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Sailor 1911 Classic


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38 replies to this topic

#1 AndyHayes

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 12:12

First Impressions
Itís always the same, the moment we go out the postie turns up with the latest parcel for me. This is when living on Shetland becomes an advantage as the postie drops the package into my partnerís workplace along her route.

I had wanted a Sailor 1911 in the first place, but the UK cost had made me go for the Sapporo Mini instead. To say that I was stunned by the smoothness of the nib on the Sapporo would be an understatement. I thought that my Pelikan 805 nib was smooth, but it had suddenly be shoved into a lower league when the Sapporo Mini came along. I couldnít live with the size of the Sapporo Mini so I passed it onto my other half. She adores the thing and itĎs only today that she has stopped carrying it around in the box!

Having found out how smooth the Sailor nibs were I decided that I had to have the 1911. I put an ad in the FPN Marketplace and had a few approaches. I really wanted to buy it from a UK or European seller to cut the cost of postage, lower the risk of loss in the post and avoid duties. In the end I bit the bullet and bought the pen from the US at about 2/3 of the UK price.



The USPS parcel arrived with a box inside the bag containing polychips and the Sailor box in a white cardboard sleeve. The box contained the 1911 and a convertor. It always suprises me that quality pen manufacturers such as Sailor and Pelikan donít put a cleaning cloth in the box, whereas Duke does.

Appearance
I like black pens, especially the glossy ones and the rhodium trim sets it off perfectly. This one seems to pick up every little bit of fluff around it and reminds me of velvet jacketed dancers at 70ís discos. When the DJ put his UV light on the light showed up all of the bits on the velvet jacket much to the embarrassment of the wearer.



The cap has a thin band at the clip and two bands lower down. The lowest of those is much thicker and is engraved with Japan Founded 1911 Sailor. Just re-arrange these words into a sentence! There is another thin band at the blind cap end of the pen giving a vision of balance.

Design/Size/Weight
There is nothing outrageous about the design. Just a smart look about it especially with the rhodium trim. I hear that it looks like a Mont Blanc, but I donít get to the High Street too often so I canít confirm that.

Capped the pen is about 140mm. Posted 155mm and uncapped 125mm. It weighs 25.3 grammes so rates as mid-weight in my collection and is ideal for my tastes. I can easily write a dozen A4 pages with a pen of this weight becoming bored before I become tired.

Nib
One and three quarter turns gets the cap off to reveal the nib. I believe that the nib is rhodium plated. I have seen other reviewers talk about pens with white gold nibs, but to the untrained eye I donít think that I would know the difference. Bling has never turned me on, hence my preference for conservatively styled pens. I am just glad that I am not a member of royalty. I couldnít bear wearing all that bling, or as it is called in my partnerís home - klang. Back to the nib though. Smooth just does not sum it up. Stunningly smooth would be closer, but ironically not as smooth as the Sapporo!



Filling System
It takes almost seven full turns to unscrew the pen to insert the convertor. A certain amount of overkill there! Allow plenty of time for pen filling! Its a convertor, although you could obviously use cartridges, but Sailor have their own peculiar size, another reason why I got rid of the Sapporo Mini, a convertor only pen.



Cost and Value
Even in the UK I feel that you get value for money when you buy a Sailor 1911 at list, but if you can get it priced more sensibly then why not go for it. There is enough left over to buy one of Pam Brauns tortoise shell Pelikan 400s if you do. With a weak dollar and traditionally low US prices I would have been mad not to buy from the US.

Conclusion
It is a very stylish pen and writes like a dream. Am I 100% happy with it then? Yes and no! The Sailor 1911 is almost at the point of perfection for me for a mainstream pen. What would make it perfect is if they used a grown-up filling system like a piston filler.

I rather suspect that this pen will not last long in my hands. I have dropped the pen twice and the cap once since opening the box about 2 hours ago. Normally I am so careful with my possessions, but this pen seems to have a death wish! There is, I am glad to say, no damage.

