The Pilot Grance is a relatively new addition to Pilot's North American lineup, and I'm really glad they decided to bring it here. When you look at fountain pens as a whole, there's an overwhelming majority of pens that use a screw on cap versus a friction fit slip or snap cap. While that's not a bad thing, I've always wondered why that's the case. The Grance is an elegant, slim-bodied pen that packs in a fantastic nib and comfortable feel that looks great in any setting.
In my mind, the Grance is the more refined and elegant version of the Metropolitan. The Metropolitan is affordable, accessible, and a great deal. The Grance builds on top of that with more premium materials, but also nails the writing experience. From what I can tell, the interior of the Grance is made of brass, with a thick metal covering that features a metallic, pearlescent finish that glimmers in the light. There are also black resin accents that are offset with yellow gold pieces. When I first saw this pen, the gold hardware put me off until I picked the pen up and started writing with it. While I wish there were other options (they're all gold, baby!), I quickly got over my aesthetic issues with the yellow gold. It might not be my number one preference, but this pen is a champ that has become my daily writer despite our color differences.
The Grance is also a fairly small lineup, sporting only three color options: Pearl White, Pearl Pink, and Pearl Blue. Again, the options aren't plentiful, but I can only imagine that Pilot have plans to expand this line if it does well.
The grip section is a black resin that picks up fingerprints easily, but feels great when in use. There's a small taper toward the tip of the pen, but there's also a small ring of gold around the end of the grip that provides a nice place to rest your fingers when writing. In my experience, the grip does not get slippery when writing despite the lack of texture. And the slim body makes longer writing sessions comfortable as well.
The cap design for the Grance is a snap cap that works very well in practice. In some instances, the snap cap can be too tight, requiring too much effort to open and close. In these cases, it can be an annoyance, but it can also cause you to sling ink if you're not careful. Luckily, the Grance does not suffer from these issues. It's just the right amount of snug to keep the cap on securely. It also posts nicely using the same snap mechanism.
The clip on the Grance is much stronger than I expected it to be. It easily keeps the pen secure on almost any material it can fit over. Even when my bag has been thrown around a bit, the Grance stays put where I clipped it.
In terms of ink options, you have plenty. The Grance fits standard Pilot cartridges, but you can also use a Pilot CON-40 converter to use any ink you like.
Now, let's move on to what really makes this pen sparkle for me: the writing experience. The best part about this pen, and the part that also brings the price point into the low-premium arena is the nib. It's a 14k gold nib that feels smooth, bounces a bit while writing, and flows well. I've always really enjoyed Pilot gold nibs, and this one is no exception. In the unit I have, I'm using the FM nib, which is somewhere between fine and medium. It's also one of my favorite nibs due to the size.
When writing with this pen, there's a slight (but noticeable) spring in the nib due to the soft gold material. It doesn't provide much in the way of line variation, but it does give the pen a soft feel when writing, added to the premium experience.
I've been using this pen as my daily driver for several weeks, and I've never once had any issues with skipping, hard starts, or excessive ink flow. It's a work horse - it's simply ready to write the instant you pick it up and uncap it. Even leaving it uncapped for a couple of minutes doesn't faze it. It's incredibly reliable, and I love it for that.
This is true of most Pilot pens I've used, and the Grance is no exception: this nib is incredibly smooth on paper. Writing is pure joy and this pen can keep up with most everything you decide to use it for. It's reliable, pleasing, and delightful.
Overall, I was reluctant to use this pen when I first saw it. It's slim, it uses gold accents, and the color options are few. Despite all this, I've fallen in love with it over the past few weeks. I didn't expect this, but the nib is what caused this. It's an excellent nib, the pen is comfortable to use, and it's incredibly reliable. When that's the case, the exterior aesthetics can sometimes take a backseat.
The Pilot Grance is available in three colors and four nib sizes (EF, F, FM, M). It's in the lower premium price range at $140, but that price is about as low as you can go with a gold nib. If this pen fits your style, then you'll love using it.
(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)
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