10.29.2015

Writing with a Sailor Zoom Nib


Sailor Pen of Japan hand-crafts a wide array of specialty fountain pen nibs. Only a small set, including standard writing points like fine, medium and broad, are distributed to the USA. Part of this core nib offering is the Zoom nib. Whereas the other writing nibs could be matched with a Western counterpart, the Zoom has no familiar analog.


Think of the Zoom nib like the zoom tool, it can either thicken or thin the line width by the angle that the nib meets the paper. For a double-broad, wet line, keep the nib at an acute angle to the paper. For a medium thickness, change the pen angle to about 45 degrees to the writing surface. To get a dry, thin line, flip the nib upside down.

In our short video demonstration, we show how the Zoom nib works simply by changing the way you hold the pen. It's like having 3 different point sizes with one pen!

The Sailor Zoom nib is offered in both the 14kt or 21kt style, depending on the model of Sailor pen you choose. The pen in the demonstration is the 21kt Sailor 1911 Large nib. The regular Pro Gear model also has the 21kt gold nib while both the 1911 Standard and Pro Gear Slim sport the 14kt gold.

If you have any questions regarding this nib, or with Sailor pens in general, please feel free to leave us a comment below.

10.27.2015

What Should be the Pen & Ink of the Year 2015?

Hey Pen Lovers,

Need your help in putting together a nominations list for Pen of the Year 2015.

Every year, we (Goldspot Pens) run a "reader's choice" vote for Pen of the Year. We set up a poll online of all the nominees during the first week in November, coinciding the the US Election Day.

Last year, Edison Pen Co completed a 4-peat with their 2014 Pen of the Year, the Glenmont limited edition.

Previous winners of the Pen of the Year

  • Edison Glenmont 2014 Limited Edition (2014)
  • Edison Menlo Fountain Pen (2013)
  • Edison Beaumont & Conid's Fountainbel Bulkfiller Demonstrator (2012)
  • Edison Collier Fountain Pen (2011)
  • TWSBI Diamond 530 Fountain Pen (2010)
  • Pelikan m205 Blue Transparent Fountain Pen (2009)
  • Online Newood Fountain Pen Calligraphy Set (2008)


What qualifies as a Pen of the Year 2015 candidate, you say? Any pen that was released during this year, including new colors and styles of established pen models (like the Pilot Vanishing Point Twilight, for example).



Here is a list of what I've got so far :

  • Edison Collier LE Black Rose Acrylic Ltd Ed
  • Pilot VP 2015 Twilight Ltd Ed
  • Pelikan M205 Amethyst
  • Pelikan M800 Stresemann
  • Pelikan M200 Cafe Creme
  • OMAS Ogiva Cocktail Ltd Ed.
  • Sailor Pro Gear Galaxy Starburst Ltd Ed
  • Retro 51 Tornado Popper "Liftoff" Ltd Ed
  • Cross Townsend Star Wars Darth Vader
  • Lamy Al-Star Copper Orange
  • Kaweco Brass Sport


Please COMMENT BELOW any others that you feel should be on this list.


Ink of the Year 2015


For the first time, we're also going to have a simultaneous vote for the Ink of the Year, 2015. This will be run in a similar fashion with an online poll that we will run here on our blog. Inks have become such an integral part of the fountain pen experience that some "blockbuster" inks truly deserve recognition.

Here are the nominees I came up with :

  • Diamine Shimmertastic Inks
  • J. Herbin 1670 Anniversary Emerald of Chivor
  • Pelikan Edelstein Amethyst
  • Sailor Storia Pigmented Inks
  • Mont Blanc Blue Hour Blue-Black


Again, please COMMENT BELOW any other inks that you feel should be on the list of nominees.

The voting page will be up on Tuesday here on the blog. So, check back here or sign up for our newsletter so you can get the update directly in your e-mail inbox.