I have reached the point of near critical mass with the pen collection. I now have 19 pens and have some that are so good, (for different reasons), that I only need to collect one more. Those of you that collect high-end pens will probably find it hard to believe that someone could be satisfied with pens like the Sailor 1911 and the Pelikan 805, but I know that if I carry on I will just end up with £1,000ís of pens that are barely better than what I have now. Yes I lust after a Sailor King of Pen, a Pelikan Chicago, a DaniTrio Densho or Mikado raw ebonite plus many others, but my pens are all users and therefore I need something that will stand up to the rigours of living with me and cost a sensible sum of money. I have to tailor the suit to the cloth available. Before I descend into unemployment at the end of my contract I intend to treat myself to a Nakaya (blackish red -tamenuri) writer portable size with a 2 tone nib. Needless to say, it will be fitted with a rhodium clip!

If you havenít tried a Sailor then you need to. It really is a hugely pleasurable experience.

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#2 jmkeuning

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 12:19

I am like you. I have the Sapporo and I love it. I need a 1911 with an XF nib. I will wait a while before getting that one!

Great review. I want the same pen - rhodium trim.

EDIT: I am actually tempted by the demo with rhodium trim from penseller.

Edited by jmkeuning, 25 August 2007 - 12:21.

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#3 Toppen

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 13:31

AndyHayes, thank you for the review, enjoyed reading it. I have a Sailor 1911 XF Gold Color nib, which I enjoyed using it every day. The nib is one of the smoothest among the pens I have.

#4 Col

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 15:28

Nice review, Andy. Very readable as ever, and you lay it out so clearly.

I just ordered the exact same pen yesterday. No, I'm not stalking you and copying your every move, it's just a coincidence - 'onest guv. I bought mine from PenGallery - they offered it to me at what seemed like a very reasonable price, with a reduced shipping charge. As I remarked in another thread, I've been daring and ordered the Zoom nib. I did my homework on it first, so I know what to expect (sort of). I took the precaution of arranging in advance to exchange it if I really can't get on with it.

I hear what you say about reaching the point of critical mass. I'm not quite there myself, and this forum doesn't help. I've suddenly become interested in the Omas Paragon... Anyway, I hope you enjoy your pen, and I hope mine doesn't show a similar predilection to make a break for it when it arrives.
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#5 AndyHayes

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 15:50

QUOTE(Col @ Aug 25 2007, 04:28 PM) View Post
Nice review, Andy. Very readable as ever, and you lay it out so clearly.


Thanks Col. The secret is Jonro's database. Just type all of the details into the fields then push the button that says create FPN review- instantly nice layout - thanks Jonro. I believe that The Noble Savage started the layout idea. My apologies if I am wrong though.

QUOTE(Col @ Aug 25 2007, 04:28 PM) View Post
I just ordered the exact same pen yesterday. No, I'm not stalking you and copying your every move, it's just a coincidence - 'onest guv. I bought mine from PenGallery - they offered it to me at what seemed like a very reasonable price, with a reduced shipping charge. As I remarked in another thread, I've been daring and ordered the Zoom nib. I did my homework on it first, so I know what to expect (sort of). I took the precaution of arranging in advance to exchange it if I really can't get on with it.


I will only be suspicious if you buy a Nakaya! I have to say that PenGallery are good too. I have two pens from them. I haven't got the nuts for a music nib. Stick to what I know. No-one around here (Shetland) is likely to ever buy one so I suppose that eventually I will be the first.

QUOTE(Col @ Aug 25 2007, 04:28 PM) View Post
I hear what you say about reaching the point of critical mass. I'm not quite there myself, and this forum doesn't help. I've suddenly become interested in the Omas Paragon... Anyway, I hope you enjoy your pen, and I hope mine doesn't show a similar predilection to make a break for it when it arrives.


