Thursday, April 29, 2021

Spice up your collection with Sailor's new LE

Sailor Pro Gear

Too Hot Habanero


  • Description- A hot new take on a classic Sailor model

  • Nib- 14k or 21k gold depending on size

  • Material- Resin

  • Filling Mechanism- Proprietary converter/cartridge

  • Weight- 22 Grams

  • Measurements- 5.06" capped, 5.80" posted

  • Ink Capacity- .68ml converter, 1.19ml cartridge

History & Origin:

    The Sailor brand started when its founder, Kyugoro Sakata, was first introduced to fountain pens in 1911 by one of his sailor friend's who showed him a pen from Europe. Inspired by what he saw, he quickly became determined to craft a pen of superior quality and decided on the name Sailor in hopes that the brand would expand all over the world much like a sailor on a sea voyage. Mr. Sakata was a pioneer of the Japanese fountain pen with his brand being the first to produce fountain pens in Japan and currently one of the longest running brands in the industry. The Pro Gear is the bigger version of the Pro Gear slim and has a 21kt gold nib with the slim having a 14kt nib. The pen is offered in seven different nib sizes including Extra Fine, Fine, Medium-Fine, Medium, Broad, Zoom, and Music.

Packaging & Appearance:

    This pen comes in the standard clamshell box that most other regular sized Sailor's come in and that box is lined with a soft satin like material to keep the pen free from scratches. Inside the box you'll not only find the pen but also a converter and 2 cartridges so you can get writing right away. The pro gear is a very similar pen to the 1911 which is Sailor's other main pen body and the main difference between the two is that the Pro Gear has flat ends while the 1911 is a more traditional cigar shape. This special edition reminds me of some of the cocktail series pens that Sailor makes each year due to the mixing of both opaque and transparent resins, this breaks the pen up visually and gives it an interesting look. The finial of this pen is also unique and sports the image of a chili pepper instead of the usual Sailor anchor logo which is a fun little touch that sets this pen apart. The demonstrator body doesn't just look nice but also allows the user to keep and eye on ink level because regular opaque versions of the Pro Gear don't have ink windows so its nice to see on this LE. My only gripe, and this is completely a matter of personal opinion, is that I can't help but think gold colored trim would match the warm orange colors of the pen more but the silver looks good too. Now that we've taken a closer look at appearance, how does it write?

Nib & Performance:

    If the rich history of Sailor wasn't enough to convince you about the brands uniqueness their nibs sure will. Sailor makes all of their nibs in house which means they have complete control over the entire production process which allows them to fine tune each nib to their exact standards which in turn yields a superior product. I find that both their #5 (14k) and their #6 (21k) tend to be rather stiff with some feedback akin to writing with a sharpened pencil and is by no means a bad feeling but one that Sailor has grown to be known for. The nibs on their oversized king of pen models tend to have a little more give and offer a tad more line expression than the regular sized nibs. Ink flow is medium until you go up to the zoom and music nibs, both of which can be pretty wet and in turn, show off the intricacies of the ink in use. Sailor knows how to make pens and they know how to make them well, I've never had a problem with the two that I own performance or nib wise.


  • Eye-catching
  • unique finial
  • NA exclusive


  • Increased price from regular PG models
  • relatively small ink capacity

Price & Conclusion:

    Sailor's NA exclusive pens never disappoint and this is no exception, the bright color and unique mix of materials is sure to stand out in even the most expansive collections! Pen Boutique is a licensed seller of Sailor products and we are selling the slim model for $280 and the standard model for $392. Please feel free to stop by and take a look for yourself or contact us with any questions you may have, Remember to Enjoy & Keep writing! 
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Saturday, April 3, 2021