10.19.2015

What is My Pen Worth? Part 3 - Determining Value

This is Part 3 in our series "What's My Pen Worth," where we discuss the details of how to evaluate and successfully sell older writing instruments for their maximum value. In Part one, we show how to accurately identify the writing instrument. Part two gives a checklist for describing the condition of the item.

For this last part, you should have noted the following about your pen :

  • The brand, model, approximate year of manufacture and country of manufacture.
  • Whether the pen actually writes and/or can be filled using the filling mechanism.
  • If a fountain pen, the nib size, material and gold content (if applicable).
  • The cosmetic condition of the pen, noting and photographing any scratches, dings, dents, engravings etc.
  • Whether it has the original box and paperwork.

Next, we are looking to get an understanding about the market value of the pen in order to accurately value the piece in your possession.

BONUS - Find out where to sell your pens at the end of this article.

The internet is an amazing tool for figuring out the going price of virtually anything that is sold. Gone are the days of the collectors reference books, blue books or any other printed price guides that assign dollar values to particular collectibles. Not only is that information dated as soon as the ink dries on the paper, it also doesn't take into account the wild bonanza that is the internet marketplace.

You're online reading this article, so you may as well pull up another browser tab or window to get started with your pricing research. Since we know the make & model details from part one, get started by searching the full name of your pen on Google, making sure to include the mode of the pen as well. For example :



"Parker Vacumatic Blue Azure Pearl Major Fountain Pen"

[Manufacturer] + [Model] + [Style / Color] + [Mode]

The point to Googling is to find current or completed listings on eBay, retail websites, or discussion board forum posts that match your pen.

Your query should be as descriptive as possible to start. However, if your search is coming up short on listings, then you should eliminate the additional key words to get a more general result.

eBay will most likely be your most helpful tool in this research, as this will be the most richest resource of older, antique items that are being sold by folks just like yourself. Two other specific sites to look at would be Fountain Pen Network's classifieds and the Pen Swap subreddit.



eBay power seller tip : use Completed Listings filter. Just searching an item on eBay will return all the active auctions, showing you starting bids and items that are way overpriced and will not sell. See what items have sold and their final sell price by check-marking the Show only : Completed Listings filter in the search menu options. Your query will then only show the listings that have been successfully sold and for what value they were sold for.

It is important to note the conditions of the items that are listed. Are they similar to your pen? Are they working or for parts? Are they being shipped from outside of the US or locally? Before getting excited that your pen may be worth hundreds or thousands of dollars, read the description of the auction listing to see if is being sold with the original box or if there was anything special about the item that differs from yours.


Price within the Neighborhood

Consider this process like an appraisal for a house. An appraiser heavily weighs the recent sale values in your particular neighborhood to determine the value of your entire property. The condition of the house itself matters significantly, but you need to understand the price "neighborhood" first and foremost.

Even if you find only one listing for a pen that is similar to yours, it would still be possible to gauge an appropriate value for your pen. Consider the condition value scale we diagrammed in Part 2 :

Brand new, in box with original papers - $$$$$
Like new, recently restored, gently used - $$$$
Used, working, with some cosmetic issues - $$$
Not-working, dings, dents, but all pieces intact - $$
Broken, for parts - $

Hypothetically, lets say the pen you have is in good condition and writes well. If the listing you had found is missing a clip and doesn't write, but still sold for $30, you could easily price your pen in the $80 range since it is higher in the condition value scale.

If you're lucky enough to have a pen that is brand new in box or hardly used, you're always going to be looking at the top-end of the price spectrum.  It is rare for pens that are 20 + years old to be brand new, with original box and paperwork. However, this doesn't mean that you should value your pen 4 or 5 times higher than a gently used version. It still needs to be within the same ballpark.

When there are multiple auctions or completed listings that are in varying conditions, it is easier to determine the value. If there are several pens listed with the same condition as yours, simply take an average of the auctions to get your approximate dollar value.


BONUS : Where to Sell your Pens

Now that you're armed with all the information you need about your vintage pen(s), you may decide to liquidate their value for some cold, hard cash. If you followed the instructions in this article to find the market value for the pen, you should have all the details you need to successfully find a buyer for your pens.

