Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Fountain Pen Review: Edison Collier, TWSBI 580AL, Sailor Pro Gear

In my previous fountain pen review, I included a bit about pen size comparison. I thought that a fountain pen comparison will be useful especially now that more brands are being introduced in the country. I wanted to do a new pen comparison with some details, and chose three of my orange fountain pens for fun. 

The pens in this article are (top to bottom): Edison Pen Co. Collier Antique Marble, Sailor Professional Gear Color (Orange) with Rhodium Trim, and TWSBI Diamond 580 AL orange. It is my first time to have an Edison and a Sailor fountain pen, and I am just glad that I got them. 

Material. The barrels and caps of  these three pens are made from resin. Although all three pens have screw-type caps, their trims are different: gold for the Collier, rhodium for the Sailor Pro Gear, and silver for the TWSBI 580.

The Collier has the same resin for both its barrel and section, or grip. The contoured grip prevents my fingers from slipping as I write. The Sailor Pro Gear has a black plastic section which I find comfortable and easy to grip. The TWSBI's aluminum section is a bit slippery, though. I noticed that I do not have a firm grip on the section when I am writing, because of the material.

Top to bottom: Sailor Pro Gear, Edison Pen Co. Collier, and TWSBI 580AL

Filling mechanism.

The Collier, which belongs to Edison's Production Line pens has a cartridge/converter (C/C) filling mechanism. Long and short international cartridges will fit in the Collier, but a standard international converter is included when I got my pen. It can also be used as an an eyedropper pen because there are no metal parts inside the barrel.

The Sailor Pro Gear also has a C/C filling mechanism, but only takes proprietary Sailor cartridges. Like the Collier, this pen came with a Sailor converter on purchase. Both the Collier and Sailor converters have ink capacities of ~0.7-1.0 ml.

The TWSBI 580AL, however, comes with a piston ink-filling mechanism, with a 1.9 ml ink capacity, which is twice the ink of a converter-full for either the Collier or the Sailor.

Nibs. The nibs on these pens are still factory nibs. I haven't done any modifications or adjustments on them yet.

My Edison Collier has a two-toned steel #6 broad (B) nib, but other two-toned nibs available for this pen are: extra fine, fine, medium, and 1.1 and 1.5 italic. 18k gold nibs in extra fine, fine, medium, and broad are also available.

A 21k gold nib in hard-medium (H-M), which is surprisingly soft, is what's on my Sailor Pro Gear. Other nibs for the Pro Gear are: 21k gold in fine, medium, and broad.

The TWSBI 580AL in this set has a chrome #5 Jowo B nib. It can also be fitted with an extra fine, fine, and medium nibs.

Size. The Edison Collier is definitely the largest fountain pen among the three. This long and fat cigar type pen measures 5.9 inches when capped! Writing with the Collier is still comfortable, though. The section's diameter is only .38 inch, almost the same as the TWSBI 580AL's .39 inch.

The TWSBI is 5.6 inches long, and weighs 32 grams, a tad heavier than the Edison which only weighs 30 grams.

The Sailor Pro Gear, a smallish pen by my standards, measures 5.07 inches long when capped, and weighs 21.6 grams. 

Posting. I do not usually post my pens, but I am including this here as a useful detail for those who do post their fountain pens. Among the three pens, only the Sailor Pro Gear posts properly. If anyone gets a Collier or a TWSBI 580, do not try to post the pens' caps, because they will fall off.  

Writing performance. I am very lucky to have these three fountain pens since they all write so well out of the box. The Collier and the TWSBI both have broad factory nibs, which are round and very wet. I plan to have the Collier's nib modified into a stub later. 

As I mentioned earlier, the Sailor Pro Gear pen is new to me. It is my first Sailor and I am amazed at how nice it feels to write with a supposedly hard (but turned out to be soft) nib. I am glad I bought this pen and got to experience writing with a Sailor nib. 

Now that this review is done, do not be surprised if I will not identify my favorite fountain pen among the three, because all of them are excellent writers. I have presented all the details available to me, and included my own experiences using each of them. I do hope, though, that every fountain pen user can experience writing with a Collier, TWSBI, and Sailor fountain pens.

These pens are sold by a number of official resellers worldwide, but in the Philippines, Edison, TWSBI, and Sailor pens are all available at Scribe Writing Essentials, a specialty store selling fountain pens, inks, paper products, and calligraphy supplies. 

Scribe has stores in Eastwood Mall, Shangrila Plaza Mall, Glorietta 5, SM Aura, and SM Megamall. For their complete location/address, contact numbers, and store hours, click here.

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