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Sailor King of Pen Review


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#1 TheNobleSavage

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 20:49

Sailor King of Pen Review

First Impressions

I really had to think long and hard before committing to buying this pen due the big bucks it costs. Luckily, this was my 2006 work bonus and present to me for a job well done during the prior year. I had to do a bit of searching but I found that Pam Braun had the best prices on this particular pen and yes, on other pens too. This was a special order and thankfully, it didn't take no more than 10 days for it to get to my doorstep. This was shipped directly from the distributor after I placed my order with Pam Braun. I have a thing for the wood grain ebonite pens and at the time, this was just released along with the new styles of the King of Pen. Unfortunately, the price for the wood grain style was a bit more than the standard black ebonite King of Pen. Regardless, it was well worth it in my opinion and it also matches several of my other pens in my collection that are also wood grain designs. The pen came in a large wood box that has a satin interior, kind of looks like a box an Urn would come with. Yes, morbid but truthful!! The box also came with a bottle of Sailors Jentle ink in the color black. I really like the Sailor ink; it flows very nice and is a true black, unlike other inks that claim to be black!!!!





Appearance/ Finish 5 out of 5

To be very honest, I really liked the older King of Pen design. Yes, it looks like a Montblanc or a larger 1911 or even Pilot Custom 823. At first, I was a bit undecided with the new design of this pen. It looks like the Japanese pens of past, it is somewhat a simple design but yet very elegant. That is what really captured my attention!! The new design is very streamline and looks like a cigar with tapered ends. The shape of the King of Pen is kind of aerodynamic looking, very sleek and somewhat discreet. Sailor seemed to have gone from the older Montblanc flashy design to one of simplicity and of being original. It looks like they wanted to go with a design from the past to use as a flagship model.



There are no cap bands, which is a plus with ebonite pens. The reason why I say this is because it seems the Ebonite and Celluloid Nitrate pens tend to shrink a little bit thus causing the band to become loose or even fall off. So I think that was a super smart idea and also adds to the simplicity of this pen. The finish is high gloss and the wood grain is a bit darker than a lot of other wood grain ebonite pens from different manufactures. Some of the wood grain finishes from other companies are not so wood looking. They tend to have more orange than brown; this is something that I normally do not care for. I either want a wood grain that looks like wood. If I want an orange color then I will specifically go with an orange wood grain and yes, have it look like a pumpkin.

The grain looks very natural and adds to the appeal to this pen, it doesn't look artificial at all!!! The section is black and I believe it too is made out of ebonite. There is NO trim ring on this pen!!! I am not really big into trim rings, even though they look nice, the thing is that they tend to corrode and that is something that I do not like!!! The clip is simple but yet very functional, it is not spring loaded and stays in place by tension. The design of the clip is the same as the 1911 series, just quite a bit larger. The cap is made of 2 pieces, one of which being the main portion then the next part is a small piece that screws in to keep the clip in place. The inside of the cap uses a plastic liner, which is something rather neat and prevents the inside from being totally caked with dried up ink and ruining the ebonite but it also it serves another purpose. If you post the cap while writing, the plastic insert ensures a nice snug fit and also prevents the pen from being scratched up due to posting the cap.



Design/Size/Weight 5 out of 5

The King of Pen is in fact a KING AMONG PENS!!! It is an oversized pen that is not made for someone with small hands or who dont like large pens. The length of this pen is roughly 6 inches capped and with the cap posted, this pen comes in at a hefty 6 5/8 inches. Like I said, this is not a small pen at all!!! The diameter of the King of Pen measures in at a whopping 5/8 of an inch. What little trim this pen has is gold in color, other than that, you are getting a true ebonite fountain pen. For some reason, this pen reminds me of the Limited Edition Danitrio Ban-ei series, I guess that is why I like this pen so much. Since I already have the full collection of the Danitrio Ban-ei fountain pens, it is only natural that I aquire the King of Pen!!

The weight of this pen is relatively light due to the ebonite material. One thing that adds a bit of needed weight is the inside of the section. It is made out of a gold colored brass (I believe) and the brass adds the weight needed to give the pen a comfortable feel while writing. Ergonomically, the pen feels perfect in the hands and due to the light weight, writing for extended periods of time are not hindered by the size. For an oversize pen, it is a perfect design due to the light weight and the overall shape. As for the exact weight, I am unsure but it is lighter than a Montblanc Meisterstuck 149 or a Pelikan M1000.




