Fountain Pen Review: PLUS x Sailor – First Snow ProGear Slim (Special Edition), Ice Gray Ink and A4 Slim Notebook

The packaging, which is a lovely pale blue with silver foil snowflakes, says “PLUS x Sailor” but the listing that I found online focused on the Sailor Pro Gear Slim First Snow fountain pen with very little mention of the additional items included in the set: PLUS x Sailor Ice Gray Ink and Ca.Crea A4 Slim Notebook. The full set, whatever its official title, was €217 from Fontoplumo (I bought the last one that Fontoplumo had in stock. Sorry, folks!). If you google it, there are other vendors who still have the First Snow in stock so there’s still a chance to get one.

I bought this set for the pen, one hundred percent. Before I was the chair of The Well-Appointed Desk, my online moniker was Snowangels (I still own this name because why give up such a great URL?) so when something is covered in snowflakes, I tend to melt (pun intended). When I saw this pen, with the milky white, silver glitter embedded exterior and bright blue glitter embedded end cap and grip section, I was sold.

The pen features multi-colored screenprint on the barrel, including metallic silver which is unique for a Sailor Pro Gear and so pretty. This detail felt different from the half dozen other Sailors I own.

Then there’s the nib — it is etched with a snowflake! It won my heart immediately!

Then there’s another silver snowflake embedded into the end cap. Swoon!

The only downside that I found about the pen was that it was only available with a M-F nib (Medium Fine ). I prefer the F/H-F (hard fine) and was bummed I couldn’t purchase this pen with what is normally such a common nib option. This model was only sold with the M-F nib which is something I hand’t seen with Sailor special editions before.

In regards to the PLUS Ca.Crea A4 Slim gird notebook that came in the box, I breezed past it. I confess, I had little interest in this extra. The notebook has a special limited edition foil snowflake cover and features slightly ivory grid paper.

I couldn’t find a reliable source online for any other Ca.Crea notebooks available in the US so I didn’t really want to fall in love with the notebook only to never find a replacement. I also didn’t want to soil the notebook testing the paper  in case I ever decide to sell the pen and wanted to be able to sell the whole kit. Dipping into the ink for testing purposes doesn’t make the ink unusable but few people will want a worn or used notebook. So, this review will not include an in-depth review of the Ca.Crea notebook. If anyone knows of a reliable source to order additional Ca.Crea notebooks with non-special edition covers, let me know in the comments. Thanks.

In regards to the ink, the PLUS x Sailor Ice Gray ink (which came in a small 20ml cube-shaped bottle) is a light gray color with hints of purple and blues, depending on the application and paper. Its quite pale however.

I really didn’t have a ton of inks to compare Ice Gray with: I found a light grey ink from Pent called Kotoba No Iro (Spider’s Web Thread) and a much bluer inke from the Ferris Wheel Press Twilight Collection called Dusk in Bloom. I am sure there are more options that are similar, possibly in the Sailor Studio line but I have been skimming past a lot of these super light inks because I use so many fine nibbed pens that these pastel inks are just not very usable for me.

Ice Gray ink tested on Tomoe River 52gsm.

I have to say that Ice Gray is not particularly well-suited to the M-F nib that ships on the First Snow pen. It really is too light to be used in any practical way. When I dip tested the ink with a flexible dip nib, the results were much better. I think it was poor planning on Sailor’s part to include such a light ink with such a fine nib pen. I may switch out the ink in this pen with something that matches the bright blue of the end caps or just a deeper color. I like the idea of keeping a bluish ink in this pen to be my wintery pen but sadly, the Ice Gray is just not a good match for the pen or the nib.

This pen was a spontaneous purchase based entirely on its looks. I needed another Sailor Pro Gear like I needed a hole in my head. I bought it because, the moment I saw it, it checked all my personal boxes (glitter, snowflakes, custom etched nib). With all the many Sailor special edition pens, I know its easy to get swept up in the FOMO but sometimes, when you wait, the “just right” pen will magically appear and you’ll know its the right time to BUY IT NOW. Over the years, there have been a few Sailors that I bought because I was afraid of missing out but the ones that are still in my collection are the ones that were the right pen at the right time.

Do you have a story about the right pen showing up for you?

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3 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Love your “just right” First Snow, Ana. What a lovely edition from Sailor. Please show us when you match it up with the ink that’s just right, too!

  2. I wish Sailor would sell the ink separately. It is a fantastic looking pen and I would put a Zoom nib on it — should be able to swap nibs, right?

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