Shimmering inks have become very popular in the last year and it’s largely thanks to Stormy Grey. Stormy Grey is part of J. Herbin’s “1670” line of fountain pen inks. 1670 inks are highly saturated and the original formulation of Rouge Hematite (the first ink in the line) was infamous for clogging pens. All four inks in the 1670 line now come with this warning label:
I only use these inks in my cheaper pens and ones that are easy to disassemble and clean.
Stormy Grey contains flecks of gold that tend to settle at the bottom of the bottle and in order to draw them up the bottle must be shaken, otherwise you are left with a much more plain dark grey ink.
Stormy Grey is a very wet ink (perhaps to compensate for the gold flecks?) and this translates to bleeding and feathering on more absorbent papers. The ink worked well on Rhodia but for more porous papers, a thin nib or dry pen is going to be a better match.
I have been using this ink for several weeks now and it performed trouble free in a number of pens until I put some in my TWSBI 580 with a 1.5mm stub nib. In the TWSBI I got spotty performance; sometimes it would write just fine and other times it would choke and skip.
Apart from some gold flecks left behind, Stormy Grey cleaned out of the pens I tested nicely; this was a nice surprise for a highly saturated ink.
Objectively, Stormy Grey is not a good ink but it is attractive and interesting. I can only recommend this ink as a curiosity; it is not a serious every day ink and but putting this stuff in your pen you are risking a clog.
Pilot’s Iroshizuku line of inks has become incredibly popular in the last couple of years thanks to its agreeable performance and excellent color palette. Despite Iroshizuku’s success Pilot still produces it’s original more affordable ink line that is simply branded as “Pilot” (or “Namiki …or “Pilot/Namiki”).
It is my understanding that these inks have a ph of over 7 making them basic and as such I would caution against putting them in a pen where ink makes direct contact with celluloid.
This line comes in bottle and cartridge formats. The cartridges only fit Pilot and Namiki pens. There are seven colors produced in the cartridge format. In bottle format I have only seen three colors: blue, black, and blue black.
Pilot Blue Black is a bit pale for my tastes but the upshot is some nice subtle shading. The ink provides some good lubrication, making it a great choice for dryer writing pens. I had no issues with bleeding or feathering. I also saw no nib creep (as is common for lubricating inks). I found that this ink was easy to clean out unlike Pilot Blue which has a tendency to stain.
Packs of 12 cartridges go for $7 and 60ml bottles go for $12. The affordable price makes Pilot Blue Black a great workhorse ink that would be appropriate for the office and general correspondence.
As a general rule, I do not purchase ink while traveling. My reasoning is that if a $15 bottle of ink breaks in my luggage I would be out hundreds of dollars in ruined clothes. Yes, I broke my rule.
On my way out of Itoya in Tokyo (after buying some pens I didn’t need) I saw some well-packaged mini bottles of Iroshizuku in a lovely presentation box and that was that…I picked the three colors I wanted and here we are: The Pilot Iroshizuku Yama-Budo Fountain Pen Ink Review.
Yama-Budo in Japanese means “Crimson Glory Vine” and it is a pinkish burgundy color that I really like. Like all Iroshizuku inks, it performs beautifully, well-behaved with a good flow. This ink has really nice shading to it.
This ink isn’t really appropriate for a professional setting but it is a fun color that looks great in a demonstrator.
I am not sure I could go through a full-size 50ml bottle of this one but I feel confident that I will be able to make my way through 15ml.
Pelikan Fount India ink is an oddball ink. India inks (most often) contain binding agents like shellac that provide permanent and waterproof characteristics and consequently make them unsuitable for use in fountain pens (NEVER put real India ink in a fountain pen).
By making an “India-style” ink for use in a fountain pen you have to forgo the binding agent and you are left with a non-waterproof and non-permanent ink. So, you may be asking, “what’s the point?”
Unlike regular fountain pen ink, Fount India, has a thicker consistency that affords a very smooth lubricated feel on the paper. It is not the blackest fountain pen ink out there but it has a richness to it that few black inks can match.
It should be noted that unlike real India ink, Fount India dries matte and not glossy.
Because of it’s thicker consistency it can take a little bit to get the pen going after it has sat overnight but once it starts flowing the ink performs wonderfully. I have also noticed that this ink is especially prone to “nib creep”.
I really enjoy using this ink but I only use Fount India ink in my more affordable pens that are easy to dissemble as it is a bit harder to fully clean out. I have left the ink in my pens for three weeks without any consequences but I would urge caution when using a hybrid ink like this.
This year’s Montblanc Writer’s Edition celebrates Robinson Crusoe author, Daniel Defoe, with an unfortunately ugly pen. The good news is that the limited edition Daniel Defoe Palm Green ink is beautiful.
