Sunday, August 9, 2009

Review: The Pilot M90


Ever since Jetpens posted the Limited Edition Pilot M90 Stainless Steel Fountain Pens on their website, I was extremely tempted to click "buy".  I'm a sucker for ultra-sleek, elegant pens; among my favorites are the Ohto Fine Ceramic Rollerball and Pilot Duo Color Cavalier, to give you an idea. But the hefty $180 price tag was enough to make me shy away.  I know I can have pretty expensive taste, but I wasn't sure if I should take the plunge with the M90.  However, my girlfriend knew how much I was into that pen (probably because every time she saw me on the Jetpens website, it was open to the M90)  and, before I could do anything about it, she went and bought me the M90 with a medium point nib.

It arrived promptly (Jetpens is always fast and reliable!) and in a large box instead of the usual Jetpens package.  Inside was a sleek black box that contained the pen.  However, upon opening the box, the cutout of foam where the pen was supposed to be was empty!  Minor panic attack!  No wait, it seems the pen had slightly shifted during transit and was just nestled under the foam.  Phew - crisis averted! 


In hand, the pen surely is stunning.  The design is ultra sleek.  The no-frills approach is enhanced by the tiny "M90" inscribed on the top of the cap.  The entire pen is brushed stainless steel.  The coolest feature, I think, is the way the body flows seamlessly into the nib; a design so unique, I’ve never seen anything quite like it.  Adorned atop the cap is a blue gem that accents the pen and it gives the pen the perfect amount of flare.  



Of course, I have yet to touch on perhaps the most important aspect of a fountain pen.  How does it write?  Albeit with my limited experience, I can say it is the smoothest fountain pen I’ve used.  (The Libelle Seabreeze a close second, followed by the Lamy Al-star/Vista)  The nib literally glides across my Clairefontaine notepad as if on a cushion of clouds.  I should say that, like any fountain pen, I think the ink really can make a difference in your writing experience.  Initially, I used the stock black ink cartridge that came with the M90, but I think the pen’s true potential was realized when I swapped it for the J. Herbin Eclat de Saphir.


The consistency of the line makes the M90 a great notetaking/writing fountain pen.  As a lefty, fountain pens (such as the Ohto Tasche) can give me trouble as often times I’m “pushing” the nib rather than “pulling”.  The M90 hasn’t given this lefty any problems.  Smearing or bleed-through on Clairefontaine and Rhodia notebooks aren't issues at all, although this probably has a lot to do with the ink as well.

I prefer a slightly broader nib and the medium point the pen produces is the perfect size for me.  It’s a nice and thick wet line.  As such, I’m not sure if the medium point would be ideal for users requiring finer detail.

If you can get past the premium price-tag, the M90 is certainly worth the money.  It has sharp looks and it's certainly a great writer.

13 comments:

  1. What a beauty - thanks for posting this!

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  2. It's a beautiful pen! Thank you for sharing.

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  3. this is a beautiful pen, unfortunately the price tag is a bit intimidating... now Christmas is coming... so who knows..

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  4. seemless -> seamless
    wider -> broader
    http://wiktionary.org/wiki/nice

    Now how about ye say beauty and beautiful in English...

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  5. Dowdyism - I have to admit, it was the guest review of the M90 on The Pen Addict that was the catalyst for getting the pen. Thanks!

    Gentian and Carmen - Thanks for reading!

    Lysdexia - Thank you for the grammar lesson!

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  6. Great review, I loved this pen from the first time I saw it on Jetpens, and I keep thinking...if I just ignore it, Ill forget about it and I wont want it any more...that plan is not working so well, especially not with a nice review like this one. ;)

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  7. Nice review. Good thing my collecting preferences do not include fountain pens yet, for it seems quite an expensive hobby.

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  8. ahh! this pen is beautiful! i myself want this pen with the fine nib. by the way, you have very neat, legible handwriting! :)

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  9. I too have an M90 and echo the comments about its sleek style. For your interest, look back in time to 1970 and the Parker T1. the first integrated nib/section pen (if you discount the quill!) a standard sized pen made in Parkers Newhaven, England factory from Titanium. With gold clip and cap band (a la 'flighter') it was a very impressive pen, with a tiny screw beneath the nib that allowed the user to alter the nib width! Sadly, Parker halted production after 1 year as, unused to using titanium, they wrecked too many machine tools and converted the desine to stainless steel and caled it the Parker 50 or Falcon. Shortly afterwards, Pilot/Namiki produced the Pilot Myu 701 which was almost identical to the Parker 50 in design except it had an elongated cap and short barrel - giving astandard pen in use but a very short pen when closed. Pilot had done a similar re-working when they produced the capless Vanishing Point in 1964 search for the 'Pullman Pen' by Meteor of France circa 1932!

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  10. Wonderful advice of a converter fountain pen.Does come with a stylus, or do I buy it separately.

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  11. Hi! You are very awesome! Now you make it easy for me to understand and implement the concept. marvelous work done.

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  12. Now that you've had the m90 for a few years, any interest in selling it? If so, please contact me. Thanks!

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