The Empire did nothing wrong*

My last Sailor Pro Gear, the Shumibun, looked like Luke’s lightsaber in shimmering silver and blue.

This pen, the Pro Gear Imperial Black, looks like Darth Vader’s suit. It’s black all the way down. I think it looks killer.

Unlike Darth Vader, the Pro Gear is short. In fact, it’s tiny. Every time I buy one I’m still surprised that Sailor can call this a full-size pen, and sell a ‘Slim’ model alongside! It is dwarfed by practically everything else in my collection.

But I still find it fairly comfortable to hold and write with, and particularly this edition. The matte finish of the section (and the rest of the pen) makes it feel twice as premium, less plasticky, less sharp.

I say matte finish, but the plated ruthenium trim is shiny, even on the nib.

This is in contrast to other all-black pens like the Aurora Black Mamba. Catch it in the wrong light and the Imperial Black’s ruthenium trim looks almost silver, but it’s actually a very very dark grey. I think it looks really nice, and helps to take some of the visual weight away from the Pro Gear’s huge expanse of cap band.

Mine has a Hard Fine 21k nib, which is an incredible writer, probably my best yet from the five Sailors I’ve owned. Clearly the black plating isn’t hurting performance. The flow is good, the feedback is clear but not irritating, the line width is nice. No flex but I don’t want that on a pen like this. It’s just a precise and liberating writer, and I use it often.

In all other respects it’s a usual Pro Gear. Short, stocky, dead reliable converter filler, strong clip, quick threads, anchor of the Imperial Navy on the end.

Like a couple of droids on a desert planet, I took the Imperial Black used in trade, and fully expected to flip it immediately. But of the four 1911/Pro Gear sized Sailors I’ve owned, this one just feels the best to use. The nib is great, and the matte finish is attractive and comfortable (and on mine at least, seems to be durable too).

I have absolutely felt the power of the dark side.

* The Empire did nothing wrong

8 thoughts on “The Empire did nothing wrong*

  1. Good review. I like Sailor’s use of the Ruthenium plating on the trim and nib. Another pen they’ve used that treatment on is the Sailor 4 a.m. I have one in the 1911S version, and the Ruthenium is gorgeous with the dark, smoky blue of the demonstrator pen. It also comes in the large size (although I don’t know if it’ll be large enough for you). On my 4 a.m., I bought it from with a Zoom nib, and John Mottishaw customized it for me with an Architect’s nib. He ground it to suit my high writing angle, and that is one awesome pen! Just thought you might want to check out the 4 a.m., if you haven’t already.


  2. Pingback: Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – May 31, 2020 | Fountain Pen Quest

  3. I really appreciate and enjoy reading your reviews, and I get that “the Empire did nothing wrong” is a Star Wars reference… but given the atrocities that the Empire of Japan committed in WW2, using “the Empire did nothing wrong” in connection with a Japanese pen is jarring at best.


    • Thanks for sharing your opinion and for reading! I disagree that it’s ‘jarring at best’ and I feel that you’re reaching for a historical connection that I quite explicitly wasn’t making. I get that the pen is Japanese, but funnily enough being British my first association with Empire (after Star Wars of course) is our own… and we have our own share of historical atrocities.

      Incidentally, I have no idea why Sailor named this pen ‘Imperial Black’ — I’ve never seen anyone explain it.


      • I have to be honest, the title makes me rather uncomfortable as well. While there may be a redit forum with that name, I still wouldn’t give a blog post or forum thread a title that I would expect to see on a banner at an EDL march.

        Hadn’t even considered the potential for offense in a Japanese company producing an “Imperial” anything. I can see how that could get awkward.


      • Hah! An EDL march with fountain pen-wielding fascists… there’s a mental image.

        I won’t add any more comments on this thread, but for the record, in the utterly absurd case it needs to be said, I am a perfectly middle-class left-leaning mild socialist, with precisely zero sympathy for war crimes or historical atrocities.


  4. Hello, in that picture that contained three pens, what is the name of the pen at the right? That blue resin is gorgeous!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s