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No Greek In The Pro Gear - The Sailor Pro Gear 2 (Sigma) Slim Review


soniknitr
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My first review posted on FPN, was of this pen. I wanted to give this pen another look with relatively more experience with other pens. Here is a link to my blog with some more pictures:

 

The Sailor Pro Gear 2 (Sigma) Slim

 

So here goes a rather detailed review.

 

PRELUDE

 

After bidding adieu to my only Sailor fountain pen - a stunning 1911 Profit Standard in Navy Blue colour, dazzling with golden accents with a broad 14k nib, I was constantly missing a Sailor. It was not that there was a dearth of good pens. For all good reasons, I believe that these Sailors are a great piece of workmanship as far as design, build and quality of materials are concerned. However, my romance with Sailor Pens was rather an one-sided affair, as far as their nibs were concerned. Not once but for five consecutive times, I had gone for a return. Thanks Raul & Engeika. With a strong feeling for a sixth luck since it corresponds to my birth number, the urge for a Sailor was getting bolstered with each passing day. And then, giving in to my temptation, I went for the newly launched Pro Gear 2 or Sigma ∑ Series, which kind of fulfilled my criteria of being a Sailor as well as having a two-tone nib.

 

THE SAILOR STORY

 

In 1911, Mr. Kyugoro Sakata, an Engineer from Hiroshima, Japan, was introduced to the fountain pen by friend, who was a British sailor. He was so intrigued by the design and function of a fountain pen that he started a company to craft fountain pens among others. In honour of his British friend, he chose to name the company as Sailor Pen. Henceforth, the Sailor nibs carried an imprint of 1911, the foundation year. Today, the Sailor pens come mostly in a classic cigar design (KOP, 1911) or a tapered cigar cut (Pro Gear), excluding a few like Reglus, Somiko among others.

 

In 2013, Sailor changed the classical Pro Gear design to appeal to modern tastes of the 21st century folks, at least this is what their marketing campaigns said. There was a visible change in design of the clip and the logo on the finial. And I admit, I never could find a connection of Pro Gear ‘Sigma’ with the eighteenth letter of the Greek alphabet. Finally when I asked Sailor, it seemed their intent was to create another luxury segment out of their already successful Pro Gear/ Sapporo Series with an enhanced nib/design. The Sigma nomenclature was originally aimed for the domestic Japanese market. For the international markets, Sailor renamed it as Professional Gear II when Sigma did not gain enough foothold.

 

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/--0VIcGpyMHc/VbNiVLxVMcI/AAAAAAAAE9U/7krtTKGLjiQ/s1600/Sigma%2BBrochure.jpg

 

 

PRESENTATION

 

The pen comes in a beautiful blue gift box, packed with two black cartridges, a converter and a user manual.

 

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-bFUnosPl0Sg/VbNhfFQ5AOI/AAAAAAAAE74/OGqZwpvneyM/s1600/DSC_4612.jpg

 

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-US6RHlmzw08/VbNh3ze_xtI/AAAAAAAAE8I/cfzNjzbD6HU/s1600/DSC_4614.jpg

 

DESIGN - THE TAPERED CIGAR (5/6)

 

The Pro Gear II (or Sigma) Slim comes in two standard designs - Gold Accents and Silver Accents. They also feature corresponding ballpoints and mechanical pencils.

 

The build is remarkably sturdy without addition of weight. It is made up of PMMA resin or Polymethyl Methacrylate which was developed by a group of scientists in 1928. PMMA is easier to mould with heat. It’s actually transparent when synthesised from petroleum and therefore dyes are added to impart colour. Besides, it’s resistant to normal scratches with a hardness of around 4 in Mohs scale. So you would probably need iron or steel to make a bad enough scratch on it.

 

The pen is 0.6 cm longer compared to the Sapporo Slim with an increased taper at either finials. The lustre of the pen is rendered chiefly by nickel-chrome plated accents (it’s not rhodium), though the resin does have a gleam of black shine. A thin layer of chrome plating over bright nickel coat makes the surface resistant to common corrosion by air or water. The rings at either ends along with the clip and cap bands deliver the dazzle. Apart from the thick clip, the pen does have an understated look.

