Earlier in the year I reviewed my first Pilot fountain pen, the Pilot Knight. I mentioned in that post that I had another Pilot fountain pen that I was using at the time, which is what I will be talking about today. The Pilot Prera had been on my wish-list since I had started really getting into fountain pens, I've always been a big fan of demonstrator models and the fact Pilot had designed something that had the overall look of a demonstrator but with some colour really appealed to me!
The Prera is available in two different styles, one made of an opaque acrylic called 'classic' and a demonstrator model with splashes of colour in the finials of the pen. In total there are 16 different colours and styles to choose from, there is bound to be a combination that suits everyone's taste. I went for 'clear light blue', with a F alloy nib.
I was slightly disappointed with an aspect of the demonstrator models, the design of the cap. Part of the seal on the cap includes a white insert which covers the nib while the pen is closed. This isn't such an issue from an aesthetic point of view but more of a slight design flaw.
I have discovered that this white insert isn't completely sealed to the cap. After having my Prera carried around for a short journey I noticed that some ink had got in between the white section and the cap. You may be able to see this in the photographs. This happens because when the pen is moved or shaken excessively, ink can sometimes escape the nib. Luckily I had inked this up with a blue that matched that of the coloured finials. For me it isn't a huge problem that will stop me from using the pen but it may bother some people. After some research and help from a friend I came across a video made by Brian of Goulet Pens, he demonstrates this issue in more detail and shows a solution for dismantling the cap, making it easy to clean that section out fully. I'm yet to try this but it looks like a really simple fix.
Now on to the good points of this pen, which is practically everything else. In all honesty that is the only bad point I have about the Prera. It feels good in hand, writes beautifully and is the perfect size for me. It has become my go-to out of my fountain pen collection.
The cap has the most satisfying snap closure I have ever used. Opening and closing this pen is really so much fun, the sound and feel of the crystal clear acrylic and metal sections is just amazing. But I guess that's what distinguishes me as a nerdy pen addict rather than just a pen enthusiast!
I would classify this as a pocket sized pen, 12cm when capped and only 10.75cm when uncapped, it's really easy to just throw this in a pocket and go. Especially with it being so lightweight at roughly 0.6oz. Even though it is quite a short pen I don't find it uncomfortable to use at all, when writing with the pen just uncapped I can still hold and write without any problems. The Prera is post-able, extending the pen to 13.5cm and turning it almost into a full size pen. Although some may find that it becomes a tiny bit unbalanced when posted, the clip adds a little extra weight on the end that just throws it off. It doesn't bother me in the slightest but everybody is unique when it comes to how they like their pen to be balanced.
With this being a Japanese pen you expect their nib sizes to be smaller than most other brands, I decided on an F, which I have really been loving. In comparison it's slightly smaller than a Lamy EF nib but surprisingly it isn't scratchy at all. I wouldn't describe it as the smoothest nib on the planet, as there is some resistance depending on what ink you're using with it, but I've found it to be an enjoyable experience whether jotting down quick notes or writing longer pieces.
I was on the fence about picking up a Prera for a while, partly because I couldn't decide which colour to chose, but also because the price is in between that of a budget pen and a high end, but having used this pen almost non stop for the last 3 to 4 months I'm really glad I finally made the order. With a $70 RRP it's not a pen to just purchase on impulse. Although considering the build quality and writing experience I believe it's a great value, and if you shop around you can find a great price. I purchased mine from JetPens, it came supplied with a black ink cartridge and a Pilot converter.
Thanks for reading!