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Sailor Professional Gear Slim Mini (Sailor Sapporo Mini)


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50 replies to this topic

#1 Taki

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Posted 29 September 2007 - 00:40

As a fine-nibbed pen fan, I use Japanese pens often. Among "The Big Three" Japanese pen companies I have several Pilot and a few Platinum pens, but my experience with Sailor was limited to a couple of inexpensive pens (Super Script calligraphy pen and 100-yen INK PEN). I thought about trying the 1911M, but the design never really appealed to me. When Professional Gear Slim series (Sapporo series) came out I was more interested in trying them but black pens seem all too serious.

One day in early summer I was browsing Japanese web pages, and came across the web site of Morita Fountain Pen Store in Osaka. They sell the Professional Gear in light blue, inspired by the roof of Saltzburg Cathedral. Apparently the owner of the store is a Mozart fan, and 2007 is the Saint of Music's 250th birth anniversary.

I contacted Morita and they said they can send the pen to the U.S., as long as I can figured out how to send money to them. They do not take credit cards to keep their cost low. I looked for a way to send money easily about a week, to no avail. Finally I ended up asking my family to transfer money into Morita's bank account. Once they received the money the pen was here in less than a week.

Appearance: 5/5

The little blue pen was sent in a big generic Sailor pen box. It almost looked like a little kid in Mom's or Dad's shoes when I opened the box. I thought the color might look cheap, but it is a nice, tasteful light blue. I immediately fell in love with the color. I've heard someone described it as "Tiffany box blue". I think that's a good description. The trim is silver colored, which I love. The ring is engraved with a phrase "Sailor Japan Founded 1911", just like other Professional Gear pens.


(Photo by KCat)

I was a little worried that the pen might be too small, but with the cap posted it's a perfect size for me. The girth around the section is about the same as Pelikan M400. I can use it unposted if I have to, but it's more comfortable. I usually don't post caps but I do with this one. It is meant to be posted and there are threads on the back end so that the cap is secured while writing, a feature I really like.


(Photo by KCat)

The Nib (5/5)

Some people might think "smooth" and "fine" are mutually exclusive. That is not the case with this Sailor nib. My Mini came with a very wet and smooth 14K F nib. I might have gotten an F, but Morita version is available only in F, FM, and M. On smooth papers such as Clairefontaine and Rhodia it practically glides across the paper. It is rigid and has no flexibility whatsoever, but that is to be expected.


Filling System (4/5)

This pen uses cartridge only, and converter won't fit due to it's short barrel. Personally it does not bother me at all. I happened to like Sailor Blue-black cartridges that came with the pen a lot. I've also refilled empty cartridges with other ink. But for some people that is not desirable. The section thread is metal and "eye-dropperization" is probably not a good idea. So I took a point off.

Price/Value (5/5)

MRSP of Professional Gear Slim Mini is 10000 yen in Japan. Morita sells their original as well as the regular Pro Gear Slims at 8000 yen. I also got a discount on shipping as I ordered two. So I paid about $70 per pen with shipping, due to the favorable dollar-yen exchange rate at that time. How many gold-nibbed pens you can get for less than $100 nowadays? I know Sapporo Mini costs a little more here, but still I'd say it's a very good value, considering how good the nib is.


Conclusion

Before I got my Mini I constantly had at least a dozen pens inked. Once I started to use this Sailor I just did not feel the need to have so many pens inked any more as this one is pretty much all I use. I flushed out most of them, and now I only have three or four pens inked including Mini. Like many people I tend to go through phases, and I maybe just in a mini-pen phase. But I think this Sailor Professional Gear Slim Mini is here to stay with me for a long time.

(Thanks to KCat, who also got this pen and provided the photos for this review.)

Edited by Taki, 29 September 2007 - 11:34.


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#2 saintsimon

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Posted 29 September 2007 - 01:33

Thanks for the colourful review, Taki, this outcome could be expected with a Sailor pen laugh.gif . Now we have also a size comparison thumbup.gif
My Pro Gear asks for a little sister every now and then, so we'll see ... smile.gif

#3 omasfan

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Posted 29 September 2007 - 01:44

I have the regular 1911 in gaudy yellow. While the Prof. Gear Mini version would be too small for my hands, I have to agree that Sailor's nibs are amazing.
The pens have nothing special about the pen body (expect maybe for a nice color and great craftsmanship). But they are basically plastic torpedos. The Professional Gear's shape is a little less torpedo-like as I think. The real wonder happens when one uncaps these pens!

#4 Penache

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Posted 29 September 2007 - 20:05

Ooooh! That is a lovely colour for my favourite pen. Maybe one day I will be able to add it to my collection.

Thanks for the review, Taki. smile.gif
~ Manisha

"A traveller am I and a navigator, and everyday I discover a new region of my soul." ~ Kahlil Gibran

#5 KCat

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Posted 29 September 2007 - 23:20

QUOTE(Penache @ Sep 29 2007, 03:05 PM) View Post
Ooooh! That is a lovely colour for my favourite pen. Maybe one day I will be able to add it to my collection.

Thanks for the review, Taki. smile.gif


Isn't she a looker!

For me, the pen color brings back childhood memories. At Grandmama's house we always had Grandpapa's cooking on those thick plastic dishes that all came in almost-pastel colors. There was that lovely blue, a soft green, a rose, and a buttery yellow. So that pen conjurs up an image of a pale blue plate piled with black-eyed peas and cornbread.

sigh...

Yes, I'm very fond of this pen. Add to it that it's an excellent writer. It has become my most-used pen in my case right now. My Pels are getting envious. Not ignored. Just a little less exercise than usual. smile.gif

edit: Duh! Thank you for the review, Taki. I appreciate it very much.