Nib Design and Performance 5 out of 5

This is true oversize nib, so it matches the rest of the pen without looking awkward. The nib seems to be the exact same size as a Montblanc Meisterstuck 149 and looks a bit similar, that's for sure. The nib is a two tone 21kt gold that I bought in a Broad width. The gold and rhodium plating matches the little amount of trim this pen has. The nib has the "1911" inscription as does the 1911 series and most other Sailor pens. Under that, the trademark anchor along with the gold content and Made in Japan text. One would think that because the gold content is 21kt (.875) that the nib would be ultra springy and semi flexible. Well, sorry to rain on your parade, this nib is not anymore springy than other 18kt or even 14kt gold nibs. Yes, it has a bit of spring to it and plenty of feedback but not ultra springy and definitely not flexible by any sense of the word. Generally with Asian nibs such as Japanese pens, the nib width runs one size narrow than listed. For example, a medium nib will write more like a fine nib, I found this to be the case about 90% of the time. Surprisingly, that is not the case with the King of Pen. Since I bought my King of Pen with a broad nib width, it writes like a heavy medium to a moderate broad. So basically I got the nib that I really wanted, which is something I was overjoyed about.



The nib on this pen is so smooth, it is like writing on glass and that's no joke either!!! The flow is very generous and the nib didn't need any tweaking or modifications for it to write the way I wanted it to. In general, I have been extremely happy with all of the Sailor pens in my collection, up to now I have 6 Sailors. I found that the nibs are top quality and as smooth as smooth can be. A lot of attention to detail has been Sailors trademark and to be honest, I have heard very few complaints about the quality of the nibs and the overall quality of the pen, The King of Pen is no exception and since it is a flagship model for Sailor, quality is the #1 priority, IMHO!!! There are very few pens in my collection that I would consider perfect right out of the box, and the King of Pen is a perfect pen and a phenomenal writer.





The Filling System 4.5 out of 5

One major complaint I have with the King of Pen is that it is a cartridge converter!! The reason why I say this is because it really should be an eyedropper or at least a cartridge converter that allows you to use the pen as an eyedropper. The issue that prevents this pen from being an eyedropper is all the metal that is inside the section. If you were to use it as an eyedropper, you will eventually have to worry about corrosion. To me, that is a total shame but then again, I knew that this pen was unsuitable to be used as an eyedropper even before I bought it, so this was not an unexpected surprise. Since this pen uses a standard Sailor Converter, it does not hold a whole lot of ink, especially for a pen of this size. So I have to make sure that I bring a backup pen with me or one of my Visconti Ink Pots.



As stated, the inside of the section where the converter/cartridge is placed is made out of what looks like brass. It is very similar to what is used in the standard 1911 fountain pens, with the exception that it uses a lot more metal due to the size of the pen. In my opinion, the King of Pen holds more ink than a standard 1911 due to the size of the section, so that is a really good thing. Also, since this is a large pen and it is made out of ebonite, this is very light in weight. The excessive metal in the section adds more weight to the pen which makes it more balanced in my opinion. So the filler is a bit disappointing but it does not really affect the overall performance of this pen and it is something that I can work around.





Cost 4.5 out of 5

The Sailor King of Pen is not cheap, nor is any "Flagship" models in general!! I bought mine from Pam Braun for under $600.00, which is much lower than what other places are selling this pen. While I was doing a bit of research, they consider this pen to be a limited edition. There are no set numbers as most limited edition pens have and I have found very little information to confirm that it is a limited edition. If anything, it is probably more of a special release!!! The retail price of this pen is set around $1000.00 but that is just the suggested retail price and I am sure that the price will be closer to what I paid. So, the cost of this pen is probably enough to make most people pass on this pen, that is understandable!!! Since this was a present for myself with some of my bonus money from work, I was prepared to spend that amount.