I have an urge for a Snorkel and I know that I will eventually give in as I have a couple of non-Snorkel Sheaffers and the collection seems incomplete without one. I am fighting my desires though and unemployment should help!

Edited by AndyHayes, 25 August 2007 - 15:51.

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#6 AndyHayes

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 15:54

QUOTE(jmkeuning @ Aug 25 2007, 01:19 PM) View Post
I am like you. I have the Sapporo and I love it. I need a 1911 with an XF nib. I will wait a while before getting that one!

Great review. I want the same pen - rhodium trim.

EDIT: I am actually tempted by the demo with rhodium trim from penseller.


I tend to think that a demo cheapens the pen, especially a pen like the 1911. Each to their own though. My only demos are the Lamy Vista and a Pelikan 205. I was fascinated by the mechanics of the latter.

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#7 jmkeuning

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 19:03

QUOTE(AndyHayes @ Aug 25 2007, 10:54 AM) View Post
I tend to think that a demo cheapens the pen, especially a pen like the 1911. Each to their own though. My only demos are the Lamy Vista and a Pelikan 205. I was fascinated by the mechanics of the latter.


Funny - those are the two demos that I have also!

I know what you mean, there is nothing interesting to see inside the 1911 except for the the converter... but I don't know...
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#8 limesally

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 19:14

Andy,

now that you have both a Sapporo and a 1911 in your house, how much of an "upgrade" do you think the 1911 is? I've been looking at the full-sized Sapporo and the medium sized 1911 at the Pen Gallery. They are both handsome enough, and I am looking for a smooth every day writer. I am sure I would be content with the Sapporo...but the 1911 comes in blue. However it might be silly to pay more for a colour, if they write equally well and would be similar in performance. Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

#9 James P

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 19:47

QUOTE(limesally @ Aug 25 2007, 03:14 PM) View Post
Andy,

now that you have both a Sapporo and a 1911 in your house, how much of an "upgrade" do you think the 1911 is? I've been looking at the full-sized Sapporo and the medium sized 1911 at the Pen Gallery. They are both handsome enough, and I am looking for a smooth every day writer. I am sure I would be content with the Sapporo...but the 1911 comes in blue. However it might be silly to pay more for a colour, if they write equally well and would be similar in performance. Thanks in advance for your thoughts!


The 1911M also comes in blue and is equipped with a 14K gold nib, much like the Sapporos (I'm not certain they're not identical). The 1911M is every bit as good a writer as the Sapporo, and it's s roughly the same price. That's something you may want to consider.

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So here's what happened
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#10 Brian

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 20:15

Thanks for the review Andy. Say, about how many turns does it take to get the cap off? It's one thing that keeps me from looking further into getting one.

Best Regards

#11 jmkeuning

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 21:24

QUOTE
One and three quarter turns
wink.gif
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#12 PelikanPenman

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 21:53

Andy very nice review. Still can not believe you have given over to the dark side and put the Pelikan away for a Sailor!

Although I did see today a Sailor that interests me, the Sailor Professional Gear - Saibi Togi from Andy's Pens, but all new purchases have been put off for awhile, as I have ordered a new pen, will tell more after I get it...lol.

Enjoy your new pen.
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#13 limesally

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 23:55

QUOTE(James P @ Aug 25 2007, 01:47 PM) View Post
The 1911M also comes in blue and is equipped with a 14K gold nib, much like the Sapporos (I'm not certain they're not identical). The 1911M is every bit as good a writer as the Sapporo, and it's s roughly the same price. That's something you may want to consider.


Thank you for the suggestion! I have time to do some considering - I have to wait for the September school/sport fees to cool off, then hopefully make a purchase in late September or October. But it gives me time to think about it smile.gif

#14 Opus104

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 00:18

QUOTE(jmkeuning @ Aug 25 2007, 02:03 PM) View Post
QUOTE(AndyHayes @ Aug 25 2007, 10:54 AM) View Post
I tend to think that a demo cheapens the pen, especially a pen like the 1911. Each to their own though. My only demos are the Lamy Vista and a Pelikan 205. I was fascinated by the mechanics of the latter.


