Outside of an occasional writing sample with my friend's Imperial Black Pro Gear fountain pen, this is actually my first real experience with the Sailor brand, but, I must say, I am thoroughly impressed.
I have to confess, Brad sent me the 1911 and it took me nearly a month to actually ink it up. There was a lot going on in our family at the time it arrived and I wanted to make sure that I was able to dedicate the attention needed to review and experience this special and exquisite pen. And, maybe there was a tiny bit of anxiety about using it as the retail price on these runs at $490; you break it, you buy it, right?... Once I inked it up I knew I was hooked.
I'm a very firm believer that extremely high quality does not always have to be associated with an extremely high price tag. Sometimes this is the case with things like shoes, mattresses, food; but pens? I do have a handful of what I would consider "expensive" pens in the $200 range, and the experience I've found isn't necessarily better than some $50-70 pens. With the Sailor, I'm going to retract that statement for a moment.
Almost the instant I picked up and held the 1911 I was smitten by it. The look, the feel, the weight; everything seemed to be just right. This felt like a luxury item. There are times when things that are perceived as luxury actually end up feeling cheap, but not here. The glossy, piano black barrel is finished to a mirror like perfection and the dark metal accents fit so nicely together. Nothing feels loose or wobbly and all seems very precise.
Brad sent me the pen with a black Sailor cartridge (not sure if it is the Jentle or Pigmented series), but it is very rich and dark. The medium 21k gold nib on this pen is probably the best nib I've ever used. I would still consider myself a bit of a novice in the fountain pen realm, but in my opinion this seems to be about as close to perfect as I've experienced.
The nib is almost a perfect blend of wet and dry as it lays down a very smooth line, but you can still feel the tines running along the page. There are some fountain pens where you almost wonder of the pen is touching the paper because the nib seems to mesh into the page so softly, but I enjoy the way this feels and knowing where my lines are going.
The pen does post, but I opted not to doing so except for pictures (mostly due to not wanting to mar up the barrel in any way) as I found the length and weight of the grip and barrel were sufficient to be comfortable on their own. The grip of the Black Luster is made of metal and has been ion plated like the other accents and adds a nice heft to the front. I sat down one evening and did some journaling about my kids for about an hour straight and enjoyed every minute of writing. No fatigue or uncomfortable positions, just pure writing enjoyment. Some of it could be the happy thoughts I was writing about, but all I know is that the 1911 helped enhance the experience tremendously.
I'm going to go out on a pretty far limb and say that if I was forced into choosing only one fountain pen to have moving forward, I think I could honestly say this Sailor would be at the top of the list. Now, that isn't just because it is expensive or "exciting" due to the fact that it isn't mine, but because it really has been the best writing experience I've had overall thus far.
Committing to one of these beauties would definitely set one back a couple hundred dollars at least, but may be a worthy goal to set as a "one pen" type of endeavor. I've not used a regular 1911 which run less than $300 usually so I can't compare, but would love to hear feedback of those that have experienced both. Pen Chalet carries both types in their Sailor collection as well as several other models to consider. As always, the promo code CLICKYPOST will get an additional 10% off which may help a bit with a larger purchase like this.
To Brad: thanks again for sending it my way.