18 January 2013

Taiwanese Sailor

Records say that Sailor Pen Company opened a manufacturing plant in the Republic of China, aka Taiwan, in the early 1970s. It started operations on October 1973. it remains unclear whether that plan is still active today, but there seems to be no Sailor fountain pen manufactured in Taiwan nowadays. Some claim, though, that some pen parts, like the F-2 nib, are still manufactured in there.

This pocket pen I am showing today came out from that plant, as the engraving on the section clearly implies. It is an inexpensive pen. Contrary to most pocket pen models, there is no central ring keeping section and barrel together. Instead, the section is build with a plastic thread on which the barrel is attached, and a narrow metallic ring separates externally both pieces and limits the movement of the cap when closing the pen and when posting it on the barrel.

On the other side of the barrel, another engraving reads "412", possibly a code number of the model.

However, the most relevant indicator of how inexpensive this model was is the gold-plated steel nib. The problem does not lay on the material –we all know of excellent nibs made of stainless steel— but on the quality of the steel. The gold plating hided some imperfections on the base material—some pores that showed poor manufacturing conditions. The nib is engraved with the company logo and the label F-1. It dates from mid 1970s.

A relevant question is whether Sailor kept the Taiwanese plant for simpler and inexpensive models. Let us remember that around that same time (mid 1970s) Sailor was producing 23 K gold nibs.

The steel nib of the Taiwanese Sailor.

A 23 K gold nib by Sailor. An expensive way to avoid corrosion.

This pen, as was the case on all Sailor pocket pens nowadays, can only be inked with proprietary cartridges (and by refilling them with our ink of choice, of course). These are its dimensions:
Length closed: 112 mm.
Length open: 95 mm.
Length posted: 137 mm.
Diameter: 12 mm.
Dry weight: 9.8 g.

The Push, celluloid lever filler – Diamine Graphite

Bruno Taut
Yokohama, January 18th, 2013
etiquetas: Sailor, Taiwan


Kostas K. said...

Hi Herr Taut ;-)
I have a Taiwanese Sailor, it is the forefather of the A.S. Manhattaner/Clear Candy. It is White with blue ends, Pierrot Faces on it, the faint words Pierrot Love and a white Heart on the Blue top of the cap. A real macho pen indeed...
On the nib is the inscription "Sailor F-2 MADE IN TAIWAN". The quality is ok, the (fine) nib is very good. Obviously not the most expensive of Sailors! so the Taiwanese factory probably was for the lower models only.
All the best and thank you for your great blogging,

Bruno Taut said...

Thanks a lot, Kostas K, for your comment and for the information.

Your Sailor Candy was marketed in 1979. I did not know its nib was made in Taiwan, and that is indeed interesting. I will add that your model also implemented a three-tined music nib! Of course, made of steel. Quite a treat for such an inexpensive pen.

Your comment also reminds me that your Sailor Candy is the true origin of the present Clear Candy released on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the company.

Thanks again for passing by and for taking the effort of commenting.


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