I found myself lost the other day in the depths of JetPens, wandering through various corridors. It seems that even though I could swear I’ve seen everything they offer, I can still find nooks and crannies of previously unseen goodies.
This time, I came across a Pilot fountain pen that I had never seen before. It was the Pilot Grance fountain pen ($137 from JetPens). I’ve known that Pilot offers a few amazing deals for mid-level fountain pens, but this was a special treat. A gold nib fountain pen!
Gold nib fountain pens are not necessarily for everyone. In fact, there was recently a great conversation about gold nibs versus steel nibs on an episode of The Pen Addict that touched on the pros and cons of nib materials (the question was asked by a listener and is near the end of the episode).
My personal preference swings between steel and gold, but I am always excited to find a great deal on a new gold-nibbed fountain pen – one that is at a lower cost than most others. Pilot also offers the E95S at a similar price ($135 at JetPens), but it is a rather small pocket pen that doesn’t usually appeal to those with larger hands.
The grip of the Grance is 9.5 mm, about the same as a Pilot Metropolitan. The weight of the Grance is also in-line with the Metropolitan, coming in at 25 grams to the Metro’s 27 grams. The posted Grance is about half an inch shorter than the posted Metropolitan, although the capped pens are nearly the same size. Again, like the Metropolitan, the Grance pen closes with a very satisfying snap.
However, the exterior of the Grance is quite different. It has a pearly finish that comes in white, pink, or light blue, each with black and gold accents.
The pen is long enough (for my hand) to be used unposted, but the balance is much nicer when posting it.
The Pilot Grance is offered with an extra-fine, fine, medium-fine or medium 14kt nib. The nib is a buttery smooth nib with a bit of springiness. A small amount of variation is present when writing with no pressure at all.
The nib is soft when writing with light pressure.
In longer writing sessions, using the Grance pen feels elegant and looks amazing, especially in the sunlight! I had no problem writing for several pages with the posted pen – the balance of the pen kept me from pressing harder on the page and the nib was absolutely perfectly tuned straight out of the box.
The pen comes in a plastic clamshell box with one black cartridge but no converter. It is a sad thing that no converter is included in a gold nib pen purchase, but it seems one way that some pen manufacturers are using to keep the retail prices down. A converter is available separately ($7.25 at JetPens), or it can be used with Pilot’s proprietary cartridges.
Overall, I would highly recommend this pen. At $137 for a gold nib, a post-able, snap-able, beautiful pen that writes smoothly out of the box, I think the Pilot Grance is one that you will treasure.