This happens to be my latest addition or you may call addiction to Pilot Pens. After buying and using PILOT CAPLESS I realised that I need more Pilot Pens and lot of fellow fountain pen users and friends recommended me to buy Custom 74 and here I must thank Dhruv for connecting me with Bunkidou Shop. Dealing with Bunkidou was an amazing experience and his service was excellent. I actually bought two PILOT pens from him, CUSTOM 74 and CUSTOM HERITAGE 92. And the EMS service was so amazing that the pens reached to India from Japan within 5 days. I will be doing reviews of both, however this review is about PILOT CUSTOM 74 WITH MUSIC NIB.
DESIGN & BUILT: 4/5
The pen is regular sized classic cigar shape pen. The pen comes in various colours like Black, Burgundy, Dark Green and Dark Blue with gold trims. There are demonstrator versions also available with chrome trims also, but the music nib is only available in Black colour in Japan.
The classical cigar shaped pen is thickest at the cap centre-band and cap tapers down to rounded finial at top. The finial is visually separated by gold colour band. The clip is stiff and sturdy and has a ball end.
The cap has dual centre band, with slim one at top and broad one below where branding is done and reads “PILOT – MADE IN JAPAN *CUSTOM 74*” . The clip also displays the the brand name PILOT engraved.
The pen is extremely well detailed out. There is a gold colour band at the bottom of barrel separating it from the bottom finial and also there is gold colour band at the bottom of grip section (as you can see from above image) separating it from barrel.
The material used is plastic resin which is of same quality as Pilot 78G, thus nothing premium in that regards.The material is very well polished and finished. The quality control is superb and amazing and that is where Pilot excels.
The pen uncaps in 1 – 3/4 turns and the grip section is slight concave albeit just a little bit.
Below are the few images showing the comparative with other pens:
I actually wanted to buy demo version but music nib was not available available in any other colour, so I had to settle for this. But this black colour has grown over me because of its classical, understated and professional look.
BALANCE : 5/5
The pen is made of resin and is light weight and superbly well balanced whether you write with cap posted at the back or not. yes the cap posts securely at the back. The pen is of regular length comparable to that of Lamy Safari as shown in comparison above. The pen is slim and the grip is perfect.
Few specifications are as follows:
- Length (Capped) : 141 mm
- Length (Uncapped) : 125 mm
- Length (Posted) : 158 mm
- Dia (Section) : 9.7 mm
- Dia (Barrel) : 11.5 mm
- Dia (Cap) : 14.5 mm
- Weight (Capped) : 20 g
- Weight (Uncapped) : 12 g
Pen is very ergonomic. I absolutely love this pen because of the grip and balance.
NIB & INK FILLING MECHANISM: 4.5/5
Now comes the best part for which the pen was bought irrespective of the colour and by the way this colour has really grown on me. It looks so decent and professional. Well the pen comes in various nib widths, EF, F, SF, SFM, M, SM, FM, B, BB, MS, & C but the I am here using Music (MS) nib which has 3 tines. The friction fit nib is #5, 14 K Gold nib and writes amazingly soft and wet. I would say it writes fairly wet on higher medium side. The nib offers amazing and precise line variation . Its actually a kind of very wet stub and thus it helps in shading a lot. Even this black ink shades a little bit. It suits my script writing very well.
Writing cursive with the nib gives you a feedback but by no means it is scratchy. Feed is made of plastic. When first I inked this pen it used to get dry but after flushing the pen its a loveliest wet stubby pen I have. Ink just dries at 25 sec mark.
The pen actually came only with black ink cartridge so had to purchase the converter separately. It actually takes all the Pilot proprietary converters , CON 20, CON 50, CON 70 and also Pilot cartridges. I like CON 50 because its easy to fill and clean and also I like its small ink capacity because I like changing inks.
The pen can not be used as eyedropper because of metal tenon underneath the grip section which accepts the cartridge or converter.
I have enjoyed writing every single letter with this pen. Below are the images of my handwritten review containing ink drying times and writing samples:
The pen is no nonsense , classic looking pen. And at 82 USD shipped via EMS from Japanto India in 5 days, its terrific value for money. Cant beat that. Lot of retailer are selling it at 160 USD. So buying via Rakuten really helped. I recommend this to all the fountain pen users who like using stub nibs. Must buy.
What I Like:
- Classic Design
- Superb Finish & very well detailed
- Ergonomic Size & Wonderful Balance
- Beautiful 14K wet Nib
- Better than many higher priced pens
- Complete Value for money
What I don’t Like:
- Material quality is same as Pilot 78G
- Proprietary Converter and Cartridges.