Monday, 4 August 2008

Uni-ball Signo Premier 207 0.7

My second review, another Uniball, this time a high end one.

The Premier is Uni-ball's high end gel pen, it comes in a size that's milimeters longer than the regular 207, it uses the same chrome tip and pocket clip. It is however, thicker, not a lot, but you do feel a difference. The main difference of the Premier is it's soft gel grip, it is a really comfortable grip, not just a rubber cylinder that increases traction, this soft gel grip squeezes depending on how much pressure you apply, and the grip area is thicker than the pen's body, but you can squeeze it to a much smaller diameter. I don't think I have seen a similar grip in pens other than Uni's Premier, Uni Japan (Mitsubishi Pencil Co.) α-gel and a pen marketed as Sensa, which I haven't seen in years.

This pen does come in a higer price, I can't remember exactly, but should be around the $6-7* tag, considerably higher than the regular 207, but once it runs out you can just add a new catridge. It sells in 3 body colo
rs, silver, gold and a weird shade of blue/purple (kinda resembles a color offered in the Ford Explorer back in the late 90s), mine is silver, and all come with a 0.7mm black cartridge. I don't know what's the current situation with them, they might be offered with the 0.7mm now, I think Jetpens sells the 0.5mm ones. But again, you can replace the cartridge with any that fits. This includes
-Uniball Signo cartridges, 0.38, 0.5, 0.7

-Zebra Sarasa cartridges, 0.4, 0.5, 0.7, 1.0
-Pentel Hybrid / Technica / Energel cartridges, 0.5, 0.7, 0.35 Needle, 0.50 needle, 0.70 needle

If you love needle point pens, the Pentel Hybrid Technica / Energel refill fits like a charm, it requires no modifications at all. I have no idea about the availability of such a refill, down here they only sell the normal refill, so I had to buy several Energels in order to harvest the refills for my 207.
It is also possible to swap nibs to get a needle point with 207 ink, or order 207ND cartridges from Europe, but that comes with a price tag.

Sticking to the original black 0.7 207 refill. This pen is really comfortable, it became my ally for the long chemistry summaries and other long pieces of work. It feels heavier than the 207, however, doesn't feel extremely heavy, a weight that becomes more noticeable with the Pilot G-2 Limited for example. I never tried this one in a school setting, since it's a nice pen that more than one would have wanted to steal, and I have the impression that the grip will attract dust and small particles, which give it a nasty feeling of being dirty, and is only cleanable with alcohol (this happens a lot with the Zebra Airfit pencil), something that would happen in minutes in my pocket.

It also seems to me that Uni-ball is marketing this as a pen that's more suited to a serious user who wants a good pen, one that looks serious but doesn't come with the price tag of a Montblanc, these people tend to have a pen that just gets refilled over and over again and is well cared for, instead of buy by the dozen marketing that is more suited to the regular Signo (or buy by the truckload like the Gelstick). In fact, I have only seen it packaged in single units and in some stores only. Its existence in Mexico is limited, perhaps none unless you buy them in the US and bring them down (such was my case back in February) and I haven't seen it in Panama.

I wouldn't hesitate to buy another one to have on my desk, but for everyday use I'd probably pick a regular 207 since I would be less worried about losing them or using them in dangerous places (labs for example). If my fears of it picking up dust and dirt are confirmed, I would completely confine this pen to desk use, since I store pens in the place that is more handy, whether that's my pocket, between the buttons of a polo, somewhere in my bag, etc. This one would make a good companion for a serious event (like a conference, Model UN, real UN important meetings, etc) since it looks good, professional and it's cheap (you are not immune to lose a pen in those cases so it's better to lose a Premier than a Montblanc)


dowdyism said...

That is great info about all of the refills that work with this pen. I'll have to try some of them out.

And your theory is correct about the grip attracting particles and such. I had mine in the pen pocket of my laptop backpack and it picked up all kinds of lint. Surprisingly hard to get off too since it doesn't just brush off easily.

Felipão G said...

Ok, so I won't even try to test that. My experience says that pure alcohol is good for cleaning stuff, since it evaporates quick with no residue. My Airfit would pick up all sorts of stuff from my bag and that was the best way to clean it, other methods were useless (and the grip would even pick up more stuff)

justelise said...

I bought some regular 207s and I hated both the grip and the "Chrome" tip which amounts to a hunk of shiny plastic. I like the grip, but I don't know that it's worth it to spend more for another version of a pen I didn't find all that good in the first place.

Felipão G said...

I say it's worth to get the Premier, since it's far above the regular 207. I know what you feel with the 207, since the grip has to be in a certain position, or else it will be uncomfortable, but the Premier is far above, and the grip is one of the main features of it.

I doubt there's anything to do with the chromed tip, unless you're willing to get one of the colored 207s and swap the tips, I just verified and it's exactly the Premier has same tip as in the regular 207.

Henry and Chad said...

I haven't had any trouble with the grip picking up dirt or dust,and I store mine in a wide variety of places. Not to mention, pretty much everything I own lives in dog hair, and this grip hasn't picked up dog hair at all...