Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Sailor 1911 Fountain Pen Review

Sailor 1911 Fountain Pen
Sailor 1911L Fountain Pen
In 1981, Sailor introduced their 1911 series as a celebration of the company’s founding in its namesake year.  The line can be had in a number of different sizes, shapes, colors, and nib configurations.  The 1911L, which stands for Large, is a step up in size from the 1911S (Standard) both in diameter and length.  Other than the nib, clip, and decorative rings, the pen is made entirely of resin.  This imparts a light weight that is easy to handle, even in this larger iteration.  The 21k Gold nibs range from Extra Fine all the way up to Music, and includes Sailor’s Medium Fine for those that find the Medium too broad but the Fine too thin.  The 1911 series traditionally uses either cartridges or a converter, though Sailor has recently created the piston filled Realo line.  Both the cartridges and converter are proprietary Sailor designs, and the cartridges are available in Black, Blue, Blue/Black, Red, or Pigmented Black or Blue/Black.  The pigmented inks are waterproof, but extra care should be taken when using these as the tiny particles that cause this characteristic may create issues if the pen is not used or cleaned regularly.
In general, Sailor’s nibs tend to run a size smaller than a Western counterpart – i.e. the Fine writes like an Extra Fine, the Medium writes like a Fine, etc.  In testing a Fine nib, I found this to be true as the pen laid down a very thin line.  Despite the Extra Fine-like width, the nib was smooth, no doubt aided by the 21k Gold construction.  The pen was comfortable to use both posted as well as with the cap left off – another advantage of the light weight.  The larger size compared to the Standard version allowed for a solid grip without much effort, which is something I have come appreciate when having to write for long periods.  I did notice that the nib had a little flex to it, lending a slight variation to line widths if I was so inclined.  This led to a line that was more akin to a Western Fine.
The 1911L looks good and writes well.  Sailor has done a fantastic job in creating a piece that is large enough to use comfortably yet light enough to not fatigue your hand while doing so.  If you are looking for a thicker pen with a smooth nib and classic good looks, the 1911L should definitely be at the top of your list.
- Joe (Pen Boutique Limited, 5560 Sterrett Place, Columbia, MD 21044)

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