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Cautious optimism about the Sailor Tuzu

Sailor just announced a new budget model, the Tuzu:

Sailor Tuzu product page

Conceptually, I like it. It's supposed to be a casual, no-frills daily driver pen that appeals to people who wouldn't normally use a fountain pen. To that end, its distinguishing feature is a nib that rotates around the barrel to accommodate different grip positions. Most fountain pens have a fairly narrow tolerance range for angles they'll write in, so this is a great accessibility feature.

Whether this product is actually 1. good and 2. successful depends on pricing and execution. If this pen is going to be competitive in the entry-level market, it can't be more than $30. I think even more than $20 is pushing it because there are a lot of good pens in the sub-$20 category (Platinum Preppy/Prefounte/Plaisir, Pilot Kakuno, TWSBI Go, etc).

If the execution is really good, they could get away with pricing between $20 and $30, but more than $30 is a nonstarter. I suspect it'll be sub-$30 because the Compass 1911, their other budget pen, is $40 and appears to be permanently on sale for $30 at Goulet.

Execution is the main thing I'm concerned with because I wasn't really impressed with the Compass. The nib gave me some trouble out of the box, so I had to fix it by hand - not something you'd expect someone who's never used a fountain pen to do. Hopefully their QC is better for the Tuzu. At least the Tuzu has multiple nib sizes this time around (I'm still baffled as to why the Compass doesn't have size options).

Also, more moving parts means more opportunities for things to break, so hopefully the nib rotation component has some good construction on it and won't start randomly loosening over time or something.

I don't see any reason for me to buy this pen, but I will say that I'd at least consider it if the grip is made of actual grippy material.

(Also, it comes with a converter???!???!? If nothing else, Sailor sure doesn't skimp on the freebies.)


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