Conclusion


This is a unique fountain pen that seems to pay homage to the Japanese pens of the past, especially the ones form the early part of the 20th century. This pen is a real treat to use and has not failed me yet. It writes like a dream and looks very classy, that's for sure!! I cannot complain much about this pen because it is a solid writer and is as smooth as glass. The 2 complaints that I have are relatively minor and they are the cost and the filling system. First of all this is not a cheap pen and you have to be prepared to shell out some duckets to have the privilege of owning the King of Pen. Secondly, if they were to give the user an option to convert this pen to an eyedropper, that would make this pen so much better!! A pen of this size needs to hold a lot of ink so that it can feed this monster of a nib; unfortunately that is not the case with this pen. So with that said, if you plan on doing a lot of writing, it might be a good idea to have either a Visconti Ink Pot or a bottle of ink near by.

Besides the 2 complaints that I have, they are relatively minor and it does not spoil this gorgeous writing instrument. I happen to use this pen very frequently and it is a total pleasure to use. It may not look like much, when I say that I mean that it has a very simple design. There is nothing really flashy about this pen when you first look at it, there is no bling appeal to it and you cannot classify this as pocket jewelry. Even though the pen has a simple and functional design, the King of Pen is still extremely elegant. The wood grain ebonite really makes this pen so appealing to me. This pen is not for everyone but those who do choose to buy it will be in for a real treat. As for me, this pen is the size I like; it has perfect weight, the wood grain ebonite is quite stunning and most importantly, it writes flawlessly!!




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#2 southpaw

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 21:17

Another great Savage review. I don't foresee myself getting one of these due to the two points you mentioned (price and filling system), but it's a very sharp looking pen. Perhaps Sailor will come out with a standard piston filler for it at some point.
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8, NKJV)

#3 amh210

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 21:31

TNS, another great review!

It is always a pleasure to read your reviews - your pleasure is palpable.

Neat pen, too!

Write well and enjoy!

Andy
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#4 cmeisenzahl

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 22:18

Wow, absolutely wonderful work, thanks!

#5 TheNobleSavage

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 22:25

Thanks!!! I hope to get my blog updated in the next few days!!

The KoP is really a fantastic writer!!!

SP,

Sailor made a limited edition pen called the Realo, which is the older KoP design with a piston filler. They are long gone by now and the Realo came out right after my KoP arrived at my house!! Regardless, I love the wood grain on this pen!!!

TNS
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#6 southpaw

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 01:58

QUOTE(The Noble Savage @ Aug 1 2007, 05:25 PM) View Post
Thanks!!! I hope to get my blog updated in the next few days!!

The KoP is really a fantastic writer!!!

SP,

Sailor made a limited edition pen called the Realo, which is the older KoP design with a piston filler. They are long gone by now and the Realo came out right after my KoP arrived at my house!! Regardless, I love the wood grain on this pen!!!

TNS



Yeah, I remember the Realo, and it's hefty price take and minute production numbers. Sailor really should go full-bore production with a similar model in plastic and ebonite. Their nibs and a piston filler ---- WOW!!! thumbup.gif thumbup.gif thumbup.gif thumbup.gif
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8, NKJV)

#7 TheNobleSavage

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 16:06

I agree!!! I just wonder how well an ebonite pen with a true piston filler would work out. I dont think it would work out but it would be wise for them to create the resin model with piston filler for normal production. What would be nice is to have them remove all the metal from inside and make it to where people can convert it to an eyedropper. Better yet, create a KoP with a shutoff valve like a Danitrio Mikado/Genkai FP.

TNS

QUOTE(southpaw @ Aug 1 2007, 06:58 PM) View Post
QUOTE(The Noble Savage @ Aug 1 2007, 05:25 PM) View Post
Thanks!!! I hope to get my blog updated in the next few days!!

The KoP is really a fantastic writer!!!

SP,

Sailor made a limited edition pen called the Realo, which is the older KoP design with a piston filler. They are long gone by now and the Realo came out right after my KoP arrived at my house!! Regardless, I love the wood grain on this pen!!!

TNS



Yeah, I remember the Realo, and it's hefty price take and minute production numbers. Sailor really should go full-bore production with a similar model in plastic and ebonite. Their nibs and a piston filler ---- WOW!!! thumbup.gif thumbup.gif thumbup.gif thumbup.gif

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#8 southpaw

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 19:10

True, but some pens have an inner sleeve which would hold the ink, thus keeping the ink from staining the ebonite barrel (some Sheaffer Vac-Fils had a similar design), and this could be done with the Sailor. I'd be all in favor of a Japanese ED with shutoff valve or, at the very least, making the pen usable as an ED by removing the metal (like Bexley has so wisely done with many of their ebonite pens).

