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What To Buy?

sailor platinum pilot fountain pen

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14 replies to this topic

#1 Adityakashyap


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Posted 24 November 2019 - 11:28

I am in middle of buying a fountain pen in the near future. I am stuck deciding between 3 pens and need held narrowing down to one. The first one is a SAILOR PROFESSIONAL GEAR with a Medium Nib, the second one is a PILOT CUSTOM 823 with a Medium Nib and the last one is PLATINUM PRESIDENT with a Medium Nib.  Can you please help and give some advice. I am looking for a daily writer. Also, these pen as similarly priced in my region. So price is not a deciding factor. 

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#2 Namo



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Posted 24 November 2019 - 19:34

First, it's very difficult of anyone to recommend a pen to anyone. What one can do is share a subjective experience and give a few objective information about the pen and the work it's used for. 


Platinum nib are the most tactile of the three pens you mentioned, although I don't have a lot of experience with the President model. The Pilot will give you the most "glass smooth" experience (which I find both boring and difficult to control). 


The 823 is a vaccum filler, which means that you will have a more than  decent ink capacity. It might be annoying to clean, but if you aim at writing with the same ink it's  not a problem. The two other pens are c/c fillers, which means smaller ink capacity, but also the possibility to use (proprietary) cartridges, which is nice when traveling or writing outside your home a lot. Sailor convertors are famous for their very, very low ink capacity. The Japanese are using a bigger cartridge mouth, so you are unlikely to experiment surface tension problems with either filling system. 


The three brands will offer an excellent product. The Platinum will probably feel a little cheaper than the two others (and I am pretty sure you can find a President for half the price of a 823), but it will give you an awesome writing experience nonethless.


If value for money is of importance, then I would say the Pilot is your choice: the filling mechanism adds costs to produce where c/c filler is easier and cheaper in this regard. 


Finally, Platinum will give you less choices for changing the nib if you want to anyday. The 823 will give you the possibility to look for soft nibs or faclon nibs, and the Sailor will let a world of amazing pieces of art and technology. 


Hope this help, including the caveat starter.

Edited by Namo, 24 November 2019 - 19:37.



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#3 The Good Captain

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Posted 24 November 2019 - 21:26

I've an 823 and it's real belter. My President is due any day now but with a B nib as I think it'll suit my current writing style - I've got a #3775 M which is a little fine. Likise the Sailor M nibs.

All down to personal taste and whatever else comes to mind. All three are great pens though so just enjoy!

The Good Captain
"Meddler's 'Salamander' - almost as good as the real thing!"

#4 mongrelnomad



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Posted 26 November 2019 - 23:21

All three are great pens. I think the 823 may be something you leave for later though, as the filling system is not necessarily for newbies, and has a foible with air bubbles getting trapped beneath the feed and stopping ink reaching to the nib. A cartridge-converter is way less intimidating.

For that reason, as a newbie, Id go for the Sailor or the Platinum; personally Id go Sailor just because I prefer the nibs, but thats personal taste.

Your call. There is no wrong answer.
Too many pens; too little writing.

#5 sansenri



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Posted 26 November 2019 - 23:38

I have the 823, a very nice pen, but for some reason I prefer the Sailor, it's something in the shape that fits my hand well.

Be aware it's a smallish pen (short) so If you have big hands it may not be your pen.



Edited by sansenri, 26 November 2019 - 23:38.

#6 peroride


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Posted 27 November 2019 - 09:12

I'd go for SAILOR PROFESSIONAL GEAR with a Medium Nib - small converter/cartridge but easier maintenance

  • My 823 is sitting in the box until I need a long writing session
  • My 3776 B is not a President but my Sailor nibs beat it and the fancier Nakaya 

Edited by peroride, 27 November 2019 - 09:12.

#7 mongrelnomad



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Posted 27 November 2019 - 10:38

My current EDC (Every Day Carry) pretty much says it all as to what I think about Sailor...



Too many pens; too little writing.

#8 hari317



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Posted 27 November 2019 - 10:50

...PILOT CUSTOM 823 ... [/size]


Just try the pen at the shop first to make sure the pen writes well, before making payment. Most Indian shops allow that for serious buyers.
In case you wish to write to me, pls use ONLY email by clicking here. I do not check PMs. Thank you.

#9 RaviG


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Posted 29 November 2019 - 16:59

Don't buy any costly pen without trying it, you may regret it later.

The review here can help you but unless you write with the pen you may not know about the balance, grip and overall writing experience.

try it somewhere you can before making the decision.

#10 JunkyardSam



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Posted 04 December 2019 - 15:05

I'll chip in with some opinions:


1. Rule out the Platinum President. That pen has some potential, but look at the cap band. It is long overdue for an update. The print on it is very '70s', and not in a good way, and also it has a sort of engraved look. Compare that to the current generation of 3776 Century, where the cap band has molded lettering. It is a night and day difference. But that's just a cosmetic issue.


