A Complete Guide to the Pilot Metropolitan Converter Fountain Pen
pilot metropolitan converter

Does the idea of owning a good old fashioned fountain pen bring elegance and exclusivity to your mind? They used to be a luxury reserved for the rich and elite. However, you’ll be happy to know that this is no longer the case. 

Luckily for pen and writing enthusiasts, fountain pens have become quite accessible and easy to afford. Amongst the many fountain pens available today, one of the most sought-after is the Pilot Metropolitan Converter Fountain Pen. 

So, without further delay, let’s gander over some of the finest Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen collections available for you to choose from. 

Pilot Metropolitan Converter Fountain Pen

1. PILOT Metropolitan Classic Black Barrel Fountain Pen, With Medium Nib

When it comes to buying a fountain pen to meet your daily writing needs, the Pilot Metropolitan Classic Black Barrel Fountain Pen is no slouch. 

The lustrous signature-styled brass barrel body is shaped like a cigar with a matte finish and has a patterned band just below the cap. This extraordinary writing equipment has won the hearts of many writing aficionados by offering a superb writing experience at an affordable price. 

Weighing merely 0.8 ounces, the Pilot Metropolitan Converter Fountain Pen is quite durable and can be easily carried around in your day-to-day backpack without worrying about any damage.

While the medium-sized nib, with its slightly thicker lines, may not be ideal for the fine Japanese style of writing, the ink doesn’t get blotchy (like with many other fountain pens). 

The Classic Black Barrel Fountain Pen grip is made of resin to provide support and protect from slipping even if you have been writing for a while or your hands are sweaty. It also has a step-like pattern towards the rear end of the body, in the grip section. An exposed silver section provides space for the cap to move down when pressed to move the lead.

Moreover, the Pilot Metropolitan Classic Black Barrel Fountain Pen comes with a squeeze converter so you can simply use bottled ink instead of fussing over cartridges. Whether you are a first-time fountain pen user or looking for one that withstands your daily grind, the Pilot Metropolitan Classic Black Barrel Fountain Pen is definitely worth looking into.

Product Specifications:

  • Brand: Pilot Metropolitan
  • Size: 0.8 ounce
  • Model Number: 91107
  • Cartridge or Converter: Converter
  • Color: Black Barrel
  • Material: Brass
  • Nib/Point Type: Medium
  • Ink Color: Black

What we like:

  • Fine quality at an economical price
  • A great choice for beginners
  • Durable and can easily be carried around without sustaining damage
  • Extra support grip protects from slipping
  • Great balance while writing both posted and un-posted
  • Comes with a squeeze converter and a black ink cartridge

What we don’t like:

  • Steel, medium-sized nib is somewhat stiff and lacks flexibility
  • Can write up to 12 pages only

2. PILOT Metropolitan Classic Silver Barrel Fountain Pen, With Medium Nib

Like the Classic Black Barrel, the Pilot Metropolitan Classic Silver Barrel Fountain Pen is also made of sleek brass material but weighs slightly heavier at 3.52 ounces. The nib is also slightly larger, so those with smaller handwriting might consider sizing down to a smaller nib point. 

While the Classic Silver weighs more than the Black Barrel, the overall writing experience is practically effortless. The ink flows beautifully as if by magic. Also, there’s no drag like you might find with ballpoints and felt pens.

As far as the filling goes, the pen comes with a converter and one ink cartridge. Changing the converter to an ink cartridge is relatively simple even for a novice. The choice mostly depends on the writer’s preference of which medium they are more comfortable with. Either way, there is no blotching of ink or leakage complaints.

Aesthetically speaking, the elegance of the Classic Silver Barrel Fountain Pen and the minimalist design screams class with a chic velvet box to give it the finishing touches. 

The durability factor is similar to the Classic Black Barrel, with the snap-on cap staying put. The pen itself is able to withstand any wear and tear but may be a little pricey when compared with others.

