Fountain Pen Review: Sailor Professional Gear Bora Bora Waters (Pen Boutique Exclusive & Robert Oster Bora Bora Waters Ink)

The Sailor Pro Gear Bora Bora Waters Fountain Pen (Pen Boutique Exclusive) ($392 for the Standard Size) is an exclusive Pro Gear model only available through Pen Boutique. The pen is limited to 200 pieces and I’m sure they will sell fast because it is a beautiful pen.

When Pen Boutique originally reached out to me, I got a little confused. I thought they were sending the new North American Exclusive Pro Gear 2022 Pen of the Year Soda Pop Blue ($392 for standard, $280 for Slim). At a quick glance, it’s easy to see how I might mix the two up but there are some key differentiators: Soda Pop Blue has full transparent glitter body and gold hardware. The Bora Bora Waters pen features a turquoise blue material with dark, translucent blue end caps and grip section. The hardware is rhodium plated creating a cool waters vibe.

I confess, I much prefer the color combo and sliver hardware of the Bora Bora Waters over the Soda Pop Blue models.

The full size Pro Gear pens feature a beautifully etched 21K nib. I got the H-MF nib which is the “hard medium fine”. As far as I know, Sailor is the only pen manufacturer to offer a medium fine nib as a standard option. Since Japanese nibs are finer than Western nibs, the MF nib is probably the equivalent of a Western F nib.

Most of the Sailor Pro Gear pens I’ve acquired up to this point have been the Slim variety but having the Bora Bora Waters in my hand made me realize there is not really that much difference in the size of the “full size” Pro Gear versus the Slim. The above image shows the Bora Bora flanked n both sides with my rainbow of Slim models.

Of my Pro Gear Slim models, all of them are from Sailor directly except for the citrus green model which is a special Nagasawa Kobe Pen Style so the nib engraving is different. Otherwise, all the Slims feature the same 14K nibs. So, since the size difference between the full-size and slim models is relatively minor, most of the price difference for a full-sized Pro Gear is for the upgraded 21k nib.

For even more perspective on how small the full size Pro Gear is, above is an image of the Bora Bora Waters next to a Lamy AL-Star, Pilot Metropolitan, TWSBI Eco, Platinum 3776 and an Opus 88 Coloro (which is the smallest of Opus 88’s full-sized pens).

Even posted, the Sailor Pro Gear Bora Bora Waters full-size is shorter than most of the other pens shown.

Writing with the Bora Bora Waters, I realized how much I missed writing with my Sailor pens. I particularly like the 21k nib and I know that makes me a nib snob. While the 14k nibs are amazing to write with, they have some noticeable feedback when writing. The 21k nib reduces the feedback somewhat without creating an unpleasantly slippery writing experience and maintains the fine crisp lines of the 14k nib. It’s a fine balance between a nib that writes smoothly but provides necessary feedback and a nib that makes you feel like you’re ice skating.

Since I do have quite a few other Sailor pens at my disposal, I decided this would be a good opportunity to do a little nib width comparison. Of the Sailor pens shown previously, I have almost a full range of nib sizes (just missing a standard M and B and a Zoom).

I find that the difference between my custom ground EF needlepoint and the F nibs are minimal. The MF is a little bit wider but even with my small handwriting, the line is not so wide as to blot out my letter counters (the insides of a’s and e’s, for instance).

The Music nib is considerably wider but when compared with other music nibs, the Sailor music nib is not overly wide.

The Robert Oster Bora Bora Waters Ink (Pen Boutique Exclusive)

Along with the Sailor Pro Gear Bora Bora Waters fountain pen, Pen Boutique also had Robert Oster create a matching ink. If you want someone to make you a water-inspired ink, you want Robert Oster involved. So it was a wise move.

From top to bottom: Diamine Turquoise, R.O Bora Bora Waters, Lamy Pacific Blue and Pelikan Edelstein Topaz.

Robert Oster developed an exclusive ink color to coordinate with the pen, aptly named Bora Bora Waters (50ml bottle for $17).  The color is a bright aqua blue with a little sheening around the edges of letters and a whole lot of shading.

From top to bottom: Robert Oster Blue Water Ice, R.O. Bora Bora Waters and R.O Blue River.
All of the ink samples I have that look similar to Bora Bora Waters altogether.

When compared with some of Robert Oster’s other aqua blues, Bora Bora Waters has some of the sheening of Blue Water Ice but the lighter shading of Blue River. When compared to other brands, Diamine Turquoise is similar as is Pelikan Edelstein Topaz. Lamy Pacific Blue is a little lighter.

If you have as extensive an ink collection as I do, you may not need another aqua blue but if you’re looking for one of Oster’s epic aquas, this one is a good option.

As for the Bora Bora Waters fountain pen, if you’ve never tried a 21k gold Sailor, this would be a great place to start.

Final little detail is the new logo on the box. It definitely caught my eye so I pulled an old box to show the difference. Do you like the new logo?


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

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