Anyhow, enjoy that beauty!



QUOTE(The Noble Savage @ Aug 2 2007, 11:06 AM) View Post
I agree!!! I just wonder how well an ebonite pen with a true piston filler would work out. I dont think it would work out but it would be wise for them to create the resin model with piston filler for normal production. What would be nice is to have them remove all the metal from inside and make it to where people can convert it to an eyedropper. Better yet, create a KoP with a shutoff valve like a Danitrio Mikado/Genkai FP.

TNS

QUOTE(southpaw @ Aug 1 2007, 06:58 PM) View Post
QUOTE(The Noble Savage @ Aug 1 2007, 05:25 PM) View Post
Thanks!!! I hope to get my blog updated in the next few days!!

The KoP is really a fantastic writer!!!

SP,

Sailor made a limited edition pen called the Realo, which is the older KoP design with a piston filler. They are long gone by now and the Realo came out right after my KoP arrived at my house!! Regardless, I love the wood grain on this pen!!!

TNS



Yeah, I remember the Realo, and it's hefty price take and minute production numbers. Sailor really should go full-bore production with a similar model in plastic and ebonite. Their nibs and a piston filler ---- WOW!!! thumbup.gif thumbup.gif thumbup.gif thumbup.gif





"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8, NKJV)

#9 TheNobleSavage

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 19:44

You are 100% correct!! I forgot all about those pens!!! Age catching up to me!!! headsmack.gif When I come back east and visit you, I will make sure to bring a few pen to include this one so you can try it out for yourself!!!

TNS

QUOTE(southpaw @ Aug 2 2007, 12:10 PM) View Post
True, but some pens have an inner sleeve which would hold the ink, thus keeping the ink from staining the ebonite barrel (some Sheaffer Vac-Fils had a similar design), and this could be done with the Sailor. I'd be all in favor of a Japanese ED with shutoff valve or, at the very least, making the pen usable as an ED by removing the metal (like Bexley has so wisely done with many of their ebonite pens).

Anyhow, enjoy that beauty!



QUOTE(The Noble Savage @ Aug 2 2007, 11:06 AM) View Post
I agree!!! I just wonder how well an ebonite pen with a true piston filler would work out. I dont think it would work out but it would be wise for them to create the resin model with piston filler for normal production. What would be nice is to have them remove all the metal from inside and make it to where people can convert it to an eyedropper. Better yet, create a KoP with a shutoff valve like a Danitrio Mikado/Genkai FP.

TNS

QUOTE(southpaw @ Aug 1 2007, 06:58 PM) View Post
QUOTE(The Noble Savage @ Aug 1 2007, 05:25 PM) View Post
Thanks!!! I hope to get my blog updated in the next few days!!

The KoP is really a fantastic writer!!!

SP,

Sailor made a limited edition pen called the Realo, which is the older KoP design with a piston filler. They are long gone by now and the Realo came out right after my KoP arrived at my house!! Regardless, I love the wood grain on this pen!!!

TNS



Yeah, I remember the Realo, and it's hefty price take and minute production numbers. Sailor really should go full-bore production with a similar model in plastic and ebonite. Their nibs and a piston filler ---- WOW!!! thumbup.gif thumbup.gif thumbup.gif thumbup.gif






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#10 thomasg

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 21:59

Wonderful review. Add one more pen to my wish list. Thanks,
Don't get caught

#11 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 12:55

one of my dream pens and thanks for the review.
Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time

#12 Bennington1967

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 23:06

Great review, as always, by one of the best forum members: Noble Savage.

To get this pen for less than $600 is an excellent bargain. Cheaper than Pengallery, I believe.

#13 MYU

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 23:39

This is indeed a beautifully designed pen. I got to hold one at the NY/NJ pen show and it feels nice, properly weighted and balanced. The only thing I balk at is the price for what you get... doing a scan of the Internet, the cheapest price I could come up with is just slightly less than $800. And those sources that request you to e-mail them don't seem to go any lower than $800. So, $600 from Pam Braun was comparatively quite a deal!

