Saturday, January 29, 2011

Pilot Prera fountain pen review

I bought the Pilot Prera from Jetpens, along with a couple of inks and a bunch of other stuff. See my previous post titled 1st Jetpens haul. I fell in love with the Prera the moment I lay eyes on it. The Prera has such a premium look that it can easily fool one into thinking it costs a lot more than it does. All told, this fountain pen isn't too cheap either. If you also buy a converter (which I recommend because it allows you to easily experiment with various inks), it sets you back almost $50. But you know what? It is worth every penny.

Pilot Prera M nib

I wanted a very brightly colored fountain pen to use with an equally bright ink. So I got a yellow Prera and I'm using it with Noodler's Navajo Turquoise, which is a very vibrant and punchy blue, as you can see from the writing sample. Yellow and blue might not match but I love the combination.

Pilot Prera + Noodler's Navajo Turquoise

The Pilot Prera is a short and rather delicate looking pen and for that reason I always write with the cap posted. This gives it sufficient length, weight and balance to write comfortably.

The Prera can take 2 types of converter, both from Pilot: the CON-50 which is a piston-type converter, and the CON-20 which, apart from being cheaper, is also an aerometric design. Personally I prefer the action of a piston especially since I can see the remaining ink.

 Pilot Prera, posted, uncapped, showing converter

I struggled with whether I should get a medium nib or a fine one. In the end, I decided on an M nib because I knew that Japanese pens have finer pens than European ones. Oh, the Pilot Prera is Japanese in case you're wondering. It turns out that the M sized nib was a good choice. The thickness of the line is close to perfect for my needs.

Pilot Prera M nib

Moving on to the writing experience, the Pilot Prera is amazing. Right off the bat it became the smoothest fountain pen I've ever used, but then again, that's not saying much since I haven't had the chance to use high end pens before. The Prera glides effortlessly across the paper and it lays a thin but consistent line, never skipping or scratching. The ink flow is constant and it starts within a few seconds even after it's been uncapped for several minutes (like the time I was taking photos of it).

I've had the chance to use this pen with 2 different inks. The first ink was the included black cartridge. The ink itself was a very dark and saturated black so if you're thinking about using cartridges, I'd say go for it. The second ink that I'm using currently is Noodler's Navajo Turquoise. The Prera handles this ink with aplomb. It lays a thin and saturated line and the flow is excellent.

I mentioned a few paragraphs ago that I write with the cap posted. The cap itself has a very satisfying "click" sound when capping the pen and it posts nicely without scratching the body.

That is, then, the Pilot Prera: a very smooth writer, even on cheap photocopier paper, with premium looks and a decent price. The only mildly negative thing I could complain about is the fact that it doesn't include a converter and that the CON-50 converter is expensive compared to converters from other manufacturers.

Pilot Prera writing sample


  1. Great, thorough review! I've always liked the Prera but I am hesitant to buy it because I believe the nib is the exact same as the two 78g pens I already own. It's hard for me to justify spending 5x more on something that is essentially the same. That ink looks nice, looks almost more of a blue than a turquoise to me though.

  2. Thanks! Yes indeed, the nib and the feed are the same as the 78g. Thing is, I wasn't aware of the 78g until a few days ago and besides I haven't really seen it at any of the online stores I buy from.

    So yeah, the 78g is like a more affordable version of the Prera but if you'd like something more premium-looking, then the Prera is really nice. I'm so very tempted to buy other colors as well but I need to restrain myself :)

    The ink is actually turquoise but you can't really tell from that photo. This photo was meant to show the way the pen writes rather than the ink's properties. I am working on a review of the Navajo Turquiose though and hopefully you'll be able to discern the color better.

  3. Great review! Love the pen colour and ink you chose.

  4. Thanks for dropping by Gentian! I really really really love your art!

  5. Love your yellow Prera! Great ink color!

  6. That's a good review of Pilot Prera! I agree with what you said about Prera looking like a premium pen, and it's very easy to use. I have to say that the colors of the Prera pens are very nice, it's like I want to collect them all (but sadly I can't afford them all)! I own a lime-green Prera, but I use an F nib since I prefer it than the M nib.

  7. Thanks! The F must be really thin, a bit too much for me, but the lime green is another cool color that I like.

  8. Thanks! That's my biggest beef too with some fountain pens: for the price they don't include a converter.

    In the meantime I sold my Prera, not because I didn't like it - it's lovely - but because it wasn't getting much use.

    I would recommend a TWSBI if you can find it in your area. For $50-60 you will get an awesome piston filler.