Posts filed under Sailor

Sailor Pro Gear Ocean Fountain Pen Review

Sailor Pro Gear Ocean Fountain Pen Review

I have a strange habit of not having reviews on The Pen Addict for some of my most favorite pens. In my head, I’ve done them. I talk about the pen constantly online, or with friends, or on the podcast, so certainly I can link you to the review right? Time and time again, the answer is nope, I can’t. And I can’t figure out why!

But today, I’m logging the Sailor Pro Gear Ocean Fountain Pen into the permanent record. I looked back through the eleven plus year history of this blog and saw that I have reviewed exactly one standard Pro Gear fountain pen, back in 2015. That’s unacceptable for a pen I use and recommend so much.

Sailor Pro Gear Ocean Fountain Pen

Since that last review, my love for the brand, and specifically this pen model, has grown. Sure, I’ve had dalliances with the 1911, and rave about the King of Pen (which I haven’t reviewed yet either!), but the Pro Gear is one of my favorite all day, every day pens in my rotation.

Everything about this pen is perfect for me. The size and weight of the pen hit a perfect balance of not to small and not too heavy, while also remaining not too large. It slides into a pocket or a pen case easily, with the strong clip keeping it secure. It even posts to a reasonable writing length for you heathens out there.

Sailor Pro Gear Ocean Nib

As great as this pen feels, I have a lot of pens that feel just as nice. Two things set it apart from those other pens. First off, Sailor pens have a style that fits me and my aesthetic perfectly. There are always fun colors and combinations to choose from, including a ton of rhodium trim and nib options. The clip design is classic, the cap band is a strong, but not overwhelming, visual, and the anchor in the finial is as classic to me as the Montblanc snowcap. And don’t even get me started on all of the special/limited editions, of which the Ocean model is one of.

Sailor Pro Gear Ocean Fountain Pen Barrel

Secondly, and the thing most people think of when they think of Sailor, is the nib. If I can tell you one thing about Sailor nibs and how they compare to their Japanese counterparts it is that they are firm. Sailor stock nibs come in a wide range of sizes, from Extra Fine, to Zoom and Music. I ordered a Medium Fine for my Ocean, and had Dan Smith stub it before shipping - an awesome service he offers by the way. (Disclosure: I paid full price for this pen with my own cash money.)

Sailor Pro Gear Ocean Fountain Pen Writing

Even with the nib modification, this thing writes like a nail. And I love it. A quick look at the writing samples in this review will tell you why. This is my normal writing style and size. The output on the page is tight and clean, and the ink flow is perfect.

For years, people have asked “Why fountain pens?” when questioning me about why people choose to write with certain pens. And my answer is always “Customization.” This Sailor Pro Gear Ocean is the epitome of that for me. It’s the feel I want, the color I want, and the nib I want, all wrapped up in one neat package. Add up all of those wants, and all I want to do is use it. There is no higher praise I can give a product than that.


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Sailor Pro Gear Ocean Review
Posted on February 18, 2019 and filed under Sailor, Pro Gear, Pen Reviews.

Sailor 1911 Large Stormy Sea: A Review

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(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)

Sailor has been producing the 1911 model for thirty years in a variety of colors. The most recent iteration (available only in North America) is Stormy Sea.

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Stormy Sea is a gorgeous deep blue with silvery chatoyance.

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The rhodium-plated 21k nib and rhodium trim complement the color perfectly. The large version is 140.5mm/5.53 inches capped, 122.7mm/4.83 inches uncapped, and 153.6mm/6.05 inches posted. I think of this as a medium-sized pen, especially since it’s slightly smaller than a Montblanc 146. A large pen (to me) is one that is comparable to a Montblanc 149.

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I bought my Stormy Sea from Dan Smith and had the medium nib ground to an italic.

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This gives the nib a bit of line variation and a lot of character, though you definitely have to find the sweet spot to avoid scratchy writing and corner snags.

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If you prefer a smoother writing experience, I’d suggest a stub, but I’m really enjoying the crispness of this italic grind.

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Stormy Sea comes in a typical Sailor dark blue clamshell box—no super fancy packaging for this pen.

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One cartridge and a converter are included.

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The pen is a typical cigar shape with rhodium trims on the cap, grip, and barrel. The cap sports Sailor’s simple clip and a large ring engraved with “Sailor Founded 1911.”

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The 21k nib is decorated with scrollwork and the Sailor anchor logo. I think Sailor produces some of the most beautiful nibs available today (though Aurora nibs are my absolute favorite).

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Although most of my Sailor nibs are unyielding, this nib has a tiny bit of give to it, which I like.

