not necessarily be what you will receive. My Pilot Prera comes with a metal pen case, and I think it is one of the best pen cases in this price range. The top of the pen case has a large cutout, with a transparent cover. The pen can be seen clearly and is securely placed. In addition, a Pilot CON-50 converter is provided in the packaging. Compared to the other fountain pens in the same price range, the Pilot Prera has one of the best packagings offered.
2. Pen Design (9/10):
The Pilot Prera is fairly small in length. Compared to two popular economical compact pen models, the Kaweco AL Sport and the Pilot Metropolitan, the Pilot Prera always falls in the middle, whether it is capped, posted, or not posted. I personally don’t often post the caps on my pens, but I do find that the Pilot Prera has an excellent weight balance when the cap is posted. And the cap posts very securely. Without posting, the pen is quite short but still very much easily usable.
The Pilot Prera Light Blue is a demonstrator fountain pen. The grip section and the barrel are transparent, so that it is very clear to see the feed and the converter/cartridge inserted into the pen. For this version, the two end pieces of the pen are in transparent blue. The cap has one silver coloured ring on the bottom of the blue end piece. On the top of the cap is a silver coloured flat finial, with the pen clip right underneath it. On the other side of the cap is another silver coloured cap band. The cap snaps to close. The closing action is very responsive and it gives a clear click sound. It is a very well designed cap. However, it’s not perfect. One complaint that I have about the cap is the decision to use a white inner cap for a demonstrator pen. The inner cap occupies a large space in the cap, and personally, I think it looks very inconsistent against the rest of the pen. Secondly, the printed dots and letters also don’t look that appealing on a demonstrator. I think it would be a much better choice if they are engraved, or maybe not added at all.
The Pilot Prera is very comfortable to hold. The grip section gets slightly narrower as it goes towards the nib, and it is long enough for the fingers to grip onto it firmly and comfortably. Several silver coloured rings decorate the grip section and the pen barrel. With the addition of the stainless steel nib, it’s a very good looking entry level fountain pen. Again, my biggest complaint is about the strange looking inner cap.
The Pilot Prera Light Blue looks and feels well made. The parts are well polished, and the assembly shows the precision and the attention to details. Compared to the previously reviewed Platinum 3776 Century Nice Pur, the Pilot Prera Light Blue does not have very obvious machining marks or excessive glue filled. When looked closely, some seam lines can be seen on the grip section and the pen barrel, but the pen surface is very smooth. Even though it’s only an entry level fountain pen, the build quality is outstanding.
3. Filling System (6/10):
The Pilot Prera Light Blue comes with a Pilot proprietary CON-50 converter. The CON-50 converter does not hold a lot of ink, and it’s difficult to make a full fill. The opening of the converter is quite wide. Therefore, it’s very easy to make an ink splash when removing the converter, if there is any ink left inside. The converter itself works well and has a good build quality, but there’s nothing special that makes this proprietary converter better than the international standard ones.
4. Nib Performance (9/10):
All of my Pilot fountain pens have great nibs, and this one is no exception. The stainless steel medium nib on this Pilot Prera Light Blue writes better than many others of higher price points. The nib writes reliably right out of the box, and does not have any hard start or skipping issue. It writes consistently regardless of the paper quality. It’s a stiff stainless steel nib, therefore there is basically no line variation. But the excellent writing performance with the moderate ink flow make the Pilot Prera Light Blue a great daily writing pen.
5. Pen Cleaning and Maintenance (10/10):
Even though the Pilot Prera Light Blue is a demonstrator pen, I actually don’t find much issue with the cleaning and maintenance. The cartridge/converter filling system is quite easy to use. The clear plastic pen body seems to be fairly stain resistant. The inside of the grip section will make contact with the ink filled. But I haven’t seen any staining so far.
Meanwhile, the plastic used for the Pilot Prera Light Blue is very scratch resistant as well. The material feels well polished and the weight is decent in the hand, as far as the plastic is concerned.
Pen Design: 9/10
Filling System: 6/10
Nib Performance: 9/10
Pen Cleaning and Maintenance: 10/10
The Pilot Prera Light Blue is one of the best offerings available in its price range, in my opinion. It’s a great upgrade from the entry level Pilot Metropolitan, having high quality pen material, a better converter, and a more comfortable pen design, while keeping the high writing performance.
The construction of the pen is solid. The build quality is very high, perhaps even better than many other pen models that are much more expensive.
The Pilot Prera Light Blue is a great compact size demonstrator. For anyone who is looking for a great daily writing pen, the Pilot Prera Light Blue may be worth checking out.
For the list of pens currently for sale, please visit here.