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  1. Hello there! Here's my review of the Sailor 1911L Demonstrator with a Zoom nib! Introduction: I wasn't always into Sailor pens. I got my first Sailor pen, a black and rhodium Progear over a year ago. I didn't really cared for the precise feedback of the B nib that I had on that pen. I was really into broad, glassy smooth writers like Pelikans and it was only until recently that I began to appreciate Sailor nibs (especially their Naginata Togi)! Considering the fact that Sailor are raising their prices to ridiculous amounts, I just had to have one asap. I chose the Zoom nib as I think it's the closest to the NTs. Once it arrived (two days before 2023) and got to write with it, I knew I was in for a treat! With that said, on with the review! - Price 7/10 This pen is worth USD 256 (converter included) from where I got this. It’s a bit more expensive than the ones with regular EF-B nibs. Considering Sailor pens are much more expensive in other places (especially in the US) I can’t really argue with that. - Packaging: 9/10 The pen came with a standard Sailor blue box, but with the new branding. Nothing breathtaking here. - Build Quality: 8/10 I have good experiences of the PMMA resin that Sailor uses for their Large fountain pens. With this demonstrator resin however, I feel it’s a bit lighter than the opaque ones. Maybe it’s psychological because I could see through it? But other than that, everything feels well-built! - Design: 10/10 I chose the demonstrator version as I think it’s the most unique looking in their regular production series. The gold trims add a look of luxury without making it boring, compared if the combination is black with gold trims. - Cap: 9/10 Very nice. The clip is solid but easy to operate. The pen takes 1 ½ turns to open which is quite less than my regular progear. The cap band is also quite different from the regular ones, and I think it looks very nice! Because this is a demonstrator, you could see the inner cap, which is semi-translucent. I wish it was clear like the rest of the pen, but I’m sure Sailor has their reasons for that. - Filling Mechanism: 8/10 This pen, like most Sailor pens, is a CC filler. There’s a huge debate on this matter but Sailor converters are well built in my experience. However with the zoom nib that this pen has, it goes through ink like there’s no tomorrow. I’m good with Sailor converters, but I believe they should make another one with a higher ink capacity for nibs like the zoom. - The Writing Experience/Nib: 9/10 This has a 21kt monotone gold nib. My experience on Sailor nibs are wonderful! I would agree with most folks that with a Sailor, you pay for the nib, which is phenomenal! This zoom nib is smooth but not overly smooth. It has a dull-pencil-like feedback which is good for my tastes. I inked this pen with Diamine Ancient Copper ever since I got this, and the flow and wetness is I would say moderate. I prefer things to be on the wetter side but I could see that the feed flows very well. I would say that it’s the ink as Ancient Copper leans on the dry side. Speaking more on the Zoom properties, it really does work! On the 90 degree angle, it's a good western fine. At about 60 degrees, it’s a western broad. And finally, when used 45 degrees and below, it’s a good double broad. It took quite a bit of practice to use it more practically. I typically use this on the 45 degree angle which works for me personally. That angle might be too wide for most people so try before you buy. I would also take note that the Zoom nib doesn’t work well on TRP which is rather unusual. My specific zoom nib also doesn't perform well when used in reverse writing. Again, the rather dry ink might the cause. The nib also has a bit of give to it which I love about their 21kt nibs! It’s worlds apart compared to Jowo steel nibs that I’m not too crazy about. But take note that this is not a flex nib, and shouldn’t be used as such. This nib also has the new nib design which sparked controversy in the pen community. Personally, I like the new design better than I expected! It’s more minimalist looking which I associate with Japanese pens. It also now looks way different from MB nibs which is good thing. - Comfort: 10/10 This pen is very comfortable! The ergonomics are similar with the PG, so I was sure that the pen would be good for me. The pen posts well and is actually more comfortable to hold that way but I don’t want to add wear on the barrel so I rarely post this pen. I don’t really mind having marks on my black PG, but I do care about the demonstrator so yeah. - Weight and Measurements The pen is a tad longer than a Lamy Safari and a wee shorter compared to a Montblanc 146. The Sailor 1911 unposted (inked with converter) is noticeably lighter than a MB 146 unposted with a brass piston mechanism. - Others: On the finial and end area, you could see the glue used on assembling the pen. I don’t mind that personally as it shows that this pen was assembled by hand, which I always appreciate. Another note is the gold trim. I’m very hesitant about gold trims as I have had bad experiences with my Platinum 3776 Century, which the gold plating worn off in just three months. But so far, I haven’t heard of recent reports of Sailor gold platings wearing off abnormally. Because this is the new design, I could be assured that this is a new production pen. I would be very upset if the gold would wear off like my 3776 but fortunately, it is still pristine. I don’t store it in leather cases just to be safe. It is also worth noting that the zoom nib is not an equal match for the Naginata Togi nibs imo. The latter is much broader with more of an architect nature and are considerably wetter. - Overall 9/10 The Sailor 1911L Demonstrator offers a lot of good features to me personally. I purchased this mainly for the Zoom nib and I found that it’s good mainly for special uses, not for everyday writing (unless you write huge, don't mind refilling more often and have an abundant access and finance for good paper). It's velvety smooth with good line variation. The looks do it good for me, and I’m not even a demonstrator fan. If you’re in the hobby for quite some time and would like a unique writing experience, I strongly recommend Sailor pens! They have very good build quality with amazing nibs for a decent price. As for the design, I would personally look towards the more unique special editions. Overall, this is a good pen from my favorite Japanese brand!
  2. I received this unusual Sailor Pocket Pen. It was leaking between the metal and plastic part of its grip section but I managed to unscrew the metal part and seal it with shellac. The nib looks a bit like Lamy 2000 but most unusual is the clip. It looks like it is unfinished, made out of one thin piece of metal that is bent. It fits nicely if you clip it in your jeans but it is not tight enough to be secure in your shirt pocket. It is very small pen. Here it is compared to Sailor 1911 Standard, Pilot Elite 95s and Lamy Al Star. Nib is 14k but very wet. Too wet for my liking. Apart from 14k stamped on it it is plain. Pen is black, metal and silver colour. The only branding is Sailor engraving on the cap. It is the smallest of me Long/Short format Japanese Pocket pens. From Left to right : Unusal Sailor Pocket Pen, another Unknown Sailor, Sailor 21, Sailor 21 Silver, Elite Cross Hatch, Elite 95S, Pilot Myu Matte Black, Platinum P-200, Platinum P-200 White, P-200 Black with cap from Platinum Soft Pen. If anyone knows anything about this Sailor model I would be most interested. Here is another photo of the weird clip.
  3. OldTravelingShoe

