This is the thing we need more of in North America– a nearly-disposable fountain pen! I say “nearly” because is it rigged to be refillable, but it’s so low-cost that one wouldn’t fear it coming to a bad end. The one I’ve got cost me $3.00 through eBay, and there are rumours abroad of it costing as little as $1.50 if you can find it in a store. I can’t, alas, say what they cost in the home market, as I can’t find a price on the package— a strange state of affairs with a Japanese product. The package does reassure that the model name is in fact “Ink Pen”, as the katakana and kanji in the cartouche at the top says “kaatorijji shiki inkupen”; Cartridge System Ink Pen. This bugs me a little, because that model name is something that a lot of people use to describe fountain pens as a class– “It’s an ink pen, not a normal pen!”
This is such an undistinguished pen that it doesn’t actually show up on the Sailor website— not even the one for the home market. It’s cheap, but unlike some other cheap pens, it’s quite good. It starts reliably, don’t skip or drip, and makes a fairly consistent line. As a nod to younger users, the cap is designed to stay on during the refilling process, so you can be clumsy and not get ink all over your hands. The sole drawback to the pen is the need for Sailor’s own specific cartridges, which are not readily available in North America. Some enterprising pen enthusiasts might want to try rigging the barrel so it can act as an eyedropper pen, but should beware that the tail of the pen is a plug and will need sealing.
I expect this pen is also entirely recycleable– the only thing in it that isn’t all one kind of plastic is the steel point, and steel’s recycleable too. If you’re thinking of starting on fountain pens, and can lay your hands on one of these, do so!
Production Run: Because it is so little admitted to by its maker, I can’t say. Certainly available in the early 21st century, and may still be current.
Cost When New: This one cost me $3.00 through eBay in 2008, although it may be had for less, possibly. A disposable “Ink Bar” can be found for about $3.00, too.
Size: 13.6cm long capped, 15.2cm posted, 12.2 cm uncapped.
Point: Steel, untipped; it is not expected to have a long life. It is also technically an italic point, albeit a very narrow one.
Filler: Cartridge, capacity approx. 0.8 ml.
If you are relying on the preceding information to win a bet or impress a teacher, you should read the site’s scholarly caveat. Remember, this is the internet, and it’s full of bad information.