29 November 2013

F-4 Nibs

Some weeks ago I spoke about the newly arrived Pilot Kaküno, an entry-level pen –JPY 1000, plus taxes— aimed at the school student. That pen, I already said at the time, was not alone in the Japanese market, where the competition among the big three pen companies is intense.

Today I wanted to speak about a similar product made by Sailor—the High-Ace. This particular model is no longer on production, and has been replaced by the High-Ace Neo, which implements a plastic barrel in five different colors. The original High-Ace had cap and barrel made of steel, while the section is made of black plastic.

The all-steel Sailor High-Ace.

The nib, in the original High-Ace, is made of steel, gold plated, and is labeled as F-4. It is tipped, and cut as F. Its performance is correct and reliable, fairly rigid, with no special feature to remark. However, older units of the High-Ace pen carry an additional inscription on the nib: Made in Taiwan.

The Japanese and the Taiwanese nibs of the Sailor High-Ace.

This is not the first time we see a Taiwan-made nib (or pen) by Sailor (see ::1:: and ::2::). We know Sailor started a manufacturing plant in Taiwan in 1973, and it was devoted to cheaper products of the company.

The F-4 nib was also marketed as Sheaffer during the 1970s and 1980s. During those years, Sailor was the importer of Sheaffer in Japan, and was allowed to manufacture and sell as Sheaffer some lower end pens. Now, it is reasonable to wonder whether those “Sheaffer” F-4 nibs were made in Japan or in Taiwan.

The very cheap Sailor Ink-Pen (JPY 1000, plus tax) also implemented the F-4 nib, albeit without any tipping, and devoid of any plating.

The Sailor Ink Pen...

...and its untipped F-4 nib.

These are its dimensions of the original High-Ace:
  • Length closed: 135 mm
  • Length open: 123 mm
  • Length posted: 148 mm
  • Diameter: 11 mm
  • Weight (dry): 21.3 g
  • Ink deposit: 1.2 ml (cartridge), 0.7 ml (converter)

The price of the High-Ace was JPY 1000, plus tax.

Twsbi Diamond 530, Kubo's music nib – Gary’s Red Black iron-gall ink

Bruno Taut
Madrid, November 28th, 2013
etiquetas: Sailor, Sheaffer, Taiwan


Anonymous said...

You said, "The price of the High-Ace was JPY 10000, plus tax."

Did you mean JPY 1000 not 10000? The High-Ace Neo is USD $10 (Engeika).

Regards, David

Bruno Taut said...

Thanks, David. You are totally right. Corrected.


Unknown said...

I have a high ace taiwan pen what number of nibs has and where to order sorry google translate

Bruno Taut said...

Alexandru Suciu,

It all depends on where you live. My first idea to replace a nib would be to send the pen to Sailor for repairs. Now, pens with F4 nibs are not that expensive and valuable and might not be worth to fix them.

I am not so sure, though, I understood your comment. Using Google Translate does not exempt you from using periods on your sentences.


Harits Insan Kamil said...

Hello Bruno, interesting post. can i ask you how to remove the nib & feed from the front barrel, is it the same like pulling parker vector nib (with thread / scalp blade on the end of feed fin then pull straight) because i tried several method like twisting, barehand pulling and with scalp blade (dull but fit enough to grab the end feed fin) to straight pull but it wont open. My fp is sheaffer X Sailor Sentinel with japan F-4 gold tone high ace nib.

Bruno Taut said...

Harits I Kamil,

On the High-Ace, nib and feed are friction-fitted in the section. So, you only need to grab them securely (a rubber material will help) and yank them out. The Sheaffer might be different, though.



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