Fountain Pen Review: Nagasawa Original Pro Gear Slim (Gakuen-Toshi Fresh Green)

Nagasawa is a stationery shop located in Kobe, Japan. Most pen enthusiasts will know the brand from their line of Kobe inks — a proprietary line of colors made by Sailor for Nagasawa and sold as Kobe. Less well known is the collaboration that Nagasawa often does with Sailor in creating their own exclusive Sailor pens.

Cat paws provided for scale.

Other than exterior colors, the key differences between a stock Sailor pen offering and a Nagasawa branded Pro Gear is the engraving on the nib and cap band and the custom low flat ink bottle icon on the end cap. From the perspective of “is this a real Sailor pen?” the answer is unequivocally yes.

Comparing end cap detail, from left to right: Nagasawa Kobe, custom Zodiac Sailor nib from Bungubox, and Sailor Pro Gear.
Comparing nib engravings, from left to right: Sailor Pro Gear, Nagasawa Kobe and a custom Zodiac Sailor nib from Bungubox.
Comparing cap band details, from left to right: Nagasawa, custom Zodiac Sailor from Bungubox and Sailor Pro Gear.

The model I chose is the Gakuen-Toshi Fresh Green. The color is 100% me. Why I waited so long to purchase it is beyond me. I purchased the last of this particular color left on JetPens. It was originally sold at the same time as the coordinating ink along with several other ink/pen combos. While I don’t think the Gakuen Toshi pen and the ink of the same name are exactly a perfect match, I can live with that. Mostly because I love the color of the pen barrel.

While Gakuen Toshi and its fellow models are mostly sold out at this point, Nagasawa recently released its newest collection of Sailor Pro Gear Slim models, the Onomatopoeia series: Doki Doki (Pink), Puka Puka (Light Blue), and Kasha Kasha (Gray) ($299 each) which is a delightful collection and is only slightly more expensive than the pervious line (which sold for $253 on JetPens).

The Nagasawa nib is just as smooth as a Sailor-branded Pro Gear Slim. The writing experience was exactly what I’ve come to love about the Sailor 14k nibs. While I do get mushy when I get a 21k nib in hand, the 14k is still an excellent option. Since I was purchasing the absolute last Gakuen Toshi available at JetP

ens, I got the F nib which is one of my favorite Sailor nibs anyway. I really do need to branch out a bit.

If you have ever wondered, “What’s the deal with those Nagasawa/Kobe Sailor Pro Gear pens?” I hope this helped to clear it up a little and provide you with yet another channel to seek out unique and unusual Sailor models.

Zoey approves this review. And thinks the pen matches her eyes perfectly.

DISCLAIMER: The items included in this review were provided free of charge by JetPens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

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2 comments / Add your comment below

  1. $46 more seems like a substantial price increase to me and not just “slightly more expensive”. Seems to work for Sailor though, so I can’t blame them.

    1. In comparison with all the price increases from Sailor over the last two years, $46 more didn’t seem as obscene as some of the other mark-ups.

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