review: nagasawa kobe profit skeleton (proske) + music nib - ink between the teeth

Jul 8, 2019

review: nagasawa kobe profit skeleton (proske) + music nib

My first Sailor pen! Not technically a Sailor pen.

When the Sailor Pro Gear Ocean was announced, I was absolutely infatuated with it—but not "$200 for the smallest size of a cartridge/converter pen" infatuated. I get it: it's a beautiful, gold-nibbed pen. There's a fun collectability aspect to it and the rest of the Pro Gears. But my understanding stops there. Maybe there's just something about it that I don't get yet; maybe it's one of those things you have to experience. Brad loves them, as does Joe (though in fairness it's the standard Pro Gear for the both of them). And if those two love Sailors then it really makes me wonder—Is It Me?

But on the other hand... you gotta look at the shiny object-collecting bird that has roosted in your brain and tell it that it doesn't need this particular shiny.

Well. At least, that's how I thought it'd happen.

The Order

If you don't know already, I work at JetPens. As an employee, I get a discount on items we sell. Some aspects of it changed earlier this year, so I wanted to make one relatively large purchase. I'd been looking at our Nagasawa Kobe pens for a while, which are made by Sailor, but I wasn't quite there to pull the trigger on it yet.

I told my co-workers that I was considering getting the Nagasawa Kobe Proske. It's pricey, but with my employee discount it would come into the range of other pens I've purchased. It's not particularly interesting to look at. Plus, the nibs I wanted to try—the zoom and music—were out of stock. So it seemed likely that a Sailor pen would be put on the shelf for another time.

"I would get it, but I don't know when the nibs I want would come in," I said.

"They're arriving in two days," my co-worker replied.

"But do I really want it?" I pondered at lunch.

"You should get it," my co-workers said.

And so it arrived on time.

And so it was in my cart.

And so I have it now.

Body

The Nagasawa Kobe Profit Skeleton (or Proske for short) is not the most beautiful pen in the world. In fact, it looks like a pretty standard pen. It's a plastic demonstrator with rounded ends—it looks virtually indistinguishable from other torpedo-shaped pens on the market. The black-plated detailing is pretty cool and does help it stand out a bit.

There are two terms I could use to describe the Proske. One is no-nonsense. The other is boring. If a pen could listen to NPR and watch nature documentaries, this would be it. I mean, you only have to compare it to the other pens in my collection to understand what I mean here. Where's the ostentation, you know?
The Proske is essentially a private-labeled Sailor Profit 1911, made exclusively for Nagasawa Kobe. The center band is engraved with "Pen-Style Den" on one side and "NAGASAWA" on the other. I count one minor difference between this pen and an actual Profit: there's an extra metal band on the cap that isn't there on the Proske. Otherwise, they're virtually indistinguishable. The only places where Sailor is mentioned is on the nib and a branded sleeve that holds Sailor cartridges.

Writing Experience

From left to right: Nagasawa Kobe Proske, Kaweco Sport, Lamy Safari, TWSBI Diamond 580 AL, Pelikan M200
The Proske is a pen that's smaller than average, coming in just under a Pelikan M200 when uncapped. When posted, they're the same size. I almost never post my pens, and the Proske is a nice fit for me in my larger hands.
From left to right: Nagasawa Kobe Proske, Kaweco Sport, Lamy Safari, TWSBI Diamond 580 AL, Pelikan M200
The plastic threads are very fine and smooth, so even if I do hold the pen there they don't dig into my hands. The grip is a nice, comfortable size. The pen is almost entirely plastic with some metal bits, so it's on the lighter side.

But it isn't really about the pen body. You see, under the hood is something I really couldn't resist anymore: a 14k music nib. I wish I could say that it's a perfectly average nib, nothing more than a bougie stub. It's not even a real music nib, as it's lacking the extra tine. What could possibly be different about this pen, I scoffed.
May whatever higher power you ascribe to help us—I can't get enough of this ink-guzzler. I am deeply infatuated with it. Every time I pick up this pen to write with it I think, "Ah, the honeymoon phase should be over by now," and it isn't.

The rhodium plating on the nib doesn't cause any issues like I've seen with other nibs that have been coated. The black nibs for Kawecos and Lamys (particularly the Lxs) are issue-prone, but I get great flow here without any squeaking or uncomfortable dryness. Perhaps the sheer juiciness of the feed helps?

Speaking of, the feed keeps up well. I don't know if Sailor alters the feeds for these broader nibs, but I have no issue with it going dry in the middle of writing. If I leave this pen unused for a while, I get a slight hard start when I pick it up again, but it gets going pretty quick.

Final Thoughts

Honestly, I can highly recommend the Proske—or really, any Sailor pen that you might have your eye on. This particular pen isn't anything fancy, and you'll pay a premium for colored acrylics, but if it's worth it to you then Sailor pens are great value. The nibs are spot on, and there's a color out there to fit your fancy, with tons others available as retailer exclusives. It's getting easier to hear of and get your hands on these exclusives just through word of mouth on Instagram and a service like Pen Sachi (I've personally never bought from them, but I know people who have and are pleased with their experience).

Perhaps one day I'll screw my courage to the sticking post and give dyeing the pen a shot. Or I might ask one of the many talented pen makers out there to renovate my Proske with some wild acrylic. Until then, I'll keep swooning over this nib.

Where to buy

I bought my pen from JetPens with an employee discount.

2 comments:

  1. Sailor is one of those companies that makes me want to spring for their pens because of the nibs alone. They're firm and are usually perfect out of the box. I never have to adjust the nibs which is great because I'm awful at it. I have a few of the Pro Gear Slims, and they don't feel too small for me. I do tend to post most of my pens though so ymmv!

    As for the proske, I love its unassuming look! But then again I adore clear demonstrators hehe :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm definitely loving Sailor nibs too. The firm feel and ever-so-slight feedback is wonderful. I have fairly large hands, but I can use a Kaweco Sport unposted for a little while without getting too cramped. It's possible that my complaints about the Sailor Pro Gear Slim's size are the last hurdle in my fight to not spend my entire paycheck on Sailor pens--because otherwise, I'm running right over that finish line!

      Don't get me wrong, the understated looks of the Proske are wonderful, and makes it much easier to fly under the radar when you're writing in public. I gotta say though, I would LOVE for this pen to be in some beautiful custom acrylic.

      Delete