New pens for all the homosapiens out there

 Visconti's New Homosapiens Offerings

    I've written about the Homosapiens model before and the edition I wrote about was last year's "Blue Lagoon" model and since that came out Visconti has broadened the horizons of what the HS line can be perceived as. Before I go off talking about the new colors let me just copy and paste a quick introduction to the brand and the HS line that I wrote for my original Blue Lagoon review. The brand Visconti was founded in 1988 in Florence Italy and their Italian heritage shines through in the products they make to this day. Founded by Luigi Poli and Dante Del Vecchio, two avid fountain pen collectors at the time, the brand has had collectors and enthusiast in mind from the very start. All of Visconti’s pens and writing instruments are designed in a 15th century Florentine villa that shows the brands dedication to the past masters of Italian artwork. While Visconti has a lot of different lines and collections, the Homo Sapiens line is their homage to nature. The original homo sapiens is dedicated to the volcanoes of Italy, even using a mix of natural Basaltic Lava on the regular Homo Sapiens models but the line is ever expanding as you'll see with the pens I'm introducing in this blog. Alright, now that the history lesson is out of the way I'll talk about the first of two of the new Homo sapiens editions, the "Tuscan Hills".

Visconti H.S. Tuscan Hills 888

Aesthetics-    A lot like the other 888 versions of the H.S. this one is based upon another aspect of nature with the specific element being earth, last year's Blue Lagoon was based on water. However something a little different about this version is that this one's material is not quite as see through as the previous 888 editions, instead they decided to go with a more opaque resin that is still a little see through but not to the point of being able to see the internal vac filler rod or the ink color clearly. 
This decision was a good one that lends itself to the name tuscan hills because nothing about dirt, earth or ground is see-through so it is more true to form in this respect by not having it be completely see through. Visconti is also doing a little bit of a refresh with some of their products and logos recently, a refresh that I don't prefer over how things were before and its nice to see that the 888 is the same as previous versions in respect to the nib stamping and packaging however it is unclear to me whether the magnetic my pen insert at the top bears the old Visconti logo or the updated modern one. 

Performance-      It's no secret by now that Visconti makes beautiful writing instruments of exceptional quality and the homo sapiens model is one of the brands most iconic lines which means it may get a little extra attention to detail at the end of the day. I must admit that it is unclear if this model still uses the bock nibs found on earlier versions of the H.S. models or if they have opted for the new Visconti in-house nibs that are featured on the multi-colored lava models.
(Image for reference, Comes with a single tone nib)
In either case the pen will write very well, the bock nibs did have a small history of needing adjustments out of box but it really isn't too big a deal and its something that has been mostly fixed with the introduction of the in house nibs. The thing that makes me keep coming back to my H.S. is the ink capacity, this pen can out write some of the other offerings from other brands that are in this price bracket which makes it one of the best workhorse pens for everyday writing. This pen even holds more ink than the 823 from pilot which is often cited as a pen with a huge ink capacity, pretty much the only way to get a bigger capacity would be to purchase an eye dropper pen which are decidedly less common. 

Visconti H.S. Demo Stones

Aesthetics-    Seeing as how this is also a member of the Homo sapiens family the pen is pretty much the same in size and shape but the difference is obviously in the color options. For this 3 color collection Visconti was inspired by the beauty and opulence of precious stones and seeing as how there is a red, blue and green pen the stones in question are rubies, sapphires and emeralds. The addition of these colors are quite nice for the Homo sapiens line because it means that a full demo version of the model will always be available and not exclusive to the more limited editions. It is true that they has the skylight and crystal dream which both featured ink windows but these are the first full demos to be added if my memory serves.
One thing slightly different about these models is that in place of an emblem bearing the Visconti logo on the cap, they have an insert with a domed piece of the same color material as the pen to make it look like a cabochon gem insert. 

Performance-    The performance of these pens is going to be similar to the Tuscan hills but I know that these have the new in-house nibs so that is a nice touch but other than that performance and ink capacity is nearly the same!

Swing by and see these fantastic new colors in person, you can also try the nibs out if you've never written with a H.S. before but be warned, once you pick one up its hard to put it down! Oh, one more thing, remember to enjoy and keep writing!

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