I was in public when I first saw the new Sailor Shikiori pens hit the JetPens site. Worse than public, I was at work, where I do my best to appear as a perfectly normal human who doesn't make noises like that when they see a picture of a pen. I lost some serious cred that day--but I gained an excellent pen. So, overall, I came out ahead.
The pen build is the same as their Procolor 500 series, and very similar to the 1911 Standard—almost identical, until they are held side-by-side and examined closely. The plastic of the Shikiori feels a bit softer and the edges are a little less crisp than the Standard model. The weight is about the same. The nib on the Shikiori is gold finished steel, rather than the 14k gold of the Standard nib. I had to double check this, because the nib is so smooth and pleasant, I wasn't convinced it wasn't gold. There is a small amount of feedback with the fine nib, but in a good way. The steel nib of the Shikiori is more slender than the Standard. It looks a bit small in the pen, but it still has the beautiful Sailor branding stamped into the metal. It's the same size and shape as the Procolor 500 series, but with the added gold finish.
It's difficult to capture the pearlescent sparkle of the material--the photos don't do this pen justice. This Shimoyo color was named for the frost that appears on ponds on a winter's night. The other colors of this series are the deep blue of the full autumn moon on the lake (Yonaga), the red of a summer night bonfire (Yodaki), and the delicate pink of evening cherry blossoms (Yozakura).
All four colors have matching inks that are just as stunning as the pens themselves. If I wasn't trying to slow the encroaching ink tide in my home, I'd have picked them up like Pokemon, but I resisted and filled mine with Akkerman #8 Diep-Duinwaterblauw. It's a good match, I think, though the ink is more greeny where the pen is a bit more grey.
If you're looking for a relatively inexpensive way to become hopelessly addicted to Sailor pens, this is a great place to start. I say relatively, because at $70, this is more of a next-level pen, rather than entry-level in terms of cost--but the experience you get for that price is an excellent value. This is definitely one of the best under-$100 pens that I own--and it's better than a few I paid over $100 for.
You may have to do a little bit of hunting for these, or keep your eyes peeled for the Jetpens restock. They aren't widely available outside of Japan. I hope Sailor does more of these models in other fun themes and colors. It would help me out a lot if I could indulge in beautiful Sailors without paying for the gold nib every time, especially when the steel nibs are as nice as this one.
(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)
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