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Posts in the Sailor category

Sailor Kobe Old Foreigner Ward Sepia No. 3Sailor Kobe Old Foreigner Ward Sepia bottle

Sailor Kobe inks are exclusive to the Nagasawa shops and pay tribute to the many faces of Kobe, Japan. Old Foreigner Ward Sepia (旧居留地セピア) pays homage to the area of Kobe that is filled with a diverse variety of traditional buildings that take architecture cues from around the world.

Much like the Old Foreigner Ward itself, this ink is calm and evokes an “antiqued” feel. To be perfectly honest, the color was a lot darker than I thought it would be based on the existing photos online. This ink is a cooler brown color that can become almost black when it is used in a flex pen. The shading is very minimal and hardly noticeable in most practical applications. One element that I found pleasantly surprising is the fact that this ink flows wonderfully from every pen I tried it in. I had zero skipping or railroading and the ink was never too dry or too wet which helps to keep the dry times respectably fast. On top of that, when rinsed out with water, the ink cleared out of the pens very easily and left no visible residue. Exposure to water rinses away some of the color, but the ink remains legible in most cases so I would say the water resistance level is moderate.

Personally, while I do not think this is a color that would find its way into my pens on a regular basis, the properties and behavior of this ink make it a delight to use. If you are looking for a cool, dark brown ink, look no further.

Sailor_Kobe_Old_Foreigner_Ward_Sepia_review

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Sailor Kingdom Note Tanna JaponensisSailor Kingdom Note Tanna Japonensis

Sailor is well-known for producing exclusive inks for fountain pen shops in Japan. Kingdom Note in Tokyo has a “Biological” ink series that focuses on different types of biological life. Tanna Japonensis is a part of the first series: “Insects.” As a Sailor exclusive ink, it comes in a beautiful ink bottle that Sailor only uses for it’s Japan-exclusive inks. This ink itself is a lovely, warm tone with a soft, mossy green feel to it. I was pleasantly surprised by how much shading is possible with this ink ranging between that light, mossy green to a deeper color reminiscent of the light tapering off as you venture further into the woods. The ink flows wonderfully and goes down on the page wet, but drys very quickly. No bleeding on Rhodia paper unless pushed to the limit with flex or multiple passes. Unfortunately, this ink has zero water resistance properties and is easily washed away with brief exposure. Overall, this is a very nice shade of green that I happily recommend if you can get your hands on a bottle.

 

Sailor Kingdom Note Tanna Japonensis

 

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Sailor Jentle Apricot

Sailor ApricotSailor Apricot bottle

 

Sailor Jentle Apricot is a stunningly bright and vibrant orange ink that leaps off of the page and grabs your attention. I don’t usually gravitate towards orange inks, but Apricot is so eye-catching that I couldn’t help but become captivated by it. The color is so vivid that the ink almost glows on the white field of the paper. The shading is slight but notable as it undulates from a delectably indulgent crimson orange to a softer apricot color. I absolutely love the way this ink looks with a flex nib. There is even a bit of a gloss to the ink when it is allowed to pool up, but this is not likely to manifest itself in regular writing. Flow is good across the board, dry times are average and it behaves as admirably as any other Sailor ink I have tried. However, the ink does not stand a chance against water and is easily washed away upon exposure. Unfortunately, as of early 2014, Sailor Apricot has been discontinued along with the rest of that generation of Jentle inks. I am truly sad to see it go, but perhaps it will make a re-appearance again in the future. I highly recommend this ink if you can find any!

 

Sailor Apricot

 

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SWAB_sailor_kobe_18Sailor_Kobe_Sannomiya_Panse_bottle

 

Sailor Kobe inks are exclusive to the Nagasawa shops and pay tribute to the many faces of Kobe, Japan. Sannomiya Panse shows off the beautiful color of the blooming grasses and flowers along the main street of Sannomiya and hails the arrival of spring.

This is a very bold and vibrant purple ink that has the usual characteristics of Sailor inks. That is to say, it is a deliciously viscous ink with great flow and decent dry times. I found no bleeding or feathering on Rhodia paper unless it is pushed really hard with flex or if the ink is allowed to pool in some cases. The shading is moderate to excellent, depending on the pen. It goes from a very very dark purple to a light, soft purple with a tinge of pink to it. My favorite thing about this ink is how it looks great in broader nibs and finer nibs. It’s really a beautiful ink and the subtleties of the color are a bit lost on a digital screen. I’ll let the pictures do the talking!  Another amazing ink from Sailor, and I highly recommend it!

