Today we are proud to announce the launch of the exclusive Sailor Bespoke Collection, offering fountain pen lovers around the world access to Sailor specialty nibs and pens!
Back in 2013 when we first became an authorized Sailor dealer, we were pleased to offer such a fine line of inks and fountain pens to our customers. We started slowly, buying all seven of the standard nib sizes (Extra Fine, Fine, Medium Fine, Medium, Broad, Zoom, and Music) to give people the feel for what was available in the standard lineup. As is common, Lisa and I each bought a pen for ourselves to serve as testers. Lisa got a 1911 Standard in Maroon with a Fine nib, and I grabbed a 1911 Realo, also in Maroon, with a Broad nib. The ability to pass on our own personal pen to a customer or friend was a big testimonial to how great these pens really are.
We quickly became enamored with the brand to the extent that we bought more pens for ourselves, and Sailor has now become the house favorite, with Lisa and I owning close to 30 pens in our personal collection, as well as both Dave and Chris at the store owning several. I like them so much I have even started to collect vintage pens from the 1940’s and earlier.
Our Sailor pen show setup went from seven pens to fourteen, then twenty, to now over 60 different models and colors in three plus trays at every show. It is the most comprehensive display of Sailor pens at any table at any show and we are proud of that. You can’t miss the beautiful bright blue Sailor trays on our table. We even have a full set of testers for the standard seven nib options so people can try before they buy. Once you feel that 21kt nib on paper it is hard to put down. It is not uncommon to still be passing out our personal pens to people wishing to try them out. I almost always have a Sailor pen in my pocket, and always have them in rotation.
As time went on we started to get more and more requests for certain pens and nibs that were not in our catalog. Among them were Ebonite King of Pen as well as Naginata-Togi and Naginata-Cross nibs. At first we weren’t sure if these were Japanese Domestic only pens, and simply not offered in the US, or if there was something else going on. We inquired with the US distributor, but quickly found out those nibs and pens were restricted to the top two Sailor dealers in the US, with no chance us ever getting them, not even a special order of a single pen for a customer. The goal quickly became that we would some day be big enough to be offered the exclusive Bespoke collection so we could get our hands on some of the beautiful pens and nibs not available elsewhere.
With that end goal in mind we committed even more strongly to the brand. Every new model that came out made its way either into the show case, our pockets, or both. We grew to the level where we were a good candidate for a Bespoke dealer. We have devoted two entire display cases in the store to Sailor, we bring it to 12-13 pen shows a year, and we can almost always be seen with one in our pocket. We have even created a custom 1911 Standard in Slate Blue as an Anderson Pens Special Edition.
March, 2016 – Sailor Bespoke!
In March we finally got the call after having made our case to become the next Bespoke dealer. We were a bit surprised as we didn’t think it would be quite so soon, but nevertheless it was done. Everyone was practically in shock at the announcement. Lisa was gasping, I was jumping up and down and everyone else was smiling. We celebrated. It sincerely took a week for the reality of this to sink in.
So what does all this mean? We now are one of only three US dealers with access to a multitude of exclusive pens and Limited Editions, as well as over 20 different Naginata and Nagahara custom nibs. As of today, you will be able to shop the Sailor Bespoke collection which is separated from the standard Sailor pens on our website. Some differences include 1911 Standard nibs are now 21kt instead of 14kt, some Bespoke only pens come in different trim variations (1911 Standard in Maroon with Rhodium trim for example), and of course, special models (Ribbed 1911 and Pro Gear, as well as Ebonite and Urushi King of Pen).
While the current Bespoke nib lineup consists of over 20 different nibs, only three types of nibs come in different tipping options. Naginata-Togi, Emperor, and Naginata-Emperor all come in Medium Fine, Medium, and Broad nib widths. All other nibs are one version only. So there is no Naginata-Cross Point Medium, just a Naginata-Cross Point, for example. Most of the nibs do provide some form of line variation based on how you hold the pen (similar to the Zoom nib), and some can be used upside down for different effects. You can check out our Sailor Nib Chart for more information on the various offerings.
Obviously these specialty nibs are quite popular, to the extent Sailor is only releasing some Naginata-Togi nibs at the moment. All other nibs are at least nine months back ordered and cannot be ordered from us yet. We currently do have a couple of Naginata-Cross Point and Fude de Mannen in stock, but once they are gone it will be a while before we can get more. In the meantime Naginata-Togi will be available, however some combinations may be at least six months delivery from Japan. Please feel free to inquire directly as to what pens and nibs may be in stock at any given moment, as stock does change daily. Any other Bespoke pens with Naginata-Togi nibs will be special order at least six months and we will inform you as to the status. We will do our best to make your pen and nib combination happen.
We have ordered a great deal of pens in various nibs from Japan, so we will slowly build up inventory over time. As we get new models and nibs in you can bet we will have them up on the blog when they come in.
In preparation for this announcement we have completely revamped the regular Sailor offerings including better descriptions, better images, and more images per pen. This is a project Lisa, I, and our photographer have been working on daily since we got the call. Please note, there will be some products listed that we do not physically have in stock and those items may not have images until we can get them in hand.
You can find all of our Bespoke and Standard offerings here.
Ink it up!
Brian & Lisa