Review by Laura Cameron
In my quest to review more entry level fountain pens, I decided that next up on the review docket should be the Pilot Prera ($56 via Pen Chalet).
The Pilot Prera is a clear demonstrator pen that comes with a variety of color accents. I selected Pink, but models are available in Red, Light Blue, Dark Blue, Black, Light Green and Orange. The Prera is also available in solid color bodies of White, Vivid Pink, Lime, Royal Blue, Soft Blue and Yellow.
The body of the Prera is clear acrylic, with white detailing including the Prera logo. As I mentioned, the finial and end cap on the pen are available in transparent colored acrylic, and the remaining details (clips, rings) are chrome.
The Prera comes with a converter, as well as a few cartridges. It also has a steel nib in Fine or Medium. I selected Fine.
The Prera is a lightweight pen, coming in at a weight of 14g.
The Prera has a snap cap and the cap is postable. It is also rather short – a maximum of 5.3″ with the cap posted, and 4.9″ from body to nib tip.
In comparison to other pens, it is probably closest in size to the Sailor Pro-Gear Slim, and a decent amount shorter than Pilot’s other entry level model, the Pilot Metropolitan Pop.
Overall, I enjoyed testing the Prera. It wrote smoothly from the first fill. The nib was quite fine; it’s a Japanese nib so it is definitely finer than a Western fine nib. The pen was lightweight and the size is such that I think it would be a great every day carry pen. I do have to say that in terms of feel in my hand, I think I have a slight preference for the Pilot Metropolitan Pop, both because it is slightly longer and because the aluminum body is slightly weightier. I don’t usually post my pens, but I found the Prera too short and slightly awkward to use without posting the cap.
My biggest quandary in my review of the Pilot Prera is the price. The Pilot Prera pictured was generously sent to the Desk by Pen Chalet for the purposes of a review. Pen Chalet lists the retail price of the Prera as $70, and the sale price as $56. So I was entirely flummoxed when I googled the Pilot Prera and found it for sale at JetPens for $38. I make it a habit to support a variety of retailers, particularly those who support The Well-Appointed Desk, and I usually don’t quibble over a few dollars, but the difference between $70 and $38 is pretty stark, and frankly even the difference between $56 and $38 would buy me an additional Pilot Metropolitan Pop. I bring up these prices because I have to say that for $38 I think the Prera is a neat little pen that I would encourage people to try. But that I’m not sure I would be as encouraging at $56 or $70 given that I personally like the performance of my Pilot Metropolitan Pop just as much, and I like the feel better.
Laura is a tech editor, podcaster, knitter, spinner and recent pen addict. You can learn more about her knitting and tea adventures on her website, The Corner of Knit & Tea and can find her on Instagram as Fluffykira.