Option 1 : eBay
eBay is one of the largest websites that deal antiques and collectibles. This is a great place to start to find a market value for your pens, and you should be able to find a buyer just as easily and get a good value for your pens. You can easily add images, write a description (using your notes accumulated during your research) and price your item with shipping costs.

Pros : Large audience of buyers. Great visibility on Google. User ratings and eBay dispute system.
Cons : You're giving roughly 15% of your sale to eBay and Paypal in fees.

Option 2 : Private Classifieds
Listing on a forum like Fountain Pen Network or Craigslist usually comes without any fees, but you have to have faith that the other person you are dealing with isn't going to scam you. Take extra precaution, because the anonymity of the internet is at play in these instances since particular users do not have any reputations to uphold (like eBay feedback) and there is no dispute system to handle transactions gone awry.

Pros : Direct sale gets cold, hard cash without any transaction or commission fees. Listing on a pen-related discussion forum can attract many interested buyers.
Cons : No reputation management or dispute resolution.

Option 3 : Retailer / Reseller
Certain pen companies, like Fountain Pen Hospital, deal in vintage pens as well as modern pens. You would contact them directly, send information regarding all the pens you have to offer, and they would give you a quote on what they would pay for your pens. If you have a number of pens to offload in a fairly short amount of time, this may be an ideal option if you don't have the time to individually list them.

Pros : Quick and straightforward sale. Work directly with a reputable company. Good option if you have a lot of pens that need to be sold in a short timeframe.
Cons : The company needs to make a profit on your sale and you may end up getting 50% or less of the market value of your pens.

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We hope you found our three-part series on "What is My Pen Worth" informative and useful in determining the value of your pen collection. If you have additional questions or other recommendations to help other pen enthusiasts, please feel free to comment below.

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Disclaimer : Although I'd love to help every one of you that are trying to do your own detective work, there's not enough time in the day and we're not official appraisers of pens, nor do we purchase our inventory from private sellers.



10.18.2015

What is My Pen Worth? Part 2 - Evaluating Condition

This is Part 2 in our series "What is My Pen Worth?," where we discuss the details of how to assess and successfully sell older writing instruments for their maximum value. If you missed part one, click here to see how to make an accurate ID of your pen.

Now that you've successfully identified your pen's make and model, your next task is to give an honest evaluation regarding the condition of the pen.

Why be concerned about the condition?

On the value spectrum, it matters greatly whether the pen in question is new with the original box and papers or if it is in pieces and requires restoration. Here is a simple chart to give you an idea of value based on condition.

Brand new, in box with original papers - $$$$$
Like new, recently restored, gently used - $$$$
Used, working, with some cosmetic issues - $$$
Not-working, dings, dents, but all pieces intact - $$
Broken, for parts - $

Hypothetically speaking, let's say that "Pen X" recently sold on eBay for $100. It was in mint condition, in the original box with paperwork. You have a "Pen X" that you would like to figure out the value of. It is the same make & model, but it is missing the box and still writes nicely. It would probably be worth about $80. If it has a few cosmetic scratches and dings, but still works, it would probably be worth about $65. If it isn't working and has dings & dents, but all the pieces are there, it might go for only $30. If the same pen was broken, missing parts or in otherwise poor condition, it may only fetch $10-$20, depending on what parts are intact.

That is a hypothetical scenario, but I hope you see the point. The perceived value of an auction can change greatly if you can accurately gauge the condition of the pen rather then list it blindly with a simple picture of a pen that you're unsure if it works or not. Even a mention of including the original box can increase the value of the pen by 15% over an auction that doesn't include the box.

Seriously, What is a Box Worth?

Having the original box and papers that accompany a writing instrument is a big deal, especially in the vintage market. These older boxes and paperwork give the collector a clear window into the world of yesteryear when that pen was originally sold. Even magazine advertisements for vintage pens can sell for $5-$10 a page.

It's always a good laugh to see how much the pen was originally sold for back in the 40's and 50's. Adjusted for inflation, they were still a significant expense!

