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Sailor Professional Gear


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#1 J-san

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 01:40

Professional gear, for professional people.

Ever since I saw the Sailor Sapporo Mini, I immediately knew I was eventually going to add it to my collection. I’ve long been a fan of fine points and the Sailor nibs are among the finest of the fine. After satisfying my need for a pocket-pen, I then turned my attention to snagging a full-sized pen of the Sapporo family. While I like smaller pens for how handy they are, I find they do not fit in my hand as well as a full-sized writing instrument for longer stretches of note-taking or general writing. Enter the Sailor Professional Gear in rhodium trim.

(Pardon all the photos. I just purchased a new 100mm macro lens and macro flash assembly for my dental work and decided it would be great for pen photos.)

--- Packaging ---

The PG arrives in a neat black box with the Sailor logo proudly displayed in gold lettering. Crack it open and you will find a velvety cushion with the lovely pen snugly perched on top under the satin band. Very simple, yet elegant presentation. Under the cushion one finds the user’s manual along with a sealed packet of 2 cartridges of Sailor’s blue Jentle Ink. I was pretty surprised to find two and not just one ink cart. Thanks, Sailor!





--- Design, Fit & Finish ---

The PG is an elegant writing instrument with the all-business look, but manages to give a bit of flair with the rhodium accents. The largest rhodium band at the base of the cap has “Founded 1911 Sailor Japan” inscribed. Other than that, there is no other wording on the exterior surface. The entire pen, save for the nib, clip, and internals, are made of black resin. According to the Ujuku Pen Shop’s website, the material is PMMA resin (Polymethyl Methacrylate) [A bit of trivia – PMMA is also used in making dentures!] The resin is buffed to a lustrous sheen and is well accented by equally shiny rhodium trim. Though the resin looks black, it is actually slightly translucent with a reddish hue if held up to a bright light source. Overall length (capped) comes to 13cm and posted length is a healthy 14.9cm. Diameter is 12.5mm at the widest portion of the body and weight with a full ink cart is approximately 22.4g.





The cap sports a flat metal clip, which offers a tenacious grip on my shirt pocket, and the Sailor anchor logo is displayed on the top. The clip has a stepped terrace design with the highest portion in the middle, stepping down on both sides. The cap screws on with 2.5 turns and as the user is giving the final ½ turn, a bit more resistance is felt, indicating the inner liner is being pressed onto the nib section to create a tight seal. Nice touch. I don’t expect any leaks from this pen, but if it does (like due to air pressure difference in a plane), I can rest assured my pockets will stay spotless. You can see the inner cap in one of the photos. Not great, but I tried to get a pic of it.





The body unscrews from the nib section to reveal the included converter, which is of the twist type. The metal nib section has a small o-ring, which provides another seal. It is possible the pen can be filled with an eye dropper, but due to the metal within, there may be issues with corrosion.




Held side by side with the Sapporo Mini, the Pro Gear looks like a larger sibling. Just about every feature is the same, except larger. I am quite fond of the design of the Sapporo/Pro Gear series and I think it is really neat to have a larger and smaller version of the same pen. One for serious writing and the other for serious traveling.







--- Nib and Writing ---

The heart of the Pro Gear is the beautiful two-tone 21k gold nib. Being that my PG is the rhodium version, the nib is mostly rhodium with a bilateral gold accent trim that follows the curvature of the nib. The nib is inscribed with “1911, 21k 875 Sailor” and also bears the distinctive anchor logo. The gold trim runs along either side of the lettering to the base of the nib, itself bearing an intricate “double-helix” inscription. The left side of the nib is inscribed with “H-F”, which I assume indicates a hard-fine. The nib is definitely not hard, but it has a springy feel to it. If I press down with enough pressure, I can get a small bit of line variation, but then writing gets very toothy and the nib gouges the paper. I tend to write with little pressure, which helps to reduce the amount of tooth in a really fine nib, so I really am not a good evaluator of nib flex.




My PG is a fine and it wrote out of the box with a bit of tooth, delivering a line slightly wider on the horizontal strokes than vertical – I estimate a 0.3mm vertical line and a 0.4mm horizontal. I do not get any line variation when writing with the PG, other than the natural variation between vertical and horizontal strokes. Comparing the line width to that of my Sapporo XF, the fine nib is just a hair’s width broader, but a good deal smoother. A few quick swipes on the nail polishing board and the nib was sufficiently smoothed out. For such a fine line it lays down the Sailor nib is quite smooth. I did not encounter any skipping when loading the pen with Noodler’s Black – my favourite ink. Even after sitting out for several minutes, the pen put down ink almost immediately upon touching paper. I found writing to be very comfortable, owing to it’s increased heft and diameter. Posting helps shift the weight towards the back slightly and it makes the pen a good deal longer.




--- Filling ---

Feeding is accomplished by one of two routes: cartridge or converter. The PG came with a converter already installed, and with 2 ink carts in the box. Since I never like to dip my pens into the bottle due to the necessary clean-up, I usually refill carts with a syringe. The Sailor ink carts contained blue Jentle Ink. A quick push onto the feed nipple was all that was needed to break the seal and allow me to flush out the blue in favour of Noodler’s Black. Feed is quite reliable as the pen was able to lay down ink soon after the feed was primed - a little squeeze of the soft plastic cart hastens the process.

