Feb 18, 20193696 views

What are your thoughts on Sailor Promenade?

EDIT: I've made my choice, my next expensive (by my standards) pen will be Sailor 1911L. Thank you everyone who contributed in the comments :)
Hi! I need some help or maybe just validation :) I'm new to the "modern" fountain pen, although I do have some childhood experience with Soviet made pens, both refillable and dippers. I like the writing/stationary industry and tools, and for some time now I've been looking to get a nice fountain pen for myself. The main usage will be - daily note-taking, writing in my RPG GM notebook and such. After several agonizing weeks of getting acquainted with the market and the multitude of options, I've finally found Sailor Promenade which seems to tick all of my boxes. I would also add that my buying habits can be ironically described as cheapskate elitist, which basically means, that I'm shopping for a fountain pen under US $100 but I want it to be high quality, comfortable, beautiful and its brand should be recognizable as something more related to fountain pens than anything else, the latter effectively eliminated Pilot from the competition (yeah, I know, don't throw rocks at me :D) Oh, and for some weird reason I tend to lean towards Japanese and German brands. Although I do prefer international standard converters/cartridges to fit, it is not essential as long as there is a converter that does. That brings me to Sailor Promenade (14k F or MF nib). I absolutely love the color. What would be your thoughts, suggestions?
writeinspiration, kcwookie, and 5 others

Consider Platinum Century 3776 as well. I have not tried Sailor Promenade, but the Platinum provides excellent writing experience with 14K nib. You have a number of nib width choices ranging from UEF to music nib. If you are leaning to Japanese fine nib, think about soft-fine nib. Also Platinum Century has several different color flavors. I recommend you to take a look a Chartres Blue.
The Sailor 1911L is an excellent choice. Some of the best nibs in the business. I have found that for my purposes and taste, the <MF> nib width is near perfect. Owning two of these pens, I would offer two observations:
  • I think the price difference between the 1911S (standard) and 1911L (large) is too great a jump - that said, I'm not certain if the nib size is different between the two models
  • I would entertain a different filling system - it seems a shame that such a large pen is only manufactured as a cartridge-converter - I'd like to see other options available (although with piston-fillers, etc. you do have other trade-offs to consider)
ps. Pilot makes some fantastic pens as well (the 74 and 823 are lovely examples of high quality fountain pens from Pilot with some excellent nibs). Enjoy your purchase!
Try out the Kaweco Dia 2, it is around $96 (Jet Pens). It has been a Drop here as well for less. Classic German styling and a great daily driver. I just picked up (via Drop) a Pelikan 205 Smoky Quartz with a bottle of Edelstein Smoky Quartz ink for just over $100. Limited edition pen that normally goes for $149. As you can see, I am more German focused, but then you cant go wrong with a Pilot Metropolitan to start for a lot less ($24).

I have a Metropolitan, got it for $13 from Amazon. This is a bit of an old post, I've already grown my collection somewhat. Aside from Pilot MR, I have a couple of FPR Himalaya and a Pelikan M200 Smoky Quartz SE. And next I'm going for a Sailor 1911L. After buying the pens above and playing with some other pens, it seems for now I prefer Japanese. Pelikan was a huge disappointment, but seems to be just a dud, waiting for a replacement to arrive, hopefully it'll write better, as the originally received one writes much worse than a nail, I actually tried, I got an iron nail from my toolbox, dipped it in ink and it is much more reliable and pleasurable experience than the Pelikan I received :D
Have two Sailors, one with MF nib in 21K gold, and another with a 14K music nib. The common feature in both is that if there is ink in the pen, it will be at the tip, ready to go when you are. Not sure how they do it, but in my experience, they do it better than many others, incl Mont Blanc!
Sailor makes wonderful pens. You’ll love it.
I think anything sailor is a solid option for any fountain pen user - and honestly better than the typical recommendations for a beginner (eg Lamy). I started with a sailor pro gear and quickly got hooked to the fp world. If you could manage, and you know what nib size fits you, I would start with a 1911. The nib competes with even the most expensive pens and it’s ergonomically perfect for almost everyone. The only downside is lower ink capacity - hardly the biggest downside for something just starting out.
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Really?!? I've been eyeing the Burlwood KOP but it's $1800! I just can't do it. I have a Sailor Go Pro Realo and I like it, and I have a 2 Pelikan M800 and love them too, but my Namiki Yukari is to die for. How does the KOP compare?
Kop is my favorite pen hands down, except that it really needs more ink capacity. I’ve never used the Yukari but the kop is lightyears better than my m800.
Sailor 1911 best buy for the 100.00 range....!
I have owned a Promenade for over a couple of years now. Writes like a charm. Firm nib- I have a 14K Medium nib. Love it.
I do not own a Sailor but have heard of complaints about their proprietary converters. If you are looking for a 14k nib and paying $100 or less, I have to wonder about the overall quality of the rest of the pen.