If you have a box that came with the pen, you would want to make sure that the box actually belongs to the particular pen you are looking at. See if the brand names match. Look for any paperwork that may match with the make and model of the pen in question. Check other auction listings online to see if others are selling the pen with the original box. Does that box match yours? Note the condition of the box and be sure to photograph it with the pen inside if you are planning on listing it for sale.

4 fully functioning Parker Vacumatics from the 1940's

Does the Pen Write?

The working / not-working part is the most important aspect that is the easiest to test. However, not many laypeople know how to test a vintage fountain pen to see if it is functioning. That is where the additional detail research we talked about in part one of our series comes into play.

If you've done your homework and looked at what type of fountain pen filling system you have (lever, button, vacumatic, snorkel or otherwise), you should be able to find out how to test if your pen can be filled or not. If you need visual help, Google "how to fill a FILLING SYSTEM fountain pen," where you replace the words "filling system" with the type of filling system your pen has. Most likely, someone has done a YouTube video on the subject and will give you a visual step-by-step to fill the pen.

A simple test to see if the pen fills with water can determine whether your pen's filling system is working or in need of repair. Pens that are found after years and years of being neglected will most likely need a replacement sac or other part that usually disintegrates or degrades over time. If you're lucky, the pen may fill up and hold water just fine.

If the pen passes the water test, the next test would be to ink it. Find a safe ink made for fountain pens. Nothing fancy, just something safe to test with, like Waterman blue. Expel the water from the pen and fill with a small bit of ink. How does the nib write? Is ink coming out of the tip smoothly? Is there any hesitation, stopping, leaking or anything else that seems odd with the writing experience? Of course, it takes an experienced hand to understand the nuances of writing with fountain pens, but you should be able to get a gist for whether the pen will actually write or not.

Keep notes of how the fountain pen wrote so you could include it later for an auction listing.

In the case of a ballpoint pen, rollerball or mechanical pencil, you may have to replace the cartridge that was installed in the pen. Sometimes, the older cartridges may be difficult or impossible to obtain, but there is usually a modern version of the cartridge that would be reverse compatible.

The general rule is, if it can write correctly from the get-go, then it would be valued higher by the potential buyer or collector.

Waterman 14kt Ideal Nib with Flex - 1940s

How Does the Pen Look?

While looks aren't everything, the cosmetic condition of the pen matters a great deal to collectors. Look at the pen, preferably with a loupe or magnifying glass, and note any major dings, dents, scratches or cracks in the surface of the material. Inscriptions other than the typical brand markings (like the previous owner's engraved initials) should also be notated. Unfortunately, any engraved modifications usually lowers the value of the pen.

"VACUMATIC" Imprinted on barrel

If you are intending to list this item for sale or auction, it does help to photograph any dings, dents or engravings that may be on the pen. A macro lens can clearly capture the up-close, fine details. Note them as well to include in the listing description.

You can put a little elbow grease into improving the condition of the pen, which, in turn, increases its perceived value. Metal trims and certain resins can be polished up using some Simichrome polish to remove minor imperfections. I've used the polish with great success on metal trims and clips to resurrect the shine that was hidden by years of tarnish. However, unless you're a professional craftsperson, I would not recommend to take a full restoration into your hands. You could do more damage to the pen, which would further lessen the value.

Restoration (top photos before, bottom photos after) of Parker Vac

Particular points to look for in assessing the cosmetic condition of a pen:

  • Are there any parts missing? (Clip, cap, blind cap, lever box, converter, etc)
  • Are the nib tines aligned and straight, or bent and misshapen? (this would usually effect the writing quality mentioned previously)
  • Are the imprints on the nib and anywhere else on the pen crisp? Or are they faded / illegible?
  • Is the clip strong or loose and wobbly?
  • Does the cap thread on to the top of the pen easily?
  • If there are any transparent areas of the pen, can they bee seen through clearly?

