Two fountain pens that have gotten frequent mention in Scriblets are the Sailor Professional Gear Silver and the Professional Gear Slim Gold, pens that in my estimation deserve more attention than is the case now in blogs devoted to fountain pens. Easy enough to call me a Sailor aficionado and not be far from the truth. Seven different Sailor pens lay about my desk, all used regularly, but the two most frequently used are the Professional Gear models pictured below. Dependable tools that are heavily used and never break down are what most of us call a ‘workhorse’ and Sailor fountain pens slip easily into that category.
In 1911, Kyugoro Sakata founded The Sailor Pen Company in Hiroshima, Japan. The engineering skills of Mr Sakata guided him and his company, and over the years the quality of Sailor fountain pens grew, as did the company’s reputation. Nothing in that statement has changed as far as quality and reputation are concerned. When you put your money down for a Sailor fountain pen high quality and long life are assured, or at least that has been my experience.
My first Sailor pen was the Professional Gear Slim Gold, purchased at a pen shop in Tokyo almost five years ago. From the moment I tested the pen in the shop there was a jackpot feeling about it. Not a large pen, it measures 4⁷⁄₈ inches capped and 5½ inches posted. The body design is traditional and made of black resin with gold plated trim. The 14k medium nib never falters, never skips, drips or dries out. It strikes me as just the kind of fountain pen any pen lover would cherish.
A couple of months after purchasing the Professional Gear Slim Gold I returned to the same pen shop and tested the larger big brother, the Professional Gear Silver. This one is 5¹⁄₁₆ inches capped and 5¾ inches posted, with a barrel diameter of a ½ inch. It has the same design as the smaller pen but with rhodium trim instead of gold. The medium nib is 21k with rhodium inlay. Writing quality? Like the smaller model, it never fails to lay down a smooth flow of ink, whatever the brand or color.
No one would tell you that Sailor fountain pens are cheap. Most of them retail at prices over $200, but there is comfort in the knowledge that you are getting a quality item that will last a lifetime. Surely something worth saving for.