Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen Review

Pilot Metropolitan

I had recently seen the Pilot Metropolitan pop up on JetPens but noticed that most of the color options had sold out immediately. Then I heard Brad of The Pen Addict Podcast discuss his rather blah reaction to it and his general aversion to all things gold. So… guess what I bought? Yup. The gold dot version of the Pilot Metropolitan ($14.50). Mostly, because it was the only one left on JetPens but also because I thought it might annoy Brad.

If gold is not your color either, the Pilot Metropolitan is also available in silver or black and the decoration in the middle can be plain, zigzag or dot in any of the colors, you’ll just have to wait until the other color options are back in stock.

Back to the Pilot Metropolitan. It has a soft metallic sheen on the body and a dot pattern just below the cap for added interest. The pen comes in nice packaging. If you wanted to gift this pen to a new fountain pen user, the packaging belies its humble price point. The pen comes with a Pilot ink cartridge and the older Pilot rubber bladder squeeze filler, it looks similar to the CON-20 but a little bit lower end. I went ahead and upgraded to the CON-50 converter ($8.25) but it still kept the whole pen purchase under $25.

The pen measures 5.5″ capped and about 5″ uncapped. Because of the conical shape, posting the cap seems a little awkward though it did fit, I’m not sure it would stay posted without repeated adjustments. If posting the cap on the end of your pen is an absolute must, this pen may not be for you.

Pilot Metropolitan nib close-up

The nib is a Japanese M which is about the same as a European F. When writing, it did seem a tad wider than my Kaweco F nibs but not enough to be considered a clearly wider nib. The nib has been worked into flat planes rather than a smooth arc which gives it a different look and its etched with a series of dashed lines. Its really quite a handsome nib.

Fountain Pen Weights

The Pilot Metropolitan, filled with a CON-50 and ink, and capped is 27gms, which makes it almost as weighty as the Lamy Studio. Unposted its 17gms, making it just a little lighter.

Pilot Metropolitan writing sample

When this pen hit the paper — that’s when the real magic happened. Wow, is it a smooth writer! It was comfortable and skated along the paper with little to no friction. Not as slick as some gel pens but it had no scratch at all. It was a lot more pleasing experience out of the package for me than I ever had with my Lamy AL Star.

Pilot Metropolitan writing comparison

I compared the Pilot Metropolitan to pens of similar nib size and price point. It is very comparable. To be honest, though, I would most likely compare the Metropolitan’s overall size and feel to an entry level Lamy and I’d favor the Metropolitan for writing enjoyment. Yes, the Lamy has a wider selection of nibs and a wider selection of barrel colors but if what you want is a classic looking pen with a M nib, this would be my first recommendation.

As of this review, JetPens is entirely sold out of the Pilot Metropolitan but Goulet Pens has some of the gold pens left.

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13 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Ana,
    I got my Metropolitan (a black version) last week. I think that for the price, it is possibly the best fountain pen available. It feels substantial in hand, and it writes as well as any pen I’ve recently worked with. The only reservation I have about the Metropolitan is the terrible converter, which is identical to the one for the earlier Pilot 78G. It is messy, inconsistent, and difficult to use. But the Metropolitan does offer the option of using Pilot cartridges, so the converter may not be an issue to most users. At half the price of a Safari, this is the pen I’d recommend to the average new user.

    Keep up the good work,

    Randy Schwartz

  2. I am a new FP user. Love the Metropolitan. It’s a conversation starter. I regularly use it to sign legal docs. I got stuck with a gold pen too, but I am happy about that now. Out of the box, I prefer it over the Lamy Safari’s I bought a few days ago.

  3. I got a Metropolitan a few weeks ago (I ordered it on Amazon). It’s my first “real” FP (my others are all disposable and under $5) and I love it. I went with the plain gold one. A lot of reviewers seem to dislike the gold, but I like it.

    I guess I need to get a different converter, though, because the one that came with it is intimidating.

  4. Own Parker, Lamy Nexx M , Faber Castel Basic, none of them writes as smooth as my Pilot Metropolitan. Lamy is the worst. Faber Castel is also very good but for the price Pilot M is outstanding

  5. I just got my metropolitan and after spending many times this on other fountains pens I have to say this is one of the best writers out of the box I have ever received, And at this price point it’s almost criminal. Ha!

  6. I just received my 4th Metropolitan (M nib) and as you can probably tell, I love this pen. It looks and writes like a much more expensive pen than it is. On one of my pens, I thought it was a tiny bit scratchy, so I wrote with it on some Mylar paper and got it sanded out. It is now as smooth as glass and a little wider; almost like a regular M nib. I didn’t do this on any of the other pens because they didn’t need it; they all write very smoothly. I also use this pen posted (I like all my pens posted) and it works beautifully. The cap sits securely while posted and has not given me any problems. Overall this pen is worth way more than $15 and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a useful pen that is easy to maintain. Oh, BTW: I did use the included bladder converter and don’t like it, so I am buying the other converter and I’m sure that will work better.

  7. I love the Metropolitan and wonder how such a good pen can be sold so cheaply. I bought two black versions (fine and medium) about two years ago, and my only complaint then was that the caps would not post securely. However, I recently purchased a silver fine from jetpens and it posts securely. Has Pilot listened to customer feedback and fixed this problem, or was I just lucky?

    1. I’ve bought four of the Metros; one was a rollerball, the rest were fountain pens. All four of mine post very securely; I use them posted only. So it’s probably not just a fluke! I’m very happy with all my Metros.

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