The Uni-ball Signo 307 is an interesting pen for many reasons. To most people it's just some pen they grab off the shelf at Wal-Mart (ok, that's where I bought mine too), but for someone like me, this simple pen opens up a Pandora's box of questions.
What exactly is Uni-ball trying to do with this pen? Is this a replacement to the Signo 207, which is likely their top selling gel ink pen of all time? Or is it to sit alongside the 207 on the shelf? I'd check with Uni-ball, but the 307 is not listed on the North American site (or the Japanese site for that matter), the latest Press Room document is from 2008, and both their Twitter and Facebook feeds have not been updated since December 2013. The lack of social media updates is somewhat shocking in this day and age.
So, I'm left to do my best and answer any questions I have about this pen myself.
Is this a replacement to the Signo 207? I have to say yes. The general shape, design, and features of the pen mimic the 207, and improve the pen in some areas. Where the tip cone and clip in the 207 were metal, they are plastic in the 307. I wasn't sure how this would work, but it works well. The 307 is a quieter pen when writing than the 207 and I think the full plastic build is why. There was also a visual update on the 307, with a subtle grid gradient on the barrel. Including the black tip, the entire graphics overhaul is nice.
Ink wise, it writes wonderfully. According to the packaging, the 307 is skip-free and I found that to be the case. The 207 did have issues with skipping from time to time - the blue ink primarily in my experience - and the new models have none of that. They also feature Uni-ball's Super Ink technology, which makes the ink waterproof and fraud resistant. The new refill is marked UMR-87E, while the refill in one of my older black 0.7mm 207's is marked UMR-87. At some point in the last couple of years Uni-ball did start using Super Ink in the 207 but I'm not sure when exactly, and I'm not sure if the refill designation denotes that or not. Maybe Uni-ball can clear this...oh nevermind.
I will say that the ink color is darker in the older UMR-87 refill compared to the UMR-87E refill. It's close - close enough that 99% of users wouldn't notice - but I do see a slight difference when the ink dries.
What happens next with the 307 will determine the future of this pen. Will it be available in different tip sizes such as 0.38 mm, 0.5 mm, and 1.0 mm like the 207? How about the rainbow of colors offered previously? Will the BLX line convert over to the 307 as well? I would like all of those things to happen personally. The 307 is a very good pen and an upgrade to the 207. Maybe Uni-ball will let us know one day. Or, maybe it will just show up at Wal-Mart.