The photo above is enlarged. It is actually a Rhodia N°16 - A5 - 14.8 x 21 cm sheet.
This is my first time doing a review.
I hope I am not long winded but provide definitive and empirical judgement.
[I must be watching too much of Bones. I am turing into Dr Brennan.]
#1 Appearance & Design (8/10) – The Sailor Professional Gear A-mode is a (at this point in time) new member of the Pro Gear family. It comes in four generally attractive bright colours, white, green, yellow and orange, mine being the white ebony coloured one. This pen differs from the colours collection. It has no black coloured contrasting parts on it's body, and does not have a duo tone nib. I was pleased that the new appearance, of light somewhat chalky colours comes with simple rhodium trims that really suit the design, and this pen can definitely be described as attractive and classy. This is a small step forward for a very conservative company of fountain pen makers. Even then, the shape and build of the pen is clearly a well defined Sailor, and the conservative clip and standard gloss finish are examples of this classic utilitarian purpose. This pen incorporates classic design and modern qualities in perfect balance. The slightly tapering curves at it's side accentuate the supreme quality of this pen, a well known and respected characteristic of one of the finest makers in the world.
#2 Construction & Quality (9/10) – This is one solid pen. It is made of high grade PMMA resin, just like any other distinct Professional Gear. There are absolutely no manufacturing defects and flaws on purchase, and the pen feels very complete, very easy to hold on to in the hand. The well defined rhodium trims exude a sense of charm and attractiveness. The cap safely screws onto the body and posts perfectly onto the top of the pen body. As it's name attests, this pen is, for the most part, a true writing tool that gets the job done in a no-nonsense, professional fashion.
#3 Weight & Dimensions (9/10) – This is a medium weighted, perfectly balanced pen, even with it's cap posted on top of it. It's weight allows prolonged periods of writing in comfort, and stays firm in your hand for proper control. It is of just the right size for reliable and luxurious daily use.
#4 Nib & Performance (10/10) – Having chosen a fine nib, I was very pleased as I knew that Sailor's fine's were the real deal. They are most definitely the smoothest fine nibs in the world, producing a true fine line, not a medium. I make thus the audacious assumption that western pen makers lack the capability and precision as well as skill to construct nibs that are smooth and fine at the same time. The 21K rhodium plated nib does not have two tones, and that really makes me happy, because I find gold an old-fashioned and even passé way of showing status or excessive wealth. Rhodium is, ironically, an even more luxurious option. The nib is a little flexy, which gives me more wetness when I want it, and producing a very neat line that allows me to write in my Moleskine, not just the Rhodia is use. Nib creep is absolutely irrelevant. [Ink used is Namiki/Pilot - Iroshizuku "Ku-Jaku" or Peacock coloured Turquoise green-blue ink.]
#5 Filling System & Maintenance (8-10) - Nothing spectacular, but why must it be? The Sailor cartridge and converter filling system is reliable and made of high quality material. The converter is made of high quality thick plastic, and respectably holds quite a large amount of ink. It functions perfectly, and I use it to suck up ink directly from the bottle. If I am not wrong, it can carry either more, or the same amount as any Lamy converter. The maintenance pf the pen is easy, yet it is of a reasonable price, depending who you buy it from. The filling system carries quite a bit of ink, and does not skip at all. It starts easily even when exposed to air for a considerable amount of time. Sailor nibs are easily available , and I can change my nib [If I happen to afford it, which I now cannot.} at will.
#6 Cost & Value (9/10) – Having purchased the pen from DeScribe, a well-regarded Fountain Pen Network seller, I was more or less feeling safe. His prices are competitive and his service is reliable. [Refer to the link below for more pens.] Even though this is a new pen, I was happy to pay the price I paid for it. The quality and value of this pen are there, and it's reliability means I will be keeping it for quite a long time. I think this is a very sustainable choice of pens for professional performance and daily usage. Having made comparisons of this pen to the Lamy 2000, I come up with the conclusion that it is in a different class. Despite the high value and design of the Lamy 2000, the reliability and sheer quality of the whole Professional Gear wins in the end. Even if to pay a little more.
Conclusion (Final score, 53/6 = 8.83') - Overall, I am more pleased with my purchase of this pen than of my purchase of the Lamy 2000. I further forsee that this pen will bring me more attention than the 2000, because of its design and colour. The pen has exceeded my expectations, and in fact, the nib was the main reason I bought, and will in future, buy Sailor pens. However, we realise that the nib is the distinct reason why fountain pens exist. Thus, the pen has a real purpose. I highly recommend this pen, and any other Sailor pen, to all people, even those in the west, who have not experienced the quality of Japanese made pens before. [OH PLEASE! I am not Japanese. I am just in awe of them.]
DeScribe is a reliable and efficient seller on FPN of a diverse array of pens:
[His item reached me in one day. OH WAIT! My country is a dot. No wonder!]
Reviewer: I started out in Singapore from the utilitarian Cross ATX and Lamy Vista, Al-Star, as well as the legend, Lamy 2000. In my explorations, I have experienced the sheer quality of Caran d'Ache and the status symbolism of Mont Blanc. I continue to traverse and explore the endless vista of possibilities in writing. I aspire to be a journalist in future.
Edited by nicholasyeo, 08 April 2010 - 13:39.