Product Specifications:

  • Brand: Pilot Metropolitan
  • Size: 3.52 ounce
  • Model Number: 91108
  • Cartridge or Converter: Both
  • Color: Silver Barrel
  • Material: Brass
  • Nib/Point Type: Medium
  • Ink Color: Black

What we like:

  • Economical compared to other brands
  • Great choice for beginners
  • Durable
  • Comes with both a converter and an ink cartridge
  • Perfect harmony of modern touch with a minimalist design

What we don’t like:

  • A little more expensive than other Pilot Metropolitan fountain pens
  • Low capacity squeeze converter 
  • Can write up to 12 pages only
  • More sensitive to being shaken or bumped than other feeds/nibs

3. PILOT Metropolitan Converter Fountain Pen in Classic Gold Barrel, Medium Nib

Don’t get hung up on its low cost. Pilot Metropolitan’s Classic Gold Barrel Fountain Pen looks cold and weighty but isn’t at all a burden to use when it’s time to write. 

The strikingly golden-colored brass barrel body, in the shape of a cigar, is enough to leave an impression on whoever sets their eyes on it. Though the Gold Barrel weighs less than the prior two pens, it has the same patterned band and matte finished cap. 

The Pilot Metropolitan Converter Fountain Pen in Classic Gold Barrel comes in both medium and fine nib and is as durable and resilient as the prior two pens. This makes it ideal for first-time fountain pen users.

The grip is made of resin to provide support and protection from slipping, even if your hands are sweaty after a long stretch of writing. The squeeze converter that holds the ink is rather small, and constant refill runs can be a bit inconvenient and messy. Still, given the price, Pilot Metropolitan’s Classic Gold Barrel Fountain Pen offers a great overall writing experience.

Product Specifications:

  • Brand: Pilot Metropolitan
  • Size: 0.353 ounce
  • Model Number: 91109
  • Cartridge or Converter: Converter
  • Color: Gold Barrel
  • Material: Brass
  • Nib/Point Type: Medium
  • Ink Color: Black

What we like:

  • Inexpensive
  • Great choice for beginners
  • Available in both fine and medium nib
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Unswerving performance
  • Ideal weight and balance
  • Includes both converter and ink cartridge

What we don’t like

  • Small converter
  • Inconvenient to refill repeatedly
  • Can write up to 12 pages only
  • Has a squeeze converter that can get a bit messy when refilling the ink

4. Pilot Metropolitan Retro Pop Red Fountain Pen 

Bearing the same eye catchy aesthetics as the Pilot Metropolitan Classic Black Barrel Fountain Pen, the Retro Pop Red Fountain Pen by Pilot is another high-quality piece of art from the Pilot brand. 

From the brass barrel body in bright red to the plastic inner top in black, coupled with the stainless steel clip on the cap, the pen is a great catch for those who prefer fountain pens with a serious, retro look. 

The flashy color, the lustrous matte finish, the patterned band below the cap, and the silver-colored clip make this Pilot Metropolitan Retro Pop Red Fountain Pen a truly unique tool.

Unlike the medium nibs in Pilot’s classic range, the Retro Pop red has an italic styled 1.0 mm steel stub nib. This nib is squared off but with more tipping material and rounded edges to give thick down strokes and thinner cross strokes. As a result, crisper, smoother writing.

While the nib adds a calligraphic flair to the fountain pen, it works fine to meet all your daily writing needs. As for the filling, like the classic range, the Retro Pop Red is also fitted with an aerometric squeeze converter bladder and comes accompanied by Pilot’s own ink cartridge in black.

Product Specifications:

  • Brand: Pilot Metropolitan
  • Size: 0.353 ounce
  • Model Number: P91411
  • Cartridge or Converter: Squeeze Converter
  • Color: Retro Red
  • Material: Brass, Stainless Steel and Alloy
  • Nib/Point Type: Stub 1.0mm nib
  • Ink Color: Black

What we like:

  • Inexpensive
  • Available in 1.0 mm steel stub nib
  • Great choice for beginners
  • Perfect harmony between a retro and a contemporary look
  • Caters to both your calligraphic as well as daily writing needs.
  • Ideal weight and balance
  • Includes both squeeze converter and ink cartridge

What we don’t like:

  • Small converter
  • Inconvenient to refill the bladder repeatedly
  • Has a squeeze converter that can get a bit messy when refilling ink
  • More sensitive to being shaken or bumped

Pilot Metropolitan Converter Fountain Pen Alternatives

It is no secret that Pilot offers some of the best fountain pens available today. However, if the above mentioned Pilot Metropolitan Series doesn’t resonate with what you had in mind, then here are a few Pilot fountain pen alternatives to consider:

Pilot Varsity Fountain Pens

Nicknamed the “beginner’s pen,” the Pilot Varsity Fountain Pens are an economical option made out of plastic with a stainless steel nib. These disposable pens hold a substantial amount of ink and last for quite a while before needing replacement. 

