Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sailor´s Paradox

I have already complained on these Chronicles on the difficulties, on modern Japanese pens, to find interesting nibs combined with self-filling systems other than the boring –albeit convenient— cartridge-converter scheme.

The "Mannenhitsu Doraku" pen released on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of Sailor. It implements a beautiful Cross point nib, and a sad converter.

Two Cross points. On the right, the nib implemented in the above mentioned "Mannehitsu Doraku". On the left, a two-fold nib made by nibmeister Yamada based on a Pelikan M800. Both nibs are very similar. However, Yamada´s work is backed by a big ink deposit operated by a piston.

The case of Sailor pens is particularly interesting. This company is arguably the most exciting producer of nibs nowadays. Sure enough, other companies make good nibs, but none of them has reached, in my opinion, the level of sophistication and innovation achieved by nibmeister Nagahara for Sailor. His combination of overlapped nibs and overfeeds and variable points has introduced a new dimension to the idea of nib and to the actual writing experience with a fountain pen.


The Sailor catalog does not consider the Naginata Togi nib as a specialty nib by Mr. Nagahara. However, a number of his creations are based on this variable point nib. On the image, a Naginata Togi in M.

This is one such casethe Concord nib with the emperor (overfeed) is based on the Naginata Togi.

Most of those nibs, and certainly the Cross (two-fold nib) and the Eagle (three-fold) ones, with or without overfeed, are high on ink demands. And here we have the paradox: Those nibs are always associated to cartridge-converter systems whose ink deposits are never that big. At the same time, the contrast between those exquisite nibs and the unsophisticated cartridges and converters is too hard to ignore. Exactly the same cartridge or converter can be found in a big oversized King of Pen in lacquered hard rubber, and in an all plastic Clear Candy. The piston-filler model Realo, let us remember, is only available with the standard triad of nibs F, M and B, at least in the Japanese market according to Sailor´s catalog.

The Cross Music. A magnificent two-fold nib.

The disappointing insides of the pen with the Cross Music nib.

Can we avoid our disappointment? Is it too much to ask for equally sophisticated systems on nibs and on filling systems? Sailor has already made the hardest part; that is, creating unique nibs unmatched by any competitor. The rest should be a lot easier.

And I know I am not the only one who thinks this way.

My thanks to my friends Mr. JLML, Mr. Noguchi, and Mr. Yamada.

(Sailor Profit with Naginata Togi nib – Diamine Evergreen)

Bruno Taut
September 20th, 2011
[labels: Sailor, soluciones técnicas, plumín, Yamada]

1 comment:

Writers Tool said...

I have to agree with you here; while I love Sailor pens and particularly the craftsmanship of their gold nibs, I am frequently dismayed by the low quality and dismal design of their method of ink supply (converter/cartridge) to the nib. I often wonder how much closer to perfection their pens would be if they paid as much attention to the rest of the pen as they do the nib. Ahh, well, such is their way.

I enjoyed your story and your blog.

Thank you.
Greg

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