Thomas Bates

Brief Thoughts

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Sailor 1911L

Only a few weeks after receiving my Sailor Pro Gear Slim “White Russian,” I realized I would need to get many more Sailors. Sailor 1911L Nib

As I looked for potential candidates, a friend shared info of the site PenSachi, where a black semi-translucent Sailor 1911 Large was for sale at a great price. I purchased this in a H-B (Hard-Broad) nib, and I have not been disappointed.

Sailor 1911L 2

The size of the pen is very comfortable unposted. I have used the pen for some long writing sessions without any discomfort. With my Pro Gear Slim, my grip sometimes “tightened” around the section, creating a pretty uncomfortable grip that I’ve had to mind. This doesn’t happen as much with the 1911L, though my grip does still slide further down the section than I might like, and sometimes I prefer to hold the pen on the treads to prevent this.

I’ve gone through several converters worth of ink with the pen at this point. Originally, I had inked it with Robert Oster Muddy Crown, which was a great combination (not to mention a lovely ink). Currently I have a Sailor Black cartridge in the pen - boring to look at, but well behaved.

As with my Pro Gear Slim, the nib is very smooth and simply a joy to write with. I do find that I need to be attentive of my bad habbits - if I rotate the pen too much to the right, it lets me know by scratching.

Sailor 1911L 3

I don’t have much to say about this pen’s looks. It’s a black cigar shaped pen with gold adornments - dollar a dozen looks. When I take the Men In Black lineup to work, people ask why I have four of the same pen (Sailor 1911L, Platinum President, Montblanc 149, and Platinum 3776… even though it’s in Red). PenSachi marked this pen as a “Black Demonstrator” and I wasn’t really sure what to expect with that. It is ever-so-slightly translucent, and this isn’t really noticeable unless it’s in the right light. As someone who isn’t a big fan of demonstrators in general, I have no problems with this. I like the look of this pen; it’s low key and “refined” if you’d like to use that word. I will say I much prefer this clip to the other Sailor clip - they also make a clip with an anchor at the top, something I find gaudy and unbecoming.

The Broad nib is, as expected, more like a Medium in Western sizes. It’s nice to write with, but far from exciting. The ink it lays down is consistent, not too wet, not too dry, and fairly flat unless the ink is exceptional. If you want a nib that is going to really lay down huge amounts of ink and show off some character, this is not the nib for you. For that, I would suggest a Zoom or Music nib. I’ll be talking about my experience with a Zoom nib in a different pen soon. Boring but Reliable has a place though, especially in my social service work. I’d like to expand the Boring Brigade by adding an M-F nib somewhere.

I’m easily pleased and rarely have bad things to say about a pen unless it is exceptionally bad. That said, there are two things that come to mind for me, which keep this pen from being perfect. Number One? The converter. I’m not a fan of Sailor converters. They’re certainly reliable, and I haven’t had any leaks or anything such as that. However, all three of mine have a singular desire to be disassembled. The casing that holds the piston into the reservoir loves coming undone when I’m inking or cleaning, and this happens consistently with all of them. If you like to disassemble your converters when cleaning, this could be a feature. I also am annoyed that Sailor uses a proprietary cartridge/converter.

Number two is also related to things coming unscrewed. In both my Pro Gear and this 1911L, the section enjoys coming loose from the barrel, usually by a full rotation. I have no idea what I do to cause this, but it is a reliable occurence and more of a mild annoyance than a true problem. Reverse writing, with this 1911L, is too scratchy to be suggested.

Those things aside, I really enjoy this pen and I anticipate that it will be in my regularly inked line-up for a long time. Are you able to do what my coworkers can’t, and identify the Sailor?

Sailor 1911L 4