Review: Sailor Pro Gear Slim Starburst Galaxy (Extra Fine)

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Hand Over That Pen, please!

Katherine: I love the finish on this pen. When Pam first told me it was one of her grail pens, I thought it was a little silly. But, seeing the pen in person… I wish I’d ordered one when they were still in stock. I have the cheaper Sailor Pro Color in Winter Sky (same finish!) on order from Engeika… It’ll get here one day.

Compared to the cheaper Sailors I have and have had (Pokemon Little Tales + Sailor Pro Color 500) I like the look of this pen much more. The shape is distinctive and, I think, nicer.

Pam:  Like Mr. Darcy, the shape and other colors available for the Sailor Pro Gear Slim were wonderful but “not enough to tempt me.”  Until I saw the Elizabeth “Galaxy” Bennett.  I really enjoy the shape of the Sailor Pro Gear Slim but it’s really the resin that took my breath away and sets this pen apart.  The shape and size is quite reminiscent of the Pilot Prera with it’s flat ends, shorter length and slim profile.

I have Katherine to thank for acquiring this pen.  The limited edition pen sold out so quickly that I didn’t even have a chance to break the piggy bank for this pen when it was first offered.  Katherine alerted me of a very kind soul in Hawaii who was willing to part with this pen at a VERY reasonable price on FPGeeks.  (THANK YOU MONTE! Mahalo!)

Franz: Well, hello Starburst Galaxy! The different colored stars are so stunning and I am quite enamored with them. The Sailor Professional Gear pen design has always piqued my interest. The Imperial Black version has been on my list for the longest time now. The flat ends, the distinctive Sailor clip, and the slight taper at the end just looks so cool. Now this is the Pro Gear Slim/Sapporo size which is just a little bit smaller than the one on my pen list. Time to try this pen out!

 

In hand: Sailor Pro Gear Slim posted
In the Hand: Sailor Pro Gear Slim (posted) — from left to right: Franz, Katherine, and Pam

 

In Hand: Sailor Pro Gear Slim, unposted
In the Hand: Sailor Pro Gear Slim (posted) — from left to right: Franz, Katherine, and Pam


The Business End

Katherine: It’s a solid nib with that touch of feedback that Sailor is famous for. Despite being an EF, the pen isn’t scratchy and puts down a good saturated line. Compared to my cheaper Sailor pens, I haven’t noticed a big difference in nib or writing quality — but the flow is much better. The Pro Color, which put down a similarly fine line, was just too dry to be very enjoyable — the Pro Gear Slim absolutely nails the balance between a wet, saturated line and an extra fine line.

Pam:  Ditto Katherine!  The nib itself is beautifully engraved and shows great care in how it was crafted. To borrow a line from Azizah and Dr. Brown, for a small nib, it has some “serious nibbage.”  It’s a dream of an EF nib by any standard, laying down a crisp, saturated, almost needlepoint like line. Surprisingly, I am able to detect sheen from inks like Visconti Blue and Bungbox Omaezaki Sea.  This EF nib lays down the finest line of all my pens, much to my delight.

Perhaps it’s the perfectly calibrated flow, but this pen leaves more feathering on cheap copy paper than my other pens.  Therefore, it’s not a pen I use for work.  I prefer it for personal use in my planners.

Franz: I love the adornments of Sailor nibs and this extra fine nib is no exception. As far as I know, Sailor has three different nib sizes and this is their smallest. It complements the size of the pen very well.

The extra fine line of this nib is quite satisfactory to write with. Just like both ladies above, I experienced a well tuned flow, and a smooth contact with the paper. I used Tomoe River paper, and a Rhodia planner.

Pam’s writing sample (on a Hobonichi)
Pam’s writing sample (on a Hobonichi)

 

Close up of the Sailor Pro Gear Slim's H-EF nib
Close up of the Sailor Pro Gear Slim’s H-EF nib

 

Write It Up

Katherine: Comfortable enough, and the EF nib is very nice. I also did some drawing with this pen, and the flow was constant and I had no hard starts. In the end though, for a long writing session, I find slightly longer pens a smidge more comfortable and pleasant to write with.

