I must admit, I'm not generally the type to be drawn to "sparkly" things. Things I buy usually fall into the categories of black, grey, silver, or brown (when wood or leather are concerned). But, every once in awhile something catches your attention that seems to break the mold.
Hence, I am now the happy owner of a Sailor Sapporo or Pro Gear Slim Starburst Galaxy (mouthful) fountain pen that I picked up from Pen Chalet.
I've been a bit of a fan of the Sailor fountain pens ever since Brad Dowdy loaned me his 1911 Black Luster, so I eventually picked myself up a bright orange Pro Gear which I subsequently had tuned by Mike Masuyama last April in Atlanta.
Generally the word "slim" with fountain pens makes me think of the word "small", which isn't as appealing as a more full size. At first I was a bit nervous to pick up the Starburst Galaxy due to what may turn out to be petite pen, but I was pleasantly surprised. It is definitely smaller than your standard Pro Gear, but I've found the size to be quite comfortable.
The cap posts and is the most comfortable way to use the pen for me. The clip is pretty flexible, but sturdy.
Another difference apart from size when comparing to the standard Pro Gear is the nib. The larger pen boasts a bigger 21k gold nib, while the slim a smaller 14k. I feel the size of the nib fits the pen very well and isn't too large or small.
A common claim about Sailor nibs is that they have a lot of feedback. This is completely true in all experiences I've had with the pens I've tried. Some people prefer a glassier writing experience (perhaps like the LAMY 2000), and if that is the case for you a Sailor nib may be a bit uncomfortable. It could obviously be smoothed and tuned by a nibmeister, but out of the box you may feel like they are scratchy.
Personally, I prefer a wet nib with a fair amount of feedback. A dry writer I can't really handle, but feedback with sufficient ink flow lets me know each stroke is happening on the page.
This is the first pen I've ever bought that had a music nib on it. There are a few bloggers that tend to get a little excited about all things music nib (I'm calling out Azizah from gourmetpens.com in jest a bit...), but I suppose I've never felt a need to give one a try. I mean, are people really writing our their sheet music with fountain pens anymore?... and I don't write music... I think the name doesn't really matter.
So, I still decided to try one here on the galaxy.
The best way I can describe a music nib is like a big stub-nibbed marker. It is large and in charge on the page to say the least, and lays down a lot of ink, but is fun! Still has the standard Sailor feedback, but not uncomfortable for me.
Wide vertical strokes and narrow horizontals. At least this is how it is working out for me. Although, I wonder if music nibs are meant to traditionally be held a different way? When writing music notes, the verticals should be narrow and the horizontals wide, right? Like you would get with an architect grind.
Like in the shameful stock photo I borrowed from Google below:
This makes me think either you write music with the sheets sideways or you turn the pen counter clockwise 90 degrees while writing... if anyone has thoughts or insights on this I'd love to hear some of the rationale.
Now, for what makes this pen so awesome: the sparkles. Yes, the sparkles. Not something I normally say, but dang.
The barrel is a deep, dark blue/black but all throughout are tiny, glittering specs of silver and light blue everywhere. Seriously, like looking up at the clearest night sky full of stars. It sounds like I'm getting all poetic here, but its true. They really nailed it on the material and it is captivating. Its one of those pens you find yourself looking at a lot.
Sadly, Sailor only produced a limited number of 500 pens which means they may be getting scarce. Pen Chalet has a huge selection of Sailor pens (which I'd recommend checking out), but is now sold out of these.
The barrel doesn't have any "limited edition" writing or numbering signifying that it is a one time thing, so maybe they'll come out with others like it. The retail pricepoint on it was $250 which I felt was reasonable.