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Review Of The Sailor 1911 Realo


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6 replies to this topic

#1 akustyk

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 16:48

I think it would be difficult not to see the obvious similarities between the Sailor 1911 Realo and Montblanc 146. In fact, side-by-side, they look like close siblings. They're both about the same size and weight, both are piston fillers, both have large nibs, both are shiny black resin with gold trim. What sets them apart is the price difference, and packaging. There are a few threads on FPN comparing the two pens. However, I am going to try to review the 1911 Realo on its own merit, albeit with a few quick comparisons to the 146, where necessary. For those of you interested in a detailed comparison, here's a link to a excellent FPN review.
Appearance & Design (10/10)

This is a classic design – black resin with gold trim – and I must say it is quite all right with me. I like simple pens (well, maybe except the Homo Sapiens) that are designed with emphasis on performance, rather than looks.

I love the pen's appearance. Perhaps the gold trim is a bit too shiny but otherwise then pen looks great!

Construction & Quality (10/10)

I would say the pen seems to be constructed of high-quality resin, everything seems perfectly in place, the threads work beautifully, as does the piston. The nib is so perfectly cut, it's almost unreal. Most of the pens I've tried have had a small imperfection here or there, but this pen was definitely manufactured with the highest of tolerances – that much is clear. The resin also seems to be more resistant to micro scratches than my 146, but maybe that's just an illusion. It also has a somewhat softer feel than the 146, but that's a very odd thing to say, I know.

Weight & Dimensions (10/10)

Very similar to the 146, and that is perfect for my hand. It's is my ideal size and weight, so I am going to give it 10 points. I like it better than the 146 posted because it's better balanced – the 146 is a bit top-heavy, but only very slightly.

Nib & Performance (9/10)

My pen purchases (apart from being crazy about pens, in general) are typically motivated by wanting a writer to fill a particular need. In this case, I needed a pen for everyday writing, journaling, etc., so I needed a fine nib with decent flow. This pen fits this description perfectly.

The nib is smooth with a touch of feedback. It is a labeled as “H M” (hard medium) but it's visibly finer than my 146 fine nib. It writes very well, out-of-the box, laying down a fine / medium-fine line with good flow (7/10) and a good ability to increase flow and line width with increased pressure. This nibs behaves almost exactly like my 146 nib.

Compared to the Pilot Custom 74 and 823, the nib is not as perfectly smooth, but that does not bother me. In fact my Pilot nibs have been almost too smooth, some of them skidding across really smooth paper, esp. Clairefontaine. This pen writes very consistently and very reliably. I like it a lot, since it's supposed to be my daily writer. I have tested flow with Waterman's Blue-Black (Mysterious Blue), which is a pretty standard ink that many people use in reviews.

The ability to increase flow with increased pressure makes this nib very good for bringing out shading, provided the ink is suitable for it.

Filling System & Maintenance (9/10)

The piston moves very smoothly and the knob stays put throughout daily use. Some of my piston fillers would have a knob that is almost too loose, but this one works perfectly. Some reviewers have noted that this pen has somewhat disappointingly small ink capacity. I haven't tested it myself, but in daily use, the pen last long enough, but that's pure anecdotal, and not measured properly.

One thing I haven't mentioned is that you can very easily remove the nib and the feed for cleaning and/or adjustment, should you need it. That's a nice bonus for me, particularly for cleaning. I prefer not to tinker with my nibs, unless it is absolutely necessary. This pen required no adjustment at all. No need for a visit to a nib meister or purchase from a seller who adjusts the nib prior to shipment.

Cost & Value (9/10)

I think this is an amazing value. I bought it from a reputable seller from Japan, then pen arrived quickly, and the price was very good, indeed. This makes it a huge bargain compared to the 146. It's still a somewhat expensive pen, over $200, so I cannot give it ten points for value.

Conclusion (Final score, 57/60)

I have also tried Platinum Century #3776 and Pilot Custom 74 and Custom 823. I think this pen is better than the first two, and in the same class as the Custom 823. The Platinum's nib is a bit too stiff for me, and the Custom 823 is just so smooth that I find it difficult to control. So, overall, out of all the Japanese pens I've tried, this one is my favorite. The 146 has been a pen that has continued to grow on me, the longer I've used it. I have a feeling, the Realo is going to be the same.

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Edited by akustyk, 05 January 2013 - 16:49.

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#2 Koyote

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 17:15

I find it interesting that the ink window is visible with the pen capped - that is unlike most piston fillers that have ink windows. On the one hand, it (IMO) diminishes the aesthetics, but on the other hand it makes the pen more useful since you can check the level without uncapping it.

Anyway, thanks...Nice review.

#3 AndyHayes

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 17:48

I have never seen even a picture of the Sailor Realo. I have a 1911 and it is one of my nicest looking pens. It has a very smooth nib, but is sadly rarely used.

