In-depth Review of the Pilot Custom 912

One day back in August, I was browsing through Instagram when I noticed that one of my favourite urushi artists, Bokumondoh Studios, had showcased a rather fetching pen. That pen being the Pilot Custom 912! This was a pen in which I had been pining for, for quite some time. Now, normally Bokumondoh’s pens sell out within matters of seconds, but this one managed to survive an hour! So, without thinking too much,  I purchased it. After all, this ticked all the boxes… urushi + pilot pens = win.


So, this pen came boxed in a standard pilot affair! Now, there’s nothing wrong with this, after all the pen isn’t that expensive in general. Retail in Japan is around 120 pounds, which all things considered isn’t too bad at all! Especially as material costs of gold nibs are pretty high. 

The box is very plastic though and whilst this may not be the most important factor, some people may feel a bit dismayed. Especially as there are pens that are better presented around this price point… I’m looking at you sailor. Still, we are pen users and not box keepers!


This pen is certainly more akin in size to the sailor pro gear slim and therefore some people may have issues with this, but pilot has you covered. Pilot produces one of the vastest catalogues of pen sizes out there, ranging from the 912 up to the Custom Urushi. So you’ll be able to find something in their lineup that suits your hand size!

Still, It’s not all bad! The grip section is very comfy and the pen can traditionally post! Although on this urushi version, I may err on the side of caution. But posting the pen would make this a better proposition for larger hands.

Popping this into your shirt pocket, or over a lanyard is entirely possible and very secure! 

Traditionally, this pen Is relatively easy to maintain! However, I still resign to using an ink syringe. The Con 70 is not really my favourite converter, but at least it has a decent ink capacity !


Normally, the design of the Custom 912 comes in the flavour of Black, Black, or… Black! Now, in Japan, there are other colours which are available! However, in the west, your choices are very very limited. 

So, if you don’t like boring black pens! Having someone like Bokumondoh to give your pen a few facelift, will certainly add charm to your writing instrument and turn heads in doing so.

The pattern on this pen is Kara nuri, featuring metallic reds with blue accents and I think you’ll agree that this certainly gives the pen a more refined look. What I especially love is how transformational this pen is., by that I mean, depending on light, this pen can show a multitude of colours.

Full length details of the Kara nuri finish

As mentioned in the prior section, this is a pen on the slightly smaller size, so from a design point of view, it may not command the presence of some of their larger pens.

Shot in natural light, the Custom 912 really shines

Writing Experience 

Perhaps the most unique aspect of the pilot custom 912 is, the fact that this has probably one of the most extensive ranges of nibs available. The one which came equipped on my pen, is the Waverly nib. In terms of aesthetics, this isn’t too dissimilar to that of a fude nib. However, I must confess I’m not entirely sure how it really alters the writing experience?! I’ve used this pen extensively for the last few months and in my testings, I found that it really doesn’t form any differently to that of a regular nib. 

But I really want to emphasise the fact that you really have a cornucopia of choice when it comes to nib options. You have everything from your regular fine, coarse, soft fine, Waverley, stub, music and the famous Falcon (flexible nib) amongst other popular options. 

Of course, what you really want to know is how does this write?! Well, much like the rest of pilots nibs pretty flawlessly! However, there is no real spring to this nib and to be honest, a good jowo or bock nib writes just as well at a fraction of the cost. But, by being gold it does mean that the soft fine and falcon nib can take advantage of those properties.

Fortunately, this pen hasn’t ever skipped or given a hard start and has generally been a very pleasant writer. Additionally, this pen can be had for a very good price from Japan. With US prices being quite extortionately high! Nearly double. Of course this may be down to high shipping fees, which hopefully in the future will become less.

Final Thoughts

As a writing instrument, this pen really does provide a fantastic experience, the nib is  pleasant to use and as mentioned before, there is a really good range of choices available.

Pilot, as a company, are really known for fantastic quality control and really decent pens. I’ve never reviewed a bad pilot pen, and this pen really does go on to honour those traditions of faultless design, and precision writing tools.

With the added urushi treatment, we have one extremely well rounded pen.

From left to right, the Pilot Custom 912 sized up against a Nakaya Piccolo, Namiki Yukari and Eboya Hakobune

One Comment

  1. Michel Helou

    Such a Beautiful fountain pens.The red fountain pen is my favorite. How much cost that pen?
    [email protected]

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