Archive for the ‘Ink’ Category


Brief Update On The Pilot Metropolitan


Sometimes a pen works so well with an ink that nothing else seems right for it. Who can argue with success? But it can pay to be open to change.

Last night the Pilot MR Metropolitan Medium was ready for another refill and begged for a different color. Pilot Blue Black has performed so well that at first I rejected the request. But after a bath, the pen was ripe for a new ink. We settled on green to expand the colors in my rotation. Sailor Tokiwa-matsu has had little use and is subdued enough to suit my go-everywhere pen. So after a fill, we went for a spin.

Not expecting the smooth flow and ideal performance of Pilot BBk, I was delighted to find Tokiwa-matsu quite nearly its equal. But wait. Does that mean the Metro performed equally well with both inks? Indeed.

Now it’s time to acquire a second one to see if my Metro medium nib is uncommon or typical. Buying another pen is easy. The hard part is settling on the color. Choices, choices, choices, but that is a very good thing.


Exclusive Noodler’s Inks Now Available


Recently, Luxury Brands released several Noodler’s inks to the U.S. market that were previously exclusive to other countries. The names may be a bit exotic, but the colors are vivid and varied.

  • Rachmaninoff is a very bright, intense pink. Grab your sunglasses to look at this one.
  • Empire Red is a toned down blue-red. When a bright red would overpower, this more subtle color will do.
  • Mata Hari’s Cordial is a dark mid-range purple. It says purple, but doesn’t shout it.
  • Upper Ganges Blue leans teal though not overly so and could be considered all-purpose.
  • Socrates is a violet that has a slightly dusky quality to it. Not muted exactly, but a step removed from bright.

My Noodler’s Standard Flex pen is courting Mata Hari and Socrates for its next fill so it must be in the mood for purple. If it were up to me, Upper Ganges would get the call, but sometimes it’s best to let the pen do the choosing. Keeps them happy and productive when the pen and ink don’t fight each other.

Currently, Pen Chalet offers all of these inks except Empire Red. So that would be a good place to start if these colors intrigue you.


Big, Bad Nibs – One Year On


Sometimes it is useful to compare what works now to what worked in the past. An image of my wide nibs from a year ago turned up quite by accident and I realized how few of these pens were currently inked. Does that mean the others have fallen out of favor or they just aren’t good enough to remain in use?

The truth is that I’m fickle. Plus I’ve come to appreciate the reduced maintenance that attends a smaller rotation.

Consequently, only the TWSBI 580 1.1 stub, the Platinum #3776 Music Nib, and the Platinum Nice Pur Broad remain active. It’s an interesting group because both the nibs and pen sizes are varied. All to the good for writing and comfort.

But do these pens have the same tastes in ink? The TWSBI has been filled with Diamine Violet all year. The Platinum music nib is more likely to switch partners, but is especially suited to Diamine Sepia. The Nice Pur takes all inks well, though Platinum Pigment Rose Red might top its list with Noodler’s Black Swan in English Roses coming in a close second. Glad to see the pens getting along so well with some of my favorite inks.

Now that I look at it, my rotation has only two recently acquired pens, a Pilot Kakuno M with Diamine Mediterranean and a Pilot Metropolitan M with Pilot BBk. The lone older model is a 1970’s Pilot Elite Pocket Pen loaded with Noodler’s Black, the little black dress in my ink wardrobe.

A six pen rotation is all I need for personal use and it provides enough variety to make writing colorful and entertaining.

If something in my rotation appeals to you, check out the links below. The Platinum music nib at the link is the newer Century model since my smaller #3776 has become difficult to find.

The Pilot Elite ‘Isaac Newton’ can be found from time to time on eBay for roughly $100 to $150. One word of warning. Some of the Elites can have brittle plastic sections and crack easily just by inserting a converter. Otherwise, it’s a good model if you like the pocket pen form.


Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen


A summer project provided the opportunity to test an inexpensive, reliable, sturdy fountain pen with a medium nib. The Pilot MR Metropolitan seemed a good fit for the purpose. So I popped one into an Amazon order along with dog biscuits and vitamins. Macy was very excited when she first sniffed the package. “Mom, this one’s for me!” She was not impressed by the dark gray pen box, but was tail-wagging happy about the food.

Here is how the Metro stacks up.

For a metal pen, the Metro is surprisingly light-weight. Even writing with the cap on the end, the weight remains within my range if a trifle overbalanced. The brass barrel should take plenty of everyday knocks and abuse. This is a sleek baby that feels quite comfortable in the hand.

The Metro writes every time without hesitation which is impressive considering my inconsistent use of it. The snap on cap seals solidly which may prevent or at least reduce ink evaporation. That may account for the easy starts. It also means jostling won’t loosen the cap, perfect for an everyday carry pen.

Unlike most fountain pens, the Metro allowed me to pause in thought for an unusually long time without concern for ink drying in the nib. Not something everyone needs, but it is helpful for a pensive mood. I really wanted to write longer just to experience the satisfaction of putting down words so easily.

Initially filled with Pilot Blue-Black, the pen and ink are perfectly suited. The color may be rather ordinary, but the flow and lubrication are just right for the stainless steel nib. It glides without a hint of drag. Staples Arc notebook paper completed a pen, ink, paper threesome that is a pleasure to use.

The Metropolitan comes in several styles and an array of colors. The neutral silver with a zig zag pattern was a practical choice. Maybe next time, a colorful Retro Pop will land in my cart, but for now, the matte silver will have to work extra hard trying lots of different inks especially Iroshizuku, Noodler’s, and Sailor. All should write at least as well as Pilot BBk. Iroshizuku ku-jaku is angling for a spin in the Metro and that is a writing duo that will be hard to resist.

Several retailers carry the Pilot MR Metropolitan. Mine came from Amazon, but even Massdrop has offered it. This is one pen that shouldn’t be hard to find. Current prices range from approximately $12 to $15 including a CON-20 squeeze converter and a single Pilot cartridge. Converters can cost $5 purchased separately, so including one with the pen makes this a very good deal.

With a Pilot MR Metropolitan in my bag, I am prepared for anything including a rough-writing newbie who wants to see what it’s like to use a fountain pen. What a great way to make a convert!


Sunday Reads From Tomoe To Ink To Graffiti


Another diverse group…


Noodler’s Has A Refillable Cartridge


According to Luxury Brands, Noodler’s Ink is introducing a new 308 refillable ink cartridge. It fits both the Noodler’s Ahab and Neponset (with the white section insert). The cartridges will be available for sale in a 10 pack, MSRP $10.00.

Nathan has a video with the details that includes a brief history of the ink cartridge. Who knew its roots traced back to the American Civil War, some 150 years ago?






Signature Ink And A Color Wheel


Color is the first hook for any ink. From jewel tones to muted whispers, color gets us where it matters. We buy what appeals to us and then share it with friends and associates via the written word. But what does that color communicate?

The August 2016 issue of Pen World magazine has an article I wrote called Signature Ink. Nicky Pessaroff, the new editor, was kind enough to send the PDF for Inkophile readers, but here is one of the graphics to get you started.

Start at the top and work counter-clockwise to match inks with their names. Which color best represents you?

If you aren’t a Pen World subscriber, there is nothing quite like having a beautifully photographed, well-written magazine in your hands. The colors are true unlike what passes for accuracy on an electronic display. You should see the Staedtler ad on the back cover of the August issue. It is absolutely stunning. And that’s just an ad! You’ll have to subscribe to find out what’s on the inside.


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