J. Herbin 1670, Edition Anniversaire


For an American it may be hard to imagine a company that opened its doors more than a hundred years before our Declaration of Independence was signed. That’s a long time to invest in perfecting a product and for that effort, J. Herbin has some of the best ink on the market.

To celebrate its 340th anniversary, J. Herbin has released a new ink in a new bottle with new packaging.  The name of the ink is 1670 for the year the company was founded but the color is called Rouge Hematite. If you like red ink, this one is for you.

J. Herbin 1670 Rouge Hematite with Rhodia Grid Notebook

J. Herbin 1670 Rouge Hematite with Rhodia Grid Notebook

Initial observations…

  • Love the packaging and taller bottle. The wax seal is a good representation of the ink’s color.
  • Color is an earthy red that leans orange-red depending on lighting conditions as well as nib width and flow. I like the chameleon aspect.
  • Richest color achieved with wettest nibs especially those with flex.
  • The color is very saturated compared to most inks in the line. This one is neither shy nor pale. Bottle may need a shake or swirl before filling a pen to get best results.
  • Excellent coverage and flow. No feathering. All nibs tested performed beautifully.
  • 1670 is thicker than other Herbin fountain pens inks as well as slower to dry. On Rhodia it took more than 10 seconds with a Lamy EF.
  • No bleed-through or show-through on Rhodia or Apica 6A10. Faintly visible through the back of Triomphe stationery.
J. Herbin 1670 - Rouge Hematite

J. Herbin 1670 - Rouge Hematite

Does 1670 represent a new direction for J. Herbin? Maybe so. The larger 50 ml bottle will please some folks while others will be happy that the additional height makes it easier to fill large nibs. So much to the good.

1670 - The bar shows the range of reds in the written sample.

J. Herbin 1670 - The bar shows the range of reds in the written sample.

Color and performance are what make this new ink work for me. From a flexible nib, 1670 has a beautiful, rich color that invites lots of swirls and loops and other interesting shapes. With an extra-fine nib, 1670 offers smooth performance and excellent coverage. Saturated inks may not be my preference but J. Herbin 1670 looks like a good fit for my collection regardless.

J. Herbin 1670 Ink Swatch

J. Herbin 1670 Ink Swatch

Note that in the swatch, “fundamental” was written with a Lamy AL-Star EF while the other writing was done with an Esterbrook 9128 extra-fine flexible nib. The Lamy produced a lighter red that has less of the orange seen in the more saturated samples.

At least on my monitor, the scanned images make the ink look less orange than it should be. I hope it’s just happening for me and not you. 1670 really is an earthy red rather than a true red which is part of what distinguishes it from most other inks on the market.

More at Biffybeans and Pen and Co and Rhodia Drive and Okami-Whatever and lady dandelion and Drawing with a Squirrel and my ink comparison to R&K Morinda.

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  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Margana. Margana said: New Inkophile review: J. Herbin 1670, Edition Anniversaire at http://wp.me/pfSKv-tk [...]

  2. GREAT review! ;-)

  3. It really looks beautiful!

  4. A splendid review (as always) of a real beauty. Beautiful and poetic handwriting that really brings out the best in this ink.

  5. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by pennednpapered: New Inkophile review: J. Herbin 1670, Edition Anniversaire at http://wp.me/pfSKv-tk (via @inkophile)…

  6. Excellent review of an excellent product. Love your handwriting! :)

    • Glad you liked the review. Most of the time they write themselves. I’m just along for the ride. :)

  7. Could you comment more on the bottle neck and whether oversized pens fit in comfortably? I’m concerned a pen the size of a 149 or Churchill or Ripple might not fit.

    Also, if anyone has noticed any staining on lighter colored pens from the greater saturation.

    • Good questions. Wish I had one of those pens to test. It’s dark at my desk but it looks like the opening is 12-13mm. My Sailor 1911 looks like it would slide in but not with much room to spare.

      Frankly, I’m reluctant to use any light colored pen with a red ink or even purple for that matter. So I can’t comment on that but there has been no staining so far in the clear Lamy converter. Further observations will have to wait till the pens are empty in a day or two.

  8. Wow! That’s a fantastic color with awesome shading. I’d love to get my hands on that ink. How does it compare to Iroshizuku Momiji, which is my current favorite ink?

    Also – I don’t know why you’re always criticizing your writing. Your handwriting’s got so much character – I wish mine was as nifty.

    • J. Herbin 1670 is an orange-red while Iroshizuku Momiji is a blue-red. Bricks vs raspberries? I haven’t enough experience with Momiji to compare properties.

  9. You did a real great work on this new ink!
    Very interesting

  10. Excellent review, pictures and the loveliest handwriting. Thanks for sharing!


  11. I usually don’t care much for Herbin’s inks but this colour really intrigues me. I’ll be in Paris in a couple of weeks and I hope I can find it there, that would be a really nice souvenir ;)

  12. [...] you want to read more about it you find reviews of the 1670 anniversary ink at Inkophile and [...]

  13. This ink makes me want to take up teaching just so I can correct papers, and write comments using this color.

  14. Received my bottle of 1670 from Daily Planner in NY. Nice box. Cracking the seal was a unique experience. Inked up an old Sheaffer extra fine gold nib and attacked various notebooks: webbie, molie, eco, whitie, and piccie. The Rhodia paper is the most luscious, a bit long to dry as noted. With a medium steel nib, the delayed drying allows some smudging of the wet line, a technique I have never really explored. Great fun if the results are illegible.

    Compared to my favorite red (conventional Sheaffer cartridges), the Herbin is earthier, brickier, darker. Herbin 1670 allows a delightful wide of color variation, an irresistible feature in fountain pen inks. Is there a technical term for this feature?

    david boise ID

    • Light to dark color variation is known as shading and 1670 exhibits it with some pens but not all. I don’t know of a term for ink that looks different from different pens which is another characteristic that I observed with 1670. It is a most unusual ink.

  15. [...] J. Herbin 1670 Ink Review [...]

  16. [...] I covet terribly, has an amazing blog. The swatches of 1670 put mine to shame. Look and drool: Inkophile’s swatches of1670. This ink has character and Inkophile has the skillz to really bring it out. I want those skillz. [...]

  17. [...] Your Favorite Ink For The Holidays? 2010/12/18 [...]

  18. [...] these excellent reviews of “1670″ at Inkophile, Rants of the Archer, Biffybeans, and Lady [...]

  19. [...] Inkophile’s Review [...]

  20. [...] already, and I don’t have anything new to say.  I recommend the reviews by Biffybeans and Inkophile, as well as the colour swabs by Pocket Blonde.  I just wanted to share my delight in this ink with [...]

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