Tag: fountain pen review

Review: Sailor Sapporo Progear Slim

Sailor ProGear Sapporo White

You really gotta love these Japanese pens and their awesome nibs. I got this pen at a preorder with PensGalorePH which is also where I got my Pilot Custom Heritage 92. Their preorder prices are really good.

Sailor ProGear Sapporo White

I was a little hesitant to order it at first because of the color. I don’t have any white pens, and I would’ve preferred a black Sailor ProGear Slim Sapporo but they only have the white one.

Sailor ProGear Sapporo White

This was delivered a day after the Parker Premier, and boy, it’s like using pens that are opposites of each other–black and white, metal and acrylic, European nib and Japanese nib. My first impression was wow, this pen is small.

Sailor ProGear Sapporo White

The first Sailor pen that I used was a clear candy, and I think that even for a steel nib, it was pretty good. The nib was really good for drawing and writing. It’s my first time to buy a Sailor pen with a 14k nib, but I have tried a ProGear Slim before.

Sailor ProGear Sapporo White

I like the simplicity of the design of this pen. The edges are flat, the trims are simple. Rhodium trims fit the white acrylic pretty well, the pen looks clean and beautiful in a classic kind of way. The section is pretty short, I guess it’s proportioned to the length of the barrel, but I imagine that people with large hands will find the length of the section a bit too short for comfortable writing. If you don’t like to hold the pen too close to the nib, you’ll most likely end up gripping the threads of the barrel, not very comfortable.

Sailor ProGear Sapporo White

It’s a converter-filler, and the converter/cartridges are proprietary. I am not a big fan of proprietary converters/cartridges because I find it a hassle to replace them. It’s easier to replace if the pen uses standard C/C’s. The little details of the pen are quite pretty. I like the little anchor logo on the finial.

Sailor ProGear Sapporo White

Sailor ProGear Sapporo White           Sailor ProGear Sapporo White

I like the ring around the cap band because it’s probably the only thing that kind of stands out when the pen is capped. I like the font they used to engrave SAILOR Japan Founded 1911. Kinda reminds me of fonts used in printing money. The engraving is crisp and looks really good. The clip’s design is also simple and nondescript, but I don’t like that it’s not so springy. It’s hard to slip anything under it. I certainly won’t be able to clip it on my pen cases.

When you uncap the pen, you’ll be greeted with this pretty little thing. Well, without the ink coating it, of course.

Sailor ProGear Sapporo White

Isn’t that such a gorgeous nib? It has nice, deep, clean-looking hallmarks, filigrees, and logo. Such a nice detailed nib.

Sailor ProGear Sapporo White          Sailor ProGear Sapporo White

I think the pen is best used posted. Since it’s so light and well-balanced, it’s not uncomfortable when capped. When it’s posted, it’s just a bit longer than a Pilot Vanishing Point. When unposted, it’s a lot shorter than a VP. People with small hands can still find it comfortable to write with unposted, but those with larger hands may find it too short to be comfortable. Personally I can use it either way.

The nib is the usual Japanese medium nib, which is more like a European fine. I loved that this pen’s nib is already an excellent writer right outside the box. No tuning was needed for it. It wrote very smoothly and consistently upon first inking. I even forgot to flush it with water before using, and it still wrote perfectly from the get go. It’s satisfying, to say the least. It’s a firm medium nib, not very springy. But it is really smooth and the flow of ink is moderate. Here’s a video of the writing sample below:

Overall, this is a pretty nice pen. It’s light but comfortable in the hand, especially when used posted. It’s simple but what one can consider a classic beauty. The overall aesthetics of the pen is tastefully simple, and complements the focal point, which is the lovely nib. I love how the nib is already a great writer right out of the box. It’s a pen that you can use to write for hours, it’s simply a joy to use.

