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Sailor Professional Gear A-mode.


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47 replies to this topic

#1 nicholasyeo

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 12:50

Posted Image

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!]
http://www.fountainp...our-new-colors/

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.

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Edited by nicholasyeo, 08 April 2010 - 13:39.


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#2 Lehnsherr

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 13:25

Thanks for the review.
Certainly I would agree that Sailor did it right by making the section color the same with the rest of the pen which makes this series really shines out.
I personally would like to have a two tone nib though. :roflmho:
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#3 nicholasyeo

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 13:35

Thanks for the review.
Certainly I would agree that Sailor did it right by making the section color the same with the rest of the pen which makes this series really shines out.
I personally would like to have a two tone nib though. :roflmho:

Haha a two tone nib is nice too. It's good to remind people: "HEY YOU! This is what you're dealing with. This is what it's made of!"

#4 penspouse

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 14:46

Thanks for the review.
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#5 Ed Ronax

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 16:35

Great review Nicholas, its like your an old hand at this, thanks.
And how can this be, because he is the Kwisatz Haderach.


#6 dwong

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 20:06

I love the shading with the ink. Nice review!

#7 Readymade

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 03:36

Would you happen to know if this white is the same white on the Rose Gold Ivory Pro Gear?
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#8 nicholasyeo

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 05:38

Would you happen to know if this white is the same white on the Rose Gold Ivory Pro Gear?


Hello everybody, thank you for your kind comments.
Anyway, in my knowledge, I have not found this shade
of white on the Rose Gold Ivory Pro Gear. Mine seems
to be a more chalky and seasoned colour, while the
Rose Gold version comes in a very bright and intense
white that is more attractive.

Refer here: http://www.andys-pen.../profgear.shtml

#9 nicholasyeo

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 05:40

Great review Nicholas, its like your an old hand at this, thanks.

Haha! Thank you, I guess I learn from all the passionate people here at FPN.
Owe it to them for their informative and useful advice and knowledge.

#10 xochi

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 06:27

Would you happen to know if this white is the same white on the Rose Gold Ivory Pro Gear?


Hello everybody, thank you for your kind comments.
Anyway, in my knowledge, I have not found this shade
of white on the Rose Gold Ivory Pro Gear. Mine seems
to be a more chalky and seasoned colour, while the
Rose Gold version comes in a very bright and intense
white that is more attractive.

Refer here: http://www.andys-pen.../profgear.shtml



I agree about the color. I've seen the white/rose gold, and ended up buying the Sailor Sapporo white with yellow gold. Mine is a very bright, crisp white, with no hint of yellow or grey in it.

#11 tawanda

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 12:46

Great review Nicholas, very comprehensive and professionally written! Well done.

Personally, I'm not a fan of Sailor pens for several reasons:

I think they are expensive for what you get. There are several other pens with similar qualities but priced more competatively. I also think they try very hard to look like modern MB's, especially with that cap band. I know this has been mentioned before here on FPN in regard to the 1911. I had two 1911's for a while, and really did not like the nail-hard nibs. They felt lifeless in my hand. I think, to some degree Sailor are trying to gain the same image branding that MB have, possibly hope to be the Asian equivalent?

Personally, when it comes to Asian pens, I'd buy Pilot/Namiki over Sailor any day.

JUst a few thoughts. I know many folks will not agree, but hey, that's FPs for you!
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#12 welch

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 14:40

Beautiful pen, but even more I love Sailor nibs. Yes, as T says, they are hard, but ever-so-smooth. I have a 1911M with medium nib, wet flow...lucky to be tuned by the great Young Mr. Nagahara, son of the "grand old man" of nib design. (May the elder Mr Naghara live forever!!!).

Like Tawanda, I don't much care for the gold cap band on the 1911, but it's OK. As someone said, the nib's the thing, and Sailor makes great nibs. Tuned Sailor and "binderized" Pelikans are my favorite modern nibs; Eversharp Skyline medium and Parker 51 medium are my favorite older nibs. All have a different touch, and who could say that one is the "best" or "only" nib to have? Personally, I love the different feel with different inks on different papers.

BY THE WAY: that's a classy-looking blue ink in the sample. I read fast, so maybe I missed it. If not: what ink is that?

Edited by welch, 09 April 2010 - 14:41.

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#13 nicholasyeo

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 15:08

Beautiful pen, but even more I love Sailor nibs. Yes, as T says, they are hard, but ever-so-smooth. I have a 1911M with medium nib, wet flow...lucky to be tuned by the great Young Mr. Nagahara, son of the "grand old man" of nib design. (May the elder Mr Naghara live forever!!!).

Like Tawanda, I don't much care for the gold cap band on the 1911, but it's OK. As someone said, the nib's the thing, and Sailor makes great nibs. Tuned Sailor and "binderized" Pelikans are my favorite modern nibs; Eversharp Skyline medium and Parker 51 medium are my favorite older nibs. All have a different touch, and who could say that one is the "best" or "only" nib to have? Personally, I love the different feel with different inks on different papers.