Pam:  Based on the positioning of my hands, my fingers are usually on the threads of the pen, so my “iron grip” can leave imprints after longer writing sessions. I don’t usually write full paragraphs with this nib. Instead, I plan with it daily and each weekend, filling in boxes and to-do lists.  For this particular use case, it’s ideal. I do journal with this pen, especially if I am in the mood for the finest nib that I own.  The toothiness gives way to enjoying the feel of writing on paper, particularly on Midori paper.  There are other pens I prefer to use for journaling in my Hobonichi with the Tomoe Rver paper, like the FC model 45  with cursive italic or the Lamy 2000.

Franz: I wrote with the Pro Gear Slim posted during this twenty minute exercise. Surprisingly, even with the small size of the Pro Gear Slim, I did not experience any hand cramps, or fatigue. I grip the pen where the cap and barrel meet which is the thickest part of the pen and it’s quite comfortable for me.

EDC-ness

Katherine: It’s a cute pen, and the cap unscrews fairly quickly. However, I found that the nib dried up very, very quickly — which doesn’t do well for the stop-and-go nature of my daily work note taking. I’m unsure if this is due to the ink (Bung Box Omaezaki Azure Sea) or the pen, but this is the fastest I’ve ever had a pen dry out as I’ve used it. The pen dries out quickly enough that if I think for too long between lines, it takes a squiggle or two to get it flowing again.

Pam:  I keep the Sailor Galaxy with my planner/hobonichi for it’s portability and EF nib which is more complimentary for my small handwriting and the small monthly boxes in my planner.

Franz: In my work setting, this pen performed okay. On the go, I need to take 1 and 3/4 turns to unscrew the cap, and then post it each time. So for quick signatures, and notes I found it a little annoying. Once I am (rarely) seated on my desk, I found it very nice to write with as I jot down notes.

Final Grip-ping Impressions

Katherine: This is a shorter pen than I thought it would be, but given that I know almost nothing about Sailor’s line up… take this with a grain of salt. The length is comfortable in hand for me, even unposted. Honestly, I’m scared of posting it because that may scratch up the plastic and distort the finish.

I want this pen just for the finish. It’s very pretty without being flashy or obvious. It writes great and is a comfortable size as a pocket or purse pen for me — it would be a great work pen if it didn’t dry out so quickly (sometimes I need time to think about what to write!). More science will have to be done to see if it’s the pen or the ink.

Pam:  As Darcy once said, “You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”  Yet, I have a hard time putting down exactly why I love this pen into words.

Yes, alot of it as the aesthetics, but the nib is by far one the best gold Japanese EF nibs that I have ever had the pleasure to write with.  Correction, it’s the only gold Japanese F or EF nib that I own.  Even with my own Pilot VP, I ended up swapping out the F gold nib for the F special alloy (steel) nib with a friend.  This pen is portable, beautiful and writes like a dream.  I haven’t felt the need to try any other gold EF or F nib since I have had this pen.  It fills the niche with exactly what I am looking for in a pen and in my collection overall.

Franz: I did not expect to like this Sailor Pro Gear Slim because it is a smaller pen than what I would prefer, and the nib is an extra fine. But I was so wrong. These reviews with Pam and Katherine are slowly teaching me to not judge a pen by it’s size. Or nib size for that matter.

Anyway, the Sailor Pro Gear Slim Starburst Galaxy is such a fantastic pen and I enjoyed using it. The finish is absolutely beautiful, and the nib is awesome. The only downside to this pen is the fact that I cannot use it unposted, and that this Starburst Galaxy finish is a limited edition of only 500 worldwide. I wish it were available on a standard size Pro Gear.

I leave you with one of my favorite movie lines for this pen’s beautiful finish.

“Second star to the right. And straight on ’til morning.”  

    – Captain James T. Kirk, Star Trek: Undiscovered Country

P.S. This movie line is also an homage to another well-known character. Anyone know which character it’s from?

 

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Closed pen from left to right: Pelikan M805, Franklin-Christoph Model 20, Platim Century 3776, Sailor Pro Gear Slim, Parker 75, and Lamy Safari
Closed pens from left to right: Pelikan M805, Franklin-Christoph Model 20, Platim Century 3776, Sailor Pro Gear Slim, Parker 75, and Lamy Safari
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Posted pens from left to right: Pelikan M805, Franklin-Christoph Model 20, Platim Century 3776, Sailor Pro Gear Slim, Parker 75, and Lamy Safari
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Unposted pens from left to right: Pelikan M805, Franklin-Christoph Model 20, Platim Century 3776, Sailor Pro Gear Slim, Parker 75, and Lamy Safari

 

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