I love this fountain pen. Make no mistake, this retractible nib is more than just a gimmick, it is a carefully designed mechanism that is incredibly useful in real life. Moreover, the nib in my opinion is as smooth as silk.
I had actually ordered the pen with a Medium nib from amazon, however, a Fine nib was delivered. I have alway found Fine nibs to be unpleasant to write with for they are inclined to be scratchy. I was totally amazed when I inked this baby up. It is utterly smooth in every direction, and considering that Japanese Nibs tend to be Finer by design across all sizes than those made by the rest of the world, it is remarkable how pleasurable writing with this pen is. Another unexpected benefit of this fine nib is that it uses up so little ink, a single refill using the supplied convertor lasts for a very long time. Another aspect of the nib that I appreciate is that it is replaceable so essentially one can buy nibs to cover all the various sizes and styles and use within the same body. Finally, the nib has a very small and slim profile and one may be inclined to feel that this will effect writing style and ease of use, but rest assured, it does not detract at all from the experience.
One point worth noting is that some people have complained about ink flow using the old style convertors. The convertor I was provided however is the new style that Pilot made to solve this issue. There is a metal component within the convertor chamber that works by gravity to ensures that the whatever ink is contained within is available for the nib and thus ensures continuous flow. I have never experienced a flow problem, not when using for long periods and importantly, the pen writes immediately every time I expose the nib, even if I pick the pen up after a week.
The retractable mechanism is designed elegantly and there is quality regarding the motion and sufficient resistance to provide a satisfying click and help prevent accidental activation whilst in a pocket (Bare in mind however, if enough force is used, the nib will be exposed accidentally and damage could occur). When retracted, the nib is totally protected as a metal flap in the mechanism moves to cover the surface and seals the nib within. This prevents dust and debris accessing the internal chamber as well as any ink leaking out. The ability to use a single hand to begin and finish writing with a fountain pen is more useful than I could have possibly imagined. It saves a remarkable amount of time and keeps the other hand free to do something else. Moreover, there is no possibility of losing the lid :)
The clip of the pen is placed such that for some people, this may prevent them from holding the pen in their natural way. However, it does not cause a problem for me, and in fact, the clip narrows and curves which actually facilitates my grip. Another point is that due to the design, the place where one would grip is reasonably wide which again for me seems to help my grip but I guess it all depends on the user.
The pen also has a reasonably weight, it is not heavy but it is not light. I find that much of the weight is located at the nib end and thus the balance is great. I suggest that if possible, try it out before you make your final decision, I also had several of these concerns but within moments of use, all concerns dissolved into pleasure. To finish, the pen looks much much better in person, the photos do not do it justice.
I have had the pen now for several months and have used it heavily without any issues. My belief is that the mechanism will last the test of time.
To conclude, it is an expensive pen, but for the writing experience it provides, the smooth solid gold nib and the quality and usefulness of the design, I feel it justifies its price. Thank you Pilot for an amazing pen and to Amazon for providing a reasonable price and strangely, for delivering a Fine when I ordered Medium.