Parker 45 Classic - Notes for Auction


Note Everything

Along with your notes from the first step in identifying the pen (including he brand, make, model and approximate year of manufacture), you should also note the nib type / writing mode, and have a full list of condition notes. All of these notes will help tremendously in writing a full description for your item listing if you were to choose to auction or sell it.

Now that you're armed with the information regarding the condition of the pen, you can take the final step and determine the current market value of your pen.

If you have some suggestions or particular points about pens that you look for when determining the condition of your pens, please feel free to drop us a note here in the comments.

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Disclaimer : Although I'd love to help every one of you that are trying to do your own detective work, there's not enough time in the day and we're not official appraisers of pens, nor do we purchase our inventory from private sellers.

10.13.2015

OMAS Ogiva Cocktail Limited Edition Fountain Pen Review

Go ahead and sit while I fix you a drink. What'll it be?

OMAS Ogiva Cocktail : Blue Angel, Vodka Lemon & Bloody Mary

Some prefer a mixed cocktail to unwind and loosen their tongues. I think you'll agree that a beautiful fountain pen in hand is as enjoyable to hold and is capable of the same effect.



In particular, the 2015 limited edition from OMAS is intoxicating and absolutely irresistible for fountain pen writing enthusiasts. The Ogiva Cocktail is the sequel to the 2014 Ogiva Alba limited edition demonstrators. If their popularity is any indicator of how quickly these pens will be imbibed by collectors, you better belly up to the bar quick before it's "last call."

Limited to 327 pieces of each color, the Ogiva Cocktail is available in three colors : Blue Angel, Vodka Lemon (yellow) and Bloody Mary (deep red). The Ogiva model has a rounded profile and flutes that run down the cap and barrel. The classic appeal of the profile is matched with silver trims and a cap band that has engraved Greek key work.




The translucent cotton resin on the Cocktail is stated by OMAS to be more durable than standard acrylic resins. The bright yellow of the Vodka Lemon is cheery and, by far, the most transparent of the three. The rich, blood red of the Bloody Mary is trumped by the cobalt blue of the Blue Angel for the most opaque material.

OMAS deluxe gift box for the Ogiva Cocktail


Dimensions:
  • Length - Body 105mm (4.13in)
  • Length - Cap 70mm (2.76in)
  • Length - Overall (Closed) 146mm (5.75in)
  • Length - Overall (Posted) 172mm (6.77in)
  • Diameter - Body 13mm (0.51in)
  • Diameter - Section 11mm (0.43in)
  • Weight 22g (0.78oz)
From a fountain pen geek point-of-view, there's a lot to love about this pen. The heart of the argument is the nib. Most pen manufacturers are sizing down their inventory of nib variations, with most only offering fine and/or medium in their fountain pens. OMAS is going in the opposite direction and is offering this limited edition in a whopping 9 nib types : double broad, broad, medium, fine, extra-fine, stub (18kt) / extra-flessible extra-fine, extra-flessible fine, and extra-flessible medium (14kt).


The 18kt gold set of writing nibs are non-flexible and offer a high-quality writing nib for general purpose use. The stub 18kt gold nib offers a great deal of line variation with thick vertical strokes and thin horizontal lines. The extra-flessible 14kt nibs are a whole other experience that is to be savored for those who appreciate writing with a flex nib. The extra-flessible can be written with like a standard extra-fine, fine or medium writing nib. Once you flex the tines by applying gentle finger pressure at the right angle on a downstroke, the tines spread to paint ink on the paper like a brush. Much like the Pilot / Namiki Falcon, the OMAS extra-flessible is your go-to for contemporary flex nib writing quality.

The Ogiva has an internal piston mechanism that drinks in the ink much more than your standard cartridge or converter. Being able to see through the tinted, cotton resin, a writer can see exactly how much ink is left sloshing around inside the barrel.

