Sailor A.S. Manhattaner’s NY Artists Guild Fountain Pen – Fine Nib – Cat on the Road

12 05 2012

Why do scans never do these pretty purple inks justice?

The Sailor Ink Bar may be my first fountain pen, but the A. S. Manhattaner’s was the first pen I really coveted, after I discovered JetPens. The first pen to sit on the wish list of my heart, weighing heavily upon my wallet (for these were the times before the incrementally increasing insanity that is a fountain pen addiction). But who can resist the allure of an adorable cat? Not the internet, and certainly not yours truly.

It’s like a haiku, but in the form of a pen, with a cat on it.

Cream-colored body, warm fall-tone accents—I feel like I ought to be writing on parchment and drinking some kind of pumpkin-spiced concoction out of the choicest and most cozy of mugs.

Did I want medium nibbed? No. Fine nibbed? No. Cat nibbed? Yes, perfect.

After cycling through regular rotation for about a year and a half, I’m impressed with how the decorations have held up, from the fact that I have not yet broken off the clip to the indelibility of the cat design.

How the barrel would look if you flattened it out and painted it into a nightmare. I’m so sorry, Mr. Adorable Catman. Fun fact, the placeholder caption I gave this picture was “eldritch terror”

I’ve had several pens—my Rotring Art Pen, my Akashiya Bamboo Brush Pen, my very first Sailor Ink Bar, for example—where the writing on the barrel has worn from somewhat all the way to completely off. I don’t think there’s a single speck missing from the A. S. Manhattaner’s.


I worried about how the hard plastic body would hold up—almost a year and a half later, there’s not a single crack apparent. I worried over what kind of performance such a simple steel shield of a nib would deliver—here we are, and I remain satisfied.

The only major flaw: needs a cat on the nib.

Compared to the Sailor HighAce Neo, this nib is just thicker enough to give a smoother performance than the extra fine nib. The feel is tactile, while still giving no scratchiness or any feeling of resistance. The nib writes a bit drier than most nibs I’ve used—at some angles, when I’m writing too quickly the ink will ghost out a bit, mostly on loops that fall below the line of writing.

OOGA-BOOGA-BOOGA! That’s what the hip young ghosts are saying nowadays, right?

Perhaps a wetter ink would balance that out, but I’m not too bothered by it. Unlike the HighAce Neo, this model comes with a cartridge (the special Sailor kind) that I’ve found very easy to clean and refill. I don’t remember much about the original ink cartridge ink, except that it was black, and it wrote like ink.

1996? That’s older than my car that just died. DON’T YOU DIE ON ME TOO, BABYCAKES PENFACE.

The bad news is that the A. S. Manhattaner’s line has long since been discontinued—Sailor A.S. Manhattaner’s NY Artists Guild Fountain Pen’s discontinued page at JetPens—and where you’d find one of these now only Google knows.

The good news is that Sailor has released the cheaper, physically identical Clear Candy line in a wealth of colors (alas, sans cat. It’s a trade-off. Cats are a top-dollar item, not sustainable when you’re trying to keep pen costs down).  I have seen and used a Clear Candy model in person, and can confirm they are the same. It’s a great entry level pen, and the Clear Candy comes in some of the best colors ever.

Sailor Clear Candy Fountain Pens at JetPens




5 responses

16 05 2012
A Few Random Morning Links … | The Pretense of Knowledge

[…] A.S. Manhattaner’s NY Artists Guild Fountain Pen – Fine […]

21 05 2012
Monday Morning Review Round-up | The European Paper Company

[…] Pen Intended: Sailor A.S. Manhattaner’s NY Artists Guild Fountain Pen & Uni-ball Jetstream Color Series […]

21 12 2013
Ink Drop Soup: Expensive Fountain Pens Just 30 and Below | No Pen Intended

[…] unreviewed Conqueror), Noodler’s Ahab Flex and Noodler’s Piston Fill Fountain Pens, the Sailor A.S. Manhattaner’s (which is no longer available, but pretty much identical to the Sailor Clear Candy, and comes in a […]

21 12 2013

Hi, can you tell me more about how this pen compares with the Neo Ace? I have the same Manhattener’s cat pen and am thinking of trying that. Thanks!

4 04 2014
Lamy Safari Fountain Pen – Apple Green Body – M nib | No Pen Intended

[…] old what a lot of people start with (though I moved up from my beloved disposable Ink Bar to the Sailor A. S. Manhattaner’s and the Platinum Preppy and all other manner of fountain pens but I can confidently say that the […]

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