 

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ZkQoi8ApkLQ/VbNiAB3SBfI/AAAAAAAAE8Q/ZR-rzuu7enQ/s1600/DSC_4618.jpg

 

The cap feels light and unscrews with two complete turns, revealing a grand two-tone nib. There is a loop of glitter from the metallic threads, which marks a start for the grip section.

 

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-kr9Yq30MIX0/VbNiGHhrxzI/AAAAAAAAE8Y/tFoU4g4VxzY/s1600/DSC_4622.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 anchor logo within a dome of transparent acrylic. A much-debated anchor embedded inside its tension-fit clip, has also got wider proportions in terms of size when compared to the earlier clip.

 

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-2P2X8vubO7Q/VbNg-kdqP7I/AAAAAAAAE7Y/cEupnOlxGRQ/s1600/Cap.jpg

 

 

FILLING SYSTEM (4/6)

 

As a CC filler, the supplied convertor is limited by a volume of 0.6 mL. It does give an advantage to frequent ink-swappers or you can use cartridges. The barrel unscrews from the grip section with eight turns with an usual metallic thread section on the grip. The resin barrel is directly threaded on its insides. The nib and the font part of the grip have to be completely immersed inside ink to get a proper suction.

 

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-8zVSLm1vzYY/VbNiUCZl3_I/AAAAAAAAE9c/F8j-R5rj3NA/s1600/DSC_4624.jpg

 

NIB - ALL THAT MATTERS (5/6)

 

The nib/feed section is friction-fit and comes in a 14k two-tone design across three stock widths - F, M & B. Sailor does make absolute stunners here. The silver accented one carries a rhodium coated nib adorned with a band of gold and it's vice versa for the gold-accented one.

 

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-eDnHWBZk1PI/VbNiU_aJ5bI/AAAAAAAAE9Q/yNUP0jVtOek/s1600/DSC_4691.jpg

 

The tail end carries the brand imprint of Sailor with the traditional elongated S and the nib-composition (14 C, 58.5% Au) rests above it. 1911 and the Anchor logo are embossed above, towards the circular breather hole. A band of golden decor runs in between the body and its shoulders which enhances the decor. The size H-M (Hard Medium) is imprinted on one of the faceted shoulders. The nib lays a wet and fine line, writing quite smoothly for its sweet-spot. While writing, it does produce a distinct sound when the iridium tip touches the paper. A slight rotation changes the tip angle and makes it toothy. Between, I have never seen any Soft nibs from Sailor. (S-M or S-F)

 

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-DjmsHGg92o0/VbNiMvWel7I/AAAAAAAAE8g/JkibXWoh5wY/s1600/DSC_4682.jpg

 

A standard black plastic feed with closely spaced fins allows a buffer capacity of ink and even with the cap open for a while, it does not take any effort to lay a nice wet line.

 

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-sHwdlXpT-U0/VbNiRWQUdXI/AAAAAAAAE8o/IWexwzrqkt8/s1600/DSC_4690.jpg

 

PHYSICS OF IT (5/6) – RELATIVELY SPEAKING

 

The cap needs to be posted, else the pen seems to lack both length and heft. The grip section is about 1 cm thick and provides a decent level of comfort, while writing.

 

Uncapped Length ~ 11.3 cm

Posted Length ~ 14.5 cm

Nib Leverage ~ 2 cm

Overall Weight ~ 17 g (Cap Weight ~ 7 g)

 

Capped, uncapped and posted comparisons with a pelikan m405 run below for your reference. A pelikan m4xx is apparently shorter than the PG2 Slim, but only when capped.

