Sailor 1911 Large Ballpoint Pen Review
- Description: A hefty ballpoint pen made by one of Japan’s finest pen manufacturers
- Refill: Proprietary Sailor ballpoint pen refill, 0.7mm
- Weight: ~34 grams
- Mechanism: Twist to open
- Measurements: 5.25″
- Color Options: Black, Maroon, White
Sailor makes some of the best fountain pens out there. I’ve got a bunch of them in my collection (Pro Gear Imperial Black, 1911 Standard, Sapporo, and Mageallan) but they’re all fountain pens. When Ron over at Pen Chalet offered up a ballpoint, I happily accepted the opportunity to check one out. A few days later, a box showed up at my office with a shiny new Sailor 1911 Large ballpoint in white/gold inside. Let’s take a closer look at this classy pen:
The 1911 Large ballpoint is a cigar shaped pen with a rounded cap. Since it’s twisty-style, the other end is the point. There’s no cap to be removed and/or posted. For a ballpoint/rollerball/gel pen, I prefer that there’s no cap to be removed. Why? Most often I use these pens for quick notes and the ease of use is appreciated. The white resin has a bit of a lustre to it, giving off a pearly shine when viewed under light. The gold hardware nicely complements the finish, giving off a premium and classy vibe. It was already claimed by my wife after I was done with the review. It definitely fits her aesthetic better than mine (all black everything).
The pen ships in a standard Sailor box, which is pretty straightforward. It’s a navy blue box with the logo printed in gold on the front. A small ribbon keeps the pen from bouncing around, and a few warranty/information cards can be found inside as well. The packaging is nothing crazy, but it would make a pretty nice presentation for a gift.
Inside the pen, you’ll find a 0.7mm Sailor ballpoint refill. It writes like any decent ballpoint. It’s smooth, leaves a medium dark line, and works when it’s supposed to. The refill is proprietary, which I’m never a huge fan of. Proprietary refills greatly narrow down the amount of options available to customize the writing experience. For me, it’s all about popping my favorite refill (usually a Pentel Energel Needlepoint in 0.7mm or a Parker Quink Gel) in and writing away. That’s not really possible with this pen. I haven’t tried hacking anything into it, so I can’t really comment there. Ultimately, this pen is geared towards the professional who write with a ballpoint, and for the target market, the one refill is probably plenty. The pen twists to extend the writing tip, and has nice action. It’s smooth to operate. Not much else can be said!
I really like how the 1911 Large ballpoint feels in hand. It’s heft, at around 34 grams. I was pleasantly surprised at how the pen felt when taking it out of the box. It’s just enough weight to anchor itself in hand, while being light enough as to not fatigue your muscles during longer writing sessions. The resin is smooth, the furnishings are nicely finished, and the pen is a nice diameter for a comfortable writing experience. The pen hits the “just right” feeling at 5.25″ – not too big and not too small. The clip is sturdy and has decent clearance making it suitable for either a shirt or pants pocket. It definitely feels like a $100 pen should.
- Nice weight
- Good length and diameter
- On par with Sailor’s fountain pen offerings
- Proprietary refil limits options
Sailor’s 1911 Large ballpoint is definitely a nice pen. As Mike Dudek points out in his review, the Sailor holds its own when placed up against the big names like Montblanc and Pelikan. Those go for several times the asking price of the Sailor’s modest $100. While it’s not the biggest name in the pen world, Sailor has a nice product line that I think most people would appreciate as a gift or be happy to add to their collection. If it wasn’t white and gold, I’d definitely be hanging onto this pen rather than giving it to my wife. I can say that my interest is piqued by Sailor’s other non-fountain pen offerings.
Disclaimer: This pen was provided to me as a review unit, free of charge, by Pen Chalet. I was not compensated for this review, and this did not have any effect on my thoughts and opinions about the pen. Thank you for reading!