Well Alex, the sailor nibs are wonderful , the feeds flow well a little on the wet side, overall a great experience. The design of the pen is a little on the plain side I perfect the silver color trim.
I have a Sailor 1911 and the nib is great, but it only likes certain inks. If you put an ink in it that it doesn't like it writes like a broken cheap Chinese pen. It's a pen I regularly use, I'm just careful about what goes in it.
I am a huge fan of Sailors (a Pro Gear, two Pro Gear Slims, a 1911, and one on the way) and would love to add a Promenade to my arsenal. I find that the nibs, weights of the pen, and general design are top notch. I particularly like the look and feel of them, and find they have the right amount of taper in both directions. I hope you enjoy it if you pick one up!
I do not own a Sailor but I hear great things about them and plan on picking one up
Hi again, I didn't realize that you are in Russia (?) when I posted earlier. I hope you enjoy your Pilot Metro. It's not my favorite, but it's a solid little pen. Ku Jaku is a great ink. I can also recommend Diamine as an excellent, economical brand ink. You might try shopping at The Pen Company or Cult Pens, mail order from UK in the future. Their German pens are priced better than Germany. Japanese pens from Japanese vendors on Ebay (you must have Ebay in Russia) are often cheaper than they sell for in Japan. Best, Patrick
Hi Alex, Sailor pens are high quality and well made at every price point. You can't go wrong as far as quality and identifying as fountain pen only. However, the Promenade tends to be smaller than other pens in the same price area like Platinum or Faber-Castell to name two excellent under-$100 brands. All three have different "feel" on the page. Also Mass Drop is now offering some Pelikans right at the $100 price point. The Faber Castell is a favorite of mine and it touches the page with a hint of feedback, like a pencil, very much like a Sailor. The Platinum midrange pens (you can get one with a gold nib) are smoother than that, and some are bigger bodied. The Pelikan is medium sized, likely to be the smoothest of the bunch---but smooth can be over-rated---and will hold a lot of ink. I honestly think the Platinum PTL 5000A with a gold nib is probably the best $65 pen you'll find in the US. But I own six Sailors; one with a steel nib that looks like the little brother to the 5000A and is among my bestest steel nib pens. However, You can get a bitchin Platinum 3776 with a gold nib---a brilliant pen---for about $85 if you order from Japan. I've gotten three that way. Love em. They're bigger and never dry out. But exchanges would be a pain. How's that for too much information? If you can find a way to write with the pen or work with mail order that will let you return, that's best. If you're OK with fronting the cash for a few weeks, buy three, test them by dipping the nib not filling it, and return two, Just tell the vendor your plan to make sure they'll accept the returns. Pen vendors have superb customer service these days and some offer discounts via SBRBrown's website. He aso reviews pens. Just sayin'. I have a feeling you may wind up owning more than one pen anyway. Patrick
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I've purchased several Platinum, Sailor, and Pilot pens over the years. Saved hundreds!
Thank you!!
Hello, i dont have the promenade, but I have the 1911 standard in MF and I adore it. The MF is perfect for me. Fine enough for small notes, but not so fine that you can’t write with it. It is plastic, but still feels like quality; I assume that the promenade is of similar quality, from all I hear. For now, good call on getting a Pilot Metro. That was my first pen, and I still love and use it, despite owning higher end pens now. I hope that helps!! John
The Sailor 14k gold nib pen is a steal, buy it. Get a F nib if you work with numbers. Buy a bottle of Pilot Blue Black ink in 350 ml size, get a blunt syringe to help you fill from the bottom of that large bottle. Go for it,
A 14 karat gold Sailor nib is a steal. Only in Japan are fountain pens consumer not luxury goods. Buy yourself a 350ml bottle of blue black ink made by Pilot. Find a small bottle or a blunt syringe (syringe oiler at hardware store, or printer ink cartridge filler.) Buy the pen: F Nib if you write maths, M if you write history and don't need fine lines.
A fountain pen is as individual as a pair of shoes. Some feel great when you try them on and some never will break in and be comfortable. If this pen is "comfortable" then it becomes your go to pen. Don't worry about nibs and gold etc. It is what feels good in your hand and writes well. I would suggest buying a couple in case you lose this one. I have over 100 fountain pens. I love Montblanc, the old Cross resin ones, Pilot, etc. I do not like the touch of metal so I favor resin. The 4810 and the 149 are wonderful. Shop thrift and pawn shops for deals. I bought my 4810, the huge mb diplomat fountain pen, in NYC for $250 years ago because it had been sitting in this guys shop for years.
Now, ink. You mood indicates you ink color. Get many small bottles and play with colors, paper and the mood you are in. Keep your nib clean! Best of luck on your new addiction!
