Walking through Target a few weeks ago, I noticed they were selling a Pilot MR Metropolitan Retro Pop ballpoint pen.
I'm familiar with the Pilot Metropolitan Retro Pop fountain pen and rollerball. The Metropolitan fountain pen is well regarded as a great pen for beginners. I own a green Pilot Metropolitan fine nib fountain pen and I've really enjoyed it. But I had no idea how there was a ballpoint version available through typical retail channels and I wanted to try it out.
The Metropolitan Retro Pop that I purchased from Target is sharp looking, with a dark gray metal body. The center band is a black and silver houndstooth pattern. The rest of the trim is silver. The point extends with a slight twist on the top of the pen body. If you are used to cheap plastic pens, the Metropolitan feels substantial.
The pen is a 1.0 mm black ballpoint and writes smoothly on a wide variety of papers. I typically use a 0.5 mm or 0.7 mm point so the line is a little thicker than I'm used to. The pen insert is replaceable but uses a shorter Pilot Dr. Grip Center of Gravity refill that is only offered in black or blue and only in 1.0 mm. I'm not sure if other refills will fit it as well. (None of the refills I had around the house fit the pen.)
For such a cool looking pen, the packaging isn't impressive at all. It's clearly designed to blend in with the other Pilot packaging, but it doesn't really do a great job showing off the pen. I'm also a little surprised that the word "Metropolitan" doesn't appear anywhere on the retail packaging, since that's the branding that is more prominent in the fountain pen offerings.
The Metropolitan fountain pen and rollerball models come in a range of colors and patterns. According to the Pilot website, the ballpoint comes in five colors combos, but I've only seen the dark gray and houndstooth on the shelf.
The pen is a solid and versatile addition to my collection. I enjoy writing with it and it's nice to have a quality ballpoint to supplement my fountain pens. While I like the gray and houndstooth design, I hope Pilot makes the bright colors widely available for people to discover.
If you don't think you are ready for a fountain pen, the Metropolitan ballpoint might be a great option for you. For $13, it's a solid gateway to the world of nicer pens.