The Pilot Custom 743 fountain pen is a lesser-known model of Pilot's outstanding lineup of Custom series fountain pens. It features a rather large 14k gold nib in size 15 of Pilot's proprietary nib sizing (similar to a Jowo #6 size nib). It is the most premium 0ffering of the 74 lineup (74, 742, and 743) but is often overshadowed by the much more popular Pilot Custom 823, which features a vacuum-filling mechanism. The Pilot Custom 743 is roughly comparable in dimensions to the Custom 823, featuring the same nib but a different filling mechanism. The Custom 743 is a classic cartridge converter.
The pen comes in mediocre plastic packaging that feels cheap, but it's not too big of a deal considering the features and value of this fountain pen. Mine came with a converter – the CON-70 – and I'd say it's the most premium converter I've ever used.
Filling up the large CON-70 takes some practice, but it is doable. If you're still unsuccessful, it works great filling it as an eyedropper: take a syringe and fill it manually – the converter is large enough to be a practical solution.
Writing with this fountain pen is alike writing on glass. It's extremely smooth – I dare even say that it's the smoothest fountain pen that I've used. I love writing with the Custom 743 and it's pretty unreal trying this fountain pen out. There is plenty of raving about Pilot's pens, but actually trying out their smoothness is something different. I love using Pilot's gold nibs.
The Pilot nib features pretty scrollwork that runs along the sides of the nib. In the middle of the nib reads "PILOT" (obviously for Pilot's branding), "14K-585" (denoting the material), "15" (for the size), and "<M>" (denoting the width). The nib also features a nice plastic feed that works well and hasn't caused any issues.
Now, enough talking about the nib – that's not everything about this pen (although it's definitely the main selling point!). I got my Pilot Custom 743 in a deep red, and the color is gorgeous. The resin used is high-quality and will surely last a long time. The body features gold accents with filled-in black lettering. It's outstanding to look at this pen.
I especially love the cap of the pen. It follows the cigar-shaped design and has an amazing gold-tone clip that has a ball at the end while featuring "PILOT" at the top as well. There's something discrete and sophisticated about this fountain pen that leaves me in awe every time I see it.
The Pilot Custom 743 is a pretty normal-sized pen. Capped, it is roughly the same size as the Lamy Safari and larger than the Sailor Pro Gear. Posted, it's the same situation – roughly the same size as the Safari and larger than the Pro Gear. The Pilot Custom 743 is a great size for me; the pen isn't too large that it's overwhelming to post but large enough to warrant its use unposted. I prefer using the pen unposted, but it's comfortable to use posted as well.
I've been using this pen on a near-daily basis since I got it back in February. I have not had any issues with this pen and have thoroughly enjoyed everything about it. The CON-70 lasts for about a week with moderate writing, which is a pretty good rate. Honestly, I haven't found any flaws with this pen. The Pilot Custom 743 is an amazing pen with a fantastic nib that gets overshadowed by more popular renditions of the lineup, such as the vacuum-filler Custom 823 and the cheaper Custom 74. The Pilot Custom 743 deserves more love.
If Pilot decides to release it in more colors than a relatively boring black and a dark red, the Pilot Custom 743 will get the attention it deserves. The pen's cartridge-converter system is much more convenient to switch out inks than the 823!
Interested in purchasing this pen and would like to support me (for no cost)? Check out the current price here!
Update: It seems that Pilot did end up releasing a cool new 743! It's a great turquoise-green that's apparently the same color as the Statue of Liberty. Check it out here! (not a sponsored link)
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