I know fine writing instruments are one of those categories that our current technology has made more or less redundant, kind of like almost our beloved 1911 pistol, there are quicker less expensive ways to deliver more hits on target, just like there are faster, less cumbersome ways to deliver a written message to someone by not using a fine fountain pen. Like what happened to the Swiss watch making industry when Casio brought out a simple battery powered mechanism that could keep time on your wrist for two bucks. And gave pretty good time. The art of writing will soon vanish, they don't teach hand writing in school no more. But if you have a loved one in the Navy who shoots a 1911 and your shopping for Christmas I can't think of a cooler gift. Sailor pens began production in 1911 when, as the story goes, Mr. Kyugoro Sakata was introduced to his first fountain pen by a Japanese or English sailor friend. Mr. Sakata was an engineer living in the naval city of Hiroshima and thought he could build a better mouse trap and launched his pen company, first as "Sakata-Manufactory" and then around 1917 changed the name to "Sailor Pen Sakata-Manufactory". Mr. Sakata on left. The place the rubber meets the road in fountain pens is the nib and it was/is the place Sailor pens always focused their efforts. Even today when fine top notch pens are compared Sailor is usually in the top three world wide. The 1911 comes with either a 14K gold or, as in the picture above shows, a 21K gold nib. The etched "875" below the 21K marking on this nib indicates 87.5 gold content found in 21K gold. The 1911 comes in three sizes; the Standard (aka The Profit), Large and the King of Pens (aka K.O.P) with it's king size pricing. Sailor pens run in cost from $10 to many thousand dollars. The 1911s come in non descript cigar shaped plastic bodies that feel great in hand. They are renown amongst collectors for their use of precious wood pens and highly detailed decorations using the traditional Japanese techniques such as Maki-E lacquers. So the price is up to you for that 1911 shooting swabbie. And for those of you landlubbers I'd say this is a pretty cool pen if you still use pens and shoot 1911s.