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First off, here are some photos: Nib: http://imgur.com/2vPuwy4Writing Sample: http://imgur.com/t7WFQ4XComparison with Sailor B: http://imgur.com/DW2lT1XHello all, I hope you are well during these strange times. Today I have a short review of my impressions of Sailor’s contemporary Naginata Togi Medium nib. I have been using it for the past month or so as a daily writer. Now, Sailor Naginata Togi nibs and I have a long relationship built upon longing and reluctance. I’ve always wanted one, since getting the chance to try one years ago. They write beautifully, but the prices have been getting a little wild over the last few years. Recently I sold off most of the pens I hadn’t been using, trimming my collection down to a pair of Conid AVDA Phis and an old 146 that I use as a ‘can-I-try-your-pen?’ pen. With the Conids, I have a few Sailor nibs I rotate through, and this NM is the most recent addition to their ranks. Now, I got the chance to try one of the modern Naginata Togi nibs while living in Barcelona, but I waited until I returned home to Canada to purchase one as the price was ever so slightly better and I had the opportunity to purchase it from Wonderpens—best stationery shop in Canada folks, full stop. The modern rendition of the grind is spectacular, and a true equal to the originals I‘ve had the pleasure to use. They write wet, really wet, and I would not have the patience to use one in a Sailor body with their tiny converter, so a Conid was a must for me. The feed does a spectacular job at keeping up, aided I am sure by the sheer volume of ink in the Minimalistica’s reservoirs. The nib performs as advertised, though I should note that the line variation has no practical use in regular western cursive scripts. Personally, I use a higher writing angle to make corrections or small notations. The feel of this nib is unlike any other Sailor nib. The sweet spot is massive, the tunes have some play to them affording some pressure-based variation, and the feedback is unique among Sailors. If a Sailor Fine is a sharp HB pencil lead, and a Sailor Broad is a fairly sharp H or F pencil lead, then the Naginata Togi Medium is a well used B or 2B pencil lead. It sings across the paper without ever feeling scratchy. Run the flat of your finger nail across a teak tabletop, that’s what it feels like. Sonorous, soulful, and spirited, this is a generation nib. I don’t truly know what else I can say, about the nib or it’s performance. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask away.
PRELUDE What would be the one Sailor pen within my budget, which I could keep even if I would let go of all the other Sailors? Having not quite a smooth experience with a few Sailor nibs, I decided upon the exciting & costlier option of a Nagahara tuned speciality nib, instead of taking another pen with the stock 14k or 21k nib. Below is a link to the review on my blog: Sailor Pro Gear with Naginata Togi Nib Review My last Sailor was a Pro Gear Sigma Slim which is reviewed here. However, for these speciality nibs, you can have a long waiting period of not less than 5-6 months. I asked my Japanese dealer Raul (Engeika) to arrange for one as quickly as possible. Two things came out of it: he gave me a superb deal on the pen itself (not supposed to discuss the price) and told me to wait while he can add another to their current speciality shipment order to Sailor company. Within a month and a half, my pen was sent from Japan, customs paid off and it finally arrived at my address. Immediately I opened the package with immense excitement and flushed the pen/converter with plain water before plugging in one of the complementary black cartridges. The pen of course wrote like a dream ! PRESENTATION The pen comes in a blue gift box, packed with two black cartridges, a converter and papers. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-IJLbc6UJJkw/VjC6ICRRjuI/AAAAAAAAFkk/-tTf1NCytuE/s1600/DSC_6467.jpg http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-KhlUq_EsaK0/VjC6IxCrruI/AAAAAAAAFko/HpXbyAFs0iU/s1600/DSC_6475.jpg DESIGN - THE TAPERED CIGAR (5/6) The Pro Gears with Speciality Nibs come in two standard designs - Gold and Silver Accents. I opted for the Gold Accented Pro Gear with the Naginata Togi nib, one out of the 19 or 20 Sailor speciality nib variants. The name Naginata is an anecdotal allusion the shape of the nib which resembles a Naginata Long Sword originally used by the Samurai Class in Feudal Japan. The body is light and sturdy. It is made up of PMMA resin or Polymethyl Methacrylate which was developed by a group of scientists way back in 1928, which is easier to mould with heat. However PMMA is initially transparent when synthesised from petroleum, later dyes are added to impart various colours. Besides, it’s resistant to normal scratches with a hardness of around 4 in Mohs scale. So, technically you would probably need some iron or steel to make a good scratch on it. A keychain might work just fine in case you plan to test! The lustre of the pen is chiefly manifested by the gold plated accents, though the resin does have an alluring gleam itself. The rings at either ends along with the clip and concentric cap bands deliver the golden convergence to the black beauty. I do feel that the pen has an understated look. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Zc7Yy1mBlXY/VjC6J1qAShI/AAAAAAAAFkw/vkRa9JOJQc8/s1600/DSC_6479.jpg The cap is light and unscrews with two complete turns, revealing the dazzling nib gleaming in gold. A loop of glitter does mark the start of its grip section. