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Professional Gear

Maker: Sailor.

The initial effort to produce a profile for this pen was daunting, as it is almost as diverse a pen as the Sheaffer Targa.  Almost, in that there are two different sizes and several different trims; the name is also occasionally seen creeping into the names of other models entirely, which does not help.

Generally speaking, the Professional Gear is a conservative pen, with styling similar to what might have been seen in the majority of pens of the 1930s.  It overlaps Sailor’s Profit/1911 models in cost, and might be considered the more thuggish of the company’s direct opponents to Montblanc’s more expensive luxury pens (both companies have some ridiculously expensive pens in specialty finishes, too, but those are a separate consideration).  The difference in cost is considerable, but the Professional Gear’s lower cost puts it within reach of a much broader market, many of whom are more likely to be interested in writing than investment in a collectible.

At the lesser end of the line is the Professional Gear Slim, which in some markets is referred to as the Sapporo.  As I’ve not handled this version directly, I won’t say much more about it (and may set up a separate page when the day comes), other than to mention that there was also a smaller Slim Mini which was discontinued after a few years.  Moving upscale, there is the Professional Gear ∑, which one would say “sigma”, which appears to differ from the standard only in the shape of the clip and the certainty of having a 21K point.  In the Sigma, the clip bears a stylized anchor at its top, which to a certain turn of mind looks like the hilt of a sword with the rest of the clip standing as the blade.  An extra-special “King of Pen” version is also offered; it is an oversize model, rather more than a centimeter longer than the standard and with a proportionally larger point.

Both Sigma and regular trim can be had in a Realo version, which is fitted with a permanent piston filler.  The name apparently comes from REliance on heritage and reliablilty And LOcus of clarity and excellence, which suggests that ad-men are running as amok in Japan as anywhere else.  These have a slightly longer false blind cap than in the cartridge versions and an ink window mounted in the barrel so that it is just visible when the cap is on.

There is also on Sailor’s website a pen called the Millecolouré, which is to all appearances a Professional Gear with bands of different colour around the barrel.  Some sellers lump these pens in with the Professional Gears on their website, and I don’t think they’re wrong.  Technically, it’s catalogued as something separate, but it is really a variation rather than a different thing.

Production Run: 2003 to present.  Professional Gear ∑ was introduced in late 2013; it is known in some markets as Professional Gear II.

Cost When New: 2015 MSRP runs from ¥37,800 for the high end versions of the Sigma down to ¥12,960 for the least elevated sort of Slim.  The “King of Pen” version goes for  ¥64,800.

Size: Standard, 12.9 cm long capped, 15.2 cm posted, 11.7 cm uncapped.  Slims are shorter, Sigma and KOP are both longer;  the company site has them with capped lengths of 12.4. 13.5, and 14.2 cm, respectively.

Point: 21K or 14K gold, depending on trim level.

Body: Plastic.

Filler:  Cartridge, capacity approx. 1.2 ml, or converter, capacity approx. 0.7 ml.  Realo variants have a fixed piston filler, which I’m told without being able to check for myself take about 1.0 ml.

Sailor Professional Gear Imperial Black.  One of the tend growing since about 2010 for "stealth" pens, and since it's a trendy finish, it's at the expensive end of the line-up.

Sailor Professional Gear Imperial Black. One of the trend growing since about 2010 for “stealth” pens, and since it’s a trendy finish, it’s at the expensive end of the line-up.



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