Thursday, July 12, 2012

Oh, we’re halfway there- Woah, livin’ on a Prera

You have no idea how long I’ve waited to actually get one of these pens, JUST so I could review it and use that title. Yeah, I’m totally lame.

But that’s beside the point! It’s a pen review! Woohoo!

Truthfully, this really is a pen I’ve had my eye on for a long time, but I’d always hesitated to take the plunge. When it comes to fountain pens, I’m generally of the opinion that wetter/broader is better. Having recently tinkered with many of my own nibs, I was lacking pens that would play well with crappy paper. In other words, I needed a more narrow, drier nib, but I didn’t want to sacrifice a smooth ride. Luckily for me, the Pilot Prera delivers.


This is a nice pen. It’s small and light, but it doesn’t feel totally cheap. If a TWSBI 540 were a tank, this would be Toyota of some sort, but that doesn’t mean it can’t hold its own. It feels cheaper or less sturdy than other pens of the same price point (around $55 US), but feels well made enough that I don’t think it needs special care. The lid snaps shut with a very satisfying click, and the clip seems solid. The supplied converter (hooray for that!!!) looks to have a miniscule capacity, so I just refilled an empty cart I had for my Pilot Plumix.

The nib:

It’s a “Medium” by Japanese/Asian standards, which means it’s more like a Western “Fine”… It’s also darn smooth for such a fine nib. It doesn’t disappoint, and I’m so very glad. It’s wet enough to let shading inks do their thing, but not so much that I would call it a “firehose.” I think that this pens manages to successfully walk the tight rope between crap-paper friendly and smooth-nib approved. Of course, we all know much of that depends on other factors, like the ink.

Comparing nib sizes, this is probably the finest one in my stable, save perhaps for an Esterbrook 9556 that’s scratchy.


It’s small, but not to the point of being impractical. Think of the typical “oh it’s so cute and little” appeal, but without losing function. It’s very lightweight, and I think it would make a good purse pen, or planner pen. I like that this is not a thin pen, which one often finds with smaller offerings. Kudos to Pilot for keeping a practical circumference. In the photos, I’ve placed it next to a Pilot Varsity and a Lamy Safari for comparison.

Extra shots:

Verdict and final words:

If this pen serves me well in the long run, I’d really like to get some of the solid color models, which I actually prefer the look of. If you want a cute, narrow nibbed but nice pen, consider this one.

This pen came from Amazon (via Marketfair Stationery, aka Goldspot Pens). The shipping was slow due to an “inventory discrepancy”… but in the end it got here, so I can’t whinge too much.

Lastly, the procurement of this pen was due to a birthday gift card, from a very special friend. Gratitude and thanks to her, I totally love it!!!

Edited to add- Nib comparison to Pilot Petit1 Fine:


  1. Great review! Thanks for posting so many pics, and just when I was wondering how this stacked up to the Safari in terms of size, there it was. Thank you. Great writing samples, too. Prera appears to put down a much finer line than Varsity, no? The title of this little number made me laugh. Very clever! Glad you are enjoying your new purchase! Keep up the good work!

    1. I do what I can, ;-). Glad to be helpful!

    2. P.S.- Yes, it is finer than the Varsity. I'll have to ink up a Petit1 soon and compare the nib width there (they are marked F)... But I want to say that it might be finer than those too. In just comparing the two by looks, the Petit1 seems just a skosh wider.

  2. Great review, Shay! You have the prettiest handwriting, and that Kelly Green just looks amazing. I have an older style Prera in (surprise, surprise) an XF and I really love it.

    1. If the writing looks nice, it is from emulating your style, Meghan! I really couldn't be happier with the pen, it is exactly what I wanted it to be. What a great gift! :-D

  3. I am so enamored of your handwriting!! Just gorgeous!! And the inks are lovely!

  4. Hello. Nice to meet you. I'm Kota from Japan. ^^/ Wooow, nice and informative blog you have! I'm a member of The Fountain Pen Network. And I have my own YouTube channel about fountain pens, organizers, film cameras, and so on. If you have time, please take a look at the videos. I hope you'll enjoy watching them! I'm looking forward to your new post!! Have a good day. Kota Adachi

  5. May I ask what ink did you use with pilot petit 1?

  6. I have had a Prera for a while and I fully endorse your review. Thank you.