Posts filed under Sailor

Sailor Kobe Ink No. 37 Island Blue Ink Review

I'm relatively certain that if I lived in Japan I would be broke. Just setting foot in a store like the Nagasawa Stationery Center would cause a wallet-gasm, if not outright bankruptcy. And then to learn they have their own shop exclusive line of inks, from Sailor no less? Well, let's just say I'm very lucky to have amazing readers who are helping me keep my wallet in check and my marriage intact.

Sailor Kobe Ink No. 37 Island Blue is another sample from a batch that Pen Addict reader Richard sent over, and a beautiful one at that. This color is inspired by "the view of the blue sea from Kobe", and if that is actually the case I need to book a plane ticket. It is a saturated ink, but vibrant at the same time. There is some shading too, which adds to its beauty. I don't have many other standard blues to compare it to, but it is unlike any other blue ink I have tried.

Prior to this review, Sailor was already one of my favorite fountain pen inks. Across the board, they perform perfectly with any pen, nib, and paper combo I've come up with. None of their inks have ever stained any pen, and they are easy to clean. Now, only if these great Japanese options were easy to buy.

Posted on August 4, 2014 and filed under Ink Reviews, Sailor.

Sailor Trident Review

All fountain pen innovation starts in Japan.

Is that too strong of a statement? Probably so. I'm certain Germany, for starters, would have a good argument. But for me, I'm constantly amazed by the ideas that come out of Japan. The Sailor Trident was one of those brilliant ideas. A fountain pen that writes like a ballpoint - who wouldn't want that? Not many people apparently. Innovation does not always equal success, as the Trident never really established itself upon launch in the early 1980's.

Sailor did not come up with the idea for the Trident on it's own though. Instead, they purchased the three nib design from a company called Spacer (all of this history is found on Russ Stutler's Trident page which was the main resource for this review.) They felt they could convert the hordes of ballpoint users into fountain pen users with the Trident, but the pen had too many shortcomings to gain a foothold in the market.

The primary issue with the Trident was maintenance. All of the extra tines in the nib left the Trident prone to clogging. IF the pen stayed in constant use it was great, but if left to sit for a day or two it became a problematic writer. Disposable pen users could not handle that added aggrevation caused by this unique design.

My experience with the Trident (on loan from the esteemed Thomas) was generally positive, but not overly impressive. The three nib system worked as intended, but left my line width inconsistent. I imagine it had to do with the exact spot on the nib I was hitting the page with. With three nibs and six slits all coming together to make one point I don't see how this is avoidable. There was no skipping, but that is because Thomas keeps his pens in pristine condition. The ink flowed nicely, but I have to admit that it felt odd as the nib moved across the page. This is not your traditional fountain pen.

And I think that is the lesson learned with the Sailor Trident. You can't be everything to everyone. It is exciting to see companies like Sailor innovate and take risks like this, regardless of the commercial success of the product. It's like a concept car that actually saw the light of day, and I'm glad I got to take it for a test drive.

You can read more about the Sailor Trident at Mr. Stutler's site linked above, and also this wonderful dissasembly from Penzuki.

You knew this was coming, right?

Posted on June 23, 2014 and filed under Fountain Pens, Pen Reviews, 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.