The Daks Simpson Slim
I did a set of unboxing photos (above) when I first got this pen and now that I've had a chance to use it for a few days, I think it's time for a review.First Impressions:
When I first saw the Sailor Chalana, I immediately fell in love with its slim aesthetics and XF nib but at $250, this was not going to be. Then, on the opposite end of the glass display, I saw the Simpson Slim -- made by Sailor for Daks. Not only was the Simpson Slim more inexpensive at only $100 but it had a more youthful and modern aesthetic.
An when I got it, wow! What a treat. Definitely, this is a pen you can give (or receive) as a gift. It's in the same price range as the Cross ATX or a low end Cross Century II however, the Simpson Slim's packaging is simply much more solid, like a jewelry gift box for a well-made tennis bracelet.Appearance & Design:
The most striking thing about this pen is how thin it is. At 121mm x 8 mm, you'd be very hard pressed to find a pen that's thinner in any way. To save costs, the barrel isn't polished metal but painted metal and it's slightly textured but nothing too distracting about the texture. As for the cap, it's polished metal engraved with the plaid that is Daks' motif.
Like I say above, I think the aesthetic is modern and youthful but without being girly. It's like if Burberry started wanting to target people who'd rather buy iPods.Weight & Dimensions:
The pen works well for me but I'll warn others: Its slim size means this is not a pen for those whose fingers aren't slim or need to write for long periods of time -- the pen isn't very ergonomic and it holds very little ink. It's 135mm when posted and though there is an obvious difference in the pen's balance when the cap is posted vs. unposted, the pen is still light enough for this to not have an effect on handwriting.
As for weight, it has heft -- well as much heft that such a small pen can have anyways. I've held bigger pens that weighed less than its 12g but, I know that a bigger pen with an all metal body would weigh even more.
Anyways, despite appearances, it feels very solid, not delicate at all. Except for the plastic collector and plastic section, this is an all metal pen. Now, this pen is too precious to me to loan out to anyone but, I do feel comfortable that even if a ballpoint user got a hold of it, it would survive.Nib & Performance:
The nib is only the slightest bit toothy but that's better than I expected for an XF nib. I couldn't compare it to the Chalana's nib but, it does say, "Sailor 18K 1 750" so maybe someone could check to see if it is a nib used for one of the Chalana models.
Like I said above, the pen feels solid and I mean everywhere, including the nib. It has a very stiff nib that does not give, even when I applied pressure to it.
As for the line width: Yes, it's very thin. In my fountain pen collection, only the a Pilot XF writes a thinner line. I've used only the Chalana cartridges it came with and nothing to write home about -- this nib/ink combination isn't too wet, isn't too dry, it's just about right.
About the writing sample below: The lines are about 8.5mm apart. You can get an idea just how fine of a line it writes.
Oh, and this pen is sold only with an XF nib. As far as I can tell, there are no other nib sizes available for this pen at all and I don't know if replacement nibs are available.
However, the pen is very easy to service yourself. The nib and collector pop right out every easily for easy washing and drying. And the inside of the section and the collector are both shaped as ovals so that you can't really put it back in the wrong way.Filling System:
The pen uses the same cartridges and converters as the Sailor Chalana so refills shouldn't be hard to find. The cartridge itself is only 5mm x 60mm so it holds only 1.4 mL of ink and the converter looks like it holds half that. Obviously not the pen you want to use to use for a project like NaNoWriMo.
Another thing about the converter, it's not a twist type but a push/pull type. I haven't used the converter yet so I don't know if I have a preference but I will note the seal seems very strong so leaking shouldn't be a problem.Cost & Value:
I bought this pen from Ujuku's Ebay store when a store near me didn't have the red one. They tend to go for around $100 and won't vary by more than a few dollars from store to store. This is a hard pen to find -- it was either Ujuku or the japanese stationary stores near me. I don't know how long this pen has been on the market but I've never seen a used one.
As for value, it might not seem worth it on the surface. The paint might chip over time however, the paint job feels sturdy and besides I tend to take care of my pens so I don't see that being an issue. It holds much less ink than the Platinum Affection and Pilot Cavalier, both of which cost me around around $50 each, and both these pens are all-metal bodies. So, it might seem weird to be paying more for a pen that's less.
However, to me, this pen is worth it. If I compare it to the Chalana, that's where its value becomes more apparent since its only practical difference is the painted vs polished metal body and I think knocking of $100-$150 for that is a fair deal.Conclusion:
This is not an everyday, all-purpose pen -- it holds too little ink and isn't very ergonomic.
However, this pen is of solid construction; should last a long time; has a very striking aesthetic; and has a small enough body to fit into even the smallest evening purse. If you're looking for a dress-to-impress pen that you can take anywhere, this is the pen for you.
Edited by Pink Ink, 01 November 2008 - 10:09.