I must say that I am not sure about the visible ink window either. I can see the benefits but don't think that it does much for the aesthetics. I did thoroughly enjoy your review though. Thank you for taking the time and trouble.
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#4 Frank C

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 19:47

I have been thinking about getting one of these for some time. I like Japanese pens in general and I like Sailor's nib, especially the heki (hard) nibs. I also like the idea of a piston filler; it seems more like a fountain pen to me. The Mont Blanc 146 has always been a favorite of mine. It was my exam pen in law school, along with several bottles of Mont Blanc Royal Blue.

So, there you have it. I have no excuse not to get one. Maybe a burgundy with an H-MF nib. . . .

By the way, you have beautiful photos and nice handwriting. The choice of ink is one that most FPNers have experience with.

(edited to add last line)

Edited by Frank C, 06 January 2013 - 01:12.

"One can not waste time worrying about small minds . . . If we were normal, we'd still be using free ball point pens." —Bo Bo Olson "I already own more ink than a rational person can use in a lifetime." —Waski_the_Squirrel
I'm still trying to figure out how to list all my pens down here.

#5 akustyk

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 19:55

I have been thinking about getting one of these for some time. I like Japanese pens in general and I like Sailor's nib, especially the heki (hard) nibs. I also like the idea of a piston filler; it seems more like a fountain pen to me. The Mont Blanc 146 has always been a favorite of mine. I was my exam pen in law school, along with several bottles of Mont Blanc Royal Blue.

So, there you have it. I have no excuse not to get one. Maybe a burgundy with an H-MF nib. . . .

By the way, you have beautiful photos and nice handwriting. The choice of ink is one that most FPNers have experience with.

(edited to add last line)

I think you're going to love the Realo, especially if you like the 146. The crazy thing is that the Realo nib and the 146 nib *sound* alike on paper. It's a beautiful sound. By the way, the Midnight Blue is going to be my next choice of ink for this pen after I've written a few fills worth of Waterman's Mysterious Blue. Both inks are just so lovely.

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#6 tinta

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 20:46

All last year I have been thinking about getting a Burgundy 1911 (Profit) Realo.
Two things have held me back (other than my finances):
the grip section's diameter being a little wide for my small fingers & the bright metal rings framing the pen's ink window.

To have the ink window visible on a capped pen is actually a positive thing, but IMHO the extra rings on the barrel detract from the standard 1911 (or the Pro Gear) cap rings.
Reminds me of a phrase from the film Amadeus, that (falsely) described Mozart's music: "...it has too many notes....".
In the case of the Realo, maybe too many rings?

That said, the Burgundy version of this pen would make these rings less visible. This year I just might add a Burgundy Realo to my crew of Sailors.

To the Original Poster:
Thank you for your detailed review.
My thoughts on the rings are in no way intended to lessen your review or this Sailor piston-filler.
Enjoy your fine new pen!

ed: for grammar

Edited by tinta, 06 January 2013 - 00:14.

*Sailor 1911S, Black/gold, 14c. 0.8 mm. stub(JM) *1911S blue "Colours", 14c. H-B "M" BLS (PB) *2 Sailor 1911-M Burgundy/gold pens: 14c. 0.6 mm. "round-nosed" CI (MM) & 1.1 mm. CI (JM) *Sailor Pro-Gear Slim Spec. Ed. "Fire",14c. (factory) "H-B" *2 Kaweco SPECIAL fountain pens: 14c."M" "B",-0.5 mm & 0.7 mm stubs (PB) *Kaweco Stainless Steel Lilliput, 14c "B" -0.6 mm. stub (PB) *Montblanc 254, 14c. "BB" (1.1 mm?) flügelfeder factory stub

#7 Montblanc owner and lover

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 23:50

you must have very small hands so because i have very very small hands too(people often say that my hands looks like those of a woman)and the 146 is perfect for me.

when i've purchased my MB146 the seller has proposed me the realo.I've tried both but i've prefered the MB i don't really know why...the call of the star may be ;) but it was a question of feeling the 146 was just very appealing and the realo was very nice with its 21K niv instead of the 14k of the mb but i've choosed the MB and i'm very happy with it.I'm now considering buying a 1911 large burgundy with a naginata concord emperor nib

Edited by Montblanc owner and lover, 05 January 2013 - 23:51.

A people can be great withouth a great pen but a people who love great pens is surely a great people too... Pens owned actually: MB 146 EF;Pelikan M200 SE Clear Demonstrator 2012 B;Parker 17 EF;Parker 51 EF;Waterman Expert II M,Waterman Hemisphere M;Waterman Carene F and Stub;Pilot Justus 95 F. Nearly owned: MB 149 B(Circa 2002);Conway Stewart Belliver LE bracket Brown IB.






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