Pen Review – Pilot MR (Retro Pop Collection)

In this review I am going to be taking a look at the Pilot MR fountain pen.

Pilot MR Retro Pop with presentation tin (Capped)
Pilot MR Retro Pop with presentation tin (Posted)

Before I start the review proper I want to briefly mention the name of this pen. Here in the UK and the European market the pen is known as the Pilot MR and will accept standard international cartridges and convertors. The same pen is also available in the North American market where it is known as the Pilot Metropolitan. The only difference between the MR and the Metropolitan is that the Metropolitan only accepts Pilot proprietary cartridges and convertors. Here in the UK the MR is only available with a medium nib option. No convertor is supplied with the pen but can be purchased separately. I have a Faber-Castell standard international convertor in mine and it fits and works well.

Pilot MR Retro Pop with a Standard International convertor fitted (available to purchase separately)

With that said, now lets take a look at the pen itself. As has been said many times before, the Pilot MR is an excellent starter fountain pen for those who are looking to explore what the wonderful world of fountain pens and ink has to offer, and of course I completely agree with this. It is an excellent starter pen providing great performance at a great price.

The pen which I have is part of the Retro Pop collection and there are four different design options and colour choices available to choose from, these are:

  • Light Green (Marble)
  • Orange (Flower)
  • Light Blue (Dots)
  • Violet (Ellipse)

My personal pen is the light blue version.

Here are the pens stats:


Material: Metal body / plastic section

Nib: Steel

Nib Options: Medium (UK Availability)

Filler Type: Cartridge/convertor – international standard (UK/European Pen)

Length (capped): 138.3mm / 5.44″

Length (uncapped): 125.3mm / 4.93″

Length (posted): 150.8mm / 5.93″

Barrel Diameter: 13.1mm / 0.51″

Section Diameter: 9.8mm / 0.38″

Cap Length: 56.6mm / 2.33′

Weight (Body + Cap): 26.8g (including convertor)

Weight (Cap): 10g

Weight (Body): 16.8g (including convertor)

(These weights and measurements were taken by myself and so may differ slightly from those published elsewhere)

The design of the pen is in the classic cigar shape which I actually really like. It has a satin like finish to the metal body with a chrome clip and a black plastic section. The metal construction of the pen gives it a nice weight in the hand.

Pilot MR Retro Pop (Capped)
Pilot MR Retro Pop (Posted)

The pen is very well constructed and feels solid.

Pens in the Retro Pop collection are available with the cap and barrel in one of the four colours previously mentioned and with four different pattern designs. These designs are featured on a band at the base of the barrel and give a modern feel to the classic shape which I think actually looks very smart.

Pilot MR Retro Pop (Uncapped)

The side of the clip has ‘Pilot’ on one side and ‘Japan’ on the other but they are small and unobtrusive. The base of the cap is printed with ‘Pilot Japan’. The clip has some spring to it.

Pilot MR Retro Pop Cap
Pilot MR Retro Pop Cap

It is a snap cap and does so very securely. It is also push to post and again it posts very securely, I have no worries about it coming loose whilst I am using the pen.

The pen is a nice size in the hand when posted and equally so when un-posted, it is comfortable to use either way. I prefer to write with the cap posted when I use this pen.

Pilot MR Retro Pop (Body & Cap)

The section is made from black plastic and there is a taper down to a flared rim. There is a small metal rim at the top of the section where the cap snaps on but this is smooth and should not cause any problems if you like to hold your pen higher up the section.

The nib, as stated at the start of the review, is only available as a medium point here in the UK. As this is a Japanese medium, it does run finer than what you would expect to find on a western nib, so this Japanese medium performs closer to what you might expect from a western fine nib.

Pilot MR Retro Pop Nib

The nib is steel and below the breather hole there is the text ‘Pilot <M> Japan’.

The performance of the nib is what makes this an exceptional pen for its price. It writes incredibly smoothly, it is an absolute joy to write with be it a short note or several long pages of text. I have never experienced any hard starts or skipping, it is completely dependable. I know this pen will give consistent performance every time I use it. It writes first time, every time; what more could you ask for?

The pen is presented in a black metal tin with the Pilot name and logo printed in white on the bottom right side. The upper mid section of the tin has a printed, colour representation of all the different designs that are available in the Retro Pop collection. The pen itself sits within a foam insert, this can easily be removed and the tin reused to store pens or other stationery items inside.

Pilot MR Retro Pop Presentation Tin

Normally at this point I would include the Pro’s and Con’s of the particular pen which I am reviewing but I honestly haven’t found anything which I don’t like about this pen. So here then is my list of Pro’s for the Pilot MR fountain pen.

  • Great price
  • Solid, well built metal construction
  • Uses international standard cartridges and convertors (UK/European version)
  • Comfortable to use
  • Smooth steel nib provides excellent writing performance

The Pilot MR Retro Pop fountain pen is available from a number of UK retailers for around £25.00

Matching ballpoint and rollerball pens are also available.

Here is a comparison of the Pilot MR fountain pen with a few other lower end, beginner fountain pens which I have in my collection. Working from bottom to top we have the Pilot MR Retro Pop (Light Blue), A Platinum Preppy, A Platinum Plaisir (Nova Orange), Lamy Safari (Dark Lilac), Lamy Al-Star (Copper Orange) and A Faber-Castell Loom).

Pilot MR Retro Pop capped comparison to other entry level pens. Bottom to top – Pilot MR Retro Pop (Light Blue), A Platinum Preppy, A Platinum Plaisir (Nova Orange), Lamy Safari (Dark Lilac), Lamy Al-Star (Copper Orange) and A Faber-Castell Loom).
Pilot MR Retro Pop posted comparison to other entry level pens. Bottom to top – Pilot MR Retro Pop (Light Blue), A Platinum Preppy, A Platinum Plaisir (Nova Orange), Lamy Safari (Dark Lilac), Lamy Al-Star (Copper Orange) and A Faber-Castell Loom).

The Pilot MR is an outstanding, medium sized fountain pen and it just goes to show that you really don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a well built, reliable, solidly performing fountain pen that is a pleasure top use and makes you want to pick it up and write with it.

New starter or seasoned collector/user, this is one pen I think everyone should have in their collection and use.


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