13 August 2020

Sailor Mini

The Japanese idea of pocket pen –also known as long-short in the West- was invented by Sailor in 1963.

Three Sailor Mini manufactured in 1963.

This type of pen, let us remember, is short when closed, but the unusually long cap posts securely and transforms the short pen into a regular-sized unit. What is key on this transformation is that the cap posts very securely onto the barrel to allow for a comfortable use.

The idea of pocket pens became very successful in Japan and most brands in this country created their own models. Sailor, in particular, marketed many different interpretations, combining many different types of nibs.

In the 1980s, this idea slowly vanished from the market. Pilot kept a variation of it until well in to the 2010s –the Pilot Vortex—, and since 2013, the Elite 95S, kept the idea alive.

Sailor, on its side, revived the name Mini.

That started as shortened versions of the ProGear. On the Mini, the barrel end has some threads there the cap screws in for secure posting. Two versions were initially available—the Mini and the Slim Mini. The first is based on the ProGear with Large nib (21 K Au), and the Slim Mini is based on the ProGear Slim with Medium sized nib in 14 K gold. Needless to say, the model names are different in foreign markets, following the very Japanese tradition of adding confusion to their own products.

ProGear Slim Mini.

At least in Japan, these Mini models were always elusive despite being in the catalog. But years later, the Slim Mini has become a common canvas for special editions made for a number of stationers in Japan. Finally, in 2019 a regular edition of Slim Mini was released in Japan.

Sailor ProGear Slim Mini in "Mozart Blue" for a shop in Osaka.

A series of ProGear Slim Mini widely available in Japan... but only in Japan. At least, nominally.

There is an additional Mini model called Profit Slim Mini. This one, however, never made to the Sailor catalog.

The mysterious Profit Slim Mini.

So, the Mini is still alive almost 60 years after its initial release, although in a very different fashion.

Sailor Mini (black, 18K Au nib) – Noodler's Beaver

Bruno Taut
Nakano, August 13th 2018
labels: Sailor, mercado

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