The box comes in a white cardboard sleeve. Open the box and you realise that they should have put this pen into a smaller box. It really is dwarfed by a normal sized pen box. My son described it as a perfect handbag pen. I especially love him for his cutting wit. One day he may draw blood with it. You never know, it may be his own! The pen comes with one cartridge, the same as a cheap Lamy. I would somehow have expected more from Sailor especially as this is the same price as the full size Sapporo.
I chose the black model with rhodium plated nib trim, but it is available with gold nib and trim. I preferred the understated choice. I have to say that it looks very strange with the normal size cap and short body. The cap band is particularly bulbous for a pen so short. It looks like this pen may have escaped from Frankensteinís lab.
Sapporo Mini, Pelikan M205 Demo, and Pelikan M850 all capped
I am not aware of too many really small fountain pens and this is my first. The design grows on you (hopefully). Compensation is in other areas of the pen. For a small pen it is erm... small. 105mm capped, 93mm uncapped and 135mm posted. There are no inches on my ruler! I donít have my scales to hand, but I would suggest that it probably weighs within a few grammes of a Pelikan 200. I will check it out and let you know with this pen. Discomfort will soon set in for me using this pen as I prefer something with more weight and girth in my hand. My favourite pen, the Pelikan M805 measures 140mm capped, 128mm uncapped and 165mm posted and is probably twice the weight.
Sapporo Mini, Pelikan M205 Demo, and Pelikan M850 all posted
I chose the broad nib. This is fitted with the H-B nib (hard broad allegedly). The nib is incredibly smooth. It is as good if not better than my Pelikans. If you havenít tried a Sailor you really must. The nib has a a certain amount of spring to it, but as it writes with such a light touch I donít feel the need to press at all on the nib. This is one of those nibs that is happy being stroked across the paper.
Sapporo Mini, Pelikan M205 Demo, and Pelikan M850 length comparison
Cartridge only filling system on this pen. I didnít imagine that I would ever buy a pen that was cartridge ONLY. A convertor will not fit in this pen at all. Cartridges from my supplier are £2.75 for 12 and it will hurt me when I have to buy some. I will have to put that day off as long as possible or just bite the bullet and buy them. The choices are, black, blue, blue-black and red. Oh joy, what a range!
Cost and Value
The pen cost £69 from The Writing Desk in the UK. It would have been £60 from Pen Gallery in Malaysia. Sometimes it is worth paying the extra to avoid the risk of import duties. At the same price as the standard Sapporo it loses a point on value. Surely it should be slightly less?
If you have a definite use for a small pen and nothing else will do then I would say get a Sapporo Mini, otherwise I would say you might as well have the full-sized Sapporo for the same price. I should have bought the full sized version or just bit the bullet and gone for the 1911 that I really wanted, but I have to admit this pen writes well. Would I buy another? No, itís a novelty pen really and the cartridge system is a real drawback for one like me who prefers to use a wider range of inks than Sailor offer in their cartridges. I had hoped that I would be able to get around it, but it looks like syringing ink into the cartridges is the only way.
Edited by AndyHayes, 08 August 2007 - 15:26.