Mabeloos is the smart one as it turns out. Not that I didn't know that already, mind you. She has been an online friend and pen compatriot since the start of this blog. Back in 2009, she did a guest review that up until a few weeks ago I had forgotten existed. Looking back on it now, I remember thinking how insane she was for spending so much money on a pen. Today, I am jealous of her prescience. What was that review?
With a production run of only 9000 units, the M90 was released for Pilot's 90th anniversary in 2008 and was a nod to the original Pilot MYU which was released in 1971. If I only knew then what I know now I would have been one happy camper to pick one of these up for $180.
The MYU has been popular since its release despite not being manufactured since the early 1980's. That made the M90 a hot commodity and they sold out in no time. Luckily for me, my friend Thomas has one in his collection he allowed me to test.
I was wrong in my Pilot Murex post (and have since made the correction) that the Murex was the first of the line made by Pilot in 1971. The shorter Pilot MYU actually came first, with the full-sized Murex following in 1977. The MYU is just as highly regarded with its sleek portable design, durability, and beautiful integrated nib.
The M90 kept the majority of the original MYU design intact, with just the name on the clip, clip design, and blue stone in the cap differing according to Russ Stutler. The model Thomas sent me has one more slight difference: a nib ground to 0.20 mm (a true Japanese EF) by renowned nibmeister Mike Masuyama.
Like the PO nib in the Pilot Heritage 912 the firm steel nib of the M90 took some getting used to. This may be the firmest, finest nib I have used in a fountain pen to date. And honestly, it was difficult to write with. I think if I used it all day, every day I would find the sweet spot but I had a tougher time writing with it than I did the Murex. That said, that only knocks this pen down to a 9 out of 10 at worst. It is a marvel to hold and use and I would love to add one to my collection.
Thanks as always to Thomas for allowing me to test out some of his collection (there is more to come), and thanks to Mabeloos for being ahead of the curve and teaching me a thing or two along the way. You can find more from Mabeloos at her website The Jadecow Sketches.