Pilot Vanishing Point Metallic in Mountain Blue: A Review
(With a handwritten review at the end)
My first Pilot Vanishing Point fountain pen was a Carbonesque Blue EF I bought from Amazon. I hated it. It hardly wrote. It was uncomfortable to hold. It was heavy. Eventually, I sold it. That was several years ago. I swore I would never buy another Vanishing Point again. But then the metallics came out, and I drooled over them, especially the Mountain Blue one. I have a thing for blue fountain pens.
Ignoring my inner voice, which was telling me to wait until Classic Fountain Pens had some in stock and I could have the nib ground and tuned, I jumped the gun and bought a Valley Green fine point from another vendor (one that doesn’t tune the nibs).
I decided on green because I was trying to break out of my blue pen rut. I ordered Caran d’Ache Delicate Green ink (see review here) to go with the pen. They matched perfectly. But the Valley Green VP wrote horribly. It was like writing on glue. It was such a disappointment after writing with wonderful nibs from Nakaya, Platinum, and Pelikan. So, I rinsed it out, packaged it up, and returned it.
Soon thereafter, Classic Fountain Pens got their metallic VPs in. This time, I did the right thing. I purchased the Mountain Blue (which is really the one I wanted) and chose a medium nib and had it ground to a “midi” (in between an italic and a stub). This grind has sort of become my standard nib. I wish now I had stuck with my original choice—a broad nib ground to a midi, since it would’ve given me more line variation. But, even so, this nib is butter smooth, and the ink flows out of it perfectly. No muddiness. No stuttering. Just wonderful, smooth magic.
The Mountain Blue VP is gorgeous. I love the shade of blue. It reminds me of some sort of adorable sports car. And the matte black accents complement the pen beautifully, making it look more stealthy than flashy. I no longer find the Vanishing Point unwieldy or too heavy. Over the years, I have grown to love bigger, heavier pens.
As with all Vanishing Points, you can use cartridges or the converter. I’m using the converter so I can decide which one out of my ridiculously large collection of blue inks this pen will wind up with. Currently, it is inked with Iroshizuku Shin-Kai, but it may need something brighter. Unfortunately, the Pilot VP converter holds a very small amount of ink, so I expect to be refilling it at frequent intervals. Fortunately, refilling it is a breeze, so it’s not that big of a deal.
The Pilot VP seems like the perfect work pen because of the click-to-write feature. I use fountain pens exclusively now—to write rough drafts, like this one; to grade; to mark attendance; to plan my To Dos for each day. So, the VP will definitely be in my regular rotation.
Appearance: 10/10. This pen is a cool, mountain blue. The metallic finish makes it stand out, and the black matte accents are the perfect complement.
Quality: 7/10. Don’t buy this pen with a stock nib. Buy it from a vendor that will tune the nib to your specifications and/or grind it. I have never gotten a stock VP nib that wrote well.
Value: 10/10. You get a really nice pen for $140 (retail). The Pilot VPs are solidly constructed and the engineering is amazing. Of course, if you want a nib that functions well, you’ll have to buy the VP from a vendor that will tune it for you. And if you want to have it ground, that adds to the cost.
Filling System: 7/10. The VP converter is really easy to fill. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t hold much ink.
Weight/Handling: 8/10. I still don’t much like the clip location, but it does keep your fingers from slipping. Although the VP isn’t a light pen, it balances nicely in the hand.
Usefulness: 10/10. The ability to have a click-to-write fountain pen is just great, especially if you are taking notes and have to stop and start writing quickly. Unscrewing and screwing a cap very quickly becomes annoying.
Durability: ?/10. We’ll have to wait and see. I worry a little about the matte nib grip and clip getting scratches. I’ve seen complaints about the black-matte VP getting scratched easily. And we’ll see how the metallic body fares. I expect it to be quite durable, but it might scratch as well.
Versatility: 10/10. One great thing about Vanishing Points is the nib mechanism can be switched out with any other VP mechanism. I don’t know which vendors sell the nib mechanisms separately, but you could get several different ones to use in the same pen.
Score: 62/70 (excluding durability).
Overall, I am very happy with my Mountain Blue VP with its specially ground nib. I am satisfied with my color choice, though I don’t think you can go wrong with any of the colors. I loved the Valley Green as well.