Pens and Pencils | Reviews and Data

Pilot Fountain Pens Compared: Custom Heritage 912 vs Custom Heritage 92 vs Custom 74

Pilot Custom 74 Fountain Pen

If you are choosing a higher-end Pilot fountain pen you have a potentially confusing decision to make: do you buy a Custom Heritage 912, a Custom Heritage 92, or a Custom 74? Even the names are alike, how are the pens different from one another?

Pilot Fountain Pens Price Comparison

There are some others that are potentially in this group, like the Custom Heritage 91 and the vacuum-filling Custom 823 ($258.64), but the three above at the top picks for today’s US-based buyers.

Lots of good information in this video or scroll down to continue reading…


Pilot Fountain Pen Basics

These are all gold nib fountain pens from Pilot. They are all “upgrade pens” which is to say higher-end pens but not astronomically priced — the sort of pen you buy when you get serious about pens (but not after winning the lottery).

Here are the shorthand notes:

  • CH912: Larger body (14 cm), cartridge/converter, huge nib selection including Falcon flex nib
  • CH92: Clear body, piston filler. Demonstrator version of the CH91
  • CH91: Japan-only, cartridge/converter. The baby CH912
  • C823: Larger body (14.8 cm), vacuum-filler, least common of the bunch
  • C74: Multiple colors, cartridge/converter


  • CH 912: Flat top and bottom
  • CH 92: Flat top and bottom
  • C74: Rounded top and bottom

Fill Mechanism

  • CH 912: Cartridge/converter
  • CH 92: Piston
  • CH 91: Cartridge/converter
  • C823: Vacuum
  • C74: Cartridge/converter


  • CH 912: #10 size, 14K gold
  • CH 92: #5  size, 14K gold
  • CH91: #5 size, 14K
  • C823: #15 size, 14K gold
  • C74: #5 size, 14K gold

Recommended Pilot Fountain Pens

No clear pick yet? If you are new to Pilot fountain pens, we’d recommend the Custom 74 in medium. This is a solid everyday writer and the medium is a nice mix of being smooth without putting down too much ink.

If you are looking for something a bit more fun, try the Custom 74 in a soft fine medium nib. It’s flexy without being impractical.

If you are a dedicated pen user then we’d recommend the CH912. It’s a nice upgrade from the C74 without breaking the bank.