Posts filed under Sailor

Sailor Bung Box Blue Black Fountain Pen Ink Review

I received an epic batch of not-easy-to-come-by ink samples in January that knocked my socks off (thanks Richard!), and while I have had a chance to play with some of them I'm just now getting the chance to write them up. Sailor Bung Box Blue Black (aka Sailor 4B) is the first, and maybe the best.

My love of blue black inks is well known, and this package contained a wide variety of samples I had never heard of, much less tried. I went with the Sailor 4B first because I was also sent a cool empty box and bottle of this ink to see how Sailor packages these specialty inks for Japanese retailer Bungubox. Yes, it is only available directly through them unfortunately, unless you want to work some eBay magic.

The ink itself is fantastic. It is one of the most shaded blue black inks I have used and it has a nice red sheen that I had a hard time capturing. This ink could use more close-up photos to show off all of its properties. I'll work on that. It nails the color ratios too. There are no hints of stray colors - like green - that often ruin some blue black inks for me.

This is a standout ink, one I would give up a body part or two to acquire more of. Thanks Richard for sending me this sample!

(Note: Bungubox just launched an Amazon Shop. Several inks are available (not this one) but I'm not going to bother linking them because it would cost you almost $60 for one bottle of ink with shipping.)

Posted on March 17, 2014 and filed under Ink Reviews, Sailor.

Sailor Jentle Limited Edition Autumn 2010 Kin Mokusei Orange Ink Review

When I posted my review of the Sailor Limited Edition Oku Yama a few weeks back and explained my current ink fetish, I was actually reviewing the inks I purchased a bit out of order. Seeing writing samples of the Limited Edition Autumn 2010 Kin Mokusei online was the real impetus for my shopping spree.

It is a surprise to no one that I am a fan of orange, and Kin Mokusei is a brilliant orange ink. The shading is beautiful, ranging from yellow to deep orange without any appearance of brown or red. It is very rich looking and well behaved too, with excellent dry times. It flowed equally as well from both my TWSBI Mini 1.5mm stub nib and Pilot Falcon SEF.

My hangup with Kin Mokusei is I already own this ink in the form of Sailor Jentle Apricot. I had this concern when I ordered the ink and it turned out to be valid. Unlike Oku Yama, which I felt was able to stand on its own and seperate itself from other inks, I think Kin Mokusei is not worth the money. It is so similar that the 2-3 times premium price to Apricot is money better spent elsewhere.

How similar? Take a look at this chromatography test

So far, I'm 1-for2 with my Limited Edition Sailor ink purchases. Oku Yama is a keeper and Kin Moskuei is redundant. I have two more to test and review, and early indications show that this next one may be the big winner of the bunch.

Posted on March 3, 2014 and filed under Ink Reviews, Sailor.

Sailor Reglus Fountain Pen Review

Outside of the Sailor Clear Candy there are not many opportunities to own a Sailor fountain pen under $150. Granted, the more expensive models come with 14k gold nibs, but the Sailor Reglus can hold its own with some of the pricier Sailor options on the market.

As with any Sailor I have ever used, the nib is the standout. The Reglus comes stock with a steel fine nib that is smooth, clean and enjoyable to write with. I loaded mine up with Sailor Nano Ultra Black ink cartridges and they are a perfect match. The cartridges desrve a review of their own one day but they are spectacular and have me not even considering using a converter in the Reglus. It's a perfect combination.

The barrel design of the Reglus is excellent as well. The shape is slightly narrower than many fountain pens but it is by no means skinny. Think of it around the size of a larger gel ink pen barrel like the Pentel Energel and narrower than more common fountain pens like the Lamy Safari. The cap snaps on and off both ends of the barrel, and that leads to one minor issue: Unthreaded metal on metal cap connections allow for rotation. I didn't find it to be a nuisance when writing but you will get some spin movement if you are looking for it.

It was a no-brainer for me to go with the orange barrel, but after receiving it I think I would have preferred one of the darker barrels. The shade is a little light and and the pearlescent sheen a little too sparkly. The blue, black, and gray all look like great choices instead. The clip is a big win though. Very tight and the dagger design is spot on.

As I review the Sailor Reglus I cannot help but think of the Pelikan M205. They both hold a similar place in their respective product lines, and both offer a high quality entry into their brands. If you force me to pick one I'll take the M205 for the piston filling mechanism but the Reglus gets heavy use in my rotation.

(JetPens is an advertiser on The Pen Addict and I received this product at no charge.)

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Posted on February 24, 2014 and filed under Fountain Pens, Pen Reviews, Sailor.

Sailor Maki-e Fountain Pen Identification Help!

A reader sent me these pictures of a Sailor Maki-e fountain pen he received from a Japanese businessman over 20 years ago. He would love to know more about this particular model, and I am unable to come up with a match to the artwork and barrel color. As best as I can tell, it is a Sailor Young Profit (or Somiko in some markets) with a titanium gold plated nib (TIGP), but that's all I have.

If anyone can help nail down the remaining specs of this pen let me know.

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Posted on February 4, 2014 and filed under Fountain Pens, Sailor.

Sailor Jentle Limited Edition Autumn 2010 Oku Yama Maroon Ink Review

I have been on an ink kick to start 2014, adding 6 or 8 bottles to my collection already. Some are of the basic variety, like Pilot Black, while others I went to great lengths for. Sailor Jentle Limited Edition Autumn 2010 Oku Yama Maroon is one of those.

I don't know where I caught this limited edition bug from. It may be I realized a few weeks ago that I missed out on the Rohrer & Klingner Blau Schwarz in 2012 (and thanks to kind listeners I now have some), or maybe I'm just certifiable. Regardless, I went on the hunt to see what else I have missed and what else I could get my hands on.

I know Sailor produces special colors frequently so I set my sights there, which led me to Aesthetic Bay, a highly respected pen shop in Singapore. I picked up four (I know, certifiable) Sailor LE inks, the first of which is this Autumn 2010 Oku Yama Maroon.

I've never been a red ink guy but the few reviews I found of Oku Yama were positive. I wasn't sure what to expect when I inked it up in my recently acquired Franklin-Christoph Model 40 Pocket Fire and Ice with a broad Masuyama cursive italic nib but I have to say it exceed all expectations.

First off, the color is great. It is a solid maroon, not too bright and not to purple. I like purple on its own, but not in my red inks. The shading is better than expected too, with excellent color range in the lines. Secondly, it is a very lubricated ink, at least that's how it felt with this nib combo. I think it would work well in some of my EF nibs too.

Something interesting about Oku Yama caught me off guard, and that is the dry time. When I did the five-second smear test there was no smearing. Did I forget how to count to five all of a sudden? Nope, this is legit, and on Rhodia paper it is impressive. It was a pointless exercise to even bother with the 10 and 20 second tests.

How close is Oku Yama to the less expensive and widely available Sailor Jentle Grenade? I haven't reviewed Grenade yet but did have an ink sample to swab. It is lighter with more pink at first glance but I will need to do more testing. Compared to Diamine Oxblood, Oku Yama is less saturated and lighter in color. It falls right in between these two popular red inks. You can see more comparisons in the reviews below.

The real measure of an ink for me is will it make my regular rotation and I think I will be loading up Sailor Jentle Oku Yama often.

Further reading:

-- Sailor Jentle Oku Yama (via FPN)

-- Sailor Grenade vs Oku Yama vs 1670 vs Yama Budo Chromatography (via FPN)

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Posted on February 3, 2014 and filed under Ink Reviews, Sailor.