[Brief introduction] This is my fifth pen review in English.
Sailor launched Limited Edition 95th Anniversary pen, Realo (the origin of REALO is REliance And LOcus,
see my review of the limited Realo), the first piston filler in Sailor's 95years history , in 2006. After 3years
of development, Profit Realo has been put on sale this September in 2009. I think there are 5 different
points between Realo2006 and Realo2009:1) Realo2009 is not a limited editon pen. 2)The base model of
Realo2009 is a Profit 21(1911Large),not a King Profit(King of Pens). 3) The ink tank window of Realo2009
resembles that of Aurora, not Montblanc (but we can see the windows of both Realos even when the pens
are capped.) 4) The ink tank of Realo2009 is inner part separated from the barrel. 5) The piston filling system
of Realo2009 has become tougher than that of Realo2006.
At first I thought I should have the Realo2009 a little later after the appreciation will be fixed. But I have
heard the special bottle* is attached to the only first 500 Realo2009 sets. A Realo 2009 is not a limited pen
but this bottle is limited! So many fountain lovers have gone to retailers of Sailor in a hurry. I myself knew
the first oroginal sets were sold out at Itoya in Ginza,Tokyo. So I also went to the other shop(Shosaikan) at
once looking for the set and I got it(Only 2 sets were in stock at that shop then. ). I may be forestalled by
the sales strategy of Sailor.
* There are 2 distinctions: 1) The ink of the bottle is blended specially.The color of it is named Chushu.
Chushu means the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar and in this case the words alludes
to the harvest moon because Chushu reminds people in Japan of the autumnal lunar festival, enjoying
the light of the harvest moon. So the color,a kind of blue grey, perhaps expresses the color of night
under the silver light of the harvest moon. 2) the bottle comes with specially designed reservoir suitable
for the piston filling of a Realo2009.
Many fountain pen lovers seem to be interested in this pen with the combination of Sailor nib and piston filler.
So I have decided to try telling you the details of this pen in a hurry(previously I planned to post the review of
1 First Impressions (9/10) The box is Prussian blue cardboard on the lid of which golden characters of "SAILOR"
was stamped. The outer box is the same color and a quadrangle hall is bored in the upside surface to make the
Golden SAILOR visible. I think it is an ordinary gift box, not special for this pen. It is comparatively small and fairly
plain but does not seem a cheep article. When I opened the box, there were the Realo2009, a special bottle of Sailor
special ink "Chushu" and papers(booklet about REALO, instruction paper and so on). The black and gold of the
Realo2009 was glittering modestly and the texture of its ink tank window is solid. It expressed itself moderately
but a bid proudly in spite of its not big size. I had the feeling of getting an article of true value.
2 Appearance & Design (10/10) - The base model of Realo2009 is a Profit 21(1911Large). So the design,
the size and the materials of Realo2009 is similar to1911 large, traditional shape of a typical fountain pen,
PMMA black resin with metal parts plated by 24K gold. Of course the ink tank window is different. The window
is between 2 gold plated rings and the width of it is narrow, about 4mm. It is made of very clear resin without
any lines, seems crystal and has a feeling of high quality. The color of the nib is monotone gold. The body with
the combination of black and gold is very glossy and seems of superior quality.
3 Weight & Dimensions (9/10) The length of this pen capped is 141mm long, when uncapped 121mm long
and posted 155mm long. The maximum diameter of the barrel is 18mm. It weighs 21.4 g without ink. In short,
Realo2009 is almost the same as 1911Large that many people feel comfortable to write with. By the way,
1911Large weighs 21.6g. It is a wonder that the new Realo with piston filling system is slightly lighter than the
conventional 1911large with cartridge and converter system. The former has about 2times as many parts as
the latter does.
4 Nib & Performance (10/10) This pen comes with the same nib as 1911Large,that is, a 21k solid gold
monotone M nib that is plated by 24k gold (F,M and B is available.). It is a rather large nib similar to Montblanc146.
The nib is very smooth and is not so flexible but has a unique flexibility that gives the feeling that the nib is sticking
to the paper. The width of the line is a bit narrower than that of Pelikan M750 M or Waterman Leman100 M and
When posted, the cap is not unsteady. That is very good.
I have noticed that a spring is attached to the inner cap. So the inner cap and the grip section adhere closely to
protect the nib from dryness.
5 Filling System (9/10) This is the second piston filler in Sailor's 95years history. The filling system of
the first Realo I have has no problem so far, but I have heard the opinion that the durability of the first
Realo's filling system is not enough. The engineers of Sailor have stated that this second Realo has been
improved as best they can after 3 years of development*. The system actually seems very solid and durable.
The knob turns very smoothly with the feeling of airtightness. The clearness of ink tank window is satisfactory.
The window is narrow indeed, but we can know the time to refill ink when the level of ink comes to the half
of the window (the quantity of the ink will be 0.2ml then). But the capacity of ink is only1.0cc, about 2times
as much as Sailor converter according to Sailor HP. I myself do not care but many people may be disappointed
at this point. By the way, we can see the ink tank window even when the pen is capped. I wonder if this unique
position is meaningful practically. For example, if I have several Realos with different color ink, I can choose
one Realo with specific ink at once. But that case is not so common. In any case, I think it is very enjoyable and
*According to the Japanese stationary magazine "Shumi no bungubako vol.14, pp21-22",4 engineers said in
the following words: They started the design of Realo2009 on a full scale after the limited Realo2006.They
wanted to make a standard version of piston filler eagerly. The fundamental structure of Realo2009 is the
same as that of Realo2006 but the size was made small. The part of cylinder was made separately apart
from the barrel to mass produce Realo2009. Various tests were done for stabilization of products. The most
important part is cylinder. If this part does not have enough strength of materials, leakage of ink will happen.
To secure the clearness of the ink tank window, they decided to use acrylic resins, but the materials are very
hard. So they gave special attention. The factor of thickness and blocking is also important to oppose the
continual pressure from the packing part. They had difficulty to secure the shielding of the packing part. The
materials of it was selected from more than 10 kinds of materials and the shape and angles of the cylinder
was adjusted to the packing part. The parts of turning knob are very complicated. The stroke and thread's
angle of the spindle rod was calculated accurately. The number of parts of Realo2009 is 28, about 2 times as
much as ordinary pens (about 15parts). Regarding the test, the secular change must be considered. They did
various tests , to be concrete, heat test, impact test, leak test considering the change of atmospheric air
pressure, torque test and so on. The last 1year was spent mainly for these tests.
with piston visible
with piston unvisible
6 Cost & Value (9/10) - The list price of a Realo2009 is 30,000yen(+1,500yen consumption tax), about $300 at
current rate. The list price of a 1911Large with cartridge and converter system is 20,000yen (+1,000yen consumption
tax). Does the piston-fill system justify the price margin of 10,000yen? I think so because making the system itself
needs more parts and cost as stated above. But from the point of the ink capacity, the price margin may be controversial.
Accordingly, the price is appropriate for persons who want to have a pen with Sailor nib and piston filling system. I
bought the pen at just the list price. But the contract price at auction or on internet will become a bit cheaper than its
list price a little later.
7 Conclusion (Final score: 9.5)- When I use this pen (especially with Chushu), I feel quite satisfied. This pen is
not cheep, but I think you can have satisfaction for the cost. I recommend you to think of getting it.
Edited by rokurinpapa, 10 October 2009 - 13:52.