 

Sailor Kobe Sannomiya Panse

 

 

Sailor HighAce Neo

Sailor HighAce Neo

The HighAce Neo is a low-priced, entry-level fountain pen offered by Sailor. In many places, it can be purchased for under $20 (USD) and comes in black, red, green, or blue barrels. The section and cap are always the same color. My first impression was that this pen feels very off balance. The cap is made of a lightweight metal, but the barrel of the pen is made of a super light, cheap plastic. It took me some getting used to, but writing with such a light pen soon became rather effortless and I finally began to appreciate the qualities of the pen that stood out to me.

One of the best parts of this pen, for me, is the nib. I am a big fan of Sailor pens and I am glad to see that even their low-priced, entry-level pens are really smooth writers right out of the box. The steel nib is very plain, but its cheap appearance belies the writing experience it can provide. There is little to no flex with this nib as it was not designed for flex writing. The nib itself is clean with only the brand, the nib number, and size.

Sailor_HighaceNeo_03

One feature I liked was that the cap can snap on to both the front and back ends of the pen alike so you can be sure it is securely attached. When posted, the pen becomes heavily off-balance due to the cap being made of metal. I found the weight difference to be perturbing enough to disrupt my writing experience. The pen is comfortable enough to write with sans posted cap. The barrel of the pen looks really narrow, but surprisingly the pen is still quite comfortable to hold. The grip section is made of smooth plastic as opposed to the rest of the body which has some texture to it, but I had no issues with slipping or losing my grip. Personally, I prefer pens with a larger barrel diameter so extended periods of writing were not ideal in comfort.

That being said, the Sailor HighAce Neo is a great, affordable, entry-level fountain pen that still manages to bring a smooth writing performance. It may not be the most durable or long lasting pen in your arsenal, but for a quick pen to toss in your bag for every day writing, I think it can stand on its own.

Nib material: Steel

Cap: Snap

Filling mechanism: Cartridge/Converter (Sailor)

Overall Length: 136 mm

Weight: ~10.6 g

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Sailor Jentle Miruai

SWAB_sailor_miruaiSailor_Miruai_bottle

Sailor Miruai was released several years ago as a limited edition part of Sailor’s “Spring” line of inks. The color quickly gained popularity and was missed by many people when supplies were finally depleted. Thankfully, in early 2014, Sailor re-issued several of the most popular limited edition seasonal inks to be added as a part of the normal Jentle line-up. Sailor Miruai was among the most anticipated of the returning inks of the line.

Miruai means, “Seaside Pine Blue,” and the color definitely evokes such an image. Miruai has a cool tone to the green with a hint of blue that makes it a lovely blue-green ink. The behavior is on-par with the quality of the Sailor Jentle line and is well behaved with no bleeding or feathering on Rhodia. While the ink is not waterproof, it does exhibit some staying power after being exposed to water and retains a bit of legibility. The shading is subtle, but it transitions from a cool blue-green to a very dark green (almost black) color and the result is quite lovely. I find the ink to be calm and pensive. Along with the name of the ink, I envision a cool, early fall morning amidst the scattered pines along a rocky beach. The ocean breeze is chilly, but strangely comforting as you lose yourself in your thoughts.

Sailor Miruai review

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Sailor Jentle Epinard

Sailor Epinard (세일러 에피나르)  has made a bit of a name for itself as a well received green ink, and I am inclined to agree. In my opinion, it has certainly earned its popularity. The ink has all of the good behavior of a Sailor Jentle ink and it brings a lovely shade of spinach green with a subtle red sheen. It is not a waterproof ink, but the writing was still legible after being exposed to water. No bleeding for feathering on Rhodia paper, even with flex. Some people comment on the “chemical” smell of Sailor inks, but it really doesn’t bother me at all. I only really notice it if I put my nose right up to the open bottle. Epinard is a wonderful green ink and certainly a contender for one of my favorite green inks.

epinard_driptest

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Sailor Jentle Yama-Dori

Sailor Yama-Dori (세일러 야마도리) was once part of the limited release of Autumn inks by Sailor. A few years later, a select few of the inks have been re-released as part of the normal Jentle line by Sailor. Yama-Dori was one of the more sought after colors of this re-release and had many people buzzing about how to get their hands on it. Sailor Yama-Dori has quickly climbed up my list of favorite blue-green inks. Not only does it exhibit the good behavior that is typical of Sailor brand inks, but the color is bold, yet soothing, and the ink shades beautifully. The icing on the cake is the lovely red sheen that the ink leaves behind when it pools up a bit. The combination of these elements makes this ink one that I highly recommend to anyone who likes blue-green inks.