Palm Green is a dark yellowy green ink with great shading. The flow is about average and overall it is a well behaved ink. Dry time is on the longer side (though I was using a wetter pen than normal) and the ink is not waterproof.
I couldn’t find an ink that I had that was quite like it…its like a darker more green Alt Goldgrün.
This is my favorite limited edition ink Montblanc has come out with in the last few years. It’s not cheap at $19 per 35ml bottle but it’s such a nice color I think it’s worth it.
Side note: loved the label on the bottle as well as the packaging
Every buy ink just for the bottle? I can now say that I have. P.W. Akkerman’s bottle is both beautiful and highly functional. The small reservoir at the top of the bottle is narrow and deep allowing even large nibs to utilize a near empty bottle. There is a glass marble inside the reservoir that when turned on its side allows ink to flow into the neck of the bottle. This is without a doubt the best ink bottle design I have seen. The Montblanc shoe and the old American-made Sheaffer Skrip bottles are good but the Akkerman bottle is great.
The most interesting color out of the 30 different Akkerman inks is #24 Zuiderpark Blauw-Groen which is a nice dark blue green ink with good shading and flow. My first thought was that it looks a lot like Private Reserve Ebony Blue, which in my opinion is one of the best looking inks around.
The ink isn’t waterproof but it did resist the water better than many other non-waterproof inks and that makes me a little bit concerned about leaving this ink in a pen beyond a couple of weeks; that said, I was able to clean this ink out of my Aurora Optima without problem.
#24 Zuiderpark Blauw-Groen (excluding VAT) costs 12.4 EURO or about $16.35 USD which is a reasonable price for this great 60ml bottle of ink BUT the shipping is quiet expensive. 20 EURO or about $26 USD shipped to the United States. Because of the high shipping cost I ended up buying three bottles. Is it worth the price? I think that depends on how much trouble you have filling your pens with large nibs. For me not having to buy two bottles of the same sink so that I can top off one with the other is valuable.
I don’t consider myself an ink person…I like ink but I like pens much more. Boring old Waterman Serenity Blue (FKA Florida Blue) has been my go-to ink for vintage pens for a good while now but I have been finding that with dryer and finer nibbed pens it isn’t the best match. I had to find a safe blue ink with good lubrication and Diamine (with all inks in a pH range of 6-8) was the brand that came to mind.
I ordered 14 Diamine samples from the Goulet Pen Company (no affiliation) and to narrow it down I put the samples on Maruman Mnemosyne Word Book cards as I had first seen on The Pen Addict (again no affiliation)…well one thing led to another and I decided put all of my bottled inks on the Word Book cards and here is the result:
The grays and blacks:
The browns and reds:
The orange and pinks:
I haven’t picked a new blue yet but Diamine Majestic Blue and Diamine Asa blue are the ones catching my eye.
I have always been a fan of turquoise ink, it’s a fun and playful ink color that I enjoy using. Lamy Turquoise is a true turquoise that’s not too green and not too blue.
My go to turquoise has been Diamine Turquoise but this Lamy ink looks near as nice and behaves much better. No significant issues with bleeding and feathering as I experience with the Diamine. I find that the Lamy Turquoise has an average flow and saturation with good shading. Overall it’s a very well behaved ink that has become my new favorite Turquoise.
The Lamy ink bottle is very well designed. The glass vessel is shaped like a top and the plastic base is a ink blotting paper for cleaning your pen after filling.
Please note: this product was provided to me at no charge by JetPens for review purposes.
Here are some great reviews of Lamy Turquoise Ink:
(I have no affiliation with the sites linked below)
To celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Meisterstück, Montblanc has released a limited edition Meisterstück 149 fountain pen and a permanent grey ink. The ink comes in a retro bottle that reads: “This ink fulfils all the demands made on it by durable, good-working, Fountain Pen”.
I have never been a fan of grey inks in the past but when I saw the bottle in the store I had to try it. The salesman was kind enough to let me dip the new 90th Years 149 fountain pen into a bottle of the Permanent Grey. The ink looked great so I bought a bottle.
The 90 Years Permanent Grey is a beautifully saturated almost black ink. The flow is excellent, especially for a permanent ink. Good saturation and shading. The big downside I see to this ink is the dry time…it’s long….very long. In my tests on Rhodia 80gsm paper it took approximately 75 seconds to fully dry.
(click the picture to enlarge)
To test the ink’s permanence I let the ink dry over night and with a few drops of water the ink remained well intact. I believe most of Montblanc’s permanent inks have an ISO certification but I don’t see any mention of that on the packaging of the 90 Years Permanent Grey.
If you like grey inks, this one is a must have. The price is on the expensive side at $20 for 35ml but I think it’s worth it.