Often overlooked for the 823, the Pilot Custom 912 provides one of the best writing experiences in the world. Where as Pilot's 823 is great in every department, the 912 aims to sit with the very elite writers with it's iconic nib and feed.
- Body Material: Resin
- Length capped: 13.9cm
- Length Uncapped: 12.4cm
- Length Posted: 15.8cm
- Weight: 24 grams
- Filling System: Cartridge & Converter
- Nib Material: 14 karat gold, rhodium-plated
The Aesthetics of the Pilot Custom 912
The main purpose of the Custom 912 is to be a showcase for what Pilot can produce in the writing department therefore they haven't put a lot of emphasis on an eye-catching aesthetic. Instead, they've opted for a very minimalistic and humble black design.
Pilot's 912 is presented in a classy black package with a transparent window on the top of it whilst the 912 itself lies on a comfortable velvet bed. Overall, for the price you're paying you would expect a satisfying unboxing experience and fortunately Pilot have not let you down.
The 912 sports a streamlined design and wears a glossy black tint. The flat ends, plain clip, plain cap ensure that this pen does not draw much attention to itself. As previously mentioned, the dagger shaped clip follows the minimalistic theme, featuring no decorations and sporting a standard tapered shape whilst like most Pilot pens, the other-wise plain cap features a band with an engravement stating the name of the pen and where it was produced.
On the flip side, the 912's rhodium trim does well to add abit of class to the pen. Similarly, once you remove the cap the 14 karat gold nib is shaped like a falcon and features a classy-looking engravement. Overall, Pilot have done quite well to walk the fine line between being minimalistic and being outright dull, in order to create a pen which looks as premium as it performs.
The Construction Quality of the Pilot Custom 912
As you would expect from such an expensive fountain pen, the Pilot Custom 912 is exceptionally well built. Every aspect of it feels sturdy and robust. Firstly, the resin-made body is buttery-smooth whilst also having a strong-feel to it. The sturdiness largely comes down to it's large size, the 912 measures in at 13.9cm whilst also being decently thick. Pilot have certainly paid attention to ensuring the pen maintains a premium look to it; the 912 picks up barely any scratches and scuffs in daily life, the scratches and scuffs it does pick up are far from prominent due to the texture of the pen. Similarly, despite wearing a glossy black colour, the 912 picks up barely any fingerprints in daily use.
Furthermore, both the cap and clip are well produced. The cap is a tight fit, thus you won't have to worry about it falling off in daily use and the ink is certainly not going to dry out with such a tight-fitting. The plain clip is securely attached to the body and does well to stay clipped to even the most awkward materials with it's decent flexibility. The metal section adds to the sturdy-feel that the 912 provides, it does well to balance being smooth whilst not being over slippery. Lastly, due to the nib being made of 14 karat gold, it has a great bounce to it whilst feeling strong and stable when writing.
The Ergonomics of the Pilot Custom 912
Despite it's measurements being on the bigger side, the Pilot's 912 is a fairly light pen, weighing in at 24 grams. This is largely down to the resin-made body. Due to it being so light, even after longer periods of writing the 912 doesn't feel heavy or tiring to write with. Furthermore, the pen's weight is well distributed along the pen; even when the cap is posted the 912 feels far from top heavy.
As previously mentioned, the pen is on the bigger side with a length of 13.9cm and a bigger than average circumference. Therefore, for those with smaller hands you may want to try and get a feel for the pen before purchasing. Other than it's large size, the pen feels exceptional to hold. The grip section is on the shorter side yet feels very comfortable due to it's buttery-smooth texture. Additionally, the nib is designed in a way that caters to left handers as much as right handers through allowing the writer to write at various angles.
The Writing Performance from Pilot's Custom 912
Simply put, the writing experience that the Pilot Custom 912 provides blows nearly every single fountain pen in the world out of the water. The whole purpose of this pen is to be a showcase for Pilot's special nibs and their ability to make some of the best pens available.
The Pilot Custom 912 sports a standard Falcon nib but can be swapped out for a range of speciality nibs such as the Stub, the Music, the Soft Fine and the Waverly nib for those who want to switch it up from time to time. The Falcon nib is a size 10, features a slit and is decorated with a few classy engravements.
The 14 karat gold, wing-shaped, Falcon nib that the 912 comes with could be the best flex-nib available today and undoubtedly the best flex-nib at this price range. The extremely fine nib is buttery-smooth and provides very little feedback; as you would expect, the nib shows no signs of hard-starting or skipping even after longer periods of writing. The 912 is wet enough to produce the cleanest and smoothest of lines whilst being dry enough for the ink to dry fairly rapidly. Furthermore, the gold nib offers a graceful bounce when writing, truly making it a delight to write with.
Due to its flexibility, the pressure you apply when writing dictate the line width that you produce; the possibilities are honestly endless. Additionally, the 912's feed consistently consistently ensures there's a great ink flow. This pen is great for those who like to experiment with different writing styles, are softer writers and can appreciate a great writing experience.
The Maintenance of the Pilot Custom 912
The 912 supports the use of both ink cartridges and the use of a converter. Fortunately, the 912 comes with a few cartridges and a converter so you can keep the fountain pen up and running for a while from the get-go. Furthermore, the converter holds a great amount of ink; even the heaviest users are going to get a lot of use out of it.
One major drawback to the Pilot Custom 912 is the difficulty in cleaning it, it's near impossible to thoroughly clean this pen due to ink getting into the nooks and cranny's of the converter. Furthermore, the process to dissemble and re-assemble this pen is very tedious; it's far from straightforward.
Value for Money & Conclusion
Currently priced around the £200 mark, the Pilot Custom 912 represents great value. For the same price, you're not going to find a fountain pen that writes as gracefully and elegantly as this. The 912 truly is one of the best writers Pilot have ever produced, every writing session is an absolute joy.