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So Many Sailors... Part Three!

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At long last, it is time for the third installment of my "So Many Sailors...." Saga!  Everyone loves a trilogy, especially when the third episode is as exciting as this one. Not only do I have another beautiful collection of unique and colorful Sailor releases that you may have missed over the past few years, but, this time, all the pens featured in the blog article are up to 40% off for Sailor North America’s “Don’t Miss The Boat” Sales Event, for the entire month of September, 2022!  Some of the retired Sailors we admired in my previous articles are included in the sale as well, and I will link to all Pen Boutique's sale Sailors so you can re-examine them and choose your favorites.  Prices will go back to normal on October 1st, so, if you've been eyeing a Sailor, now is your chance!  Without further ado, let's jump on the boat and check them out. 

Six Retired Sailors... plus one!

For this installment of the saga, I decided to focus on (top to bottom in my sunny photo): Fire, Ivory, Pillow Book Midnight Sky, Royal Tangerine, Ocean, and Blue Dwarf.  They look nice together in my pen tray and I thought they'd be interesting pens to feature. However, when I was recording a video with Ellen about the upcoming "Don't Miss the Boat" event (on a day the store was closed, since the sale was super-secret), I realized there was one more pen that would be very fun to share. It doesn't really go with the others, so I'm going to feature it at the end of the article in a little mid-credits scene, so to speak. That pen is the cocktail model Kure Azur, so stay tuned to see it. 

Quick Recap, Sale List, and Warning

It's been a while since "So Many Sailors...!" episode one and episode two, so you might want to refresh your memory with a quick recap of my Sailor Model Summary where I talk about pen shapes, sizes, and nibs. Just be aware, we have very limited remaining supplies of some of these discontinued designs, and can't order any more from Sailor, so, even though the pen may have originally come in a wider variety of nib choices, we may only have one or two left.  If you see one you love that's still available, act quickly.

Here's a list of all the "Don't Miss the Boat" sale models that we still have right now:

- Taupe Professional Gear Slim Mini (“Sapporo Mini”)
- Ivory ST Professional Gear (standard size) - featured in this article
- Blue Dwarf Professional Gear (slim) - featured in this article
- Key Lime: 1911S and 1911L - featured in Part Two
- Yellow/Silver Professional Gear (standard size)
- Too Hot Habanero Professional Gear: slim and standard - featured in Part Two
- Orange/Silver Professional Gear (standard size)
- Royal Tangerine: 1911S and 1911L - featured in this article
- Fire Professional Gear: slim, standard, and King of Pen - featured in this article
- Go USA Professional Gear: slim and standard
- Pen of the year 2021 (Sparkling Cranberry): 1911S and 1911L - featured in Part One
- Tea Time Fika Professional Gear: Fika Hallongratta (Swedish raspberry cookie) slim and ballpoint, plus Fika Cup (Swedish ceramics blue) standard, King of Pen, and ballpoint - featured in Part Two
- Pillow Book Midnight Sky Professional Gear: slim and standard - featured in this article
- Ocean Professional Gear: slim, standard, and King of Pen - featured in this article
- Kure Azur Cocktail Edition Professional Gear (standard size) - featured in this article
- Blue Green Nebula Professional Gear Slim - featured in Part One
- Bora Bora Waters Professional Gear (standard size) - featured in Part Two. This is our store exclusive and is not retired, but we are including it in the sale just because we love you so much! 

Fire

I love smaller pens, and I love orange, so I felt right at home with the slim version of Professional Gear Fire and decided to take it out for a date to my favorite local coffee shop. It's a beautiful rich shade that looks tempered by spices, complemented by the warm gold trim and nib. (The trim looked great with the gold on the cover of my little Yamamoto Paper Kamiterior, too!)

Fire is a North America exclusive model, and is available in Slim and Standard versions with seven nib sizes, and King of Pen version in two nib sizes:  medium and broad.  (Again, keep in mind that we may no longer have all the nib sizes that I mention.) 

The one I brought home is a music nib, which is very fun to play around with. For me, Sailor's version of the music nib isn't too extreme to use for normal writing if you like the dramatic effect of a stub. It's very juicy and bold, and showed off my ink pairing beautifully.  I think Taccia Sharaku-Akasakura is a perfect match for the color of this pen (it even has gold sheen in concentration on some paper!), as is Taccia's gorgeous Kimono Single Pen Wrap in the Nishijin Sakura Festival design (pictured in my photo).

Here's what Sailor had to say when Fire was newly released: 

Sailor Pen Co. introduces its fourth installment to the Professional Gear Series that pays homage to life’s most basic, and many believe, the most important element of life – FIRE! Since the dawn of time, Fire has been considered the most fundamental of the four Life elements vital to the development of civilization. It can give warmth and comfort, and it can also burn and destroy. It is this delicate balance that ensure one’s well-being. Sailor is incorporating this element into their latest launch – the Sailor Professional Gear Fire. This is exciting news that follows the success of the Pro Gear Sky, Earth and Ocean. Its translucent flame red-orange hue accented with gold trim truly represent the balance and energy of Fire.

