The Pilot Custom Heritage 92 is one of those pens that has been on my wishlist for a very, very long time, and now that I have it in my hands, thanks to the awesome folks over at Cultpens, I can finally find out if you should put it on your wishlist as well!
I like how they integrated a few smoky grey parts into the cap, section and piston knob, without disturbing the overall clean look of the pen.
The only thing I don't like about piston-filled demonstrators is the fact that they are quite difficult to clean, as you can see everything that stays behind in the pen. Luckily the nib and feed are friction fit, if you carefully remove it, you can easily clean the section and ink reservoir with a piece of tissue paper. So yes, it is a good pen for people with OCD cleaning senses like me!
It's a very decently sized pen, approximately 13.5 cm or 5.5 Inches long when closed. Most people will find it to be easily long enough unposted. However I prefer to use it posted for longer writing sessions. Mainly because of the added weight, because the completely resin construction makes it fairly light (20 grams in total).
The build quality of the Custom 92 is exactly what you'd expect from a premium Japanese fountain pen. Fit and finish are flawless, and there are no visible seams or machining marks. Despite its modest weight, it feels very solid in the hand.
The Piston mechanism operates smoothly, and even though it has a single seal (most plungers have two rubber sealing rings), it appears to be completely leak-proof so far!
One thing I didn't like was the fact that there's a substantial amount of silicon grease residue inside the barrel and on the piston mechanism. Yes, in a way it's a positive thing that they grease it up properly, but it doesn't look as clean as I'd want it to (Again, I can feel my OCD sense coming up!). The barrel can hold 1.2ml of ink, which is quite decent, though not as much as some other piston-filled pens.
The #5-sized, 14k Rhodium-plated nib is a great writer, and it's aesthetically pleasing as well! I chose a Fine nib, which is a bit out of my comfort zone, but so far I haven't regret my choice! Given that it is a Japanese Fine (think: European Extra-Fine) it is surprisingly smooth, though with a hint of feedback. The flow is a bit wetter than expected, and it has no problem keeping up. The cap seems to seal off pretty well, as it immediately starts to write, nor did it ever skip.
I personally think Pilot has done a killer job with this nib, its performance is easily on par with other Japanese pen brands that often cost a lot more!
It's always difficult to get a pen that has been on your wishlist for ages. Chances are that it isn't as good as you originally expected. But after messing around with this Custom 92 for a while, I can honestly say that this is a pen you should definitely go for if you have it on your wishlist.
The only thing that could keep you from ordering it right away might be the price, although 149 GBPounds or 220 USDollars isn't that much for a gold-nibbed premium Japanese pen like this!