  While I certainly would not consider this ink to be waterproof, it does retain some legibility after it has been soaked with water. If you’re curious as to how the red sheen looks in person, please take a look at the comparison shots I have included below to show how the ink appears when light hits the ink from different angles. Personally, I love the way it looks!

 

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Sailor Kobe Sumaura Seaside Blue No. 44Sailor Kobe Suma Pu Seaside Blue No. 44

 

Sailor Kobe Sumaura Seaside Blue No. 44 is a beautiful ink that is made by Sailor exclusively for the Nagasawa Pen Shops in Japan. The inks are made to celebrate the different areas of the city of Kobe, Japan with colors that carry meaning for each part of the city. They are constantly adding new colors to the line, and this is one of the newer colors as of early 2014. It is a very lovely blue-green with all of the usual spectacular behavior of a Sailor ink. I was actually kind of surprised at how easily the ink cleaned out of my pens. The color evokes an almost pensive, melancholy feel. I really do feel like it is reminiscent of standing next to the ocean at the edge of Kobe.

Sailor Kobe inks may be difficult to acquire if you aren’t in Japan, but it is possible to purchase them from Rakuten (official) and eBay.  If you have the chance, I highly recommend trying this ink!

Sailor Kobe Sumaura Seaside Blue No. 44 ReviewSailor Kobe Suma Pu Seaside Blue No. 44

I would not consider this ink to be waterproof, but it does retain a decent amount of legibility after being exposed to water. Dry time is medium since this is a somewhat wet ink. I definitely recommend this ink!

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Sailor Professional Gear Slim Morita Exclusive

I recently made a pilgrimage to the Morita Pen Shop in Osaka, Japan and picked up one of Mr. Morita’s exclusive pens. This Sailor Professional Gear Slim is in a unique color taken from the roof of the Salzburg Cathedral, where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was baptized and later performed. The color is a soft, robin’s egg blue that I really enjoy.

Morita Fountain Pen Shop

It was my first time visiting Osaka, but the Morita Pen Shop was quite easy to find. The shop itself is a bit small, but it still has a hefty selection of beautiful pens and inks adorning the walls. Mr. Morita himself doesn’t speak much English, but he is incredibly helpful and will let you test out any pen you are interested in trying.

The prices are generally lower than shops you’ll find in western fountain pen stores, and even competitive with online shops from around the world.

Other than the color, the rest of the pen is identical to the standard Pro Gear Slim. I purchased the 14k gold nib with rhodium plating in MF and it is beautifully smooth, though not as smooth as the larger 21k gold nib on my Sailor 1911. Initially I was afraid that the Professional Gear Slim would be too small for my liking as I tend to prefer larger pens, but when I was pleasantly surprised with how well the pen feels when it is posted. Without posting, the pen feels too light and off-balance, but when posted it feels perfect. The grip section isn’t too narrow and the acrylic body provides a modestly comfortable writing experience.

I inked it up with Sailor Kobe Sannomiya Pensée  which I picked up from a Nagasawa Pen Shop during my day trip to Kobe. I like the way it looks with the pen. Inkflow was great. The feed keeps up and the nib is very smooth with just a tiny bit of feedback on the paper. It is definitely a smooth writer, though not as smooth as my Sailor 1911L with 21k nib, but it holds its own.

left to right: Lamy Safari, Noodler's Ahab, Sailor Profit 1911 L, Sailor Pro Gear Slim

left to right: Lamy Safari, Noodler’s Ahab, Sailor Profit 1911 L, Sailor Pro Gear Slim

The shop also carries a regular Professional Gear in the same color fitted with a 21k gold nib with rhodium plating. If you are ever in Osaka and have some time to stop by, I highly recommend checking out Mr. Morita’s pen shop!

Overall, it’s a lovely pen that I’m happy to have part of my collection.

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