Sailor is one of most popular japanese fountain pen makers. There’s a lot of discussion as to which one is better – Pilot, Platinum or Sailor. I guess it all comes to personal preference and it’s impossible to indicate the winner among the three. When it comes to pen design I consider Platinum slightly inferior to other two but, on the other hand, they have amazing nibs. Pilot offers bigger variety of designs than Sailor and Platinum but I’m not that keen on their nibs though, not before sending them to a professional who will grind them and improve the flow. Sailor on the other hand offers really great pens that perform perfectly well out of the box. Designs may not be very innovative but the manufacturing quality is high and meets my expectations. Because of this I’ve came to trust this brand. I’ve heard about some quality issues with Sailor 1911’s nibs but I haven’t experienced them and can’t base my opinion of the company on hearsay.
Anyway while scrolling through Sailor catalogue I usually drool a little. Especially while looking at Sailor King of Pen but, sadly, it’s one of the pens I can’t justify buying at the moment. On the other hand even cheaper Sailor fountain pens are more than decent. As I enjoy wet medium and broad nibs most, Japanese pens are never my first choice. The thing is that sometimes I enjoy finer lines and when the moment comes nothing can compare to Japanese medium (which, to me, is fine). That’s one of the reasons why during last years I’ve managed to gather few japanese fountain pens. And most of them bear Sailor logo.
Let’s look at Sailor Pro Gear Realo Slim. I’ll be honest. I no longer have this pen because I sold it. There was only one reason to do it – it was too small for me. I’ve bought this pen on eBay for reasonable price and used it for some time before passing it to someone else.
Sailor Professional Gear continues the Japanese pen tradition of classic and understated shapes and materials, but with some twist. It’s transparent and has nice shade of light blue. The flat-topped pen is made with a highly polished acrylic glass, and has rhodium-plated accents (clip, trim, nib). Sure, the looks of the pen aren’t extremely exciting or fresh but I find blue clear version of Pro Gear Realo appealing.
The nib on this one was very, very smooth, slightly different than the medium nib I have in Sailor 1911 Black Luster. It’s 14K Gold Rhodium plated nib and can be bought in following sizes EF, F, M, B, Z, MS. Sailor medium is actually finer than, for example, Waterman Hemisphere medium but it gives great feeling of gliding across the paper. It’s not soft, but still it’s very smooth.
Nothing exciting – proprietary cartridge / converter. It works well, it’s easy to clean, and that’s all.
Pro Gear Slim is small. Too small for me. It’ll suit the taste of Pelikan M200 fans.
Closed – 12.8 cm
Capped – 14.6 cm
All in all Sailor Pro Gear Realo Slim Sky Blue is great fountain pen. It’s turned out to be too small for me but apart from this I enjoyed everything else: design, color, construction quality, feel of the pen in the hand,nib. If only I’ll have a chance to buy bigger version of this pen (Pro Gear Realo Sky Blue) for reasonable price (50 % of MSRP) I’ll do it.