The Japanese words in Muji’s logo mean “unbranded quality goods”. And therefore:
Out of that world of clean lines and blank surfaces comes this minimalist masterpiece. Muji has managed to produce a basic-level fountain pen (complete with generic Iridium Point nib) that, like the rest of their products, looks great and is legitimately useful.
The pen is a cartridge/converter pen, and I’ve put one of my old converters in. It takes standard international cartridges and converters. The fit is snug and the feed works well; the nib writes a pretty decent Japanese fine. As far as I know it’s only available in this size, but as I like my nibs fine this is no problem for me at all.
To me, the matte finish and knurled grip is evidence of a product well thought out. Smooth metallic surfaces tend to get slippery really quick (like in the Faber-Castell e-motion, which is a strangely badly-designed pen), so Muji’s decision to go with something that has a little more texture is not just better, but also simply correct. The grip will, however, scratch up other things in your pencil case, as I learnt the hard way with a couple of Lamy Al-Stars…
The clincher on this pen for me is this: the snap cap has a smaller inner lip that fits inside the section. This inner lip, amazingly enough, also helps the pen post:
The bottom of the barrel has a little groove where the cap can post securely, doing so with a very satisfying click. The featured image on this post shows what the pen looks like when posted — with not a single line out of place, it remains sleek and smooth. And there’s no need to worry about scratching the barrel when posting!
As for the nib — with a #5 generic nib, it still manages to write well, and that’s what’s most important about this pen. It’s actually very satisfying, and you have the option of changing it out for fancier nib if so desired.
Call me a fan! Top marks to Muji for making an £11 pen that could (and should) be highly recommended to newcomers to the fountain-pen world. A basic no-frills experience with great quality and a consistent writing experience goes a long way, and having no need to muck about with proprietary converters like the Japanese Big Three is a plus!