J. Herbin is the oldest ink manufacturer in the world and was established in 1670. The J. Herbin roller ball is special because it is designed to use fountain pen ink. It takes short standard international cartridges which gives you a very wide variety of inks to choose from. I have been able to fit a Monteverde mini ink converter and now the ink possibilities are endless.
When I received the pen the first thing I noticed was that it was quite small at 4.5″ capped and about 5.5″ posted. The translucent demonstrator body is decently made. If you look closely you can see some seams but you cannot feel them. The metal clip feels pretty sturdy. I don’t like the “J. HERBIN” in red along the cap; I would have preferred something more subtle. There are three little holes on the bottom of the body so this pen could not be used as an eyedropper. The cap snaps on to the body to close and posts securely. Due to the small size of the pen, some people will need to post the cap to use this pen comfortably.
I filled the pen with Diamine Turquoise and the roller ball wrote quite well. Nice clean lines no skipping or any other bad behavior to report. It is not as smooth as a hybrid gel ink roller ball but that is to be expected. The line is about a medium width. The Monteverde mini converter does not hold a lot of ink so the standard international cartridge may be a better choice for some.
Overall I really like this little pen; it’s well-made, a good writer and can use all my favorite inks but if you are willing to put up with the hassle of fountain pen ink and cleaning the feed when changing colors why wouldn’t you use a fountain pen instead? I can’t come up with any reasons.
Here are some great reviews of the J. Herbin Roller Ball:
East West Everywhere – J. Herbin Rollerball
Paper Pens Ink – Review of the J Herbin rollerball
The Well-Appointed Desk – J. Herbin Rollerball Fail
Life Imitates Doodles – Review of the J Herbin Rollerball Pen and Ink Cartridges
Ink of Me Fondly – J. Herbin Refillable Roller Ball Pen