While I loved the EF nib on the Sailor Realo very much, I longed for a pen less formal, less business like. That fountain pen came in the form of a discontinued Sailor: a Magellan with an F nib.The used Magellan wrote very much like the Realo’s EF. A great plus—the Magellan came clothed in a gorgeous tortoise material.
The Magellan was produced in blue, green/jade, and tortoise colors. There was a Lapis Lazuli Limited Edition, and a Mojave Jewel made for Swisher Pens.++ I’ve even seen a green version of the Mojave Jewel made for Swisher—alas no photo to be found. There may have been other Magellan LEs made for Swisher or other companies. (Please post what you know in the comments! If you have a photo to share, I’d be glad to host it.)
NOTE 2013 Sep 14: A demonstrator model has popped up! Check out Ed Jelley’s review and photos of it here.
NOTE 2013 Nov 13: The Sailor Magellan was given its name by none other than Michael Masuyama, revered nib man of MikeItWork.com.
Someone working for Sailor gave me the following information about the Magellan:
- 14K models of the pens first appeared in 1992:
- Tortoiseshell – 1992
- Jade Green – 1992
- Lapis Blue – 1993
- White (Imperial Sea Foam) – 2004
- 21K models were released in 2003 – 2004.
According to a post on FPN, the original Magellans released in Japan had TIGP (titanium gold-colored) nibs. These nibs are regarded as great writers, in addition to the 14K and 21K nibs.
The Tortoise acrylic material is stunning, IMHO. People tend to remark upon its beauty when they see it. The translucent material allows you to see the nib through the cap, the converter through the barrel. Like many Sailor fountain pens, the section contains a metal piece to it.
The filling system? Cartridge/converter. A Sailor cartridge holds .81ml of ink. A Sailor converter holds .61ml. Yes, the capacity is less than the 1ml of the current production piston-filler Realo. IMHO, the ink capacity of the Realo was not a reason to keep it—the nib was! My used, untuned Magellan wrote as beautifully as my nibmeister tuned Realo.
What more could I ask for? Gorgeous brown material, a great nib. A sweet note-taking pen! And yet…I recognize that many pens come to visit my cigar box. They stay for a time, and we have a fun writing dance. These dalliances help broaden my pen-ucation. What I’ve come to understand about my tiny pen hoard is that there is indeed a core group, with one or two slots for the occasional visitor.
Used Sailor Magellans shows up for resale on eBay, and occasionally on the fountain pen boards. Sometimes online sellers identify the pens as Sailors but not as Magellans, so do look closely at photographs if pen hunting online.
The Sailors are great fountain pens. Their nibs are among the best I’ve tried, and I’m glad to have met them. Yet they are not in keeping with what I want in my tiny stash. A note-taking pen for me is one I carry on me at all times without fear. The sweet Magellan caused a worry or two. The cap unscrewed twice or thrice while in my pocket.
After asking the constant question swirling around my tiny hoard—what pen stays and what pen must go in order to keep to a core of writing instruments?—the Sailors with their amazing nibs were—yeah, I’m gonna say it—set sail to new homes.
A Bit of Homework for You
- Sailor Pen of Japan
- 2013 September, Sailor Magellan Photo Post (demonstrator version), Ed Jelley Blog
- 2012 December, Sailor Nibs Comparison and Japanese Famous Pen Craftsman, FPN
- 2012 August, Photo Sailor Magellan Jade/Green set, FPN
- 2011 March, Sailor Converters, Crónicas Estilográficas blog
- 2010 November, Photo of Blue Magellan, FPN
- 2010 April, Sailor TIGP nibs, FPN
- 2008 December, Newbie Sailor Magellan Question, FPN
- 2008 June, Photo of Jade/Green Magellan, FPN
- 2006 December, Photo Sailor Mojave Jewel LE, FPN
- 2006 February, Photo of Blue Magellan, FPN (next to red Bexley Submariner)
- 2005 June, Sailor Lapis Lazuli Limited Edition Review, FPN
- 2003 July, Sailor Mojave Jewel Limited Edition, archive article from Stylophiles, by Dyas Anna Lawson
Related PW Post: A Solitary Sailor
++Swisher Pens was a respected writing instruments retailer located in Virginia. They closed their doors and disappeared from view in 2011.