A few weeks ago I mentioned that I picked up a brand new fountain pen that I was pretty excited about, so today I’ve got a review of that fountain pen for you. It is the all black Sailor Professional Gear Imperial that I picked up from our friends over at Goldspot.com with a slight bloggers discount. Generally I don’t like to mention prices since they tend to change, and because different people have different views of “expensive” vs. “affordable” but it is definitely safe to say I won’t be tagging this pen in the beginner fountain pen category. This will be part one of two, and while this part of the review takes a look at the aesthetics of the pen, the second part will focus on the actual writing quality and experience.
I’m pretty much a sucker for anything all black, and I had been wanting a Sailor fountain pen for quite a while, so this pen was pretty much the perfect storm for me. As you can see in the previous photo, not only is the body of the pen black, but all of the metal accents from the clip down to the nib are also all black….and to top it all off, it comes with black ink, in a black box with black satin-like lining. I would imagine that if a ninja was going to use a fountain pen, this would probably be the only logical choice.
A close look at the ring on the cap shows the imprinted “Sailor Japan Founded 1911″ text around it, and the clip has a very nice and subtle stepped line that runs down the length of it. The thing that makes this black pen even more different though is that matte or non-gloss finish of the entire body instead of the usual high-gloss finish that you see on many pens. The Interesting thing about that though is that you do still manage to get finger prints on it left by the oil from your hands and fingers. As with any other pen though, the fingerprints can be buffed away with a soft tissue or towel.
If you take a close look at the nib in this picture you can see that even for a fine point, it is very narrow as compared to other fine and even extra fine nibs that you may have seen. The second part of this review that I will post on Wednesday will focus on the writing sample and compare it to some other fine or extra fine nibs from other manufacturers. Besides the size of the 21kt nib, you can also see in the larger picture how intricate the artwork on the nib is. Depending on the lighting situation and the angle that you hold the pen at, the nib (and other black metal accents) can range anywhere from having a light silvery gray tone all the way to looking pretty dark black.
Above is a second shot to show how narrow the nib is and that gives a better view of the nice black color of the nib. The pen measures almost exactly 5″ long with the cap closed and about 5 15/16″ with the cap posted. Although you can see in all of the photos, the cap is a threaded cap that just twists on and off pretty easily.
The only part of the pen that isn’t black is the sailor logo and circle around it on the top of the cap. I’m not sure if this was an oversight or on purpose due to some strict branding rules about the logo, but it would have been nice if this had the same look as the rest of the metal accents on the pen…not that this part is actually metal, but in my opinion, it should have been at least made to look like the other parts. Obviously this is an incredibly minor thing, but it is something I noticed and does bug me a little bit. Regardless of that minor visual design flaw, I absolutely love the look of this pen, as well as the feel of the matte black body. As I mentioned earlier, the second part of this review on Wednesday will focus on the writing sample and experience as well as a comparison to some other nibs of similar sizes.