Thursday, July 28, 2016

Review: Sailor Pro Gear Realo Fountain Pen @PenChalet

At some point, I discovered Sailor nibs are a pleasure to write with, and the Realo has a piston filler so no more refilling those tiny converters constantly. Let's take a look a this Pro Gear Realo!
Review Sailor Pro Gear Realo FP @PenChalet 13
Review Sailor Pro Gear Realo FP @PenChalet 10


Body Material: Resin
Trim: Gold
Nib material: 21KT Yellow Gold & Rhodium Plating
Cap: Screw on
Posts: Yes, friction
Length (capped): 134.6 mm/5.30"
Length (uncapped nib-end): 118.7 mm/4.67"
Length (posted): 149.0 mm/5.86"
Barrel Diameter: 11.2 - 13.1 mm/0.44" - 0.51"
Section Diameter: 10.3 - 11.3 mm/0.40" - 0.44"
Weight (all): 22 g
Weight (cap): 10 g
Weight (body): 12 g
Fill type: Piston-filler
Price: Sale $328.00 USD
Where to buy: Pen Chalet
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The Realo is presented in Sailor's standard faux leather blue gift box, which I find a bit dull, but at least it's not excessive. It's a hard clamshell case with the Sailor logo in gold on top. There is a white cardboard sleeve on the outside.
Review Sailor Pro Gear Realo FP @PenChalet 1
Inside the box, the pen is held in place by an elastic bland a white ribbon on a tan colored felt bed. The bed can be removed and there is a small folded pamphlet about the Sailor company and your pen underneath.
Review Sailor Pro Gear Realo FP @PenChalet 2
This is plain packaging, but I don't feel bad about not keeping it. It also doesn't seem (depending on how you feel about packaging at all) too wasteful.

Review Sailor Pro Gear Realo FP @PenChalet 3
The Sailor Pro Gear Realo is a full size pen but it isn't all that big. It has a round cap that tapers towards the top, a round barrel that tapers towards the end, and both ends are flat. The finial has a small gold Sailor anchor logo in the maroon top. There is a gold band around the top of the cap, and just below this, the clip is attached through a small, very snug and clean cut out. The clip is plain, coming to a rounded off end. It has no branding on it, so it isn't particularly unique.
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Near the end of the cap, there is a raised gold center band and a thinner, flat band just a small space above it. The larger band is engraved with: Sailor Japan Founded 1911. The section is round and tapers ever so slightly towards the nib, and ends in a flared ridge. The cap threads at the back of the section are set between two thin gold bands. At the start of the barrel, in the capped and uncapped position, there is a small, clear, double walled ink window that is always visible. Finally, at the end of the barrel, there is one more gold band that marks the piston turning knob.
Review Sailor Pro Gear Realo FP @PenChalet 7
I think the pen is pretty. I like the maroon cap, barrel, and section with gold trim. It's a warm color combination and is a little more fun for me than Sailor's black pens. The ink window is great, although the visual difference of the thickness of the cap and barrel disrupts the smoothness of the shape a bit.

The resin does pick up micro scratches over time, but if you don't let it rub on other pens and keep it in a sleeve when you tote it around, it'll look pretty good.
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This Realo has a two-tone 21kt nib in a hard broad. It has a single slit, a round breather hole, and is engraved with: 1911, 21K, 875, Sailor HB on the side, the Sailor anchor, and in a rhodium-plated strip, some flourishes. The nib looks thin and long, which is pretty, and I do prefer Sailor's two tone nibs to their single tone nibs, which are more common.
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Review Sailor Pro Gear Realo FP @PenChalet 9
Not surprisingly, the nib is a solid performer. I did flush it with dilute dish soap followed by water prior to inking it. Maybe this isn't necessary, but I do it for all incoming pens - inexpensive and expensive alike.
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The nib has consistent ink flow - with normal writing, there are no skips and hard starts. Sailor nibs are not typically scratchy, and this one is not, but they do offer some feedback. Personally, I like this feeling, and it's different than a super smooth 'buttery' nib. It's a surprisingly wet writer, but not a gusher. The broad writes more like a Western fine, and it is on the firm side, although it is not as rigid as I thought it would be. With regular writing and no pressure, the nib and feed keep up easily with long writing sessions and fast writing. With some pressure, the nib does offer a little bit of line variation. Drying times are on the fast side, given the wetness and width of the nib. I found the feed dries out a little when I used some pressure, but of course, that's not what it is designed for. I am pleased that it wasn't skippy on smooth paper like this Rhodia above.

The piston mechanism is smooth and that ink window is very useful.


The section is small but comfortable - no sharp ridges or anything. The threads themselves are a bit sharp but they are well out of my grip space. If you have large fingers, they might get in your way, but even so, it's not too sharp.

The clip is snug, useful, and I really like how well it works. It easily slides on and off papers, pouches, and into pockets. No problems there.

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Unposted, this pen is quite light in hand, although the length is functional. It's not too thick, and I find it quite comfortable in my hand. I do find the pen a little light for extended use when unposted - the balance and weight just doesn't feel right. The cap can be posted by friction, and it sits deeply on the barrel. This makes the length, weight, and balance just spot on for longer writing sessions. It has to be posted, or it doesn't feel right in my hand.
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Review Sailor Pro Gear Realo FP @PenChalet 11
I find the capping mechanism a little rough - the threads are clean but it takes some effort to cap it. There are quite a few threads and I can 'feel' the capping. Not a big deal, it's just an 'in hand' thing.

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I am a fan of Sailor pens, and I really love the maroon and gold of this pen. The ink window is a plus, the nib is a solid performer. However, if you don't need the piston filling system and ink window, you can pick up a 1911L for a lower price, although with a smaller ink capacity. It's a great, reliable pen, and not surprisingly, is quite dependable. I prefer the music, zoom, and regular (not hard) nibs better, but this HB puts down a consistent line. Great for those who like firm nibs and don't want something extra broad.

I received this pen at a discount for the purposes of this review. I was not compensated monetarily for my review. Everything you've read here is my own opinion.


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