Of the three big Japanese pen brands Sailor is probably the least well known and in terms of sales volume also the smallest. That said, Sailor is widely regarded as being the most innovative with regards to nib design and variety. I love the look of some of their fancy nibs like the king eagle and cross emperor nibs. I don’t have one yet and the nib on today’s pen is a modest hard medium nib but the pen is still great and many collectors believe Sailor produces the best pens in Japan.
Sailor has two main flavours of pen that are both obvious homages to the Montblanc Meisterstück design. The 1911 or Profit line has rounded blind cap and finial and the Professional Gear series with a flat top and bottom and an anchor on the finial. This model is the latter with a Realo integrated piston filler (also available on the 1911) and presented in maroon resin with gold trim. There’s no real story behind the pen other than that I ordered it through eBay while it was on sale from a seller in Japan who included some yummy green tea with the pen. 🙂
The pen fit and finish is top notch. It’s not too heavy and not too light. The resin feels luxurious and well machined and the overall result is a pen that feels of substantially higher quality than that of an equally priced Platinum. The trim rings are tightly fitted and all the parts come together with a satisfying level of precision.
Most Sailor pens come fitted with a proprietary converter which is great in most cases but I imagine a little disappointing in the specialty nibs that lay down ink like a gold paintbrush. This pen has the Realo piston filler and it does a great job of supplying a higher capacity of ink to the beautiful 21k nib. I haven’t found any info online as to whether the piston is user serviceable for cleaning or lubricating the piston seal. I’m guessing it isn’t and that the nib and feed are friction fit and that’s the only way to clean the ink view window or apply silicone grease. If I discover otherwise I’ll update this review.
The ink view window is a real beauty and the main thing that drew me to the pen. I like that it can be seen when the pen is capped unlike some prominent German pen brands. It’s crystal clear and flanked with gold rings and mine is unstained for now even though I’ve been using red ink a lot in this pen.
Only once it seems this filling system was used in the flagship King of Pen with a limited production in 2006 and is now an elusive grail pen of many. Check out Pelahale’s review. Lucky guy.
The nib is really beautiful. Its a 21k two-tone nib with beautiful embellishment. It has an anchor and 1911 stamped on it–the founding year of Sailor. Its a hard medium so no flex here but it seems a bit softer than steel. The tipping is smooth and the nib performs well albeit a little dry. I still think I might have something obstructing the ink channel and will try again to floss it out next time. All my other Sailor nibs have had perfect out-of-the-box performance so not really sure what happened with this one. Its not terrible but not as good as it could be. I like this pen a lot so I’m not giving up on it.
And that’s it I guess. Beauty of a pen and really glad I got it. What do you guys think? Also should we nicely ask Sailor to release another Realo King of Pen?