That is the Sailor 1911 Large “ringless” Epinard, a special US edition, that Dan Smith the Nibsmith sent me, and probably wishes he had back now. Unfortunately for both of us, this pen is hard to give up.
It has really grown on me. In fact, now I think I like it best of any Sailor I’ve seen over the past two years, except for the blue Professional Gear I bought in Chicago this year.
The Epinard 1911 Large is one of Sailor’s many fountain pen releases, this one limited to North America. What sets it apart are the color, a very dark army green, and the lack of a cap band. It’s the first full-size Sailor 1911 for the US without the cap band, or “ringless,” to use the official term.
Well. Normally I’d be against that.
The Epinard color is very dark, and hard to put across in photos. Think “dark army green.” Its darkness is accentuated by the black-plated trim rings and clip, and the lack of cap band. And that’s the whole effect.
At first my reaction was, “Okay that’s nice. And?”
But now, after living with it for weeks, my reaction is, “Okay, that’s nice. Damn.”
This pen is a grow-er, not a show-er. It’s anti-bling. Which makes it fairly different, in fountain-pen land. It doesn’t try to impress. It’s sure of itself. It’s quiet. If it were an actor, it would be Sam Elliott.
But there are two things I don’t love about the Epinard 1911, and one is right up there in that photo. The nib is rhodium-plated, not black-plated. You can see the difference between nib and clip.
I kind of wish Sailor had given this a cool, black-plated nib. That seems like a lost opportunity. But maybe there were reasons. And maybe one reason is the cost, since price is already my second quibble.
The Ringless Epinard is $360. That’s higher than others in the 1911 Large line. $312 buys the 1911 Large in US special colors Fresca Blue and Key Lime. Or you could buy a 1911 Large in one of the regular color for $272. So $360 is pricey.
But maybe this costs more to manufacture, or maybe they are making fewer. In any event, the price is the price, and there’s nothing for it.
The thing is, it’s a very cool pen.