The Sailor 1911 Professional Gear
Imperial Black Edition Fountain Pen
- Handwritten Review -
- Review Ink: Noodler’s Bad Blue Heron
- Review Paper: Rhodia Elastibook, A4 – 80g Bright White
Specs: Taken from Sailorpen.com and Nibs.com
- Description: Matte Black resin pen with titanium ion plated nib and accents.
- Special Features: Completely Black Pen
- Filling Mechanism: Cartridge / Converter
- Weight: 24.5 grams
- Measurements: 5.063″ closed, 5.875″ posted, 0.5″ barrel width, 3.635″ barrel length, 0.41″ section diameter
- Ink Capactiy: 0.9ml
Handwritten Review Scans:
From the second I saw the Professional Gear Imperial Black fountain pen, I knew I had to have it. Sailor took their standard Pro Gear and completely murdered it out. They even listed the pen being completely black as one of the special features. This is my first Sailor and I have a feeling it will not be my last. The pen is a joy to look at, hold, write with, and then look at some more. I hope you enjoy the review as much as I’m enjoying this pen!
Appearance & Packaging:
The appearance of this pen is what you’re really paying a premium for. Sailor has gone above and beyond in making the Pro Gear Imperial the blackest pen out there. The 21k gold titanium ion plated nib is a beautiful black chrome color, and somehow manages to be shiny, yet still very black. It’s a perfect match to the cap band, the band above the section, and the clip. The attention to detail is top-notch. Another thing that stood out to me is the material (resin) that the pen is made from. The mattified black resin has a great tactile feel to it. It provides an added amount of grip that smooth pens simply do not have. My hands can get sweaty and slippery during long writing or note taking sessions, and the little bit of extra grip/texture goes a long way
As far as packing goes, I did not get this pen in the fancy black presentation gift box. I ordered my pen from a Japanese retailer, and I’m not sure if they swapped boxes to save on shipping, or if the Japanese market pen comes in a different box. It came in a standard Sailor presentation box with velvet-like lining, along with the cartridge and converter. I was able to overlook the fact that the gift box was not included, considering I purchased the pen for significantly cheaper direct from Japan rather than one of the retailers in the United States. The box is an added bonus, but it really has no affect on the pen’s performance.
Nib & Performance:
I opted for the Pro Gear with a fine nib, knowing it would be more like a Western extra fine. The nib is quite smooth, especially when considering how fine the line is puts down really is. It always starts up and lays down a nice, consisten line. The pen has yet to skip either. I can place it down uncapped during short writing breaks, and it starts right back up when I need it to. The nib is very smooth, although it can be a little noisy. I think the sound it makes on the paper tricks my brain into thinking it’s less smooth than it really is. To test this out, I wrote the second half of the review with headphones on, and sure enough the pen felt smoother because I wasn’t hearing it. I don’t mind the audio feedback from the nib, but I think it was worth noting. Also, this could be further emphasized or lessened with a different combination of ink and paper. I love the way the all black nib looks. The engraving and filigree are top-notch, and an absolute pleasure to look at. The shape of the nib is different from what I’m used to as well. The nib has more of a swooping taper to the point, and is folded on the shoulders. I really like the aesthetic appearance of Sailor nibs. It’s something different in my collection. The ink flow is pretty perfect for my writing style, so no complaints there.
Now, onto the filling system. Many Japanese pens are shifting towards the cartridge/converter filling system. The Pro Gear Imperial Black is no exception, and is equipped with this filling system. While many people prefer a piston-filler, I do not have a definitive preference. The cartridge/converter holds a decent amount of ink (0.9ml) and makes pen maintenance much easier. Since the nib lays down such a fine line, it does not burn through ink, even with the medium flow. The converter that the pen came with is high quality, plus, it’s hidden within the pen. The converter can be completely disassembled, which makes cleaning a breeze. I really like that Sailor designed the converter this way, as ink always finds it’s way into the unreachable crevices, therefore turning the formerly unreachable into the reachable.
I briefly mentioned before how the matte black resin feels, wel…it’s great. I think it was necessary to add a category devoted to how the pen feels in hand because that can be just as important as how the pen writes. I wrote the entire handwritten section of the review straight through, and nothing got slippery or sweaty (sorry, I know, gross). The weight of the pen is pretty much perfect for me. It’s just a touch lighter (0.5g) lighter than a Lamy 2000. I’ve been writing with this pen posted and the balance and size in my hand is pretty much ideal. I like that it has a bit more heft than my Pelikan Souveran M605, but it’s not a tank like my Montblanc 149. The diameter of the section is very comfortable. The lip at the bottom of the grip is a comfortable stop for my fingers too. The barrel gently tapers into the section, and the threads are very unobtrusive. There’s no real step from the barrel down to the section, which makes the pen super comfortable in hand. I think the Pro Gear has an ideal weight, balance, and feel. The only thing that I feel is worth noting is that the pen is a little bit on the short side (for me) when it’s not posted. Other than that, it’s pretty perfect.
- All Black Everything
- Nice weight
- Good Flow & Smoothness
- Superb Fit & Finish
- Great Feel in Hand
- It’s pricey, considering the price of a regular Pro Gear is much less money
- A little bit short when un-posted
- I don’t have ten of them
I really, really love this pen. It looks amazing, feels great in hand, and it’s an absolute pleasure to write with. Un-posted it’s a bit short for me, but I prefer to write with it posted anyway. It’s definitely the highlight of the matte black collection I have going. Ever since it was announced, I knew it needed to be in my collection. Now that it is, I can finally sleep at night. I highly recommend this pen to anyone who has an obsession with matte black like I do. Even if all black isn’t your thing, the base pen is a Sailor Professional Gear, which is available in many other configurations. It’s a great writing instrument, and a must-have for all matte black enthusiasts, ninjas, and Batman wannabes.