Review: Parker Premier Monochrome Black (Medium)

Review: Parker Premier Monochrome Black (Medium)

Gosh darn that’s a long name. Anyway, I’ve been using the Parker Premier Monochrome Black (which I shall call Premier from this point on) since I got it last Tuesday. Since then I managed to use up a converter and a half of ink (yes, I wrote that much in a short period of time). This is, without a doubt, up there in my favorite pens list. I know I love all my pens a lot, but I do have a short list of favorites. Those pens that hardly make it out of rotation. I can tell this one will hold a top spot for a while. I’m getting ahead of myself.

Parker Premier Monochrome Black

I got this pen last Tuesday and I can hardly put it down. It’s just a pleasure to write with and to look at. Anybody who knows me well enough will say that I’m not a big fan of modern pens. Least of all modern Parkers. I think they’re devoid of imagination. A shadow of the glory days of a giant brand. When I first came across the Premier online (through Fountain Pen Network Philippines), I was intrigued. It looked nothing like the modern Parker pens that I’m used to seeing at National Bookstore. This one was sleek and eye-catching, in the same way that of all the Lamy pens in all the happy colors, I’m quite drawn to the Lamy 2000 and its decidedly modern design.

Parker Premier Monochrome Black

The pen is metal coated with PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) which makes the surface very resistant to corrosion and abrasion. The barrel and the cap has a brushed metal finish, the texture is very pleasant. It does have an overall effect that looks like matte, but it’s more of a soft brushed metal finish that makes it pleasant to hold. It’s not slippery or uncomfortable in the hand, as some metal pens can sometimes be. My pet peeve is metal sections in pens, it makes it nearly impossible to write comfortably because the pen keeps on slipping. The Premier’s PVD coating ensures none of that annoying slippery feel.

Parker Premier Monochrome Black

The texture kinda reminds me of Lamy 2000’s makrolon finish. Kinda.

Everything about this pen speaks of a well thought-out modern design. I think this design can be a great template for Parker’s modern pens. The lines are clean and the details are pretty good. The clip looks very different from traditional Parker arrow clips.

Parker Premier Monochrome Black         Parker Premier Monochrome Black

It’s angular, boxy, but gives the pen a very good modern look to it. Of course I’m still partial to vintage Parkers and their art deco clip, but this one has its own style and identity. It certainly beats modern arrow clips with thinly etched quivers.

Parker Premier Monochrome Black

The overall effect is pretty nice, and the clip itself is functional– springy but firm. It feels sturdy enough. The cap snaps on, but it doesn’t make that hard snapping sound. It snaps to the section securely but is easy to put on and take off. It has an almost magnetic feel to it, like it glides and clicks easily in place.

Parker Premier Monochrome Black

Both ends of the pen are flat, which lends more to that minimalist, modern feel. There’s nothing flashy about this pen. Nothing shiny and ostentatious. Even the finial is a simple black disc.

Parker Premier Monochrome Black

The design is tied up by three rings on the top of the cap, cap band, and end of the barrel. I really like that the PARKER logo around the cap band was designed differently from other Parkers, vintage or modern.

Parker Premier Monochrome Black

I like the horizontal lines that run through the letters. It’s a nice little detail.  Continue reading “Review: Parker Premier Monochrome Black (Medium)”

On Custom Nibwork

My two Cross Century II pens wrote okay but the nibs were boring. Booooooring. Hard as nails and not the most pleasant pens to write with. They’re okay but they can be better. I decided that I would ask a local nibmeister, JP, to fix it up for me in my favorite kind of grind–left oblique cursive italic.

Here’s a video of the writing sample:

I once asked him to grind me a cursive italic nib on a TWSBI Micarta, and I enjoyed that as well. However, I was always rotating my nib while I write, and I wanted something that had more of a slant to it. Here are a few photos of differences between a regular nib, cursive italic, and a left oblique cursive italic. The lines written with blue ink is left oblique cursive italic, medium nib is green, and cursive italic is brown.

IMG_4215

As can be seen in the photo above, the left oblique cursive italic nib has a slanted profile, the medium nib has a rounded profile hence rounded tips on the lines, and the regular cursive italic has crisp edges.

IMG_4216

IMG_4217

The resulting line variation makes the writing more interesting-looking, for me.

IMG_4211

It has more line variation as you write.

