Namiki Impressions Sapphire

This is truly a grail pen:

The colours…

The colours on this are even more striking than on the Ruby version of the same series. Blue and purple actually go really well with the gold trim, and the purple has a perfect match in Pilot Iroshizuku Murasaki-shikibu, which I’ve decided to use for this review. 

A small pen, it’s definitely rather light, though the metal parts in the section give it a little bit of heft. It’s also slightly smaller than Pilot’s far more readily available Custom 74, and just a hair slimmer, even though they take the same #5 nib size. 

In getting any of these Pilot cigars you’re buying into an excellent nib, strong build quality, and good ink capacity with the CON-70, and the Namiki Impressions is no different. Made of cellulose acetate and sold for a while in the 90s, they are not easy to find these days. Nibs are branded with Namiki instead of Pilot, though they lack the mountain-shaped scrollwork available on today’s Namikis, instead looking like the other nibs from the Pilot Custom series. 

Namiki branding on nib and cap, with a CON-50 fitted.

The cartridge/converter system makes it a pen that’s very easy to clean, which I like. I have never needed very large ink capacities in pens that never leave the house anyway — that’s what Pelikans and TWSBIs are for! And the nib, as is usual with Pilot, can be pulled out and swapped if desired, or just for more thorough cleaning purposes.

I bought this for an absolute bargain online, and it arrived in practically new condition, with one very important caveat: the nib had been made into a stubby italic… that was really not very good. After struggling with it for a while I eventually decided to grind a fresh italic tip myself, and in the process made it a lot crisper. It’s good for real calligraphy work now.

The flow from the feed is nice and juicy, and the nib writes smoothly, though since my nib was already modified, I can’t really tell how this one would have written:

A nice crisp italic is something I can really enjoy.

I’ve spent a lot of time in the past month working on italic script, and here’s a better writing sample and close up:

I also managed to land the matching pencil, and they look absolutely stunning when used together.

No regrets, I say!

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