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I inked my Sailor Stormy Sea with an ink brand that is new to me: Krishna, purchased from Vanness. The color is called, appropriately, “Sailor’s Blue” and it’s a perfect match for this pen. I’ll be reviewing several Krishna inks soon.

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Many retailers offer the new Sailor Stormy Sea 1911 in large or standard sizes, but I highly recommend purchasing from Dan Smith since you get a complimentary nib grind along with your purchase. The pen (with nib grind) costs $288 plus shipping.

Pros

  • The Sailor 1911 Large is a comfortable pen and will fit all but the largest hands well. Because it is made from resin, it is not heavy (24.5 grams capped), and, in fact, it might be too light for those who prefer hefty pens.
  • The Stormy Sea color is one of the most beautiful Sailor colors I’ve seen. I absolutely love the silvery sheen and deep sea blue color.
  • As you would expect, the nib is outstanding. Sailor nibs do have some feedback, but if you don’t like that, you can have them ground into a smoother tip, such as a stub. If you plan on having the nib ground, I highly recommend purchasing from Dan Smith since a nib grind is included with the purchase.
  • Even though the Sailor converter doesn’t hold a ton of ink (1.1mm), I like converter fillers because they are super easy to clean.

Cons

  • Sailor pens are on the expensive side, especially since they are made from resin and the cigar shape isn’t especially unique. But, the price includes a solid 21k nib.
  • If you prefer weightier pens, the Sailor 1911 (even the large model) will probably be too light for you.
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Posted on May 25, 2018 and filed under Sailor, Fountain Pens, Pen Reviews.

Sailor 1911 Standard Royal Tangerine Fountain Pen Review

Sailor 1911 Royal Tangerine Review

I fully understand how good Sailor fountain pens are. I own a baker’s dozen, and always have my eyes on the next one. Since I own, use, and love so many already, I was convinced I didn’t need another one when the 1911 Royal Tangerine launched. Yes, it’s practically the perfect pen for me and my tastes, but I was ok holding off until the next one, or the one after that. I have enough Sailors!

Apparently I don’t, as it turns out. My friends at Goldspot sent me one to review, and as soon as I inked it up I wondered what I had been waiting for. This is a fantastic example of everything that Sailor does right.

Pro Gear Orange (top) vs 1911 Standard Royal Tangerine

Pro Gear Orange (top) vs 1911 Standard Royal Tangerine

If you’ve read or listened to me for any length of time, you already know what those things are. Sailor pens are stylish, yet refined. The colors are bright, and the hardware fancies up the joint without being ostentatious. This tangerine orange barrel with rhodium trim POPS, but in a way only a few companies can pull off.

And the nibs. I feel a tinge of guilt if I ever say they aren’t the best in the business. Platinum has an argument here, but any Sailor second place talk is squashed quickly by the sheer amount of variety. I even tried something new this time while remaining in my writing wheelhouse. This medium fine nib is a wonderful every day writer.

Sailor 1911 Royal Tangerine Nibs

That’s where this pen fits for me. It’s almost the perfect every day carry fountain pen. From the moment I inked it up, with Bungubox Tangerine of course, I’ve wanted to carry this pen with me. Clipped to my shirt, in a front pants pocket, attached to a notebook, in a case - anywhere.

The feeling I get with the 1911 Standard (my first one, btw) is that it wants to be an EDC pen, unlike all of my other Sailors. They are mostly Professional Gear models with flat end caps. The 1911 has rounded end caps. The Standard model is also smaller than the Large. Those things combined mean it stealthily fits into more places than its larger, edgier counterparts.

Sailor 1911 Royal Tangerine Writing

It’s durable too. The barrel construction, including the clip, are rock solid. Another reason I want to carry it anywhere and everywhere is that I know it can take a beating. It gives me the confidence to carry it to the shop at Nock and leave it on the counter while I work around it. I don’t have to pretend it’s a fragile little flower. That feels great, and makes me want to have it with me at all times.

I’m still not sure exactly why this particular Sailor made me change my mentality around carrying it, but I’m glad it did.

If you are waiting for the kicker, there is one: It’s expensive, especially for a pen I’m recommending as an EDC option. It’s currently $196 at Goldspot, which is above the comfort zone for many. If you are a Sailor fan and user, you get it and understand the cost. If you haven’t reached this threshold in your pen buying, then it can be a tough pill to swallow. There are tons of great pens that are cheaper. There are many worse pens that are more expensive. It’s about finding a pen that fits your needs, and this one fits mine more than I even considered.

(Goldspot provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


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Sailor 1911 Royal Tangerine Nock
Posted on April 30, 2018 and filed under Sailor, Fountain Pens, Pen Reviews.