Over the years I have been a fan of many Japanese animators and artists so when I heard Leiji Matsumoto was designing a pen for Sailor as a limited edition of 500 pens I was intrigued. His work has always been among my favorites and this pen does not disappoint. It arrived very well packaged with an information booklet, a card with Matusmoto’s drawing, a pen sleeve with logo matching the pen, limited edition ink bottle, and converter. I am not sure if the ink is a limited edition or not as it carries no markings other than the artwork on the cap.
This is my first attempt at a pen review. I had to reduce the file size of the images to fit here so if anyone would like a higher quality version of any of these images PM me. I have tried to cover everything but if I left something out please feel free to ask.
Appearance & Design (10/10)
When I first saw the image of this pen on Sailor’s website I was not entirely sure this design would work for me. I was pleasantly surprised by its organic look and beautiful iridescent blue finish that really catches the light. I have tried my best to capture the finish photographically but it is difficult. The cap and body match perfectly when screwed back together and the clip is a nice complement to the fin designs. The barrel and cap also act to stop the pen from rolling which is useful. The small characters engraved at the top of the cap and cap band add a nice playful character to the pen while not being over the top. The same logo repeats on the nib.
Construction & Quality (10/10)
As with every sailor pen I have owned, the build quality is excellent. The body and cap are a type of plastic that is smooth and warm to the touch and the metal accents fit well. The clip is large and has a nice amount of spring. The cap is threaded and posts securely which really surprised me. I thought for sure this was a pen that would not be able to be posted. Overall the pen has a very solid feel and I will not be afraid to carry it with me.
Weight & Dimensions: (9/10)
I find the weight to be substantial (30.5g with ink) but not heavy. The cap weighs 12.1g. It does weigh more than my full size 1911 while being slightly shorter. The cap at its widest is 17mm and the body 14.6mm. It is 13.6cm capped, 11.8cm uncapped, and 16.4cm posted. This length is just about right for me. My one complaint when it comes to the pen’s dimensions is the use of a slightly thinner section than I am accustomed to. It measures 9.7mm at is narrowest point compared to the 10.5mm of the 1911. While it is a slight difference it took some getting used to. After writing a couple of pages it was a non-issue.
Nib & Performance: (9/10)
The nib is a bit more diminutive in size than I was expecting but it does fit well into the section and works with the overall design. This pen only comes with one nib size; the HM or hard medium. It is 14K gold and has the special edition logo that matches the cap and cap band which is a nice touch. As with all of my sailor pens, this nib writes a consistent medium-wet line and is smooth while offering just a hint of feedback. It is pleasant to write with but if you have never used a Sailor nib there may be more tooth than you are used to. For me it is just right. The line is consistent with other Japanese M nibs and is similar to a western F. The nib does have a slight amount of flex but not much.
Filling System & Maintenance: (8/10)
I wish that sailor would offer more filling options other than C/C in its special edition pens. The converter holds a decent amount of ink (sorry, no way to measure exact quantity) and functions well. As converters go it is certainly one of the better made examples. Cleaning will be very simple and straight forward as with any of C/C pen.
Cost & Value: (8/10)
This pen retails for 52,500 yen which is not cheap but at the same time is a lot less than other limited edition pens whose designs and build quality do not appeal at all to me. The packaging was very well done with an outer box and a nice assortment of accessories. The custom ink bottle and pen sleeve were nice bonuses and unlike other manufacturers a converter was included. I am pleased with my purchase but would have been happier if the pen was priced a bit lower.
Conclusion: (54/60 – 90%)
I am very pleased with Sailor’s latest limited edition pen and I am glad that I was able to acquire one. Its build quality and design are excellent and it is a most welcome addition to my collection. This pen is unlike anything else I have owned and being a fan of Mr. Matsumoto for many years this was a very good purchase.