IMG_4212

Whether you write in cursive or block letters, it makes the lines more varied and (in my opinion), a lot more interesting to look at.

IMG_4213

I initially asked for a regrind to a cursive italic because I thought that I should have at least one pen with a CI nib, just to try it out. I liked how it turned out so I had more done. If you rotate your grip a lot (like I do), you may find the crisp edges of a cursive italic nib to be a little difficult to use. That’s exactly what led me to a left oblique cursive italic. I like the slanted line a lot, and it’s more forgiving of my rotating grip. I think JP did a good job on these nibs. The beauty of getting a custom grind done is that you can have it customized to how you want to hold your pen, how crisp you want the lines to be, etcetera. I’m glad I added more CIs in my collection.

If you’re looking into getting some nibwork done, you can try contacting JP through his FB account. You may also join Fountain Pen Network Philippines.

Review: Pilot Custom Heritage 92

P4042032

I got this pen several weeks back. I was just a little too busy to post a proper review. It’s been in my pen case from the time I got it, though. It’s hard to put this pen down.

P4042045

It’s a beautiful pen. I’m not really into demonstrators but I do have a few in my collection. This one is a pretty nice addition. There’s something about demonstrators that look so clean and cool. I also like to look at the ink sloshing around the barrel. It’s a pretty pen, I must admit. The size is comfortable for my hands, but I think that people with larger hands will find it a bit on the small side. I like the size, though. I can grip it comfortably and it’s well balanced whether you post the cap or not.

P4042036

The piston is very smooth. It’s probably the smoothest piston I’ve used right out of the box. The large ink capacity makes it ideal for long writing sessions.

I like the little details of this pen. I like the ring around the cap that says Custom Heritage 92, the simple clip with a slightly beveled look, the way the nib aligns perfectly with the clip when capped, the simple design of the piston. Everything about it is simple and understated.

IMG_4121 IMG_4122 IMG_4123 IMG_4125

I like the design of the nib too. I think it’s pretty intricate, very nicely done. Although I was a little disappointed that I needed to floss it to increase the ink flow. It was a little bit dry, although I already expected that from a Japanese nib. It wrote smoothly, yes, but I wanted it to write wetter, so I flossed it a bit.

IMG_4120

After increasing the ink flow to my preferred level, writing with it was just wonderful. It’s smooth with a tiny hint of feedback. Smooth like butter. The nib is springy and offers a bit of line variation, but I really don’t write cursive so that’s not very important to me.

Here is a video of the writing sample:

I used it with different inks and it writes very well with all of them.

Overall, I love that this pen is such a smooth writer. I love the size and weight too. I wouldn’t recommend it for people with big hands, though. I got this one at a good price through a preorder from PensGalore. It’s a nice mid-level pen with a lovely 14k nib.

Nemosine Review Roundup

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I just finished reviewing Nemosine Neutrino, Fission, and Singularity these past few days. Overall, my experience with Nemosine pens is pretty good. I like that they all have very simple designs, and that they have pretty color options for each model. In terms of look and feel, I think my favorite is the Neutrino. It’s slim, doesn’t post, and the weight is just right. Even if the body is metal, the size makes the weight just right for me.

The nib is pretty standard across all three, even though Neutrino has a #5 nib and the other two have #6 nibs. Here’s another look at the writing sample of different nibs:

IMG_4064

I enjoyed the broad nib most, and the 1.1mm nib next. The broad nibs that I tried wrote pretty well, as far as steel nibs go. They don’t require tuning or fiddling (at least not those that I tried), so these pens could be great for fountain pen newbies who just want something they can use without much fuss. I also noticed that the nibs are more reliable compared with similarly priced pens.

As far as entry level pens go, all these are pretty su-weet. If you’re looking to get a pen that looks good and won’t cost too much, any one of these would be a great option.

Click here to read the review on Nemosine Neutrino
Click here to read the review on Nemosine Fission
Click here to read the review on Nemosine Singularity

All these pens are available at Everything Calligraphy (obviously one of my favorite online shops).