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The Sailor 1911 Standard (Demonstrator)


This review has been a long time coming. Ron at Pen Chalet was kind enough to send this out to me for review ages ago, and it's taken me until now to review it. That's not usually how it goes, but there was a bit of an issue with this pen, and it needed some TLC before I could really review it. More about that later, but suffice to say that it was weird and not something for you to worry about if you want to get one of these pens.


Sailor 1911 Standard
Street Price: ~$156
Available colors: Lots of them.
Nibs: XF, F, M, B, MF, Zoom, and Music. 
Trim: 24k gold
Inclusions: 2 cartridges and a Sailor converter.


The Sailor box is a big, substantial box that would make a nice presentation box. It's a dark navy (midnight?) blue with gold trim and the name and logo in gold.

Oh. Look. My cereal made it into the picture. Sure, I could have cropped it out. I didn't, though.

Inside, it's a white silk lining with the name and logo again. There's a little removable bed/pillow thing with a strap on it. Pretty typical, but the box is pretty nice. Not the nicest box I have (that honor goes do a Delta Fusion 82), but it's better than lots of them.

Under that pillow you'll find the paperwork, cartridges and the converter. I really like when a box has this space under the pen. It's irritating that some don't because you just have cartridges and such rattling around in there. Hooray for hidden spaces!


I really like the way that this pen looks. That was a surprise, as I usually shy away from gold furniture. Sometimes it's just a gold colored plating that ends up looking cheap. Not so, this pen! It's 24k plating and it looks rad. There will be lots of pictures of this pen. It's hard not to take pictures of it. 

Yeah. This is the same picture as the one at the top of the page. So what. Wanna fight about it?

The nib on this pen is also kinda pretty. It's not the best-looking Sailor nib (I really love the two-tone ones the best), and it's a little bit busy, but there's something about it that I really like. I don't know what it is, but it calls to me.

 The body of the pen is transparent, so you can see some things that you generally wouldn't. The inner parts of the cap, the threads where the body meets the end of the pen, the threads where the nib unit screws into the grip section. The body also seems to be fairly tough. I post this pen (it's a little short if I don't) and I I can't see any scratches or scuffs.

The following is a gratuitous nib-shot.

I like the detail on the tip of the cap. It's difficult to photograph, but there is a column of clear plastic in the finial that makes it look very interesting from the top-down view. The clip has a graceful shape and it works just as it should. It clips on pockets and plackets just fine. Quite secure without being too tight to function.

The big gold band at the waist of this cap is a very nice touch. Full disclosure, I don't love it on the solid-color pens, but it's really attractive on this transparent one. It adds just the right break-up between the cap and the barrel when it's capped. It reads "Sailor Japan Founded 1911" around the band. Good font. Good placement. Looks great.

The only draw-back to a clear demonstrator pen is that this tends to happen. After a fresh fill (and a ride in my pocket), some ink leaked onto the nib and collected at the base of this inner cap. It was easy enough to clean out when I removed the inner cap with the eraser end of a pencil. Hey, who said pencils aren't useful?

Nib Performance

This was where the issue was. When I received the pen, it did not want to write. It was kind of okay on the down-strokes and the left-to-right strokes, but it just didn't do much of anything on the up-stroke or the right-to-left stroke.

I've had this problem with pens before, and I thought it was probably a badly adjusted nib or something. So, I got it to my friend Jim Rouse who had offered to take a look at it for me. Super grateful for that. He has a ton of experience with fountain pens.

I also thought it might have something to do with the shape of the nib. It's a little odd, and I thought maybe it was a problem. Turns out that it isn't a problem at all. The nib was fine. The tipping is a little odd, but it's not defective. It's just got a slant to it.

The problem turns out to have been some glue that got onto the feed during production. They use a little bit of glue to keep the nib unit in the section, and that had gotten into the feed. It wrecked the ink flow, but Jim says that it came out easily when he put it in the ultrasonic cleaner. After that? It works perfectly. Hooray!

The flow is a little on the wet side, and the nib angle takes a little getting used to, but neither of these are problems.

How's it Feel?

It feels really good. The pen is light, but not too light. The length is a little short on this model, but it posts really well so I use it that way. The section is a little bit small, but I have large hands so I often feel that way. It measures at around 10mm at the section, and I generally like about 11-12mm. It's just a shade narrower than I prefer. No big deal for anyone who doesn't have big hands. If you have big hands, then you might like the large sized model better. It's more expensive, but more comfortable for some folks.


The following pictures are a bunch of comparisions to other pens that people might have in their collections. I'll let the pictures do the talking, but please feel free to ask questions in the comments section.

These next couple are a bit over-exposed. I don't know what the deal was, but I had issues making my camera behave for these. I think it was a combination of too much sunlight and too much shiny metal.

Esterbrook J, Sailor 1911S, Sailor Pro Gear

Faber-Castell Ondoro, Sailor 1911S, Sailor Pro Gear

Ugh. So washed out. Just look at these for size comparisons. They're all more beautiful in real life.

Here's the gold 1911 nib next to the two-tone Pro Gear nib. See what I mean? That two-tone is hot. The regular one is nice, though.

Video Review
 This is a super-long video review (for me), but it's not half bad.


I try not to tell people to buy pens that I've been sent for review at no charge. I can tell you that this pen is pretty great, though. I had some issues in the beginning, but that was a fluke that I've never heard of before. I know lots of Sailor owners, and none of them have had any problems. Buy with confidence. 

The only real issue that you might have with Sailor pens is the size. The low-cost ones are on the small side, and they might not be great for folks with large hands. That said, the nibs are great. They're typically nails, but that's fine if they write well. I don't really want flexible nibs most of the time anyway.

Find this at any place that sells Sailor pens. Check them out at Pen Chalet!

***This pen was sent to me at no charge for review, but all impressions in this review are my own and uninfluenced.***

Post Comment
Martin said...

Why don't you tell us what grade of nib it is? It's rather important.