Posted in Pens, Reviews

Eco-T or Prera Iro-Ai

A couple years back I was looking to purchase my first demonstrator, either a TWSBI Eco-T or a Pilot Prera. Subsequently, I purchased both but a bright idea occurred to me – compare the two. Apparently, this was not an original idea – more on that in the reference material section.

Both pens should be considered entry-level fountain pens which are more than sufficient for me. I believe anyone can make a wonderful expensive pen. Impress me with a wonderful budget-friendly pen. The two pens are in the same price range and thus budget friendly. I did my due diligence and came across comments about TWSBI and quality issues, their customer service earned gold stars (meaning very helpful). The Pilot quality was great and has an impeccable history.

When I made the purchase I bought the Prera. Naturally, I searched until I found a good price. Granted at this price point a deal was insignificant but a “deal” is a deal.

The Prera has a snap-on cap with chrome accents (gotta accessorize), while the Eco-T has a screw-on cap that is off in 1 complete turn, and no chrome accents. The Eco-T is a significantly larger pen (don’t forget I have small hands and stubby fingers). The Prera included a Pilot CON-50 converter vs. the Eco-T piston filler. Some may say the converter is a deal breaker when the other choice is a piston filler but I can always remove the converter and use it in a future Pilot pen. Pilot converters are proprietary.

Both pens sport M nibs, as you can see the Pilot medium nib tip is finer. When put to the test, I found the Prera glides over paper while the Eco-T has a slight drag. Not that it is an issue, it is simply not as smooth as the Prera. Maybe a little TLC is in order.

The cap clips on both pens are chrome, Eco-T feels like it has better-staying strength while the Prera is less likely to bend to the left or right. Ignoring my fingerprint, the Prera clip appears far more refined. Both are flat-bottom pens and we know I have a preference for those.

In case you are wondering, the Prera is my fave but the Eco-T is equally impressive, just a little larger than I prefer. I’ve had nothing but good experiences with both.

Don’t Believe Me, See What Others Say

Posted in Pens, Reviews, Stories

It’s a new month, what’s in your pen cup?

I start the month rotating in a 1941 Parker vertically striped Duofold (button-filled model). She may be pretty but the filler is not working correctly preventing the ink sac from filling properly.

I rotated her out and decided to keep the Wing Sung 601 hooded demonstrator (a blatant Parker 51 knockoff) in the rotation.

The usual suspects have changed. I rotated out the Pilot Prera with the CM nib in favor of a Prera with a medium nib. The Wing Sung 601 is getting a workout and the Kaweco Student is still in rotation. All demonstrators this month.

For February I dug up a pen that hasn’t been in rotation since 2007. I pulled out a blue Waterman Philéas. For those not familiar, the pen is named after the Jules Verne character Phileas Fogg (Around the World in 80 Days)

A quick search of eBay for this pen, imagine the shock and horror when I saw the asking prices. Time for the reunion.

Did you miss any of the past month’s blog posts? Welp, here is your chance to catch up…

  • It’s a new month, what’s in your pen cup? Let’s see how I started January with a review of December. It’s a new month and time to shelve your current choice of pens in favor of new pens or those that may be long forgotten and feeling neglected. Also, let’s review how did the pens from last month fared? Also included is a recap of the month’s postings, Pen news, attempted murder by ink, and Jolabokaflod.
  • The (Wish) List 2023 A wish list can be for anything, from a birthday to a future home or (of course) a pen collection. As I stumble across pens that catch my eye but are not something I’m looking for, I add them to Evernote for reference in the future. Instead of a New Year’s resolution, I present my pen wish list….
  • Original Ink Cartridge… Created by a Pencil Co. The Waterman C/F was the pen that introduced modern plastic ink cartridges in 1953. But, did you know that ink cartridges were introduced 60 years prior by a pencil company?
  • #ThrowbackThursday From time to time when I’m feeling uninspired (or lazy) I will dig up a blast from yesteryear. In this flashback, I’m highlighting a Keystone pen I purchased.
  • A Christmas Miracle, nah just Dumb Luck Christmas Miracle, maybe it is just dumb luck. I stumbled upon a 70-year-old Conway Stewart pen and Pencil set in superb condition just in time for me to buy, and for my wife to gift to me.
  • Year of the Rabbit (how about the pen) So starts the year of the Rabbit. I thought I’d highlight the Chinese-sourced pens I own.
  • Majorelle Blue (Ink) by Any Other Name Have you ever seen the color of houses in Marrakech? It resonates with me. I searched for a pen ink by the name “Moroccan Blue,” “Marrakech Blue,” or “Majorelle Blue” to no avail. Then I stumbled upon a post on FPN of a blue ink so intense as to glaze upon it “hurt” the eyes of the reader. Wanta know what I found?

In the News

Again, absolutely nothing exciting happened in the world of pens last month. Then I found this heartwarming story…Little Afghan girl in Kabul selling pens to support her family. “If I bought them all would you be happy?” She smiled and said yes,” When a woman asks how much the pen costs, the little seller says 20 cents. She inquires if she may purchase all of the pens. The vendor agrees, and the woman pays her. “You paid me too much,” the girl complains. The woman then hands her a few more currency notes, then the little girl’s face brightens.

Sherlock Holmes Amongst Books to Enter Public Domain in 2023 “The long-running contested copyright dispute over Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s tales of a whipsmart detective — which has even ensnared Enola Holmes — will finally come to an end as the 1927 copyrights expiring Jan. 1 include Conan Doyle’s last Sherlock Holmes work.” Certain works by Ernest Hemingway, Louis Armstrong, and Laurel and Hardy can also legally be shared, performed, or sampled without permission or cost.

In case you are not familiar, today starts InCoWriMo. What’s that you ask? It is International Correspondence Writing Month. There is also a National version but why keep it to ourselves. So pull out your fancy stationery and fountain pens (don’t forget ink!) and write to someone whether they are near or far.

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

Posted in Pens, Stories

It’s a new month, what’s in your pen cup?

Geez I hate February, I was counting on those extra couple days to get some writing done and welp, they are missing.

For this month I grabbed a Pilot Prera with a medium calligraphy nib. It’s only 1mm across, honestly, an italic or oblique nib would have also been a nice choice. Inked it up with a De Atramentis Black-Red and toyed with it a bit. Loving the way it lays down letters.

I’ve been fighting with the indie ebonite pen, it was leaking. I applied more silicone grease which seemed to help significantly but only today I noticed ink leaking out around the feed….. I know, I know “good can be cheap but cheap is never good.”