19 October 2016

Sailor Profit Slim Mini (II)

This pen, the Sailor Profit Slim Mini is not new in the market. In fact, I spoke about it last year—Sailor made a small batch (120 units) to be sold at some Sailor Friendly Shops located in West Tokyo. They came in different colors and implemented medium-sized nibs made of 14 K and 21 K gold of both the regular H (hard) and Naginata lines of nibs. And not much more was known.

This pen comes with a pouch.

120 units are not that many even if concentrated in such a localized area. After all, the Kanto region, where Tokyo and Yokohama and Kawasaki are located, hosts about 34 million people. However, there are still some units left at some of those Sailor-favored shops.

On the front, a small Profit (1911 in some markets) in black. This particular unit implements a 21 K gold nib. The Slim Mini is significantly shorter albeit their caps are of the same size.

A characteristic of the Mini series of modern Sailors (flat tops and balance models) is the possibility to screw the cap on the barrel by means of some ad-hoc threads.

And right now (on issue 39, October 2016), the Japanese publication Shumi-no Bungubako (趣味の文具箱, by EI Publications; ISBN: 978-4-7779-4230-5) offers this same pen to its customers. This is a regular policy of this publisher: special editions that can only be bought through them. These special pens usually are variations on well-known Japanese pens. Sailor is a regular provider of these pens, but by no means the only one.

The Shumi-no Bungubako versions of the Profit Slim Mini share the price with the older models offered by the Sailor Friendly Shops: JPY 18,000, plus tax. The colors are completely different and unique: blue –which is labeled as “limited”– and pearl white.

The Profit Slim Mini on the page 110 of the magazine Shumi-no Bungubako (issue 39, October 2016) offering this model in two different variations. Only the blue (on top) is said to be "limited" (限定).

And the question posed last year remains open: is this a pen to test the market, a prototype of future models of Sailor’s? So far, we only know that this model, the Sailor Profit Slim Mini, is still alive.

Pilot Myu 701 – Montblanc White Forest

Bruno Taut
Shinjuku, October 16th , 2016
labels: Sailor, mercado, Shumi-no Bungubako

08 October 2016

Changes in Eboya

Noritoshi Kanesaki, the master behind Eboya Pens stopped working for the company (Nikko Ebonite) this past August. The company has hired new personnel to continue with the pen business. However, the production might slow down due to the need of training.

An Eboya Hôga with the box signed by Mr. Kanesaki, the former pen master of Eboya pens.

Mr. Kanesaki, at work in 2011, when Eboya pens were still named Nebotek.

On his side, Mr. Kanesaki is starting his own business of pen repairs, and taking orders for special editions in the city Kawaguchi, very close to Tokyo in the province of Saitama.

Platinum Wagner 10th Anniversary – unknown ink

Bruno Taut
Nakano, September 11th , 2016
labels: Kanesaki Noritoshi, Eboya

03 October 2016

Sizes 30 and KOP

This Chronicle is, in a sense, a natural continuation to the text in which I presented the newly released Pilot Custom Urushi. One of the goals of this new pen was to compete with the successful King of Pens (KOP) series of Sailor’s, and therefore, comparing them is only logical. That is what I am doing today.

The differences in size between these two pens are very clear in the body, and not so much in the nib. But in both cases, the Pilot is bigger than the Sailor. For the pictures I chose the ebonite version in balance shape (King Profit Ebonite) of the KOP series of pens.

Sailor King Profit in ebonite on top; Pilot Custom Urushi on bottom.

The differences in price are also noteworthy; The Pilot Custom Urushi costs JPY 88000, and the King Profit Ebonite, JPY 70000. There are cheaper and more expensive versions of the Sailor KOP: between JPY 60000 for the basic version in plastic to JPY 80000 for the Mozaique series. Versions coated with urushi start at around JPY 150000, but they are not usually included in the Japanese catalog (retrieved October 2016). All prices quoted without sales tax (8% in Japan).

The nibs, side by side. Sailor's is made of 21 K gold. Pilot's, 18 K.

The picture is out of focus, but it works to show the difference in size between the KOP and the size 30 nibs.

The writing feeling of the size 30 nib, in my limited experience, is a lot more pleasant than that of the Sailor’s unit—softer, smoother, richer… But that is only my appreciation.

The relevant question, however, is shared by many—is the Pilot Custom Urushi worth JPY 18000 than the Ebonite King Profit by Sailor? In exchange we would get some urushi coating, and a larger nib with a lower gold content (if that mattered to anyone: 18 K in Pilot’s, 21 K in Sailor’s).

Pilot Myu 701 – Montblanc White Forest

Bruno Taut
Nakano, October 3rd, 2016
labels: plumín, Pilot, mercado, Sailor, urushi