One of the Japanese big three, Sailor’s reputation rests solidly on its nibs. It’s no slouch in the design department either. The Susutake and Arita series take reimagine traditional Japanese elements into pens – bamboo taken from century-old chimneys, enamelled porcelain.
(On a side note – and I am always going off into side notes – I have always wondered why Filipino souvenir shops seem to be stuck on wooden clogs with heels carved with nipa huts and purses made from various frog body parts and pigskin leather embossed with the word “Philippines” and the occasional jeepney.)
Demonstrators, like today’s detailers and trade manuals, were for salespeople to – what else – demonstrate the fountain pen being pitched to retailers. They had clear or cutaway bodies to show off the pen’s inner workings. This was important back when unique selling propositions (ooh, marketing jargon) for pens moved from how they wrote to how they filled. Today, demonstrators appeal to buyers who are a) geeky, b) exhibitionist, and c) drawn to transparent shiny objects. File me under all three, because I bought a Sailor 1911 demonstrator from Pengallery.
Unlike the clear Pilot demonstrator which has black ends, the Sailor uses the same transparent resin all the way through. There is no complicated filling system to explain; it fills by cartridge or converter. Demonstrators tell all. Here, you can see that ink has found its way into the inner section. If I’m not mistaken the nib is friction-fit, so this shouldn’t be hard to clean. It reminds me of those see-through plastic totes that became popular a few years back; I couldn’t understand why women would want to show off their tissue packets and lipstick-stained cosmetic bags. However, it seems quite all right in a pen. Sailor cartridges and converters are proprietary. I wish they used the same system as Platinum – it would have been a treat to use Platinum’s goldfish converter in this pen, and its gold trim would match.
This is my first stock music nib from Sailor. The 1911M I had, which I eventually sold, had a music nib reground into a semi-zoom (different angle, different line width). Unlike Pilot or Platinum music nibs, which have two slits, Sailor’s has one. This makes it more of a stub, in my opinion. It certainly writes like one.
I extend the last flourish of a letter, not just because it looks good, but to gauge how well the ink flows through the nib. This is more critical for wide-writing (italic, stub, music, anything over a broad really) and flexible nibs. Sailor has tuned this music nib well, and I am more than happy to show it off to people, which is more than I can say for the contents of my bag.