When I saw the Sailor Procolor 500 Shikisai Fountain Pen in Hoshikuzu (Stardust) with Fine Nib ($60) come up on JetPens, I jumped at the chance to try it out. It looks like the Sailor 1911 regular with a steel nib and it was available in the black sparkle Stardust finish that I had wanted in the ProGear Slim but was only available as a limited edition a few years ago and is impossible to find now. I was curious if a Sailor steel nib would be up to snuff.
When it arrived, I was pleased that it was as pretty as I had hoped. It is not as sparkly as my ProGear Pink Love but not as subtle as the Purple Lamé. It looks like stars in the night sky.
The nib looks almost identical to the nibs on a ProGear Slim or regular 1911 without the 14K markings. It has the filigree around the edge of the nib, the “1911” and anchor and the “Sailor” logo branding at the bottom.
The ProColor is a bit lighter than a 1911 standard at 18gms capped with the cartridge. My 1911 weight 21gms but it has a converter which I suspect is adding the additional 3gms. Uncapped, the ProColor weighs just 10gms. The cap does post for writing and is fairly well-balanced.
Sizewise, the ProColor is identical to the 1911 regular and just a bit shorter and slimmer than a Lamy Safari/Al-Star. The ProColor is just a little longer than the ProGear Slim but the same width.
After looking at the Delike knock-offs, I can see where some of the design cues came from for the New Moon. The ProColor cap has the silver hardware all the way to edge of the cap and the clip is not as graceful as the 1911. Its definitely straddling the line between the higher end 1911 and the knock-off New Moon. Of course, there’s the plus of the Sailor steel nib.
And the nib is what I really wanted to experience and what really took me by surprise because its been years since I tried a lower end Sailor nib. Very early in my fountain pen days, I tried a Sailor Clear Candy but I had very little point of reference and I feel I should probably go back and look at that pen again now that I know what a bit more about pens. I can’t recall the specifics of my experience now other than it was an inexpensive plastic pen. The ProColor, however, was a delight. It was comparable and in many instances surpassed the experience I’ve had with similarly priced TWSBIs.
Because its a Japanese nib, it writes like a western EF (hence the error in my written tests) but its actually a Sailor fine nib. It is a buttery smooth steel nib. I was quite delighted with how well it wrote. For the price point, this is an excellent fountain pen.
After reviewing the knock-off versions of Sailors earlier this week, I love having the chance to recommend to save your pennies for the real thing. It’s worth it. This pen feels better built, the nib is beautiful and, heck, it even comes with the Sailor box, warranty and two proprietary cartridges (converter needs to be purchased separately).