Sailor Pro Gear Slim Red Pearl SE

A third-hand pen for which the previous two users said it was too scratchy? Sign me up!

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The PG Slim is really quite petite!

A small pen with an even smaller nib, the Pro Gear Slim in the Red Pearl finish is only available with Sailor’s specialty saibi-togi nib. Imagine a pen that doesn’t come in a point size larger than 0.1mm! That’s what this one is, and though the finish is beautiful, you have to know what you’re in for if you want to take the plunge.

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Closeup of nib and cap band.

There is a very slight shimmering in the body material. Under dim indoor conditions it doesn’t show up at all and appears to be a red pen, but once there is good light (or outdoor light) it really sparkles — and it’s not even ostentatious! The silver trim on the pen makes it look more modern than it would be in gold, and the flat ends are done in black. Very stylish.

As usual, the Pro Gear Slim is a cartridge/converter pen, and I’ve moaned enough about Sailor’s tiny converters. The nib creep on this is absolutely delightful though, since the scrollwork allows the ink to fill all the grooves and throw the Sailor logo into contrast. H-SEF is also engraved on the left side (see above), which means “hard super extra fine”. 

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Small nibs are so my thing!

And yes, I do love my extra fines, but even this took a lot of getting used to. Nagahara-san at Sailor has developed a nib that isn’t a round point. Instead, what you write with is the tip of an inverted pyramid, so it’s almost like you’re writing with the tip of a knife. It can easily gouge paper if you’re not careful, and will bleed on papers with tooth, like in the above picture on Fabriano.

But on smoother sheets it’s very rewarding: it encourages you to slow down, to concentrate on the act of writing, where you are going to need good posture to handle the pen correctly. You can’t use any pressure at all, or it’ll bite into the paper. And the sharp feel of the nib against the surface is very unsettling, making the Platinum UEF nib a cakewalk in comparison.

This is a very unforgiving pen. It will not take quick notes for you, or, for the vast majority of fountain pen users, come anywhere close to a daily writer pen. But take the time to know it well, and it is well worth the effort, producing a precise, controlled line in the way only a really good super extra fine can.

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And yet it will always be scratchy.

I’ve come around to it, and currently keep it inked over the Platinum. I like its smaller size and the way it handles. Use a good ink in it though — it is very dry!

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