They are easy-to-maintain pens and an excellent choice if you have just started experimenting with fountain pens.

Pilot Explorer Fountain Pen

Another great alternative is the swanky Pilot Explorer Fountain Pen. Made out of plastic with a metallic finish, these lightweight refillable pens write well and are also great for drawing. However, many have questioned the aesthetics and think it gives a rather cheap look.

Pilot Custom Made Urushi Ebatite Fountain Pen

If you are willing to splurge a little extra, then this oversized ebonite fountain pen coated in urushi lacquer and an 18 karat gold nib is exactly what you need. The Pilot Custom Made Urushi Ebatite Fountain Pen is the holy grail of any pilot aficionado. Its light weight glides smoothly on paper, making it a dream pen for a Pilot Fountain Pen collector.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Fountain Pen

Purchasing a fountain pen isn’t as easy as one would think! After all, there are so many factors to consider besides pricing. However, if you are a first-time user looking to buy your first fountain pen, Pilot Metropolitan Converter Fountain Pens are a great place to start. 

Having said that, it is equally important to understand the components that go into making a great fountain pen.


The tip of the fountain pen is called a nib. Nibs come in different types and sizes, ranging from medium to fine. If you are looking for a fountain pen for writing, drawing, or calligraphy, you might opt for an extra fine nib. Alternatively, medium-sized nibs are more suitable for everyday writing. 

Apart from size, the material of the nib also matters in making a good fountain pen. A good nib is one that is both easy to use and replaceable. For this purpose, stainless steel is one of the most convenient options. 


Another essential factor you should consider is the build of your fountain pen. There are different materials, such as plastic, brass, aluminum, stainless steel, and rubber. Usually, it is a matter of preference, but brass and stainless steel materials are ideal, as they are strong and can resist wear and tear. 


The Cap is a vital part of your fountain pen. It helps in protecting the nib. The outer seal of the cap secures the pen to the cap and ensures that the ink doesn’t leak. Additionally, the outer seal of the cap also keeps the ink fresh. 


The barrel is a part of the pen which secures the ink bladder. This can be in the form of a cartridge or a converter. Barrels can be made up of any material, but usually, they are made of the same material as the pen. Ensure that the pen you choose has a barrel with good tensile strength — often, the barrels get dented when pens fall.


The size of the fountain pen plays into your preferences. You should choose a pen size which suits your hand the best. People with large hands find small pens uncomfortable, while people with small hands find large pens uncomfortable to write with. 

Many pens on the market have a similar writing style and spec list, but there is a difference in their size and, in turn, in their comfort level with different people. 

Filling Mechanism/Ink Reservoir

There are different types of pens having different filling methods. Most have relied on traditional ink filling methods, while newer, branded ones have moved to cartridge plugging. However, different filling methods are attributed to different uses. 

If you have to use your pen for an extended time, you should use the vacuum or piston filling method since it holds a greater amount of ink for longer sustained use. 

However, if you are using your pen for calligraphic or highlighting purposes, a cartridge or the converter filling mechanism will suit you. In addition, the cartridge and converter methods are more budget-friendly than the vacuum or piston filling method. 


One of the most overlooked factors when buying a fountain pen is if it is easily portable. If you intend to travel with your favorite pen on a flight, make sure that it will not leak. Always keep your fountain pen’s bladder empty or half filled, and secure your pen in a case to prevent it from any potential mess. 

Converter or Cartridge – Which Is Better for Your Fountain Pen?

