Dan Smith, the Nibsmith, sent me this beautiful pen to review. The Ocean is a limited-edition, limited-run color for Sailor North America, sold on both the “slim” and full-size Professional Gear pens. This is the full-size Pro Gear.
I am a huge Sailor fan, and could write an ode to Sailor’s nibs. I especially love Sailor’s fine and extra-fine nibs: exquisitely narrow modern nibs that are still extraordinarily smooth, but balanced by a touch of feedback that lends a special “Sailor” character. Over the years I’ve owned and used every single standard Sailor nib except for the music nib, so that’s what I asked for on this pen.
Sailor’s music nib is a very wide, stub-like nib that can be used as a stub, or, if rotated 90 degrees to the left, allows the writer to produce the thin downstrokes and thick sidestrokes required for musical notation. Unlike Platinum’s three-tine music nib, the Sailor music nib has just two tines.
You can glimpse the large amount of tipping in that photo, but take a look at the underside, too.
I have used this one for just over two weeks, with Sailor Souten ink, but I also wrote with two different Sailor music nibs at a Sailor event at Anderson Pens Chicago. Each of the three wrote differently: these nibs are hand-ground and exhibit an individual character.
So, “mine” wrote more dry, putting forth less ink than the other two, and mine had a smaller sweet spot and required both more precision and a more upright angle. Mine had good line variation, but possibly not as much as the others had.
The wide stroke seems like a double broad, and on some of the music nibs I tried from Sailor the narrow stroke was even narrow than mine. Again, each is hand ground so each will be different, but there’s enough tipping material on the music nib that you can easily have it adjusted to suit your own preferences. In fact, after using these, the Sailor music nib is the kind of nib I’d want to buy from a nibmeister like the Nibsmith — or else I’d budget a little extra just in case it needs a little professional tweak later.
It was a very fun nib to use — very wide and dramatic writing. I’m trying hard to stay away from the ocean-related puns, but this nib makes a big splash.
Could I use this as an everyday nib? Heck no. It’s way too wide for me. But it’s fun! And my friend Pam, who loves broad nibs, seemed more inclined to get one just like this after using mine.
And by “mine,” of course, I mean Dan’s. Darn the luck. Because I absolutely fell in love with the color of the Ocean. You can see in the photos of the section how the Ocean has a slight translucency. That’s most visible in the section. It’s also possible to see the translucence in the cap, if you hold it up to the light, but in normal use you don’t really notice the cap being different.
I think it’s a great color.
It’s a blue-green, but definitely a green. It is not turquoise. I have to call Ocean a teal, though normally I don’t particularly like teal. Yet I love the Ocean. It’s not a color you see every day, particularly in pens. And while it’s a teal, it’s darker in value, not bright. Yet it has that lovely rhodium trim, for a nice contrast. And while it’s dark, it’s not nearly as dark as the Lamy Petrol. It’s just so well-judged, neither gaudy nor dreary.
What else to say? The full-size Professional Gear is my favorite Sailor pen size, because it’s girthy enough to be a nice size for me to use unposted. However, if you find the body too short, you can use it posted instead.
I also like the classic Duofold-inspired shape of the Professional Gear, even more than the classic cigar-shape of the 1911 Large.
I actually have a first-world problem with the Sailor Professional Gear, because my first full-size Professional gear was so perfect that I sold my other Sailor pens and spent a few years with only that Sailor. Earlier this year, however, I added a second Professional Gear, the limited-edition Earth with an extra-fine nib I’d never want to be without.
And now I love the Ocean color, too.