 

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-0QdmKdFql1s/VbNhFf_WRHI/AAAAAAAAE7g/8PiK0Fi_is8/s1600/DSC_4598.jpg

Uncapped or posted the m4xx is a good 0.5 cm longer than the PG2 Slim.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-wAdXxCvzFx0/VbNhY1uSSGI/AAAAAAAAE7w/wNMxU6M9Mu0/s1600/DSC_4602.jpg

 

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-v-1wPUxCGRQ/VbNhjpiIjYI/AAAAAAAAE8A/Th2qsyapUHc/s1600/DSC_4606.jpg

 

ECONOMIC VALUE (6/6)

 

The Pro Gear Slim retails at around US$ 200, though it might be available at lower street prices. I was able to get the pen at around $ 145 from Engeika’s Indian arm. I feel that it’s a good value for money pen.

 

 

OVERALL (5/6)

 

This stunning 14k nib is smooth at a normal angles with a pretty wet flow. There is no noticeable line variation between the horizontal & vertical strokes. A slight rotation changing the tip angle makes it feel toothy and a little more change makes it scratchy. The nib is a H-M (Hard Medium) nib and is like a nail. There is a slight bit of spring and an absence of any perceptible softness with this nib.

Even being a wet writer out of the box, the Sailor Medium nib puts a line which takes around 15 seconds to dry on MD Paper. Ink used was Sailor Sky High.

 

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-CzLlyEaY4_k/VbNhJBdp0pI/AAAAAAAAE7o/yW3ca4Z77u4/s1600/DSC_4594.jpg

 

 

REFERENCES

 

Sailor History

PMMA Resin

Hardness Scale

 

Thank you for going through the review.

Edited by soniknitr

You have come to earth to entertain and to be entertained - P.Y

 

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nice review sonik, its a classy pen like thenew clip with anchor shape on it.

Pilot custom heritage 74 all nibs, 742 Fa and PO nibs, 823 F 92 F,M, 3776 FM,EF,1911F

And all indian pens

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The new clip is the only thing I don't like on it. heh.

Looking for a cap for a Sheaffer Touchdown Sentinel Deluxe Fat version

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nice review sonik, its a classy pen like thenew clip with anchor shape on it.

 

Thank you Ravi. Some of my friends like the new clip since it looks different and there's the logo embedded inside. Some feel that it resembles a pelikan and more extravagantly so because of the size relative to the cap. The other one resembles MB though :P

You have come to earth to entertain and to be entertained - P.Y

 

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The new clip is the only thing I don't like on it. heh.

 

 

same here

 

I understand. And the new clip has turned off many!

Edited by soniknitr

You have come to earth to entertain and to be entertained - P.Y

 

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Thanks for the review. I lucked into the Realo version of this pen and that too with a B nib, i have not tried a sailor B yet. However the pen is sitting in Cambridge and I will get to see it only in September. Reg the clip, I am a little apprehensive. Sailor should do something about its infatuation with Montblanc and now Pelikan.

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I don't get why they can't settle on a good clip design. When I bought my Pro Gear last year I was sure to buy the older version just because of the clip. I later sold that pen, which i sort of regretted but I hesitated because the clip change. Still great pens, and I would still buy one again without hesitation. Thanks for the nice review.

Looking for a cap for a Sheaffer Touchdown Sentinel Deluxe Fat version

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Thanks for the review. I have a Realo Pro Gear 2. It is one of my favorites.

"One can not waste time worrying about small minds . . . If we were normal, we'd still be using free ball point pens." —Bo Bo Olson "I already own more ink than a rational person can use in a lifetime." —Waski_the_Squirrel

I'm still trying to figure out how to list all my pens down here.

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Thanks for the review. I lucked into the Realo version of this pen and that too with a B nib, i have not tried a sailor B yet. However the pen is sitting in Cambridge and I will get to see it only in September. Reg the clip, I am a little apprehensive. Sailor should do something about its infatuation with Montblanc and now Pelikan.

 

Congrats & I await a nice review in Sep. I had a B-nib initially, though it ran a tiny bit wider than a platinum-B IME. If they could design such beautiful nibs, I guess a clip should not be such a big thing for them.

