Sailor Urushi King of Pens Fountain pen, Crimson Red
Something of a pen urban myth, The King of Pens or KOP as it's called by pen people, is more than just an expensive pen; it is the ultimate writing experience. While top-end pens are usually garish and overloaded with detail - urushi is very much the understated and quiet luxury one can expect from Japanese minimalism.
Urushi lacquer, first used in Japan around 300BC, has traditionally been as a symbol for status and prosperity used in furniture and decorative objects by court nobles and the upper-classes to demonstrate their discerning taste. Japanese pen makers sought to apply this domestic specialty finish to fountain pens since the 1920s and it has remained a marker for quality ever since. Beyond its aesthetic merit, urushi lacquer acts as a protective casing because it is acid-free, alkaline-free, and resistant to both heat and water. The process to layer the Urushi lacquer is time-consuming, and each pen crafted by named urushi artists can take up to 1 year to produce.
While Sailor already produces top of the range fountain pens as a baseline - KOP does represent another level of writing performance. The nib, in 21k gold, almost paintbrush-like, possesses natural, organic flexibility and softness under hand. It offers a generous amount of line variation - an almost fude-like brush effect feel making it an excellent pairing for use with coloured inks where 'shading effect' is desired. Exceptional writing quality with amazing smoothness; no pressure needed for a very generous and reliable ink flow.
Body material: Urushi lacquer resin over hard ebonite (a hard rubber)
Nib size: Medium
Nib material: 21k gold with rhodium trim
Cap type: Threaded screw-on cap
Cartridge type: Takes Sailor cartridges which can be found here; supplied with a converter cartridge.
Dimensions: 15cm closed, 13cm without the cap, 16.5cm posted (please use posted with care as this may leave a ring mark where regular contact is made)
Included: an attractive wooden presentation box, refillable converter cartridge, and a bottle of ink, here pictured.
Made in Japan