Edited by KCat, 29 September 2007 - 23:25.

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#6 alvarez57

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Posted 29 September 2007 - 23:51

Very nice, concise and enjoyable review. The pen is very cute (what's the term in Japanese for cute things?). I really enjoyed your review, I hope it's not the last.
Thanks Kcat for the pics!...K9? wink.gif

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#7 Taki

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Posted 30 September 2007 - 03:22

Thanks for your kind words, everyone.

Sonia, that would be "kawaii"...vowels in Japanese are very similar to Spanish. I'm working on another review wink.gif

Edited by Taki, 30 September 2007 - 03:23.


#8 jd50ae

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Posted 30 September 2007 - 03:37

Very well done........ thumbup.gif

#9 AndyHayes

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Posted 30 September 2007 - 16:02

What a superb colour Taki. Great review and pics too!
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#10 lefty928

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Posted 30 September 2007 - 16:37

That is such a pretty color, Taki! No wonder you use the pen all the time. At the D.C. pen show, I loved the smoothness of the Sailor nibs (even the EF) and was amazed at how posting the tiny Sapporo Mini made it a comfortable writing size. Sigh ... it and the medium Sapporo are on my list, but not yet at the top (because I have a 1911M, which also has a lovely F nib).
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#11 KCat

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Posted 01 October 2007 - 00:00

I wanted to add a note that I forgot about earlier.

I used my Sapporo the other day for taking notes while updating links on my pages. I usually reserve that sort of work for my VP so I don't have a dried out nib from long pauses. I was just in the mood to use the Sapporo. Well, I'll be darned if that little thing didn't perform as well as any wet-writing Pelikan! No hesitation, no drying out. It stayed uncapped for several minutes at a time and behaved beautifully. I don't believe there are any other pens in my collection other than the Pelikans that will hold up that well. VPs will - but only because they're "clickable."

Don't know if this is the norm or just my good fortune. smile.gif

Oh - ink is PR Naples.

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#12 adair

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Posted 01 October 2007 - 00:56

That certainly is a nice color, and I love how the Sapporo Mini's cap screws onto the barrel with special threads on the rear, but the limitation to cartridges that are not universal dissuades me from buying this otherwise beautiful pen. I have a regular black Sapporo, which I like more and more, especially after John Mottishaw made the ink flow more generously. Now, what pen is the white or ivory one next to the Sapporo in KCat's photos?

#13 Penache

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Posted 01 October 2007 - 00:58

QUOTE(KCat @ Oct 1 2007, 12:00 AM) View Post
I wanted to add a note that I forgot about earlier.

I used my Sapporo the other day for taking notes while updating links on my pages. I usually reserve that sort of work for my VP so I don't have a dried out nib from long pauses. I was just in the mood to use the Sapporo. Well, I'll be darned if that little thing didn't perform as well as any wet-writing Pelikan! No hesitation, no drying out. It stayed uncapped for several minutes at a time and behaved beautifully. I don't believe there are any other pens in my collection other than the Pelikans that will hold up that well. VPs will - but only because they're "clickable."

Don't know if this is the norm or just my good fortune. smile.gif


Mine is the same. It is a complete pleasure to use. cloud9.gif

Adair, that is an Ivory Pilot Prera. It is another excellent pen and very reasonably priced too.

Edited by Penache, 01 October 2007 - 01:00.

~ Manisha

"A traveller am I and a navigator, and everyday I discover a new region of my soul." ~ Kahlil Gibran

#14 adair

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Posted 01 October 2007 - 01:45

I never heard of the Pilot Prera---is still in production?

#15 Taki

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Posted 01 October 2007 - 01:57

QUOTE(adair @ Sep 30 2007, 08:45 PM) View Post
I never heard of the Pilot Prera---is still in production?

Actually it's relatively new. Prera review by KCat.

It's not officially sold outside Japan, but you can get them from Ujuku Shop in Japan and Jpens in the U.S. I think there are other vendors on eBay.

#16 chibimie

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 05:16

What a beauty of a pen, Taki! I am wondering if you know of other limited issues of these pens by other companies in Japan?
At any rate, thanks for the fine review,

Jim


#17 lingyuki

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 00:06

Wow! What a beautiful color and pen~ How many special colors of the Sapporo/Professional Gear does the Sailor Company have? I think I saw a metallic red on the FPN board somewhere and now there's this beautiful blue...

#18 Belan

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 05:39

QUOTE(Taki @ Sep 29 2007, 10:22 PM) View Post
Sonia, that would be "kawaii"...vowels in Japanese are very similar to Spanish. I'm working on another review wink.gif


Pronounced "kah-wah-ee" smile.gif

a = ah
i = e (as in "ear")
u = eww (think teenage girl)
e = ay (as in "way")
o = oh
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#19 Immoteus

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 06:01

QUOTE(Belan @ Dec 5 2007, 09:39 PM) View Post
QUOTE(Taki @ Sep 29 2007, 10:22 PM) View Post
Sonia, that would be "kawaii"...vowels in Japanese are very similar to Spanish. I'm working on another review wink.gif


Pronounced "kah-wah-ee" smile.gif

a = ah
i = e (as in "ear")
u = eww (think teenage girl)
e = ay (as in "way")
o = oh

or you can drop the second "i" and make it "kawai" lticaptd.gif
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Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur.


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#20 rroossinck

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 06:21

Tak, that is AWESOME. Pity I hadn't seen this review until now.

(Thank God Kara hasn't seen it...yet.)

I want to see this one next time we get together.

Maybe we need to set up a central IA fountain pen get together sometime over the holidays. I'll check my calendar and see if I can't get something together.

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