 

I don't get why they can't settle on a good clip design. When I bought my Pro Gear last year I was sure to buy the older version just because of the clip. I later sold that pen, which i sort of regretted but I hesitated because the clip change. Still great pens, and I would still buy one again without hesitation. Thanks for the nice review.

 

Thanks ink-syringe. I too like the quality of these pens.

 

I had asked them about reasons behind the new clip. Below is the reply I got.

 

http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag127/soniknitr/Screen%20Shot%202015-07-26%20at%209.55.33%20am_zpsr4tlav2u.png

You have come to earth to entertain and to be entertained - P.Y

 

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Thanks for the review. I have a Realo Pro Gear 2. It is one of my favorites.

 

Glad to know that Frank :), which nib width did you get?

Edited by soniknitr

You have come to earth to entertain and to be entertained - P.Y

 

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Glad to know that Frank :), which nib width did you get?

 

I have a fine. They are the best for work because I have to fill in small boxes on forms. I also like the pocket clip. It took a few looks before I realized that it was an anchor. I really liked the Parker arrow clips when I was a child; this is the Sailor equivalent.

"One can not waste time worrying about small minds . . . If we were normal, we'd still be using free ball point pens." —Bo Bo Olson "I already own more ink than a rational person can use in a lifetime." —Waski_the_Squirrel

I'm still trying to figure out how to list all my pens down here.

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same here

 

I wasn't the only person who finds awkward on the cilp. It seems like Pelikan, or maybe an ancient style sword.

It's hard to find an anchor there...

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I have a fine. They are the best for work because I have to fill in small boxes on forms. I also like the pocket clip. It took a few looks before I realized that it was an anchor. I really liked the Parker arrow clips when I was a child; this is the Sailor equivalent.

 

I guess they are one of the finest in fine nibs. And no worries about drying times either, while filling up forms :). I am using the pen at office, and find the clip ok. Love the parker arrow clip on my Dad's sonnet or even a 51: subtle yet very elegant.

You have come to earth to entertain and to be entertained - P.Y

 

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I have some extra fine Sailors and they are really fine. I use them sometimes at work, but usually I go with the fines. I missed your review of the Sonnet. I like them also—especially the arrow clips—but they dry out quickly here in the desert. Also, their fine nibs are not too fine. I need to find an extra fine or needlepoint to use at work.

"One can not waste time worrying about small minds . . . If we were normal, we'd still be using free ball point pens." —Bo Bo Olson "I already own more ink than a rational person can use in a lifetime." —Waski_the_Squirrel

I'm still trying to figure out how to list all my pens down here.

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I have some extra fine Sailors and they are really fine. I use them sometimes at work, but usually I go with the fines. I missed your review of the Sonnet. I like them also—especially the arrow clips—but they dry out quickly here in the desert. Also, their fine nibs are not too fine. I need to find an extra fine or needlepoint to use at work.

 

oh nice. Wondered if you have considered a saibi togi nib? The sonnets behave kind of ok in the humid climate here, but they are really beautiful pens. The air-vents in the cap do dry up the tip.

You have come to earth to entertain and to be entertained - P.Y

 

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oh nice. Wondered if you have considered a saibi togi nib? The sonnets behave kind of ok in the humid climate here, but they are really beautiful pens. The air-vents in the cap do dry up the tip.

 

I have a couple of Saibi Togi. They are very very fine. A little too fine for my purposes, but I do appreciate the technology.

"One can not waste time worrying about small minds . . . If we were normal, we'd still be using free ball point pens." —Bo Bo Olson "I already own more ink than a rational person can use in a lifetime." —Waski_the_Squirrel

I'm still trying to figure out how to list all my pens down here.

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Great review, thank you! I have a Sapporo and its have the same nib behavior, sounds like you writing with a nail, but even so, it produces absolutely perfect thin line, because its a fine nib, I like it really much. Sometimes thinking about buying another Sailor pen, but to be honest, even if its a decent writer, but their design is.... what's isn't the best (personal opinion)

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