Pilot Custom Heritage 91



There was much talk in the boards some time back about this Pilot Custom Heritage 91 and I ordered one some weeks ago. I think I paid around £50 for it but I believe you can get it cheaper in eBay these days. Mine came direct from Japan, boxed in the usual way for pens nowadays and with one cartridge and no converter which I thought was a tad stingy of them. That’s really the only criticism of this pen that I will have. I’m really pleased with it. I hear tell that it’s not on sale in the USA – I don’t know why.

At 13.7 cm it’s a medium sized pen by today’s standards. Cap and barrel are made of black resin (what we used to call plastic in days gone by) which makes for quite a light pen at 17 g. The trim is nice, shiny rhodium. When you unscrew the cap, there is the nice, shiny rhodium plated nib. Why take a gold nib and plate it with something that looks quite like stainless steel? That doesn’t apply to this pen alone, of course. It’s the fashion of the day.  The clip is quite Pelikan-like.
Some reviewers have referred to this pen as semiflexible. It isn’t. It’s just a soft nib. With pressure one can wring some line variation out of it but I just enjoy the springiness which makes writing comfortable. I have seen the number five nib described as “small” but that’s just in comparison with today’s huge, spade-like nibs. It’s about the size of a Swan number three. It writes beautifully; adequately wet, no skipping or scratching, just some slight but positive feedback.
The pen is aesthetically understated and it’s hard to wax lyrical about such a subdued pen, yet it’s probably the best modern pen that I’ve tried. In fact, its only possible equal is the Capless by the same company. I’ll be keeping this one.




12 thoughts on “Pilot Custom Heritage 91

  1. Lovely little pen (in the series, only the 92 is smaller) and the Soft Fine (SF) nib is a good choice in my opinion, but I would have opted for the slightly larger SFM (Soft Fine Medium). Your 91/SF pen is assigned the Pilot Model No. FKVH-1MR-B-SF.

    I like the Custom Heritage series and have the larger 743 with a #15 (Pilot nomenclature) FA (Falcon) semi-flex nib, and the 823 vacuum filler with the #15 M nib. If the 743 had an Ebonite feed so it could keep up with the FA nib, it would be my perfect pen. GBP 50 is just about right for the 91, even at Internet prices direct from Japan which run around $72 USD plus shipping. In comparison the 743 runs about $165 USD.

    Inexplicably, Pilot doesn’t sell many higher-end pens in the U.S., and those they do sell are marked-up an outrageous amount. Another curious thing that frustrates users no-end is that Pilot refuses to sell the #15 FA nib in any pen but the 743 while the nib will fit perfectly in the 823 and 845 pens. When it comes to Marketing, Pilot is a strange company indeed.

    Here is a page with a nice comparison of the Pilot Custom Heritage series complete with pictures, and tables of weights/dimensions & nib sizes, although the nib size table is a bit dated (e.g., currently the 91 is available with the #5 EF, F, SM, FM, SFM, M, SM, B, & BM nibs):


    Best Regards, David

  2. Hello

    Excellent choice of nib, in an excellent choice of pen. Reliable, affordable and light.

    How do you feel the nib compares to the Platinum 3776 soft fine?

  3. Hello Deb,
    It was funny to find your review about the pen I just ordered a few days ago, with this same nib, and that I’m now patiently waiting for…(well, more or less).
    Thanks for your review and for your blog, it’s really interesting.

  4. Just thought I would let you know that your review brought this pen back on my radar and I decided to buy one in a S FM. I am SO impressed with this pen and wanted to thank you for your review of it. It amazes me to find such a well made, luscious to write with, classic pen for less than $100 by quite a bit!

  5. Actually, rhodium plating makes perfect sense. Rhodium, being a hard metal of platinum group protects the nib from micro-scratches (say, from glass bottle?) and corrosion (yes, gold can corrode too).

    1. What I said was about the aesthetics of the nib, not the metallurgy. It is very rare for gold nibs to become corroded anyway. I can say that with more than 10 years experience of dealing with vintage pens. I have never seen a corroded gold nib. From that point of view, the application of a rhodium layer really is not required.

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