(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.
Stormy Sea is a gorgeous deep blue with silvery chatoyance.
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.
I bought my Stormy Sea from Dan Smith and had the medium nib ground to an italic.
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.
If you prefer a smoother writing experience, I’d suggest a stub, but I’m really enjoying the crispness of this italic grind.
Stormy Sea comes in a typical Sailor dark blue clamshell box—no super fancy packaging for this pen.
One cartridge and a converter are included.
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.”
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).
Although most of my Sailor nibs are unyielding, this nib has a tiny bit of give to it, which I like.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.