BY THE WAY: that's a classy-looking blue ink in the sample. I read fast, so maybe I missed it. If not: what ink is that?


Yes, that beautiful ink is also from Japan. It is Pilot's Iroshizuku Ku-jaku, more of a nice turquoise blue-green. I am somewhat unattracted to Mont Blanc due to the quality control and sometimes, incredibly good fakes. I guess that somehow devalues the pens. I don't care much more about the design of this Sailor than it's nib. Further, I am not too much into the vintage pens at this time, but yes, Parker's great. I guess they come from a distinct "era" and that can all be seen. I guess we can study the "evolution of the pen".

Edited by nicholasyeo, 09 April 2010 - 15:28.


#14 nicholasyeo

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 15:12

Great review Nicholas, very comprehensive and professionally written! Well done.

Personally, I'm not a fan of Sailor pens for several reasons:

I think they are expensive for what you get. There are several other pens with similar qualities but priced more competatively. I also think they try very hard to look like modern MB's, especially with that cap band. I know this has been mentioned before here on FPN in regard to the 1911. I had two 1911's for a while, and really did not like the nail-hard nibs. They felt lifeless in my hand. I think, to some degree Sailor are trying to gain the same image branding that MB have, possibly hope to be the Asian equivalent?

Personally, when it comes to Asian pens, I'd buy Pilot/Namiki over Sailor any day.

JUst a few thoughts. I know many folks will not agree, but hey, that's FPs for you!


You are right on point. Subjective and relative. 21k nibs do not necessarily present any quantifiable advantage other than an increased purity and less flexibility. So you pay for that, and sacrifice the pen finishing (resin). Oh well, I guess that the reason why we love it is the smoothness and reliability. What Sailor needs is more character. This is exactly what I was trying to explain. Their colours are too conservative, their designs simply conventional. They focus on quality and precision other than innovation. I can't afford Namiki yet, but anyway, it's definitely on my list. Maybe I'll be looking at the Murex. I like minimalist utilitarian designs. The detail they put into the pens is just... unbelievable. The artwork, the engineering, everything. But I guess that's what some people value more.

Edited by nicholasyeo, 09 April 2010 - 15:30.


#15 nicholasyeo

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 15:25

Would you happen to know if this white is the same white on the Rose Gold Ivory Pro Gear?


Hello everybody, thank you for your kind comments.
Anyway, in my knowledge, I have not found this shade
of white on the Rose Gold Ivory Pro Gear. Mine seems
to be a more chalky and seasoned colour, while the
Rose Gold version comes in a very bright and intense
white that is more attractive.

Refer here: http://www.andys-pen.../profgear.shtml



I agree about the color. I've seen the white/rose gold, and ended up buying the Sailor Sapporo white with yellow gold. Mine is a very bright, crisp white, with no hint of yellow or grey in it.


I tend towards the austere and non-flashy colour combinations, because I am a young student.
Haha, it't quite a habit now, I get the Lamy 2000, prefer even demonstrators or say, GvFC Intuition?

#16 tanalasta

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 15:33

Lovely review. Thank you.

And even better is that you wrote in an ink I was eyeing for quite some time. Finally bit the bullet on the Iroshizuku "Ku-Jaku" although I notice that you initial paper scan has it as a richer sapphire blue than the teal turquoise I have seen in other scans. How close to the real ink colour is it?

I love my Sailor pens even though both of them are currently in a penwrap out of rotation (being c/c fill). The 1911 is perhaps 'too' close a copy to the MontBlanc but it is such a classic cigar shape also similar in the Pilot (Custom 823), Aurora (88) etc...

I disagree that 21k nibs are substantially 'less flexible' simply because of increased purity. Flex has as much to do with the shape and design of the nib, how long the tines are etc... than just the gold content and I find my Sailor 21k nib (fine) has does have some springiness with a hint of flex.

I do like their direction and I wouldn't say their colours were too conservative. Have you seen their marbled, urushi & maki-e offerings?
In Rotation: MB 146 (EF), Noodler's Ahab bumblebee, Edison Pearl (F), Sailor ProGear (N-MF)
In storage: MB 149 (18k EF), TWSBI 540 (B), ST Dupont Olympio XL (EF), MB Dumas (B stub), Waterman Preface (ST), Edison Pearl (0.5mm CI), Noodler's Ahab clear, Pilot VP (M), Danitrio Densho (F), Aurora Optima (F), Lamy 2000 (F), Visconti Homo Sapiens (stub)

#17 nicholasyeo

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 16:28

Lovely review. Thank you.

