The Lucina fountain pen from Pilot is a slick little pen that is no longer widely available in the U.S. except for on eBay. It has the aesthetics of an Italian sports car and comes in red/orange, yellow, blue, and black. The nib sizes available are fine, medium, and broad. Pricing on eBay ranges from $70-$100 USD, which isn’t that far off from its retail pricing. Back in 2020 I purchased a yellow Lucina in fine, and my wife then purchased a red one also in fine. We eventually switched pen colors, so the photos for this post will feature the red model.
When I purchased my Lucina in 2020, it was already hard to find in the U.S but was available on Jetpens. In 2022 this pen is no longer sold through pen retailers but can be found on eBay or the second hand market. Because of scarcity through changing markets, if you read this review and really want a Lucina for any number of reasons, I would recommend it if you don’t mind hunting for it and are willing to potentially pay for shipping from Japan. It’s a great pen, so here are my thoughts and opinions on how it feels and performs:
I once read a review of the Lucina from 2014 that said that it doesn’t have much more to offer than the Metropolitan, and that you should get it only if you really like the look of the pen and are willing to pay $85 for it. But, upon receiving the Lucina I’ve found that the nib and feed are different in both performance and shape. The Lucina nib is a bit bigger and wider than Pilot’s standard entry level steel nibs, and the feed is similar to the ones used on gold nib models like the Custom 74. So, I would say that the Lucina nib is a happy medium between Pilot’s steel nib pens and their gold nib ones. The red model looks similar to the Urushi lacquered Vermillion Custom 845, while the other colors look similar to certain models of the Custom Heritage 91.
The Lucina is on the smaller side, slightly longer than a full sized Sailor Pro Gear and roughly the circumference of a Pro Gear Slim. The grip section is similarly sized to the grip on the Custom Heritage 92. The threads are tiny, followed by a gentle step that has yet to bother me. The cap has an inner seal that keeps the nib wet for a long time. I’ve had the same cartridge of Namiki Sepia in this pen for over a year and it still writes perfectly. The one qualm that I have with the Lucina is that sometimes while unscrewing the cap, the grip section also unscrews. This is just something to pay attention to and would only be a problem if there was somehow a leak in the cartridge or converter.
The nib is gold plated and very smooth with nice ink flow on most papers. Like some Pilot gold nibs, the nib on the Lucina has a slight downward curve similar to a Posting nib. The tip itself is rounded enough that it still writes smoothly regardless of angle and handedness. Namiki Sepia has some nice shading and dries pretty quickly with a fine line. The grip section, while small, is still comfortable in my small hands for short periods of time. I haven’t tried using the Lucina to take notes or to write with it for more than a quick sentence, so I’m not sure how comfortable this pen is for extended writing. The cap unscrews in about 1 and 1/4 turns so it can be uncapped pretty quickly. As I mentioned earlier, the Lucina is able to stay wet and ready for quite a while, which is great if you have a handful of pens inked and don’t use it all the time.
The Pilot Lucina is a great steel nib fountain pen if you’re ready to make a step up from a Metropolitan or Prera (or another brand’s similar pen) but you’re not quite ready for a gold nib yet. The Lucina can be found on ebay and other second hand pen markets at various prices.