The translucence of the material is subtle in this pen, but it's particularly noticeable in the grip section and gives you the feeling of fire's translucent licking flames.  The pen looks much brighter outside in the sun, and I love the  blaze color both indoors and out.

Ocean

Since it's one of Sailor's other "elements" pens, I'm going to skip to Ocean next. In the same way that the Fire pen is a reddish-orange, Ocean is a liminal shade of bluish-green. Like the Fire pen, and like the ocean itself, this pen has a subtle translucence that shows up most in the grip section and adds an overall luminous effect to the resin.

We have this Professional Gear in slimstandard, and King of Pen, and its release included all 7 nib sizes (limited to medium and broad for King of Pen). The aquamarine color pairs beautifully with 3 Oysters Marine Green, and I loved the variation in line width when writing with the Zoom nib on the standard size model I brought home.

The luminous translucent resin especially evokes the feeling of water in the sunlight, and the wide silver ring gleams.  As with many of Sailor's pens, the color changes dramatically depending on lighting.

Sailor describes Ocean this way:

Following the success of the Professional Gear Sky and Earth, Sailor is introducing its next series: the Professional Gear Ocean. Its rich translucent Blue Green hue perfectly represents the 5 mighty oceans that surround the 7 continents of the world.

It was hard to narrow down all my photos of Ocean, but I couldn't leave out this glorious nib shot. Enjoy!

Ivory

We don't have many Ivory Professional Gears left, but I really like this color, so I couldn't resist including it in my blog. It's such a simple and elegant, sophisticated pen, with its cream-colored body, cool silver trim, and glossy black accents.  Ivory was originally available in Extra-Fine, Fine, Medium, and Broad, but at the time of this writing we only have Fine and Extra-Fine left.

I like Ivory with Sailor Jentle Black. The fine nib on the one I brought home wrote so precisely and was a pleasure to use with this ink that dries to a glossy black sheen on Tomoe River paper!

(The goatskin pouch in the photo is one of our Pen Boutique exclusive bote leather sleeves.)  Professional Gear standard is a good intermediate size that fits well in the hand of both men and women, and, as I held the pen, I found myself itching to sketch something detailed with the nice fine nib. It is firm, with audible feedback, but the 21K gold has a comfortable amount of give as well. Very nice. I prefer the weight of the pen when it is unposted, but the balance is perfect both ways, so you can choose whichever feels better in your hand.

Pillow Book Midnight Sky

It got dark while I was writing this, so I think it's time to talk about Pillow Book Midnight Sky.  We have this Professional Gear in Slim and Standard versions in most of the seven nib sizes, but supplies are very limited. It gleams in the daylight, but retains its midnight blue shade even in the sun.

Sailor explains the cultural significance of the name:

Pillow Book – a collection of widely read Japanese essays written during the early 1000s is the theme of this new series from the Sailor Pen Company. Various subjects were touched in this collection of poems and anecdotes; however, one that was frequently mentioned is the four seasons. This inspired Sailor to introduce the first in their annual release of the Pillow Book series – the Professional Gear Midnight Sky. Its rich dark blue hue with rhodium trim is reminiscent of a cloudless summer night with the full moon in clear view and fireflies dancing around.

 

Sailor says this pen is perfect for late summer (i.e., August and September, aka right now!), and I agree.  Summer is the nicest time of year to be outside under the sky at midnight, although it's more likely you'll find shooting stars than fireflies, as they prefer dusk. (Oh well, maybe the Sailor writers aren't as experienced at being a night owl as I am.)

If you want to stay up past midnight to write some of your own poems and anecdotes in the Oasis Profolio on your pillow, Pillow Book Midnight Sky is the perfect companion. I love how the rhodium trim shines in the light of a bedside lamp, and the body of the pen looks very dark but is still discernible as blue, not black.

Midnight Sky pairs beautifully with Taccia Koiai, a deep blue with shiny copper sheen that shows magnificently with a Zoom nib and Tomoe River paper.

Royal Tangerine

After the delicious darkness of Midnight Sky, I think we need some brightness, so let's look at Royal Tangerine, the only 1911 I brought home this time.  I adore this intense orange color, and couldn't believe it when I saw the perfect spot for a royal tangerine photo at one of my favorite shops, Cheeky's Vintage in Hyattsville, MD. 

We carried this pen in all three sizes, but I think all the King of Pens have been spoken for by the time this blog will be released, so you can choose between Slim and Large.  The one I borrowed from the store is a Large, but Slim is nice as well! This pen is available in all seven nib sizes (Extra Fine, Fine, Medium Fine, Medium, Broad, Zoom, and Music) and we have most of them in stock, but not all.

This pen is irresistible with Kobe #11 Ikuta Orange, a juicy orange ink with with bright metallic yellow sheen!

