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Sailor Sapporo review


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15 replies to this topic

#1 1000km

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Posted 02 December 2008 - 01:39

Introduction
I was drawn to the Sapporo after reading glowing reviews here at the Fountain Pen Network. I was impressed by the almost reverential tone adopted by owners toward their Sailor pens. Being a huge fan of all things Japanese and drawn to cult items, Sailor struck a chord with me. The Sapporo seemed to be the ideal entry-point, seemingly offering the full Sailor experience for a reasonable price. Having used this pen intensely now for several months, I'm happy to share my impressions.

Appearance and finish
I opted for the pared-down classic looks of the black pen with rhodium trim. With its distinctive chiseled looks, the Sapporo strikes all who see it as a quality item. Yes itís plastic, but impeccably finished acrylic of the type you might find in bullet-proof windows. And just as another reviewer suggested, hold it against a bright light and youíll notice that it is actually very very (very) dark red.

sailor_1.jpg

Design and size
The Sapporo is a smallish pen (124mm/4.87 inches capped) and needs to be posted (at 142mm/5.6 inches) to be comfortable. While users of larger pens may find it underwhelming, in my hand itís ideal. When posted the pen feels very well-balanced (at 19.7 grams). The cap screws-on in two and a half turns with a smooth and secure action.

Sailor_detail.jpg

Nib design and performance
Just as it should be in any fountain pen, the nib is the highlight. Big and beautifully finished, the Sapporo uses a solid 14k gold nib, plated on this model with rhodium. Itís easily the smoothest and most consistent writer I have used, laying down an exceptionally dark and saturated line that contrasts beautifully against quality papers. Casual users are always very impressed when they try this pen. The nib Iím using is a medium, which at approximately 0.5mm is equivalent to a western fine. Itís not dry and itís not wet, but feels just right. As with the weight, Sailor has achieved an excellent balance. Itís easy to believe, as some have suggested, that every Sailor nib has been tested by hand at the factory. The nib is quite stiff, with the slightest hint of flex, providing a very precise writing experience. Ink flow is unerringly consistent, never faltering or failing even after long periods without use. I have never noticed the slightest leakage, even with regular flying.

sailor_nib.jpg

Filling system
The filling system uses cartridges or the piston-type converter included. The converter is rather meager, holding (by my measurements) approximately 0.6ml. Cartridges (proprietary Sailor system) offer slightly greater capacity. Having used a wide range of inks, the Sapporo writes equally well with them all. Unsurprisingly, Sailor Jentle inks and Kiraguro (nano) black perform flawlessly.

Cost/value
My pen was purchased from Pen Gallery in Malaysia (good communication and swift delivery) for just over a hundred dollars. To my mind the Sapporo is the best value fountain pen in the Sailor range, offering a superb writing experience for moderate money. The slightly larger models with 21k nibs (such as the 1911 and Professional Gear) sell at more than twice the price. All in all the Sapporo offers excellent bang for your buck.

Final thoughts
The Sailor Sapporo is an accomplished and exceptional fountain pen. The writing experience is smooth and luxurious, the appearance and finish are in themselves a source of pleasure. For the driving enthusiasts out there, if I had to compare the Sailor writing experience with an automobile it would be a 5-series BMW. And as just like the big BM, the only downside to this ride is that it can sometimes seem so effortless that the driver isnít needed at all.

Sailor Sapporo Specifications (with thanks to www.nibs.com)
Weight: 19.7 grams
Closed length: 124mm/4.87 inches
Posted length: 142mm/5.6 inches
Barrel length: 90mm/3.56 inches
Barrel width: 12mm/0.481 inches
Section diameter 10mm/0.407 inches

sailor_2.jpg

Edited by 1000km, 02 December 2008 - 01:40.


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#2 lovemy51

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Posted 02 December 2008 - 05:00

thanx for the review! a 14k nib pen for a little over $100... not bad at all. i've seen it at swisher for $120.

http://store.nextern...ount2=525779366

Edited by lovemy51, 02 December 2008 - 05:03.


#3 penspouse

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Posted 02 December 2008 - 06:02

Great review. I've heard so much about this pen, I'd buy it in a heartbeat if it were a piston fill.
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#4 chibimie

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Posted 02 December 2008 - 12:14

Your review made me appreciate what I own several of all the more. Wonderful review. biggrin.gif

#5 1000km

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 07:21

Thank you for the kind comments. Personally I don't mind the fact that the Sapporo uses cartridges or converter only - it gives me an excuse to change inks twice as often. It's a pen that reveals new dimensions in each ink.

#6 Newtown

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 12:33

Dang, that pen looks GREAT, I can't take my eyes off the nib. And it's under 100 bucks? Are you sure you aren't pulling my leg? laugh.gif
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#7 Bolvangar

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Posted 06 December 2008 - 06:13

I also have the exact pen as you, and I just wanted to add...

Nib: also the smothest nib I've ever used.

Size: it is smallerish. I can write with it unposted, but just barely. I have hands on the medium/small size. It's considerably more comfortable to use posted.

Finish: plastic, yes, but feels very solid and of high quality.
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#8 Mr Ink

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Posted 06 December 2008 - 06:32

I have the exact same pen and can confirm that the writing experience is perfect. I never post the caps on my pens. My hands are not large and I can write very comfortably with the Sapporo unposted. If only they could get a piston-filling mechanism into it.

#9 1000km

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 13:58

A fresh picture! thumbup.gif

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#10 Steven

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 20:58

Greetings, nice review. I have the same pen in gold but I find my nib has some flex to it and thus the line width does very with slight changes in pressure during the normal writing process. The pen write flawlessly smooth and is always a ready writer.

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#11 Dimitrios_P

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 22:48

Nice review.....

I just order the same.
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#12 bunnybaby

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 06:15

1000km wrote: "My pen was purchased from Pen Gallery in Malaysia (good communication and swift delivery) for just over a hundred dollars."

OMG! That sounds like music to my ears (or rather, to my eyes).

Not that I have any problem ordering items from overseas, but due to a recent bad experience (through the local post office), I'm being more cautious than before. Your review, although it was written more than 2 years ago, is a Godsend. I'm planning to buy a Sailor Sapporo, too, owing to the same reason (and influence) as in yours. To have an online pen boutique that is based in my own country is truly a bliss. I can't thank you high enough, but thanks a million, anyway.

Edited by bunnybaby, 17 February 2012 - 06:15.


#13 Sidestreaker

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 07:20

Pen Gallery is great to purchase from. Though I've not ordered online from them, purchasing from the storefront is an awesome experienced. I got my Sailor 1911 from them too. :thumbup:
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#14 William D. Lester

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 17:52

I have the same pen only with a music nib. Of the approximately 40 pens I own, this is the best writing, most comfortable one.

#15 bunnybaby

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 09:17

Pen Gallery is great to purchase from. Though I've not ordered online from them, purchasing from the storefront is an awesome experienced. I got my Sailor 1911 from them too. :thumbup:


Thanks Sidestreaker. That's very comforting to know that Pen Gallery gives a good customer service. I plan to go there myself instead of purchasing online for my first Sailor FP :-)

#16 Toolattack

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 16:41

Congratulations, I love this pen!






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