    20221225_144036.jpg

    From the album: OldTravelingShoe's Random Pics of Japanese Fountain Pens

    © (c) 2022 by OldTravelingShoe. All rights reserved.

  4. OldTravelingShoe

    20221225_143905.jpg

    From the album: OldTravelingShoe's Random Pics of Japanese Fountain Pens

    © (c) 2022 by OldTravelingShoe. All rights reserved.

  5. OldTravelingShoe

    20221225_130407.png

    From the album: OldTravelingShoe's Random Pics of Japanese Fountain Pens

    © (c) 2022 by OldTravelingShoe. All rights reserved.

  6. The blue Sailor ink I see is pigmented and I don't want to mess up the pen, either, but the ion-plating needs non-acidic ink, as I understand it. I'm currently a Diamine fan, but I guess that changes now. I am eyeing Pilot asa-gao and J. Herbin's few non-shimmering blues. Am I being overcautious or too reckless by going off-brand? This pen was a big purchase for me on my income and I want to treat it right and make it last. Thanks! Scott
  7. I was definitely not looking to acquire a new pen! But when local letter press and stationer oblation papers & press in Portland's Pearl District posted about the "new" Sailor 1911 Compass in their IG feed, I immediately decided to order one. I'm usually careful not to make impulse purchases when it comes to FPs, so why the Compass? Lots of reasons: First was the color, which made an immediate impression on me. Though billed as "olive," it looked to me from the picture like it was a flavor of "lime." The picture was true to the real-life color, and I was ultimately pleased to add this olive-lime (??) pen to my collection.I have a 1911M with a F nib and have been curious about the Medium Fine (MF)--the only nib option for the Compass, it turns out--but unsure about buying a 14k version as an experiment. This seemed to present itself as an opportunity to try the MF out with relatively little risk.The Compass has some interesting features, like a clear feed and a matching converter, that made this budget model especially appealing.Finally, I miss regular visits to oblation in these covid times. Sometimes a Saturday morning destination in its own right, sometimes an interesting and friendly stop on the way to a Thorns FC match, this PDX institution is just awesome and I was happy to find a random reason to place an order. (As an aside, I originally discovered oblation looking for a vintage typewriter and only then discovered it had a lot of pen stuff. Cool place, for sure!) Since it was an impulse purchase, I did not immediately realize that the Compass is really just a re-branded Profit Jr. and not actually a new offering, per se. That detail doesn't really matter to me but I found it interesting. I did pay the full $49 retail, but with some additions to my order got free shipping. In addition to the afore-mentioned matching converter (interestingly, marked "lime green"), the pen also includes a couple of cartridges. Upon arrival, I was surprised to see how bulky its gift packaging was--seems like a bit of overkill, but I guess helped ensure that the pen arrived completely undamaged. The pen itself did not disappoint: As part of Sailor's 1911 lineup, it's the exact same size as my 1911M (see photo above). The olive/lime acrylic is a really neat color and its minimalistic design is appealing. That said, there is no doubt that it's an economy model: except for the nib, clip, and thinly-plated cap band, it's an all-plastic affair. The acrylic, though beautiful, is very light and does feel..."intrinsically fragile." (Is that a euphemism for "cheap"? Yes, it is.) I have no doubt that a single careless drop will result in critical damage, and I suspect I may not have the opportunity to pass it down to future generations. This one lacks the FP heirloom factor and is reminiscent of the likes of a No-Nonsense. That said, what I feared to be a catastrophic crack in the section proved after a quick evaluation to simply be a crease in the acrylic from the molding process and, structurally speaking, quite sound. The most interesting part of the Compass, of course, is the nib. (As it should be!) Though, again, with a simple minimalist steel design, the medium fine (MF) nib was instantly recognizable as a Sailor once I wrote with it. This was the gamble, and it