Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Review: Uni-Ball Signo Premier 207 Retractable Pen

I'm a fan of the Uni-Ball Signo 207 retractable pens. A Signo with black ink is usually found riding shotgun in my shirt pocket. They write well, are comfortable to hold and are inexpensive to boot. Recently, while perusing the JetPens site, I came across an upscale version of the Signo 207, the "Premier." Click on the above link to JetPens for a photo.

Like the standard Uni-Ball Signo, the Premier uses the 207 "archival safe" gel ink, which is purported to be fraud resistant when writing checks. The ink bonds with the paper, making removal or editing difficult, if not impossible. I can attest that the ink dries quickly and is not prone to smearing.

I purchased a Premier with a 0.5 mm tip and blue ink. Although I don't normally use blue, I really like the bright shade of this ink. Back to the writing experience in a moment. First, some observations about the pen itself. The Premier is somewhat larger in circumference than the standard Signo 207 retractable. In addition, the finger grip has a cushier pad - a translucent gel grip to provide added comfort and reduce fatigue or writer's cramp. I found the grip a little squishy for my tastes, but not overly so. Many writers will probably appreciate the extra degree of cushion.

The Premier has a more up-scale look than the standard Signo 207 retractable. Rather than a clear barrel with black accents, the barrel is available in either a light blue, silver or gold matte finish. I chose the matte silver which contrasts nicely with the chrome plastic accents. The clip is nearly identical to the standard Signo clip, except for a gold-tinted clear plastic accent in the middle of the clip. The plunger is chromed plastic and slightly larger than the standard Signo. The Premier feels a tad heavier than the standard model, but not to the point of causing writer's fatigue. I thought it had a nice balance when writing.

That squishy gel grip has the added bonus of allowing one to maintain a firm purchase on the pen. It showed no tendency to twist or slide when writing. The fine point worked very well with the blue gel ink. I experienced no skipping and the ink flow has remained constant and smooth on cheap and premium paper. It is a very nice pen!

With that being said, I cannot say that the Premier is a superior pen to the standard Signo 207 retractable. I purchased my Premier for $9, but I have seen them listed for $15 and up. By contrast, the standard Uni-Ball Signo 207 retractable averages under $2. Aside from a less cushy grip and less glitz, the standard version writes just as well as the Premier.

So, do I like the Uni-Ball Signo Premier 207 Retractable pen? Well, sure. It's a good-writing, comfortable pen and refills are available. But I don't think it is nearly as good a value as the standard Uni-Ball Signo retractable. Unless you really need an extra-cushioned grip or like slightly more heft, the Premier simply does not have an appreciable edge over the standard model.


  1. I used to get terrible writer's callouses on my middle finger until I got my Signo Premier. I tried a few different pens with "comfort" grips, but the squishy gel grip on the Premier did the trick for me. (Of course, maybe I need a lighter grip on the pen to begin with.)

  2. The gel grip seems to be the big advantage of the Premier over the standard Signo retractable. It adds $7+ dollars to the price - but that may be worth it for many people.