Remember my review of the Pilot Myu? I admired the design, but sadly as a usable pen the Myu fell woefully short for me. Literally, it’s a short pen, but the slippery and sloped section was a killer too.
Enter the Murex, a pen that promised to fix the Myu for me, with a longer body and grooves etched into the steel section to add grip.
Sure, it’s not quite the design statement that the Myu is. The Myu is a single seamless curve from tip to barrel; the Murex not only has those grooves, but a weird flat part on the top of its nib. But it still stands out for its clean design and the ingenuity of the integral nib, which has the same minimal smooth feed underneath.
The rest of the pen is small, in every dimensions.
It’s slim, and it’s short. But it’s usable. I have spent this week writing with it and although I miss the comfort of a bigger pen, I’m not in pain by the end of a meeting as I was with the Myu.
As a pocket pen, the Murex is clearly inferior to the Myu. Although the body is all stainless steel, it’s just that bit longer and thinner and I wouldn’t trust it rattling around in a bag or in my trousers. Stick to a Kaweco AL Sport.
The clip is very different to that of the Myu. It’s squared off and filled with black enamel down its centre line.
Some don’t like the way it looks, but I appreciate the construction: it’s solidly hinged and nicely finished even on its underside. For a relatively cheap pen (5,000 yen at its launch, according to the sticker on the barrel), this is the bit of the pen that felt most surprisingly high quality.
The cap clicks on and off solidly and positively, with little effort needed, using a clutch mechanism.
The inside of the cap is lined, and I’ve not noticed the pen drying out this week.
The section unscrews on decent metal threads, with the inside of the barrel lined with plastic.
Inside is the usual Pilot cartridge connector: the barrel is too narrow inside to fit a CON-50, forget about a CON-70, and I’m not sure about the CON-40 (it’s a useless converter anyway). I’m refilling a Pilot cartridge with a syringe for now.
On the page, I was pleasantly surprised. For once a Pilot pen that I didn’t have to work on out of the box. I mean, it’s still not a wet writer, and this is possibly the finest “fine” nib I’ve ever used, but it’s smooth, it doesn’t skip or hard-start, and the line it writes is dark enough to be legible.
Overall, this is a much better pen than the Myu. The design isn’t nearly so radical, but the compromise there dramatically improves handling. And as a bonus, the Murex is a lot cheaper on the used market than a Myu. If you want one of these beautiful, integral nib steel Pilot pens, the Murex is the one to get, in my book.