Nagasawa Penstyle Proske Demonstrator (Sailor 1911 Standard)

Under £120 ($157) for two Kobe inks and a store-exclusive Sailor is a deal that really shouldn’t be passed up. The Kobe inks (at 61!) cover far wider ground than most other premium lines, and are far more consistent across the whole range than all makers. 

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This came with a gold-plated converter, too; I got them mixed up…

What you get for your money (after taking away the price of the two bottles of ink) is an exclusive pen for less than RRP. The cap band differs from the regular Sailor pen by being thinner — it doesn’t extend all the way to the lip. The etchings on it also say NAGASAWA PenStyle instead of SAILOR JAPAN FOUNDED 1911. It functions as any other Sailor would: with their shockingly small converter (~0.6ml) or a cartridge. Either way, no fuss.

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A perfectly tasteful amount of bling.

The nib itself has completely different scrollwork: Nagasawa’s logo takes pride of place instead of the anchor logo, with 14K below that and then a Sailor logotype. The nib size designation goes on the left edge, as is typical with Sailor. The border is also a simpler single-line design instead of the curly edge found on other nibs.

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A simple design, executed very well.

The rise of the Jinhao 992 and similar models of Chinese knock-off beg the question: if you can get a purely functional pen for 99p, why pay a hundred times that? The answers always come back to the same handful of things: build quality, quality control, design, and experience of use. In my opinion, owning both (the Jinhao will be reviewed at a later date), and knowing full well that one can be cheaply sacrificed while the other costs a good few hours’ pay… I still bring the Proske around. The writing experience with a Sailor nib is simply far beyond anything a Chinese pen can offer.

The extra-fine nib on this is absolutely wonderful. I enjoy my nibs very fine, and Sailor’s famous feedback is thus even more evident here. Yet it still writes smoothly, and the feed provides enough ink to keep the pen moving across more textured papers like Rhodia or Fabriano. Tomoe River simply bends to the nib’s will like grass in the wind.

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A 5mm grid means the x-height of the text is less than 2mm!

Overall, this is a deal I hugely recommend, both in terms of aesthetics — I think this looks better than the regular Sailor 1911 — and the fact that you get two bottles of ink with it. What better way to get started on a Kobe ink collection?

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