--- Final Thoughts ---

Sailor is a company that has really impressed me, even before I became an owner of their pens. The simple design and excellent nibs make their pens such excellent writers while looking good. I got a few compliments from others who saw the PG as I was writing in class and in the dental clinics. Most were impressed with the two-tone nib. I must say, I never was a fan of screw-on caps because I felt they were too slow. Sailor was the company that won me over and as a result, I now have 3 pens that have screw-on caps. I guess the time it takes to uncap the pen is the time one can spend relishing the moment!

Jason's current rotation:
Lamy 2000 eyedropper
Parker '51' Vac
Sailor Pro Gear

#2 davidmigl

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 01:50

Great, informative review with excellent photos to boot! What materials did you use to smoothen the nib?

#3 jonro

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 01:54

Thanks for a very complete and descriptive review. It looks like a great pen.

#4 rroossinck

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 02:00

Jay, that last picture is one of the coolest pics of a pen I've ever seen.

I owe you an email. Stay tuned...

I'm in town as of Sunday night. Planning on getting together with you and James one of those days that week. Wednesday is the only one that I know for sure won't work. The rest are all pretty much fair game.

Can't wait to see that pen in person!
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#5 bgray

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 02:07

I've been eyeing one of those for a while now. One of these days, I'll break down.

Thanks for the review.

#6 captnemo

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 02:22

Nice pics! thumbup.gif

#7 J-san

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 02:32

I'm having a blast with my new camera gear. Macro photography is a new world in itself.

David,

I used a fingernail polishing system easily found at a Target or Walmart in the cosmetics aisle. The material is an abrasive film on foam boards. Comes in 3 different grits. I used the grey coloured board that was the smoothest one. You can still see the dark streaks left on it from the nib. I have to credit rroossinck for the idea.




Ryan,

I think a Tuesday or Thursday works well for me.
Jason's current rotation:
Lamy 2000 eyedropper
Parker '51' Vac
Sailor Pro Gear

#8 michael_s

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 03:00

Nice close-ups! May I ask where you purchased your PG?

-Mike

#9 rroossinck

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 03:29

Brian, just design something marginally similar and then write the ProGear off as a business expense.

Send the prototype to me. smile.gif
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#10 rroossinck

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 03:31

Nemo, by the way, that's the funniest quote I think I've ever read.

Ever.

That even tops the one about some people having no earthly use other than to make you laugh after you throw them down a flight of steps like a slinky.


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#11 raffor

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 10:54

On sailor's 21k nib you may found H or N before the nib size.
I think that:
-N means you're writing with the famous Naginata Togi nib,
-H means you're writing with the standard high quality 21 k nib.

Very great review!!!

Bye!


#12 jd50ae

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 12:09

Yea Yea, great review....great pen......

What kind of camera system did you use..?

#13 abp

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 12:10

Great Review. I also got one of these recently, though mine's a broab nib. I'm really chuffed with it!

Antony

#14 AndyHayes

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 16:41

Nice review and pics. I must admit to being tempted by this pen, but I got a Sailor 1911 full size and I think for me at least it was the right choice.
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#15 greencobra

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 16:56

Good job on the review and happy to see a good amount of photos with the text.


JELL-O, IT'S WHATS FOR DINNER!

#16 jmkeuning

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 18:02

B E A U T Y.

I wanted to say, "NOOOooooooo..."

Because I think this is a GREAT pen, I love my Sapporo, but also my M805... when would I write with the PG?

Great review, but I am going to stand strong and not order myself one. You made a great choice though.

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#17 tamburlaine

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 18:06

QUOTE(jmkeuning @ Oct 19 2007, 07:02 PM) View Post
... when would I write with the PG?


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#18 J-san

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 21:44

QUOTE(jd50ae @ Oct 19 2007, 07:09 AM) View Post
Yea Yea, great review....great pen......

What kind of camera system did you use..?



Camera is a Canon Rebel XTi with the EF 100mm USM macro lens and the MT-24EX Twinlite flash system. Flash is a little on the harsh side giving the glare seen on shiny parts. I'll have to look into getting a diffuser for it.
Jason's current rotation:
Lamy 2000 eyedropper
Parker '51' Vac
Sailor Pro Gear

#19 Sirius33

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 23:53

J-San

Wonderful review and beautiful photography to boot. It is not a stretch to say that fountain pens, photography and dentistry are all forms of art.

Is it improper to ask where you purchased your pen? The www.sailor.co.jp website is oddly silent on the topic of distributors.

Thanks in advance.


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We're on the same side now!

#20 J-san

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Posted 26 October 2007 - 04:38

Ah, sorry I forgot to reply as to where i purchased the pen. I bought it from entropy00 at the marketplace. It was hardly used at all and in pristine condition. No affiliation with entropy00, but an excellent person to buy from.

You can also try ujuku pen shop: http://ujuku.jpn.ph/...NO/penframe.htm
www.nibs.com has them for sale as well.
Jason's current rotation:
Lamy 2000 eyedropper
Parker '51' Vac
Sailor Pro Gear




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