And even better is that you wrote in an ink I was eyeing for quite some time. Finally bit the bullet on the Iroshizuku "Ku-Jaku" although I notice that you initial paper scan has it as a richer sapphire blue than the teal turquoise I have seen in other scans. How close to the real ink colour is it?

I love my Sailor pens even though both of them are currently in a penwrap out of rotation (being c/c fill). The 1911 is perhaps 'too' close a copy to the MontBlanc but it is such a classic cigar shape also similar in the Pilot (Custom 823), Aurora (88) etc...

I disagree that 21k nibs are substantially 'less flexible' simply because of increased purity. Flex has as much to do with the shape and design of the nib, how long the tines are etc... than just the gold content and I find my Sailor 21k nib (fine) has does have some springiness with a hint of flex.

I do like their direction and I wouldn't say their colours were too conservative. Have you seen their marbled, urushi & maki-e offerings?


Thanks for your kindness.
Yes, this Ku-Jaku is quite an affordable "Peacock" ink (I feel so, as compared to Colours of the Earth by Caran d'Ache) and in a beautiful bottle. I find that the light reflection from the scanner caused the ink to appear more vivid. Nevertheless, this Iroshizuku is actually quite an intense and bright colour that resembles very high quality classy and elegant inks. Think peacock. One of the best I have seen. I recommend you write in a fine nib, so it is neater, not so messy and wet as well. I can see the beautiful colour flowing through the double helix on my Pro Gear's 1911 nib. It is truly beautiful in the light. Anyway, this ink has great shading and flows well. And it is actually very versatile. Another I have used and reccommend is the Pilot-Namiki Iroshizuku Yama Budo, or Mountain Grape, as well as Asa-Gao, Morning Glory. Lovely colour, really, it is just bright and attractive.

Well, I guess that there are many opinions on this matter. Due to my change from Lamy 2000 14K to Pro Gear 21K, I researched here: http://www.fountainp...ost&pid=1497762 and found the differing opinions. Some say Sailor nibs are hard. But I find them ok, and most of all, smooth. Whatever it is, this phrase, stolen from another review, simply says: "If you haven’t tried a Sailor then you need to. It really is a hugely pleasurable experience." MY SENTIMENTS EXACTLY.

Anyway, I have seen those intricate and just astonishing details on the immensely expensive Maki-E and Urushi series.
However, I am nowhere near affording them so I deceive myself into thinking that they do not exist, or are somewhat for more aged and senior people! HEHE nah. I am in awe of Caran d'Ache 1010 though, and also admire Graf von Faber Castell's Intuition and others.... Namiki, Nakaya also have similarly cultural based designs.

One day, they'll be mine. Starting with the 1010. Good luck to me.

Edited by nicholasyeo, 09 April 2010 - 17:13.


#18 pixwriter

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 10:53

Great review Nicholas, very comprehensive and professionally written! Well done.

Personally, I'm not a fan of Sailor pens for several reasons:

I think they are expensive for what you get. There are several other pens with similar qualities but priced more competatively. I also think they try very hard to look like modern MB's, especially with that cap band. I know this has been mentioned before here on FPN in regard to the 1911. I had two 1911's for a while, and really did not like the nail-hard nibs. They felt lifeless in my hand. I think, to some degree Sailor are trying to gain the same image branding that MB have, possibly hope to be the Asian equivalent?

Personally, when it comes to Asian pens, I'd buy Pilot/Namiki over Sailor any day.

JUst a few thoughts. I know many folks will not agree, but hey, that's FPs for you!


Yes, every time I look at my Sailor Susutake or my Moonlit Forest (with amazing Nagahara speciality nibs) I think how much more I would enjoy these two pens if only they weren't trying so hard to look like MBs.

Please- these are very tired comments.

#19 nicholasyeo

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 11:49

Great review Nicholas, very comprehensive and professionally written! Well done.

Personally, I'm not a fan of Sailor pens for several reasons:

I think they are expensive for what you get. There are several other pens with similar qualities but priced more competatively. I also think they try very hard to look like modern MB's, especially with that cap band. I know this has been mentioned before here on FPN in regard to the 1911. I had two 1911's for a while, and really did not like the nail-hard nibs. They felt lifeless in my hand. I think, to some degree Sailor are trying to gain the same image branding that MB have, possibly hope to be the Asian equivalent?

Personally, when it comes to Asian pens, I'd buy Pilot/Namiki over Sailor any day.

JUst a few thoughts. I know many folks will not agree, but hey, that's FPs for you!


Yes, every time I look at my Sailor Susutake or my Moonlit Forest (with amazing Nagahara speciality nibs) I think how much more I would enjoy these two pens if only they weren't trying so hard to look like MBs.

Please- these are very tired comments.


This echoes the well known view that Sailor needs to find a niche, not just in nibs,
but perhaps in innovative design in the lower-range pens.

#20 lestylo

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 23:28

Good looking pen.
Thank you for detailed review Nicholas.






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