Funny - those are the two demos that I have also!

I know what you mean, there is nothing interesting to see inside the 1911 except for the the converter... but I don't know...

Vista and 205 (Amber) for me too. The Omas Ogiva is maybe the only other demonstrator I have my eye on.

I've been considering the 1911 as well - same color - thanks for the review.

#15 southpaw

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 02:05

Very nice review of a classic! ENJOY!!!
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#16 Taki

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 02:57

Andy, coongratulations on your new 1911, and thanks for another one of your great reviews. It's interesting your Sapporo Mini's nib was smoother, but I've heard that Sailor 21K nibs are fussier than 14K ones.

Does "Sailor Japan Founded 1911" sound a little better' laugh.gif

Edited by Taki, 26 August 2007 - 03:09.


#17 thw

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 04:17

biggrin.gif
Congratulations on your purchase!

I purchased the same pen with a Saiba Togi (XXF) nib two months ago. I really like the black with rhodium trim. The 21 K Saiba Togi nib writes differently from the Sailor 14K XF nib. The 21K nib is not as smooth as 14K but then again, it is not a reliable comparison as the nibs are XXF vs XF nib.

I also own a Nakaya with SEF. The Urushi body makes its cost worthwhile. However, that will not stop me from getting more Sailor pens. In fact, i am planning to buy two more pens to mark my professional milestone. They are likely going to be a Sailor 1911 Sterling Silver and possibly a Sailor KOP or Nakaya wit EF.

I own six Sailor pens currently. A Sailor 1911 with Saiba Togi(XXF), Sailor Chalana with EF, Sailor Sapporo with EF and three Sailor 1911M (Blue/Red/Yellow) with EF nibs. The Sailor Sapporo and 1911M have exactly the same nib and nib section. The only difference between the two pens is the colour of the body and the Sapporo has flat ends. You can cap a 1911M body with a Sapporo cap or vice versa. The nib of 1911M is exactly the same size with the same feel while writing as the nib of a Sapporo.

Enjoy the pen!

Edited by thw, 26 August 2007 - 04:20.


#18 Brian

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 10:32

QUOTE(jmkeuning @ Aug 25 2007, 11:24 AM) View Post
QUOTE
One and three quarter turns
wink.gif


Thanks for the info.

#19 Taki

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 11:36

QUOTE(thw @ Aug 25 2007, 11:17 PM) View Post
biggrin.gif
Congratulations on your purchase!

I purchased the same pen with a Saiba Togi (XXF) nib two months ago. I really like the black with rhodium trim. The 21 K Saiba Togi nib writes differently from the Sailor 14K XF nib. The 21K nib is not as smooth as 14K but then again, it is not a reliable comparison as the nibs are XXF vs XF nib.

I'm sorry to be picky, but it is Saibi Togi. "bi" means "beauty" but "ba" could mean "tooth". So "Saibi" is "Fine and beautiful", and "Saiba" can mean "Fine tooth" wink.gif

Edited by Taki, 26 August 2007 - 11:56.


#20 AndyHayes

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 15:38

QUOTE(limesally @ Aug 25 2007, 08:14 PM) View Post
Andy,

now that you have both a Sapporo and a 1911 in your house, how much of an "upgrade" do you think the 1911 is? I've been looking at the full-sized Sapporo and the medium sized 1911 at the Pen Gallery. They are both handsome enough, and I am looking for a smooth every day writer. I am sure I would be content with the Sapporo...but the 1911 comes in blue. However it might be silly to pay more for a colour, if they write equally well and would be similar in performance. Thanks in advance for your thoughts!


I think that it comes down to style. Every time I look at the better half's Sapporo I say mmm, that's a nice looking pen. I prefer the length of the 1911 Classic though, long but still light.
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