Grabbing a drink of Kon-Peki, the OMAS Ogiva Cocktail Blue Angel gets taken for a spin around some paper to get a feel for how this pen writes. The pen posts rather long, at over 6 1/2 inches in total length. It is a shallow post, so I was concerned the cap is connecting directly on the blind cap that operates the piston. Thankfully, it doesn't, and I was able to post & un-post the cap without moving the piston (and getting ink all over the place). The pen does not feel too long with the cap posted. Due to the lighter weight of the cotton resin, the pen is comfortable to write with for long periods of time.



The section steps down twice from the fluted barrel. There isn't much of a lip between step from barrel to section and screw threads to front nib section. The section between the threads and the barrel is where the limited edition number is engraved. This area is particularly useful to grip if you are writing in "flex mode" and need to hold the pen at an angle more acutely to the paper. The same Greek key design on the cap band wraps around the end of the section and is a classy accent to the overall design.



Writing with the extra-fine, extra-flessible 14kt nib, I immediately went to testing out the flex. I routinely write with vintage flex nibs and can tell you that the OMAS extra-flessible is the real deal. With no pressure, the nib writes a delicate extra fine. With flex, the tines spread out to provide a thick, double-broad line. Easing up on the pen returns the tines back to their original position smoothly and quickly. Take a look at the writing samples and the video to get a sense for how well this nib performs in providing flourish and high degree of line variation.


Writing with this pen is an absolute pleasure. The size is just right to either write posted or with cap-in-hand. The flex on this "flessible" nib is a writer's inky dream. I like to take detailed notes, and being able to write with a standard, extra-fine writing nib is perfect for quick jotting. When I'm writing thank you notes or signing consignment forms, then I can bust out the big, bad flex to really let this nib do what it was made to do.



OMAS kindly provided us with a 90th anniversary 5" x 7" journal for us to do with as we please, so we're giving it away in celebration of this mighty fine writing instrument! Use the form below to enter. You have until Tuesday, October 20th at 2pm Eastern time to enter. Be sure to tell your friends!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Few Final Words

Summary :
  • Writing Quality : I get #drunkonflex every time I write with this pen. Although writing with the pen normally is quite satisfying, flexing the tines allows the writer to experience writing on a whole other level (grade A+)
  • Aesthetic Quality : Classic profile with fluted, column-like barrel and cap with greek key fret silver bands is like a renaissance in pen design, taking influence from greco-roman architecture. The colors of the cotton resins are outstandingly beautiful. (grade A+)
  • Utility : The wheel clip is a bit tight, which is my one and only gripe about this pen. You can get loaded on a ton of ink with the large, internal capacity. The cap posts nicely and feels great in-hand for long writing sessions. (grade A-)
  • Price : $495 Retail. Not an inexpensive value pen, but certainly worth the money, considering the level of nib quality from OMAS. Add in the fact that these are part of a small limited edition that is destined to sell out quickly, these pens will be going for a premium sometime in the near future. (grade A-)

Final Grade : A
If you ask me which pens I'm going to be writing with for the next few months, this OMAS will most likely be on the top of my everyday carry. With the vintage-style, flexible nib, large ink capacity and classic style, this is a pen that I can't stop looking at, let alone put away in my pen case. Be sure to get your OMAS Ogiva Cocktail pen before supplies run dry!

10.09.2015

Sailor Pro Gear (Sapporo) Starburst Galaxy Fountain Pen Review


An out of this world fountain pen paired with an ink that is as equally brilliant. Prepare to be starstruck by the glittering brilliance of the elegant Sailor Professional Gear (Sapporo) Slim Starburst Galaxy Fountain Pen. A non-numbered, limited edition from Japanese manufacturer Sailor, the Starburst Galaxy is a simple twist on a black with silver colorway. Reflective particles are strewn throughout a rich, lustrous black resin to create the feeling of looking up at the stars in the night sky.