Hi, thanks! In the end I decided to start small and bought a Pilot Metropolitan (MR), I enjoy it very much, even at its price point it's a huge upgrade on any other pen I've ever used. Unfortunately FPs are not popular in my country at all. Pilot has only one distributor here and they only had 4 or 5 Iroshizuku inks in stock, got myself Ku-Jaku and instantly fell in love :) I guess my next purchase will be another ink and I'll probably go for one of the Sailors as a gift to myself on my birthday (end of April) :) 100+ pens is wow, I'll try to pace myself :D This looks like a very expensive hobby.
Quality-wise I think you can’t go wrong with Sailor, Pilot, or Platinum for Japanese pens, and it’s mostly a matter of size and aesthetics when you are starting out. For your next pen you should also check out TWSBI and Opus 88. Both are Taiwanese (and btw their nib sizing scale matches Western rather than Japanese, I believe they both use nibs made by JoWo). They both make distinctive looking pens in the $100 range.
Sailor makes great pens. I have a SailorProfit Realo that I love. Be aware that a Japanese “M” is roughly equivalent to a German “F” (Japanese nibs run narrow).
Hello Alex, I think this is a great choice. Keep in mind that the Sailor-japaneese nibs run one size finer that German nibs. I own a few sailors and am very pleased with them. No hard starts, nice firm nib. If you like a soft nib, you may prefer a platinum sf. Personally, it is not for me as it is too soft. It was very scratchy. The MF is a good choice for cheap office paper. You can visit www.srbebrown.com Or the penhabit for reviews. Our local penhub master says this pen is one of the bests buys on the market. Good luck
Sailor Promenade fountain pens are wonderful pens. They are a bit on the smaller side, so be sure that you are comfortable writing with a smaller pen. The nib quality and writing experience is first-rate. I have 3 Promenades, in blue, red, and black, and they are every bit the equal of the 1911 standard, which is just slightly longer. Another poster mentioned Platinum. I have many Platinum fountain pens (the #3776), and they are also very nice pens--the Platinum 3776 is larger than the Promenade, and the nib in the 3776 is akin to a #6 nib (pretty big), while the Promenade nib is smaller, more like a #5. That said, I generally prefer writing with Sailor pens over Platinum pens. The Platinum music nib is exceptional, but for standard writing, I prefer Sailor in general--I have numerous models of the Sailors (Promenade, 1911 standard, 1911 large, Pro Gear standard, Pro Gear large)--and they all have a wonderfully consistent writing quality to them. The 3776 has more feedback than Sailor pens (feedback is like the noise a pencil makes when you are writing)--not scratchy, but more "feel" and noise. The Pilot Custom 74 is another outstanding selection in the Japanese sub-$100 14k gold nib category. With the Custom 74, you can use the Con-70 converter, which holds 1 mL of ink--about double what a Sailor or Pelikan converter can hold. I would suggest that Pilot is the smoothest writer of these 3, Sailor is perhaps the most stylish with the overall best writing experience, and Platinum represents tremendous value, as it tends to be less expensive. In all cases, be aware that Japanese nibs are narrow--EF is almost needlepoint, F is very thin, MF is analogous to EF in a Pelikan, M is like F in Pelikan, etc. Good luck with your choice!
Thank you. It's great that you give the comparisons, very useful information for a beginner like me!
Sailor has a great reputation. $100 for a gold nib is a great deal.
I had a Sailor once didn't like it you can find a Platnium #3776 on Amazon for under $100 or close to it. I liked my 3776 with a 14k SF better then my Sailor with a 14k MF. You can easily find a 14k M 3776 on Amazon
I do not know the pen, sorry. If you have had a chance to see and handle the actual pen in a pen store, and hopefully they let you dip the nib in ink to see how it writes then why not go for it? If you are planning to buy online check the return policy. I know some pen retailers have no problem with pens being returned if they haven't been filled with ink; dipping the nib in ink may be acceptible. Check the return policies. I just checked the website for a company that I have bought a number of pens from and they have a 30 day return policy, as long as the pen is returned in an "as new" condition.
Thanks for the advice, won't work for me though, shipping to me is expensive, shipping from me doubly so, and quite probably won't fit into 30 days turnaround. Shops here, man, the service is bad :D I've got myself a Pilot MR for now, not very expensive and good enough for the start.
With no answers here, I guess I should go to another congregation of pen enthusiasts. For now though I've decided to just get Pilot MR and get myself acquainted with technique and maybe some ink related things first, then maybe look for a more expensive pen if I like playing with the Metro.
Try Fountain Pen Network or kindred groups on facebook. However, no need to on this matter. If it is Sailor, it is first rate in quality and aesthetics. Like Pelikan, as loyal a fountain pen as has ever been made. And agreed, the Promenade is especially attractive. If I were to grope for something to criticize, it would be the single size proprietary converter. I have wished they would make a larger one, but have not wept over it.