Sapporo, it’s not just for beer anymore…
I have a bad habit of finding pens and falling in love, only to discover that they are rather hard to acquire. The special edition “Tarumi Apricot” Sailor Pro Gear from Nagasawa was my first experience with this fact. Luckily I had an ace up my sleeve in the form of Sawako-san, who helped me track one down. She came to my rescue yet again with the Sailor 1911 “夕茜街道” fountain pen from Daimaru Fuji Central, a 122 year old stationary store in Sapporo, Japan. Central has a huge store with 6 floors of stationary goods and an art gallery on the 7th floor featuring local artists (officially on my list of places to visit if I am ever in Sapporo).
This Central limited edition is similar in approach to the Nagasawa pen designs – Sailor creates a custom engraved nib, cap band and color (in this case with a matching ink). The Pro Gear is the usual model of choice for these collaborations with Sailor, but in this case Central decided to use a 1911 standard model with the longer rounded end caps. While I like the design of the 1911 the Pro Gear does add the finial logo as an added level of customization – but that’s just a minor nit with what is otherwise a fantastic pen.
The name “夕茜街道” translates to Evening madder highway – referencing the highway along the west coast of Hokkaido (日本海オロロンライン) and the beautiful red sunsets (madder is a Eurasian herb that produces a deep red dye).
夕茜街道 is one of a series produced by Daimaru Fujii Central. The pen series “北の彩景事典” means Encyclopedia of colors and sceneries in the north, with all fountain pens inspired from local scenery in Hokkaido. All pens in the series have been engraved with the island of Hokkaido on the nib. 夕茜街道 is the 16th in the series and the production run was limited to 100 pens.
The 1911 comes in a beautiful rich red with gold accents and a 14k gold nib. The 2 major details on the pen include a custom engraved cap band with “Daimaru Fuji Central” and the custom nib design with the island of Hokkaido engraved just below the breather hole. The pen and nib are flawless and smooth with that hint of feedback I adore in Japanese nibs. I managed to swing a fine <F> nib, which is perfect for use at the office where premium paper is not always to be found.
The packaging is the standard blue Sailor clam-shell case. Central included a small booklet with a brief description of the pen name and origin in the case, but that was the extent of the extras. It did come with both a standard cartridge and a convertor – which was immediately filled with the matching ink.
Speaking of the ink – Central decided on “残照” or Afterglow. It is a fantastic dark red with hints of orange and brown where the shading is heavier. The ink came in the older Sailor Jentle bottle design and was sold separately (¥2,160).
While this one was a bit tough to acquire, it was well worth the effort. A beautiful pen and quite affordable at only $130. Finally a quick shout out to Sawako-san for her help(ありがとうございました). Had I called the store and tried to order I probably would have ended up asking where they keep the whale lightbulbs…
Length (posted): 144.5 mm (5.7 in)
Overall Weight: 20 grams (0.7oz)