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.

Winners

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.

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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.

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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.

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Losers

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.

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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.

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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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