Sailor is a very interesting fountain pen company. They introduce more limited and special edition pens a year than any other pen manufacturer, and they are always looking for new and interesting designs. The late Mr. Nagahara of Sailor was arguably the most skilled and ingenious nib makers and designers ever to live. One of Sailor’s most popular pen models, the 1911, is a pen that most fountain pen enthusiasts will be familiar with. It is a staple in the pen community, with its classic body style and immensely popular nib. The 1911 Large comes with a 21 karat gold nib, one of the highest nibs in gold content available today. The 1911 Large (L) sells for around $280, while the Standard (S) sells for between $150 and $200. The Sailor 1911 Tangerine is a special edition Sailor pen sporting one of the most vibrant colors that the 1911 has to offer.
Let me begin by discussing the appearance of the pen itself. The 1911 Large is a larger pen (hence the name) with a cigar-shaped body. Every inch of the pen is a beautiful orange color with a glossy finish, with the exception of the chrome trim (which includes the trim ring, clip, and center band). The chrome nib leans towards the larger side, with classic Sailor nib engravings adorning it. The pen is slightly over 5 inches long when capped, and a just a tiny bit longer when posted. It is around 4.5 inches when uncapped and unposted. As far as appearance goes, that’s just about all I have to say. Besides the great color of this pen, the body is fairly stereotypical.
Now for some technical aspects: The pen is a cartridge/converter filler, and it comes with two Sailor cartridges as well as one Sailor converter. It is a relatively light fountain pen, as it is made of resin. The grip is a little slippery, as it is a glossy pen, but this matters very minimally in the overall performance of the instrument. The cap is a screw on (as many in this price range will be), and the clip is, well… normal. It’s a long clip, rounded at the end, and frankly, it’s about as simple as clips get.
The best word to describe the packaging of this pen is fine. As with most 1911s in this price range, the pen comes in an inexpensive fake leather box, which has a grey velvet platform inside. Underneath this removable platform is the small user’s guide and two Sailor black ink cartridges (standard international size). The pen is held down with an elastic band and a ribbon. Sailor is printed in gold lettering on the top and inside the lid of the box. For the price of this pen, I would expect more from the box. Although some other pens in this range come in similar boxes, others such as the Pilot Custom 823 or the Pelikan 400 come in much nicer, more extravagant packages that really match the price point of the pen. This one needs some work.
And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: the nib! Sailor pens are essentially caddies for the Sailor nibs (with the exception of Maki-Es and other limited editions), as the nibs are the main attraction. Sailor nibs are known for their outstanding writing experience and are some of the finest factory nibs available. After trying the 21k gold nib in medium-fine, I can only agree that the writing experience of the Sailor nib is like no other. The MF nib is smooth with a moderate amount of feedback, which provides for an almost pencil-like writing experience (the MF nib will have more feedback than a 21k M or B). The 21k gold nib is quite flexible for a non-flex nib. Just by looking, the line variation is easily 2×. This nib is fun to play with, but also great for everyday writing. A long writing session with this nib would be a breeze. Any fountain pen collector or connoisseur should try to get their hands on one of these. In my opinion, it is a must-have in the fountain pen world.
And below is a writing sample using the 1911 MF nib with Jentle Blue-Black (review coming soon). Pardon my handwriting. I noticed that when flexing, railroading is a possibility (seen in the second and third loops). Also note that the nib can be flexed wider than I chose to flex it below, but I was not looking to push its boundaries too far and possibly damage it.
I would recommend the Sailor 1911 to anyone who is ready to get serious in the world of fountain pens. It is a great next-next level pen, for those who are ready to become hardcore collectors or connoisseurs. It is also a great choice for anyone looking for a gold nib EDC with a little more flex (though the 1911S is a better EDC pen than the L in my opinion). The body is simple but effective, and the nib is up there with the best of them. I give the Sailor 1911 Large Royal Tangerine 5 stars because although the packaging leaves something to be desired, the pen itself is outstanding. If you decide to bring this pen to work, though, be careful not to drool when looking at the nib! The 1911 L Tangerine is available here on Goldspot.
Tune in for upcoming posts! I assure you that some posts worth mentioning will be coming out soon.