Depending on the model, fountain pen ink can be filled in a number of ways. So, if you are new to using fountain pens or are unfamiliar with the realms of it, here’s a detailed distinction between a converter and a cartridge ink filling system to help you choose one which best caters to your individual needs.

What Is a Converter?

Converters are a type of filling bladder inside fountain pens where ink is stored. These are fitted into the pen. The ink is drawn up via the nib and fed from an ink container instead of using an ink cartridge. The ink reservoir of converters is less than that of pens with built-in filling systems, which may need more refills if you write often. 

Two Types of Converters

Ink converters for fountain pens may be found in a variety of shapes and sizes. Listed below are the two most common ink converters.

1. Piston Converter

The most popular kind of ink converter is the piston ink converter. The user twists the button at the bottom of the converter to get it to function. As the piston rises and falls, a vacuum is created, allowing for the ink to be drawn into the pen.

2. Squeeze converter

The design of squeeze converters predates that of piston converters, and their operation is straightforward. Essentially, once air has been released, a vacuum pulls the ink into the pen.

How to Fill the Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen With a Squeeze Converter:

This particular sort of converter is equipped with a bladder that must be compressed. When the suction is turned off, the ink is drawn inside it.

Simple Steps:

  1. Place your fingers on the ink bladder inside the fountain pen. Now, gently pinch and release the pouch or sack.
  2. The ink will be drawn into the converter as a result of the vacuum generated by repeated application.

How to Fill the Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen with a Piston Converter

Inside the converter, a piston is used to pull ink from the cartridges. A piston is pushed or pulled into and out of the converter in order to power certain models of these converters. Others use a screw to move the piston in and out of the converter as you crank the screw.

Simple Steps:

  1. Turning the knob counterclockwise will lower the piston and allow you to evacuate air from the pen. It is common to see air bubbles during this process.
  2. In order to pull ink into the converter, raise the piston by turning the knob in the opposite direction.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Converters

Advantages of Converters

  • They are more environmentally friendly than cartridges.
  • Converters are compatible with a wide range of cartridge-pen models.
  • Several bottle inks can be used with converters.
  • Because the feeding and nib are not linked to any other components, pens that employ converters are very simple to sterilize.
  • They are generally not costly, although they are often not included in the price of the pen.

Disadvantages of Converters

  • Due to the fact that many converters are made to specific specifications, they cannot all be used interchangeably. Check to see whether the pen and converter are compatible.
  • The ink capacity of converters is lower than that of bigger cartridges, and many only store half the amount of ink that a larger cartridge holds.
  • Acclimating to the technique may be a little messy, and there’s the extra danger of spilling an entire ink bottle!
  • It is more probable that a converter mechanism will need to be replaced sooner than a built-in filling mechanism.

What is a Cartridge?

As opposed to converters, fountain pen ink can also be stored in little tubes called cartridges. Here, a ball is pushed into the ink tube when a cartridge is inserted, allowing the ink to flow through the fountain pen. 

Ink cartridges are used in the majority of current fountain pens, although an ink converter is also an option in some. Since the cartridges’ introduction, few modifications have been made to the original design.

How Do You Fill the Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen With a Cartridge?

Many individuals purchase new ink cartridges when the ink in their fountain pens runs out. However, they are also more costly than bottled inks, and much more wasteful. You’ll also be restricted to a narrower selection of colors compared to those available with bottled inks.

Because most fountain pen ink cartridges are constructed from non-recyclable plastic, you’re contributing to landfill waste every time you refill your ink. On the other hand, fountain pens are among the marketplace’s most environmentally friendly writing implements. 

The fact that they are refillable implies that they may last for years, perhaps decades, if used properly. Refilling your fountain pen ink cartridges is a great way to extend the life of your environmentally-friendly fountain pen.