Blue Dwarf

The Blue Dwarf pen is named for a theoretical concept in cosmology:  a class of star that develops from a red dwarf (the smallest and coolest kind of main-sequence star) after it has exhausted much of its hydrogen fuel supply.  Red dwarfs are predicted to have lifespans of trillions of years, so the Universe isn't old enough for any blue dwarfs to have formed yet, but their future existence is predicted based on theoretical models.  What a cool inspiration for a pen!

It makes sense that Sailor's Blue Dwarf has a youthful look. I love this Slim Pro Gear's cheerful shade of cobalt blue, generously sprinkled with silver specks that twinkle like stardust as you turn the pen in your hand. The depth and brightness of the sparkles varies, giving you the same feeling of depth you perceive when you gaze into the cosmos. The effect is hard to capture in a still photo, but it is very beautiful.

Sailor paints a vivid picture with their imaginative description of the pen:

The universe is ever expanding. Heavenly bodies are constantly forming and constantly evolving. Such is the case of a Blue Dwarf star, a star yet to evolve in our young and expanding universe. Sailor is introducing the next model in their Universe series – The Sailor Professional Gear Slim Blue Dwarf Fountain Pen, which is a reference to this theoretical concept of a star yet to be born.

Blue Dwarf is available in the Professional Gear Slim size with 14K rhodium plated gold nib, in all of Sailor’s seven nib sizes. There were only 1,500 pens produced in this limited edition series. 

I think the perfect match for Blue Dwarf is Colorverse Supernova, part of their Astrophysics series. We have this beautiful ink in both the full-sized set and as a cute 5 ml mini bottle. I love its shading and pink sheen!

The End... or is it?

I enjoyed these Sailor pens so much, I wish I didn't have to conclude this trilogy! But, who knows, maybe it will be one of those series that you think is over, and then another sequel comes out anyway.  Only time will tell. It has been my pleasure exploring each pen. I love how the different combinations of colors, opalescence, opacity, shimmer, trim, shape, size, and nibs each evokes a unique feeling and gives the pens distinct personalities that fire my imagination.  It's always so difficult for me to settle on a favorite Sailor, because every time I get to know a new one, the pen in my hand is the one I love!  

I worked so long on this blog last week, that this week I'm going to be able to finish early and not stay up to all hours of the night like I usually do. So, to draw the series to a close, and to celebrate the "Don't Miss the Boat" sale event, I think I deserve a relaxing cocktail.  A Sailor cocktail pen for the mid-credits scene, that is... 

Kure Azur

Sailor says:

Be it the simplicity of a Martini or the complexity of a Commonwealth, cocktail drinks are enjoyed by many, not only for their flavors, but as masterfully crafted works of art. Every year since 2011, consumers throughout Japan have been ‘served’ cocktail themed fountain pens created by Sailor ‘mixologists’. These elegant and colorful limited edition Sailor fountain pens draw their creative inspiration from cocktail drinks from around the world. They have been enjoyed and appreciated vastly throughout Japan not only for their superb writing experience but also as creative works of art.

The Professional Gear Kure Azur is Sailor's 10th installment in their cocktail series. It's inspired by the colors of azure cocktails and Kure, Hiroshima, the city where Sailor Pen Co. began manufacturing fountain pens in 1911. This standard size Pro Gear has gold trim and a striking 21K gold bicolor plated gold/rhodium nib.  It's available in two nib sizes: medium-fine and medium. I took home a medium, which showed off the shading in my ink pairing (Sailor Manyo Yomogi) beautifully, and was such a pleasure to play around with outside in the sun. No, it wasn't the same as being in the Caribbean, but it definitely made me feel like kicking back and enjoying the beautiful afternoon while on my coffee break.

The gold trim on Kure Azur is a cooler shade than the warm gold of the trim on the Fire pen, and suits this lighthearted and fun pen, which seems to be begging to party.  The translucent barrel is a beautiful azure bubbling with carbonation, while the cap is a brighter and more translucent clear blue like the color of blue Curaçao in a mixed drink. As is the case with a lot of Sailor pens, this pen transforms depending on lighting, and the cap looks more turquoise in indoor light.

I had fun trying to match the yellow finial to a lemon at Whole Foods, but my closest find was the lightest part a lime, so I garnished my Kure Azure with lime zest. Blue Curaçao liqueur is very sweet, so I think tart lemon or lime juice is a great combination. I based my drink on a recipe I found online that listed "white liquor" as one of the ingredients. I guess you can use any clear spirit you want? Okay. My homemade Kure Azur was a tasty and refreshing treat after returning home from a busy Saturday working in the store at Pen Boutique.

 -Laura P.

 


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1 comment


  • If creating this blog was half the fun I had enjoying it (and, judging by the photos, I think it was!), then late-night blogging might be just what the doctor ordered! Such richness, words and photos, really brings these magnificent pens and inks to life. Looking forward to my first visit to the store. Thanks!

    Jim George on

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