13 February 2012

Profit Realo

Pen review: Sailor Profit Realo with a Cross-music nib.

To a certain extent, this review has already been written and published on these chronicles. The two most distinctive elements of this pen were analyzed, or deconstructed, and put in the context of the current catalog of Sailor pens: Are this nib and this filling system worth the price we would have to pay for them?

I should start this review by saying that this pen is a frankenpen. This combination of nib, a specialty nib by Nagahara, and filling system is not included in the catalog of the brand—specialty nibs are associated to cartridge-converter pens. But this frankenpen allows us to cover several elements that are to be found on a number of Sailor pens.

This Sailor is the regular Realo model and NOT the limited edition from 2006 based on the King of Pen model. Regular Realo pens implement the senior nib size in 21 K gold. Smaller nibs are the junior size –in 14 and 21 K gold--, and bigger, the King of Pen nibs in 21 K gold.

1. Appearance and design. (7.0/10)
This model, the Profit, it a cigar type pen à la Montblanc. Being a Realo implies its filling system was a piston, and its barrel has an ink window. Its very obvious design, the window is framed by two golden rings, is not the most charming one—it makes me miss the more subtle appearance of original Realo made for the 95th anniversary (2006). The ink deposit is on the small size.

The decorative elements on this pen are golden, and this seems to be the only option for Realo models.

2. Construction and quality. (9.0/10)
Very good quality. The plastic material –that precious resin of some other manufacturers—is resistant to scratches. Posted, the cap fits well on the barrel and does not leave any mark. The piston action is very smooth and requires little effort. So far, this has not compromised its seal.

3. Weight and dimensions. (9.0/10)
As I mentioned on the introduction, the regular size Realo is based on the senior size in Sailor’s line of pens. This means that all senior size nibs fit in this pen’s section.

This is a well balanced pen, especially if unposted. These are the dimensions:

Diameter: 16 mm.
Length closed: 142 mm.
Length open: 122 mm.
Length posted: 157 mm.
Weight: 22.0 g.
Ink deposit: 1.0 ml.
Balance open: center of masses at 67 mm to the tip (55%-45%).
Balance posted: center of masses at 89 mm to the tip (57%-43%).

The feed is made of plastic.

4. Nib and writing performance. (9.5/10)
Sailor’s specialty nibs are indeed unique. This Cross-music is the result of overlapping two nibs. The four tines and two slits ensure a juicy and constant flow of ink. There exists a further sophistication for this (and the rest of specialty nibs)—the implementation of an overfeed, by the name of “emperor”, to make sure that the high demand of ink of this nib is met. The emperor has a hefty price—JPY 10,000 to add to the already high price of these nibs.

The 21 K gold nib. The tip is certainly big, but it is also very carefully cut.

The nib point is cut to provide a very broad horizontal line and a fine vertical one. But that is not all—increasing the angle between pen and paper the line becomes thin in all directions.

This nib performs its duty wonderfully (and therefore, there is barely any need of any overfeed), but at a high cost in material, labor and money. Much simpler fude nibs do a very similar job at a lower cost.

5. Filling system and maintenance. (7.0/10)
Sailor Realos are piston fillers, and that attracts the attention of a number of pen aficionados. However, this pen’s ink capacity –1.0 ml— is smaller than that of a Sailor converter (1.2 ml). In a sense, this pen embodies the contradictions of those who demand sophisticated filling systems regardless the ink capacity. Needless to say, Sailor Realos are not the only example of this.

Maintenance wise, any piston filler is a bit more complex than most other systems. Disassembling the piston requires some tools and not all stylophiles have them at hand or are inclined to tinker with their beloved pens.

Nib and feed, though can easily be removed from the section. Cleaning them is so an easy process.

On this picture, the piston can be seen through the window.

6. Cost and value. (6.0/10)
This is an expensive pen. Cross-music nibs are associated to pens whose price is around JPY 50000, and Realos have a tag of JPY 30000. Exchanging the nibs and selling that complete pen we did not want (a cartridge-converter pen with a regular fine or medium nib) helps to lower the price, but by not much. However, this two-fold nib is unique and provides a wonderful writing experience.

7. Conclusion. (47.5/60=79/100)
Expensive pen with a unique nib and a small self-filling ink deposit. Other Sailor pens provide similar features at lower prices by simplifying the nib or the filling system.

No company nowadays compete with Sailor in the market of innovative and complex nibs. Montblanc pens, the obvious model for the Profit, are not cheap either, but Montblanc’s nibs are nowhere near the beautiful sophistication of this Cross-music.

(Sailor Profit Realo – Athena Sepia)

Bruno Taut
February 9th, 2012
[labels: Sailor, soluciones técnicas, plumín, Montblanc]


Rafael R. Pappalardo said...

Dear Sir,
I know it's an old post but,

Could you give etails about how to remove the nib and feed. Looking at this page
It seems the nib is screw somehow. Am I wrong?



Bruno Taut said...

Thanks, Mr. Pappalardo, for passing by.

On modern Sailor pens, nib and feed are attached to the section by friction. You only need to grab them firmly and pull them out of the section.

Now, inside the section, there is a sheath that hold nib and feed together. This sheath is screwed to the section. To disassemble this are you should unscrew the metal thread (to attach the barrel) from the actual section.

Hope this helps. You can contact me through the email included in the blog profile.



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