totally paid off. I inked the nib using the converter and started writing: no alignment issues and really no sacrifice in writing quality that I can tell by going the steel route rather than gold. The flow is perfectly medium. (I will say that it took ~5 days to fully write the nib in, but I did not need to make any adjustments whatsoever.) The biggest question is whether the pen is a good value for what it is. The street price puts it at ~$39, so it's directly competing with the likes of the venerable Safari and the opaque Prera (both favorites of mine), which are both solidly built pens. So with that in mind... Pros Cool color! (Whether "olive" or "lime.")Distinctive Sailor medim fine (MF) nib.Clear feed.Solid clip.Matching converter included.Good size.Lightweight.Posts securely.Cons (Likely) fragile plastic.Only available with MF nib. Thin plating on the cap band.Bulky extra packaging.In conclusion, I think the Compass is a great addition to the "entry" or "student" class of FPs. It's really different than either the Prera or the Safari, with a focus on the character of the nib rather than the durability of the construction. But the overall quality of the construction is still good and I feel that attention to detail makes this a pen a surprisingly good value--definitely at street price, but I would argue even at full MSRP. I honestly have not been able to put it down since I got it. That said, I would consider it an alternative or complement to--rather than replacement for--either a Safari and/or Prera. Highly recommended! A quick (positive) note on some inks: I've tried several inks in the Compass so far with fun results. The Compass seems to be reasonably ink-agnostic. I started with Sailor's blue-black (see brief writing sample above) but quickly branched out. I've had awesome results using Pilot's 100th Anniversary Hoteison, a saturated but nuanced green-brown ink. This ink looks unremarkable in many of my pens (which generally run wet) but is shown off to great effect when writing with the Compass. Pilot's iroshizuku Yu-yake (orange) actually looks great in the pen: you can see it in the converter and especially the clear feed. It is a perfect complement to the green acrylic and really pops!
  8. This is an old pen from the 1990's that is new to me. Condition is outstanding. The workmanship is really beyond. This is a Sailor Long Profit model, likely from the Koshyu Shitsugei series. It is called the 清照 - "Kiyoteru" or "Seiteru". The totally amazing maki-e work was evidently done by Otomaru Koda, the inventor of the choshitsu engraved lacquer technique used on the pen, and a National Treasure. The urushi is composed of many thick layers that is carved down to reveal concentric multi-colored layers. The carving is deep, it can be seen and felt. It is beautiful to say the least. The pen next to the Sailor is a Wancher Dream Pen in midori urushi. IMG_5022 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_5023 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_5026 by Ja Ja, on Flickr Also pictured is my Danitrio with kamakura-bori carving. Compared to the Sailor the carving on the Danitrio is simple. IMG_5025 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_5024 by Ja Ja, on Flickr The nib was made by Nagahara Sr. It is his invention, the naginata-togi with emperor overfeed. The nib is perfect, sublime. Perfect writing with typical feedback. IMG_5036 by Ja Ja, on Flickr Packaging is a Paulowina wood box typical of Japanese craft items. IMG_5031 by Ja Ja, on Flickr
  9. OldTravelingShoe

    20221121_201442.jpg

    From the album: OldTravelingShoe's Random Pics of Japanese Fountain Pens

    © (c) 2022 by OldTravelingShoe. All rights reserved.

  10. OldTravelingShoe

    20221121_201350.jpg

    From the album: OldTravelingShoe's Random Pics of Japanese Fountain Pens

    © (c) 2022 by OldTravelingShoe. All rights reserved.

  11. OldTravelingShoe

    20221121_201411.jpg

    From the album: OldTravelingShoe's Random Pics of Japanese Fountain Pens

    © (c) 2022 by OldTravelingShoe. All rights reserved.

  12. OldTravelingShoe

    20221108_193037.jpg

    From the album: OldTravelingShoe's Random Pics of Japanese Fountain Pens

    © (c) 2022 by OldTravelingShoe. All rights reserved.

