Posted in Pens, Reviews

Pilot Prera

Pilot is the largest pen manufacturer in Japan. Manufacturing the majority of their pens in Japan, France, and the US. In 1963, Pilot entered the fountain pen market with the introduction of the Capless. Unlike other fountain pens, the Pilot Capless featured a fully retractable nib. The Capless was reintroduced as the Vanishing Point in 1972.

Unlike other fountain pens, the Pilot Capless featured a fully retractable nib. The Capless was reintroduced as the Vanishing Point in 1972.

Pilot Namiki Capless

Sorry, I took you down this rabbit hole. I had to include a couple pictures of a Pilot Namiki Capless. I’m totally into this design and the color. Now back to the Prera.

My Pen

I picked up a Pilot Prera Clear, also known as the Prera Iro-Ai with a medium calligraphy nib. It has a beautifully clean look that reminds me of a TWSBI. Oh and this is my first Japanese pen.

Pilot Prera Iro-Ai

The pen ships in a box with a clear hinged top. The pen is a demonstrator style (another first), providing visibility to the inner workings of the pen. The acrylic body is accented with tasteful pops of transparent color at each end (I choose amber, but you can get other colors). It is lightweight thus easy on the hand. The workmanship is impressive down to the smallest detail. When reseating the cap, there is a cushioned click as the cap finds home.

All the metalwork is chrome. The clip is attached to a blind cap, there are chrome rings at each end of the pen and a cap band. Another chrome band where the section and barrel meet and where the nib meets the section. The cap has a semi-translucent white liner and white printed design with the Prera logo above the cap band.

The pen came with a black ink cartridge and a pre-installed CON-40 converter. The converter has 4 tiny steel balls in it – I guess to keep the ink shaken not stirred. The barrel separates from the section after 4 complete turns. The transparent body lets you admire the ink and monitor the remaining ink levels. Personally, I thought it was cool admiring the ink within the section supplying the feed.

The nib is a steel medium calligraphy point. It is plain compared to some nibs – I think it looks like a Lamy. “Pilot” is laser etched on the nib, along with the type (CM in this case) and “Japan.” It is a straight tip nib, it is not oblique, measuring 1mm across.

Overall, the pen feels very well made, it is ergonomic, lightweight and the steel nib is thin enough that you can use the pen for everyday writing. And my favorite feature, the price. This pen is available for $30-$40 depending on the seller and nib.

Just Doodling

Vital Statistics

  • Capped length 120mm
  • Uncapped length 107mm
  • Barrel diameter 12mm
  • Cap diameter 13mm
  • Weighs in at 16g

Other Reviews


I'm a loser as my wife likes to tell me, I enjoy researching dead cousins and playing with fountain pens.

6 thoughts on “Pilot Prera

  1. Great review. I may get one later down the line. Seem to be a well liked make. Italic is becoming my fave style with a finer point. Nice quirky and well shaped lettering here by the way. Gives a great broad to narrow nib positioning example too. Love capital and lower case intermingled in a word. Funny how we can dip in and out of specific lettering styles with different nibs. Some nibs lead themselves down pathways of flourishing unique patterns. Some are basic and calming. Do what they say on the tin! Cheers for the insights.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for reading. The calligraphy nib lends itself to flamboyant writing styles that are not possible with a Fine point nib. Probably why I prefer a medium, oblique or calligraphy nib. Writing doesn’t have to be a chore, it can be an adventure.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. True. I wrote all the wedding invitations for a couple of friends once. They asked me and I said I would but only as a wedding present. They invited myself and my wife to the wedding. It was held an amazing place called Portmeirion here in Wales. The TV 1960s cult classic programme ‘The Prisoner’ was recorded there. Additionally they booked a room too for an overnight after wedding reception stay with a group of friends. Magical place at night. That is what a bit of flamboyance in our use of pen and ink can produce. An amazing lifelong memory. 😊 All the best.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s February 2023 and I’m just now seeing this post!
    The Pilot Prera must have been one of my first Pilot pens years ago. I adore that CM Nib!
    I’ve always assumed it mean “calligraphy medium” but anyway, I now have 5 Preras…all with the CM nib.
    It’s much nicer in my hand than a 1.1 nib. Yes, I have many other pens and nib sizes but still love my Preras.

    Liked by 1 person

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