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2mk93yt3Bz0/VjC6Vu3ToeI/AAAAAAAAFlg/kB8dLjDUQlk/s1600/DSC_6481.jpg The cap band carries an imprint of SAILOR JAPAN FOUNDED 1911 and has a thin loop just above it for the pure aesthetics part. The finial carries a distinct raised anchor logo, painted in gold. The tension-fit clip elegantly rests on the cap, carrying their classical design. I like the classical clip compared to the newer Pro Gear 2 clips. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-kFm2ZgEegHU/VjC6hrhKBrI/AAAAAAAAFmI/S01J9Zcxwok/s1600/collage.jpg FILLING SYSTEM (4/6) As a CC filler, the supplied convertor is limited by a volume of 0.6 mL. As of now, I am using ink cartridges which have around 1 mL of capacity. It does give an advantage to frequent ink-swappers or cartridge users. But the nib sprays ink like a water jet and it does not last long. The barrel unscrews from the grip section with four turns and reveals an usual metallic thread section on the grip and a threaded resin barrel. The nib and the front part of the grip have to be completely immersed inside ink to have proper converter suction. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-f2QrrNv7IRM/VjC6VHg8TuI/AAAAAAAAFlc/acQXZAwsjQ4/s1600/DSC_6513.jpg NIB - ALL THAT MATTERS (6/6) The Naginata Togi nib section is also friction-fit like others and it comes in a 21k monotone - silver & gold (and stunning!) finish across three speciality widths - NMF, NM & NB. Sailor does make absolute stunners here. The silver accented one sports a rhodium coated nib. The tail end specifies carries the brand imprint of Sailor with the traditional elongated S and and the nib-composition (21 K, 87.5% Au) rests above it. 1911 and the Anchor logo are embossed near the circular breather hole. The scrollwork runs in between the body and the shoulders which well enhances the decor. And the tines elongate themselves to form the famous Naginata sword. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-vRMg-Re7rkc/VjC6QfEd6nI/AAAAAAAAFlA/yogJgtMPTb8/s1600/DSC_6524.jpg These nibs are tuned by Yukio Nagahara personally and you can also observe that some gold plating has come of the tip. All I can say is the pen is phenomenally well tuned with a wet flow. The tip has been designed with a semicircular cross section, to write two relatively varying withs - thinner verticals & thicker horizontals. And the overall thickness can vary with the holding angles from 0.4 mm to 0.6 mm. You can see the nib size NMF (Naginata Medium Fine) imprinted on one of the faceted shoulders. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-iXjWknVDYjE/VjC6Sw17geI/AAAAAAAAFlI/0Y4dlr8VUfw/s1600/DSC_6527.jpg A tight black plastic feed with closely spaced fins allows to maintain balance against air-pressure with a good buffer capacity of ink and even with the cap open for quite a while, it does not take any effort to lay a nice wet line. The feeder hole provides the ink suction for the converter. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-_tBoUyHXuMM/VjC6U2HQLsI/AAAAAAAAFlU/FYjjYiVDCf8/s1600/DSC_6531.jpg The nib lays a smooth and wet line writing super smooth across multiple angles and widths, once it touches the paper. PHYSICS OF IT (6/6) – RELATIVELY SPEAKING The cap needs to be posted else it seems to lack both length and weight. The grip section is about 1.2 cm thick and is quite comfortable for extended writing. I like posting the Pro Gear like some of my pelikans. The pen feels very comfortable and posts securely. Capped Length ~ 12.9 cmUncapped Length ~ 11.6 cmPosted Length ~ 15.1 cmNib Leverage ~ 2.3 cmOverall Weight ~ 22 gCapped, uncapped and posted comparisons with a MB146 run below for your reference. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-c8hhK6aaq6Y/VjC6YoHNugI/AAAAAAAAFlo/1htoKllrehs/s1600/DSC_6533.jpg http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-s37TZai7qrk/VjC6Z-RnGgI/AAAAAAAAFlw/4Ob2e3BtP8U/s1600/DSC_6537.jpghttp://4.bp.blogspot.com/-5h77PSDOfH8/VjC6a6z2ACI/AAAAAAAAFl4/wOv8ip7ORlw/s1600/DSC_6541.jpg ECONOMIC VALUE (6/6) The Pro Gear with Naginata Togi speciality nib retails round US$ 298 and it is available at much lower prices if you source it directly from Japan. The only problem with these speciality nibs is the lead time of six months or so. I was lucky to have this pen in 45 days. I feel that it’s a value for money pen with an added advantage of having a nib tuned by the Nagahara lineage. OVERALL (5.4/6) This stunning 21k nib is quite smooth at a normal 45 degree angle with a really wet flow. The horizontals run border than the vertical lines. The nib lays lines with widths in the range of 0.4 - 0.6 mm according to Sailor. At high angles the nib is smooth lays thinner lines and quite smoothly so. At really low angles the ink flows like water from a fire hose with the smoothest of experiences. On cheaper papers, I found some feedback at higher angles, which is quite acceptable and common across my other smooth nibs. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ps8J8ytNMZo/VjC6ekFLt_I/AAAAAAAAFmA/EvEV7p4HV5U/s1600/DSC_6547.jpg The NMF nib and is not as rigid as the H-M nibs. It has a bit of spring and a relatively softer touch. Being a wet writer out of the box, the Sailor NMF nib puts a line which takes around 35 seconds to dry Sailor Black ink on Tomoe River Paper. What I really like about the nib is the balance it is capable of drawing between wetness and smoothness. May be I will take up some class on Kanji sometime later to use the pen well upto its potential. Obviously it’s a fun nib to use and I have no qualms using it as my daily writer these days. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-nXd9FfvzP2E/VjC6jW3aj7I/AAAAAAAAFmQ/tXbJXOS2YM0/s1600/DSC_6543.jpg REFERENCES Sailor Pro Gear Sigma Slim Review Sailor History PMMA Resin Thank you for going through the review. You can find some more pen and paraphernalia reviews here.