  13. OldTravelingShoe

    20221108_192557.jpg

    From the album: OldTravelingShoe's Random Pics of Japanese Fountain Pens

    © (c) 2022 by OldTravelingShoe. All rights reserved.

  14. From the album: Odds and ends

    On the retail packaging for ink converter mini (which is a new product designed to fit the Pro Gear Slim Mini models), Sailor could not be any clearer in the directions for use, as to whether the converter should be filled by drawing ink through the nib and feed of the pen, or instead filled independently of the pen's nib, feed and gripping section.
  15. A Smug Dill

    TACCIA Aizen Asamoya #017

    From the album: Japanese pens

    © A Smug Dill

  16. OldTravelingShoe

    20221022_133934.jpg

    From the album: OldTravelingShoe's Random Pics of Japanese Fountain Pens

    © (c) 2022 by OldTravelingShoe. All rights reserved.

  17. OldTravelingShoe

    20221022_131900.jpg

    From the album: OldTravelingShoe's Random Pics of Japanese Fountain Pens

    © (c) 2022 by OldTravelingShoe. All rights reserved.

  18. I always see the Platinum 3776 on lists of great lower cost gold nib pens, but then I read more and find people saying it's really toothy, scratchy, or just has a lot of feedback. I personally want a nib that glides, as little friction as possible. What's your experience with the lower cost Platinum (and Sailor, et al) gold nibs? Are they really as scratchy as people say?
  19. I have been keeping an eye out for a vintage Conway Stewart as I am eager to try one and my trip to the UK was preempted by the pandemic. The CS no. 388 is described as small/slim. I am curious if that makes it comparable to, say, a Sailor 1911 S, which fits my hand really well, or if it is narrower, more like a Pelikan 20x. The CS 759 is also described as slim but from the pictures I've seen the 388 and 759 look identical in size, but it is hard to judge width. Any guidance would be appreciated. I don't like super narrow pens because of how I grip them, but I don't care for KOP/Meisterstuck sizes either! Thanks.
  20. white_lotus

    Sailor Kobe #40 Sumiyoshi Brown

    As well documented in Visvamitra's epic review of all the Sailor Kobe inks, there are many interesting inks in this line. Sumiyoshi brown is one. Many, if not most, browns on the market today have a strong red component, and there are very few cool browns available. This ink is one. I find it has a very vintage vibe to it. The origin of this ink could be in the Japanese brush painting tradition, but perhaps someone with better knowledge of this could confirm that. This ink is not a match for the classic Parker Penman Mocha, but it leans much more in that direction than many other brown inks available today. I like this ink quite a bit. The change from the usual fare is welcome, and the handling is classic Sailor. The ink is also almost totally waterproof. The usual papers were tested: Mohawk via Linen=MvL, Tomoe River=TR, Hij=Hammermill 28 lb inkjet. The images were taken with an old Canon Powershot P50 indoors in natural light or in the shade. While some ink is washed away, the vast majority stays behind. Quite impressive.
  21. Another one of eight new ink colours Sailor introduced in the second release of its “overseas exclusive” Manyo line of inks. Close-up: Colour: dark khaki / olive / murky green Flow: moderate Feathering: Not observed on Rhodia Dotpad 80g/m² paper, looking closely at the thinnest hatching lines, and words/glyphs ‘reverse-written’ with the nib upside-down (i.e. the bottom of the feed facing up) Show-through: Low to nil Bleed-through: Not observed Drying time: 18–20 seconds Smudging after fully dry: Didn't happen when I rubbed my thumb over the hatching/stippling panel and the largest Chinese hanzi chharacters Water resistance: Good, as far as retaining legibility in the face of a spill or a dunking goes Shading: Moderate, without having too drastic a delineation between lighter parts and darker parts along the same pen stroke; can be seen even in very narrow ink marks (i.e. when writing with the equivalent of an Extra Fine nib) Sheen: None observed Shimmer: None My thoughts: I like its desaturated colour, and that it's a largely sheen-free ink good for where distractions from the written content is undesirable, but for the market price I don't know whether it stands head and shoulders above other murky green inks I have to compel me to buy more.
  22. Only today did I come across this official announcement made by Sailor nearly three months ago back in February 2022. Has anyone else noticed? There's also this advisory earlier in April:
  23. OldTravelingShoe

    20220727_161909.jpg

    From the album: OldTravelingShoe's Random Pics of Fountain Pens

    © (c) 2022 by OldTravelingShoe. All rights reserved.

  24. From the album: Odds and ends

    150 opened bottles of inks now have no place in my (wife's work-from-home) desk's main storage space, which is absolutely chockers, so most of these now live inside clear, stackable Daiso plastic storage boxes under the spare bed in the same room. Then there are also the 25 Diamine Inkvent Red Edition inks, although technically I can squeeze this into one of the desk's shallow drawers:

    © A Smug Dill






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