When looking at this price point, though, I'm feeling like buying a Nakaya or a Danitrio is a better deal. Has anyone else here written with a Sailor KoP? Impressions?

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#14 Bennington1967

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Posted 12 October 2007 - 17:59

I am lucky enough to own two KoPs. I have a black one, in silver trim, M nib, and a woodgrain one, in gold trim, with a Togi M nib. Both pens are absolutely fantastic and, in my opinion, the best writing pens in the world. I have not spent one second regretting my (hefty) purchases. thumbup.gif

Edited by Bennington1967, 12 October 2007 - 17:59.


#15 CharlieB

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 09:27

The thing that most impresses me about this pen is the shape of the nib. It has an long, elegant taper that allows a fair amount of spring. And, as a lefthanded overwriter, I like the fact that the narrow nib doesn't block my view of what I have just written.
CharlieB

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#16 TheNobleSavage

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 15:57

Thanks for the kind words, you make me blush embarrassed_smile.gif .

Indeed it is a fantastic writer and I do not regret buying this pen, thats for sure. It gets a lot of use and that was one of the main reasons for buying this pen. I use all the pens that I buy, of course some more than others!!!

TNS

QUOTE(Bennington1967 @ Aug 13 2007, 04:06 PM) View Post
Great review, as always, by one of the best forum members: Noble Savage.

To get this pen for less than $600 is an excellent bargain. Cheaper than Pengallery, I believe.

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#17 TheNobleSavage

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 16:06

The nib on this pen is truly amazing!! It has a tad bit of flex, what I like to call spring. Out of all the sailor pens that I own, this nib has the most spring to it. The nibs on the KoP are more like the European counterparts when it comes to width. Usually asian nibs run about 1 to 1 1/4 sizes narrower than a typical european or western nibs do. The KoP is about 1/2 as narrow as a western nib, this makes is extremely close to the actual size as advertised. Since the nib I have on mine is a broad, it is very close to a wet medium to a dry broad.

Since I have a heavy hand while writing, I have to adapt and change my writing style due to the softness of this nib. As you are already aware that they are 21kt gold, I am careful to not put too much pressure on this nib. The last thing I want to do it flex it beyond the point of no return. With that said, the more I use this pen, the lighter I write with the rest of my pens, which is a good thing. This pen is truly a work of art and a joy to use!!!

TNS


QUOTE(CharlieB @ Oct 13 2007, 02:27 AM) View Post
The thing that most impresses me about this pen is the shape of the nib. It has an long, elegant taper that allows a fair amount of spring. And, as a lefthanded overwriter, I like the fact that the narrow nib doesn't block my view of what I have just written.

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#18 bugmd

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 16:19

"Generally with Asian nibs such as Japanese pens, the nib width runs one size narrow than listed. For example, a medium nib will write more like a fine nib, I found this to be the case about 90% of the time. Surprisingly, that is not the case with the King of Pen. Since I bought my King of Pen with a broad nib width, it writes like a heavy medium to a moderate broad. "

I certainly do not agree with this statement. Indeed, this is borne out by John Mottishaw's measurements: http://www.nibs.com/...ngSizespage.htm


Marcus, I find that I must agree with TNS. I have had 3 KOP and they all have run wider that my typical Japanese nibs. Remember, this pen has a huge 21K nib and is only available as a Med, Broad or specialty nib. There are no factory "Fine" and I have not found a nibmeister willing to reduce my nibs to fines.

KOP nib next to MB 149
Posted Image
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#19 mturk

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 17:55

I bought two KOPs at the Atlanta show this past weekend. Both had the Naginata Togi medium nib, and Mike Masuyama said it would be impossible to grind it to a fine. The architechture of the nib doesn't allow for alteration - however after playing with the nib, I see that the angle in which it is held greatly effects the width of the written line, and now I can approach a fine line with a heavy medium nib.
Your produce alone was worth the trip...

#20 nicholasyeo

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 17:55

Though I do not see the photos of the pen, I must say I love the KOP and I am going to get one someday.
Currently my 2 Pro Gears are so wonderful, however. I am afraid the M nib is not going to satisfy me. I
prefer fine nibs. Therefore this might be a problem for me in future. IF the M is not very wide that will be
alright, of course. It really depends. Only after trying will I buy such a pen.






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