Review: Pilot Custom Heritage 92

The Numbers:
Weight: 21g
Length (capped): 135mm
Length (uncapped): 121mm
Price: USD$220 from Pen Chalet
Body Material: Acrylic
Nib Material: 14K gold
Filling Mechanism: Piston
Colours: Clear, (Orange, Smoke and Blue Japan only)

Intro:
I wasn’t expecting to be an owner of the Pilot Custom Heritage 92 but I spotted one listed for sale on the local pen group. It was a great price so I grabbed it without hesitation. The main reason I sprung for the pen was the orange barrel. Now I have a matching set of orange Pilot Custom 74 and Custom Heritage 92. How could I say no to that?

Packaging:
The pen comes in a regular black plastic clamshell box that Pilot regularly packs their pen in. Inside is nothing fancy, just an insert with a felt-like texture and an elastic band to secure the pen to the insert.

Performance:
The Pilot Custom Heritage 92 is a light weight pen with flat ends. It is a clear orange mostly, accented with a smoke grey at the top of the cap and the piston knob. Together with a silver clip and centre band, this is one stylish looking pen. Though I’ve complained about the “boring-ness” of Pilot fountain pens, I love the way the Pilot Custom Heritage 92 looks.

Holding it in the hand, I found it light and just the right length for me. It is balanced unposted but the cap can be posted if you prefer it that way. The cap posts deeply so the Pilot Custom Heritage 92 doesn’t end up overly long. Accidentally twisting the cap while it is posted wouldn’t result in your piston knob being turned at the same time.

Pilot fountain pens when it comes to the Custom or Custom Heritage series comes with 2 types of clips. The round tops have the clip with the blob at the end while the flat tops has the well… flat clip. Personally the flat clip is my preferred clip shape, I’ve never really warmed to the blob clip.

The cap twists easily and gets uncapped with 2 turns. Underneath is the #5 sized (Pilot size) 14k gold nib. The grip section is a lighter smoke grey acrylic. Comparing the acrylic used for the grip section, I found my Pilot Custom 74’s is darker and matches the top of the cap and end of the barrel better. The grip section is slightly tapered towards the nib and flares out just before it reached the nib. It might be a little shorter for people with larger hands but there is next to no step between the barrel and the grip so shifting your fingers higher up the barrel is no issue. The threads are also smooth and doesn’t hurt my fingers.

The Pilot Custom Heritage 92 is a piston filler fountain pen. That means it has a piston fitted inside the pen body. The knob at the end of the barrel twists to push or pull the piston up or down the length of the barrel. The piston mechanism operates smoothly. One thing to note though, Pilot uses a single seal piston rather than the double seal one that TWSBI uses. Logically, a double seal would have a better chance of preventing ink from back flowing into the piston mechanism but after a few months of use, the Pilot’s piston seal hasn’t failed me.

Given that this is a piston filler fountain pen, it might be a pain in the ass to clean the pen. Luckily, the nib and feed is friction fit so if you prefer cleaning or filling your pen without twisting the piston multiple times you can get access to the ink chamber by removing the nib and feed. Take care to grip both the nib and feed at the same time before pulling. This also mean you can nib swab between all your other #5 (Pilot size) Pilot nibs.

As for the writing experience, the F nib that came with the pen writes very smoothly. I love the way the 14K gold nib glides across the paper effortlessly. The line width is narrow enough for me to use wet inks without any problems of smudging. Pilot’s F nib is one of my favourite nibs out there.

Conclusion:
The Pilot Custom Heritage 92 is very much a workhorse fountain pen. Though it has larger ink capacity, it isn’t more than the Pilot Custom 823. Though it is an affordable piston filler fountain pen, it isn’t as cheap as a TWSBI is. However, the Pilot Custom Heritage 92 is an affordable gold nib piston filler fountain pen with a good rate of working well right out of the box. You can’t go wrong with a Pilot fountain pen and as the only piston filler fountain pen in their lineup, check it out before looking at other piston fillers with gold nibs that are more expensive.

Pros:

  • Piston filler
  • Smooth writing nib
  • Nib swap!

Cons:

  • None!

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Posted on November 11, 2016 and filed under review, Fountain Pen.