The Pen that Came and Went

For such a young blog, I have spent an inordinate amount of space mulling over whether to get a Sailor or not. Eventually, I told myself to order one and try it out. I settled on a Pro Gear Slim Midnight Sky with a Medium nib. The idea was to test it the whole month of November and then decide. Well, it barely lasted a week. Thank goodness for Goulet's return policy. (Also check out their product page because I completely forgot to take pictures...)

So why did I give up so easily?

It wasn't the size, I'll tell you that! With my tiny hands, the Pro Gear Slim actually fit quite wonderfully, even unposted. The section was lovely, not at all sharp like my Pelikan M20xs.

While I was initially worried about the infamous feedback, I actually really enjoyed it. It was a beautiful nib.

Still, the nib felt dry to me. I tried four or five different inks within a single week because I couldn't find a single one that performed in the pen the way I wanted it to. Nothing felt right. Perhaps I should have sprung for the broad. I know Japanese pens run small, but this pen produced a line finer than one of my extra fines. And that extra-fine somehow wrote wetter!

Maybe if I had kept it, I could have increased the ink flow, but honestly I don't feel comfortable working on such an expensive and irreplaceable nib. I felt so uncomfortable with the price, so worried about damaging it. I do have other nice pens, but all of those pens have easily replaceable nibs. I know that some other pen bloggers have bemoaned pens having standard Jowo and Bock nib units, but I really prefer that interchangeability. It means that there's a higher likelihood that I can get the nib to write like I want. Learning to tune nibs is way easier without the stress of knowing you can't fix it if you mess up. Conversely, if I get a nib I love but fall out of love with the body, it's easy to swap and move on. If I'm bored with a pen, bam, new nib, and it feels fun all over again.

One of the other factors was how slow unscrewing the cap was. Goulet says 2 turns, and I trust them, but it felt a lot longer. I am a grad student writing my dissertation, so I have plenty of long writing sessions. Not every pen in my collection has to be quick to deploy, but I want them to.

The damning strike against the pen was that I simply wasn't reaching for it very often. My brand-new, long-awaited pen was spending an awful lot of time in a pen case. I felt guilty about spending so much on it. Every time I used it, I was evaluating it, trying to decide to keep it or not. That really got in the way of enjoying the pen. After dreaming about this pen for so long, it was never going to live up to all my expectations. So I cleaned it out and returned it.

I don't really regret ordering it or returning it. The return fee was a small price to pay to try it out, and it would have kept haunting me if I didn't get a chance to use it. I did nearly order a broad as a replacement; I think that might have suited me better. But I've decided against it, at least for now.

Instead, I've ordered an Edison Beaumont! This was really an impulse buy, and I've got lots of butterflies in my stomach. Even though I know I love Edison pens, this one might also be making a quick trip back to Virginia.