The Platinum President has a functional issue which is annoying... You have to line up the cap a little carefully. One thing I like about MOST Japanese pens is capping is a mindless experience. That's not the case with the President. If you handed the pen to a random person they would likely misthread it during capping. You really need to counter-spin to find the click and then cap it. It has to do with the design of the pen and again, it's overdue for an update.


2. The Sailor is a good pick if you are more interested in a unique writing experience. The M nib feels good, and Sailor's nibs are a little more chiseled than rounded in shape -- so there's a subtle feedback that many people find delightful. That said, the Pro Gear is a little short as far as pens go, in my opinion. I personally prefer the 1911L as it has a little bit of extra length. 


Another issue with Sailor is the limited converter size and questionable converter quality. It doesn't take up a lot of ink, and also -- while Sailor pens feel amazing, Sailor converters always make me wonder, "Is this counterfeit?" I get converters in cheap Chinese pens which are higher quality, seriously.


So if you go with the Sailor, I recommend using a syringe to refill cartridges.


3. And finally, the Custom 823. What a pen!  It holds a ton of ink -- especially if you do the double-fill trick where you push the ink out and go for another dunk. (Be careful if you do that, it's a little awkward, but you can get a full body fill which is a TON of ink.)


The nib experience isn't particularly exciting. Pilot's M nib is very reliable but it's just a very smooth nib that is actually a little wider than Sailor or Platinum M nibs. Some people say it lacks character... It's just really smooth. Not so smooth as to have that gross writing on glass feel, but smooth enough that it just lacks interest compared to the Sailor.


The pen, though, feels really nice. It's slightly back heavy, though. The 743 actually has a better balance, although weighing less it feels a little less substantial in comparison... and it doesn't have the exciting vac filling system.


And finally -- my one problem with the 823 is that I actually don't like the blind cap. You have to unscrew it about 2mm for reliable ink flow as it has an ink shutoff mechanism. I don't find that mechanism particularly useful and I don't enjoy the gap in the pen so I actually used Goulet's guide to remove that feature from all three of my 823s. ( https://blog.gouletp...ler-pen-o-rings )  Beware that disassembly like that is risky and requires extreme caution.


I love my 823s and they are 'keep forever' pens... But so is my King of Pen M nib and Pro Gear Sailor-Wancher Purple Demonstrator. 


I would rule out the President and decide between those two. I would rank the 823 4.75 stars and the Pro Gear M 4.5 stars. =) I would rank the president 2.5 stars. (Out of 5.)

#11 dascott



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Posted 10 February 2020 - 12:53

My current EDC (Every Day Carry) pretty much says it all as to what I think about Sailor...



I really like the yellow pen, which model is that?  Could be my first Sailor! 

#12 peerless1



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Posted 10 February 2020 - 13:44

It is incredibly subjective. Is it not? You can get a 100 opinions and they would be all over the place. Best, if possible, is to try them first.


I have several Pilots, Sailors, and Platinums in use. 

Current preference is an Izumo with a medium nib that has the same nib as the President. It seemed scratchy, sometimes called tactile, at first but, became much smoother as I became used to the pen. Interestingly, older Platinums write much smoother and wetter.

Two of my three Sailors are fine nibs and slightly scratchy. Depends on writing style. My wife has the same Sailor and it is glass smooth. Go figure.

My Pilots have both music and medium nibs. The medium is smooth and wider than what I expected. pilot nibs are slightly wider than Platinum or Sailor.


Take this in to consideration. I am left-handed and use a good number of upward strokes. My cursive contains strong fast horizontal strokes. Not every pen works for me.


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#13 mongrelnomad



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Posted 10 February 2020 - 16:42

I really like the yellow pen, which model is that?  Could be my first Sailor! 





It's an LE Realo commissioned by Bung Box to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Ginza Line - Tokyo's first. Long since sold out, unfortunately, but it's got some lovely details, including a maki-e 'G' on the blind cap and a raden 'spotlight' on the cap-top. It's also the exact same shade of yellow as the Ginza-line trains (yes, I checked last time I was in Tokyo).

Too many pens; too little writing.

#14 zaddick


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Posted 11 February 2020 - 06:32

I really like the yellow pen, which model is that?  Could be my first Sailor! 

If you want one reach out. I may be able to scratch the itch.

If you want less blah, blah, blah and more pictures, follow me on Instagram!

#15 mke


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Posted 15 February 2020 - 09:21

If you want to go into fountain pens why not start cheaper - like a Wingsung 699. It is on par with the Pilot Custom 823:


Or the Moonman pens or ...


In many cases, steel nibs are as good as gold nibs - but they are much cheaper. In the case of Jowo nibs, I prefer the steel nibs over the gold nibs.


Personally, I would prefer Sailor F/EF over Pilot F.

With Platinum, I have no experience but I think a Platinum B is much nearer to a Pilot M than a Platinum M. A Platinum M is near to a Sailor F/Pilot F.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: sailor, platinum, pilot, fountain pen

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