Here is how you can fill a Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen with a cartridge:

  1. A used ink cartridge should be thoroughly cleaned before moving on to the next step. When you run out of ink, flush the cartridge out immediately.
  2. Slowly remove the ink cartridge’s contents using a syringe and warm water.
  3. You’ll get ink all over the place if you use too much water while filling the cartridge.
  4. Draw ink into the syringe after opening the ink bottle.
  5. Slowly fill the empty ink cartridge by holding the open end upright.
  6. Ink will not run and make a mess if you keep the ink cartridge upright.
  7. Remember that a reused ink cartridge could leak ink since the original seal has been broken.
  8. Reinstall the fountain pen’s ink cartridge right away.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Ink Cartridges

Advantages of Cartridges

  • Cartridge pens are very convenient due to the fact that the ink is already contained inside the cartridge. Thus, there is no need to worry about spilling any ink on your hands.
  • Due to the fact that cartridges are portable, they provide a level of convenience that makes them a fantastic option for those who need ink when they are on the go.

Disadvantages of Cartridges

  • The fact that many companies employ proprietary cartridges that are incompatible with other brands is a drawback to cartridges. This might restrict the number of options available to the consumer.
  • Because bottled ink has become so versatile in recent years, using cartridges may be seen as a way to restrict the diverse range of alternatives that are made available by bottled ink. 
  • Cartridges are disposable, so they are not as kind to the environment as some of the other refill methods. Although it is possible to refill cartridges at home with a steady hand, doing so cannot be done indefinitely since the quality of the refilled cartridges will deteriorate with time.
  • Finally, compared to alternative techniques, cartridges have a lower capacity for holding ink.

When compared with one another, converters for fountain pens are superior to cartridges for several reasons. You have access to an infinite variety of color inks to choose from when refilling your pen with a converter. Also, converters are more environmental friendly than cartridges since you don’t have to discard them after every use. 

Converters are also less expensive, and since the ink may be poured into the fountain pen from a bottle, you have the flexibility to utilize whatever inks are your favorites. 

In the time that it takes you to purchase one package after another of throwaway ink cartridges that last only a few months, you might have accumulated a whole set of ink bottles that are reasonably priced and would have lasted you several years.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How are fountain pens different from other pens?

Fountain pens are pens with a wing-like nib. On the other hand, other pens like rollerballs and ballpoints are quite a bit cheaper. Rollerballs use gel ink, while ballpoints tend to have a spinning ball instead of a nib and use a quick drying ink.

Are Pilot Metropolitan fountain pens made in the United States?

No, the Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pens are made in China.

Does the Pilot Metropolitan fountain pen have a converter or do I have to refill cartridges? 

The Pilot Metropolitan Fountain pen can be used with either a converter or cartridges.

Why do some of the Pilot Metropolitan Fountain pens leak?

Ideally, the nib of any fountain pen is supposed to be kept pointed upwards when not in use, in order to avoid any leak or spill.

What is a barrel?

A barrel is the part of the pen which secures the cartridge or the ink sac. Barrels can be made up of any material, but usually, they are made up of the same material as the pen

What size fountain pen nib should I get?

While choosing a nib that best caters to your personal style of writing is optimal, when shopping for the right fountain pen nib, the standard medium point nib is the safest option.

Which fountain pen is good for beginners?

The Pilot Metropolitan fountain pen is one of the most widely preferred fountain pens for beginners.

Can you use a fountain pen every day?

Yes, you can get a durable fountain pen to cater to your everyday use.

What kind of converter is used in the Pilot Metropolitan fountain pen?

Pilot Metropolitan pens use proprietary squeeze converters and black ink cartridges. 

Any other company’s cartridges or converters won’t fit in it. 

Is Pilot Metropolitan Converter fountain pen a luxury pen?

The Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen does not use any handmade component. It is made out of brass and prides itself on being affordable. It should not be considered as a luxury pen.

In Conclusion

Remember: a good fountain pen is one that not only radiates class but also gives a pleasurable and a satisfying writing experience. When you set out to shop, you’ll probably find a wide variety of fountain pens in different shapes, sizes and price ranges. The idea is to find one that best meets your individual needs.’

Luckily, these cigar-shaped Pilot Metropolitan converter fountain pens offer a contemporary look in a range of colors, and a consistent ink flow, sure to excite any fountain pen enthusiast. What’s even better is the economical price range, making it an excellent option for beginners and cost-conscious buyers. 

So go ahead and hop on the fountain pen bandwagon today to make your writing experience even more memorable. Good luck!


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