The Pen Profile

The model is based off of the Professional Gear (Sapporo) Slim, which is a good fit for an average man or woman's hand. Here are the dimensions of the Starburst Galaxy fountain pen :

Length Closed : 4.87"
Length Posted : 5.6"
Section Diameter : 0.41"
Barrel Diameter : 0.48"
Weight : 0.6oz / 17.7g

It's comparable to a Pelikan Tradition M200 or a Parker Vacumatic Major, as you can see in the diagram below :


With a pen of this size, it is often more comfortable for the writer to use it posted. The lightweight feel of the acrylic resin is a pleasure to hold for longer writing sessions. The front section has a slight flare at the edge of the grip to prevent fingers from slipping down into the nib.

Sailor Pro Gear Starburst Galaxy in a Galaxy Far, Far Away

The Pen Design

The Starburst pattern, created by small particles of reflective material, is evenly distributed throughout the rich, black resin. The particles seem to be floating at various depths in the resin at varying intensities of color, ranging from silver to blue. One of the small details that I love about this pen is the fact that the Starburst resin is used in every place that there is resin, including the finial top and the section. The continuity of the material is outstanding and accurately nails the theme Sailor was going for.

Turning the pen in the light catches the glint the reflective particles. It can be mesmerizing to look at, with focus shifting from the bright silver specks to the deep blue ones that seem so distant. The striking silver of the rhodium trim, clip and cap band feels as if we were taking a voyage on a space ship through a sea of stars. Sailor's iconic anchor symbol is struck upon the finial top of the cap.


As with all Sailor Pro Gear Slim pens, the Starburst Galaxy is a cartridge / converter filling fountain pen. It is supplied with a Sailor type converter and a package of two Sailor ink cartridges. The nib is a 14kt gold with rhodium plating to match the silver trims and clip. Sailor offers their Pro Gear nib in the set core options within the United States, which are the extra-fine, fine, medium-fine, medium, broad, zoom and music sizes.


The Writing Experience

For this review, I focused on the two-tined music nib, which is more equivalent to a western stub nib. I  couldn't help but match a shimmering pen with a shimmering ink and tried the pen out loaded with J. Herbin's Emerald of Chivor. Boy, was I ever impressed.

The Sailor "Music" nib wrote buttery smooth without any hesitation. The 1670 anniversary inks, with their sparkly particles and deep saturation, can be a bit of a hindrance to certain fountain pen feeds that are stingy on flow. Such is not the case with the Sailor nib. As you can see in the handwriting samples of the video, the ink flows beautifully and you can get a good amount of sparkle on the page, along with that reddish sheen in certain strokes.

Sailor Starburst Galaxy w/ Emerald of Chivor on Rhodia 80gsm blank paper

The music nib offers stellar line variation between the horizontal strokes and vertical ones. On the downstroke, the thickness of the line can be the equivalent of a juicy 1.3mm tip while the horizontal lines are between a medium and broad line thickness. Be prepared to change inks often, as the ink capacity of the cartridge / converter is meager and this nib lays down a lot of ink.


A Few Choice Words

Summary :
  • Writing Quality : Stellar. Buttery smooth nib that is hand-inspected by Sailor's expert nib craftsmen. Just remember that the nib grades of Japanese nibs run thinner than their western counterparts. (grade A+)
  • Aesthetic Quality : Stunningly simple concept that is well executed with the theme of this edition. The sparkles are just noticeable enough without being too "blingy". (grade A+)
  • Utility : The size of the Pro Gear Slim (Sapporo) is a perfect fit for boys & girls. With the cap posted, the pen's light weight is well balanced and comfortable to hold for long periods of time. Fans of oversized pens (like the 1911 Large or King of Pens) would not like this size. (grade A)
  • Price : $250 Retail. Considering the price of a Pelikan M200 with a steel nib or a Lamy 2000, this limited edition, 14kt gold nib fountain pen ranks right up there with other high-quality, value fountain pens. This is an easy purchase for many who purchase pens of this caliber. (grade A+)

Final Grade : A+
My only remorse about this review is that the edition was already sold out by the time I can click "publish." We only had these pens in-stock for about a week! If we have any more, then you would be able to find them on our Sailor Professional Gear Slim pens page of our website. If the page does not show any resulting item listings, then it's gone, sorry!