Inky fingers, June 2019

I’ve had a few requests recently for ink-related posts. Despite my mediocre photography, I thought I’d share a few inks that I’m really enjoying at the moment — and a few that disappointed.


Edelstein Star Ruby

After the faded sadness that was Edelstein Ruby, Star Ruby is simply fantastic. Vibrant, well-behaved, non-staining, and a smooth writer. I currently have it in an Opus 88 with broad nib where the colour can really shine. It looks great in a demonstrator barrel, too.


Sailor Studio 123

After a reader pointed out that it’s a little dry, I have noticed the same — but I still adore the colour. I currently have it in my London Fog and Montblanc Geometry.


Lamy Amazonite

For a teal/turquoise, a pretty crowded segment of the market, Amazonite has a great colour and performs really well.

Maruzen Athena Sepia

I’d barely call this a brown — it’s an off-black, much like Birmingham Alternator Crimson. It’s noticeably less yellow-brown than SBRE Brown, for example; and noticeably darker even than Edelstein Smoky Quartz. It’s the performance I enjoy, though.



Montblanc Petrol

I was as excited about this as you guys. But the colour is nothing special. There’s some shading, but zero sheen, if that matters to you.


In fact, the last five blues I’ve bought — all shown here — are a mixed bag. Maruzen Athena felt too dark and faded; not a true blue-black, just dull, even with its red/brown sheen. Sailor Studio 140 is really pretty on a swatch, but in a pen it looked way too watery. The two Bunguboxes — First Love Sapphire and June Bride — on the other hand, have really impressed me. I’m not a fan of “true blues” that lean towards purple, such as Iroshizuku Asa-Gao. But this one hits me straight in the eyes, especially from a nice wet pen like my Visconti Medici. Equally I’m not normally a fan of minty blue/greens, but June Bride is so bright and cheerful that I’m really enjoying it in my Montegrappa Extra.

Montblanc Manganese Orange

For a bright orange, this ends up looking just that bit washed out, at least in my Pelikan M805 Italic Broad (which is what I wrote the swatch card with; usually I use a glass dip pen). Montblanc Lucky Orange and Sailor Kin-Mokusei are both brighter, purer colours, which is what I was expecting from the bottle.


I’ll stop here — I’ve gathered quite a few new inks recently, but I don’t want to outstay my welcome!

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