Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sailor's Piston

Two are the basic arguments for stylophiles to favor self-filling systems –and eyedroppers— over the more modern and convenient cartridge-converter scheme. The first one, already analyzed, is the romantic appeal associated to this beautiful but obsolete writing tool (CE—Romanticism).

The second argument is the usual claim that traditional filling systems hold more ink. The first critique to this claim is whether we really want big ink deposits (CE—In Defense of Small Deposits). And there is a second one—is that claim on the ink capacity correct? Are self-filling mechanisms that capable?


This question, however, only makes sense when comparing similar pens. One such example are the Profit and Professional Gear models, by Sailor, with 21 K gold nibs in senior size.


Piston filler Sailor Profit Realo.

On the Profit version (torpedo, also called 1911 in some markets), the piston filler Realo holds 1.0 ml of ink according to my own measurements. And this pen is only available in three nib points: F, M, and B. The cost, JPY 31500.

Cartridge-converter Profit with a Naginata togi nib.

Professional Gear with an F nib.

On the other hand, the cartridge-converter version holds either 0.7 ml (converter) or 1.2 ml (cartridge), implements nine different nibs, and its price ranges between JPY 21000 (with nibs EF, F, MF, M, B, and zoom) and JPY 31500. All these facts also apply to the Professional Gear models, Realo and cartridge-converter, with the exception of a shorter nib selection.

This table summarizes the differences between Sailor models associated to the filling system.

Therefore, the price difference associated to the piston mechanism is JPY 10500. In view of these results, is it worth to pay such a premium for a piston filler whose ink capacity was smaller than that of the ink cartridge? How romantic are you, dear stylophile?

(Sailor Pocket pen, 14 K gold nib – Pilot Iroshizuku Sho-ro)

Bruno Taut
December 5th, 2011
[labels: Sailor, soluciones técnicas, conversor, estilofilia]

1 comment:

Kostas K. said...

Great blogging, straight to the point! I have been refilling cartridges for years now,
Needles, syringes, measures and eyedropper pipettes romanticize old transfer and mixing methods of liquids!
But, ze Germans will tell you, we have bigger tanks...
Real romantics and real calligraphers use dip pens!

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