Posts Tagged ‘Waterman Blue-Black ink’

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Modern Pilot Fountain Pens

05/19/2016

That is my collection of Pilot/Namiki fountain pens. Nice variety to it, but they seldom get inked. In comparison to other pen makers, I’ve experienced more flow issues with their modern pens than any other brand. While the fine nibs can be temperamental, the wider nibs and flexy ones are the most frustrating.

With more than thirty Pilots having passed through here in the last few years, I am certain their feeds and nibs are not created equal. The nibs write well enough but the flow is not able to keep up. The pens are too often hard starting and skip mid-word even failing for a full word or occasionally even several. This has never happened with my Sailor and Platinum pens. It has been a rare issue with a vintage Western pen but that could be attributed to careless handling by a former owner. My Lamy, Waterman, and Levenger True Writers have had very rare flow issues though matching ink to pen has helped in a few cases.

Pilot Elite pocket pens from the 1970’s are not so quirky though some of the Script nibs write dry and especially narrow. The ink flow keeps up nicely maintaining an even line. The pretty, decorated ones have had a higher than acceptable rate of cracked barrels so that’s a different kind of warning. However, my Socrates, Isaac Newton, and Black Striped models have been especially good writers and aren’t at all picky about brands of ink. That sort of versatility puts them on my list of favorite fountain pens.

This doesn’t mean all of their pens have flow issues. However, this post can be considered a caveat to my previous pen recommendations from the Pilot Custom 742 to the Custom 74 to the lower end Prera and 78G and the bottom of the line Plumix. Even the Namiki Falcon Soft Broad (SB) nib unlike the Soft Fine (SF) has a flow that is inadequate for the amount of ink that should be laid down. A nib adjustment might help though I’ve experienced mixed results on that score.

A free-flowing ink can improve performance a notch. Pilot Iroshizuku ink is a good match though some Diamine and J. Herbin inks have proven up to the task as well. Waterman Blue-Black is my standard test ink and one that can bring out the best in a multitude of pens so that’s a good one to have on hand. Unfortunately, ink won’t fix a pen but it can improve one that is borderline.

This isn’t meant to dissuade you from buying a Pilot or Namiki fountain pen but it is a warning. Your sleek, new pen may need tweaking to be the best it can be. Or it may only take finding the right ink and paper combination to bring out its most charming qualities. Even better, you could get a pen that is perfect from the start. Shouldn’t they all arrive that way?

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Short List Of Time-Tested Inks

12/26/2015

At year end making a list of new favorites is easy and there were some beauties in 2015. However, old favorites deserve recognition as well so I made a quick list of the inks that have been in my rotation the longest, some for more than ten years.

  • Noodler’s Black – Good for any use including with watercolors.
  • Waterman Blue-Black – Safe in vintage flex nibs and good at shading.
  • J. Herbin Lie de The – A relatively neutral brown with lovely shading.
  • J. Herbin Poussiere de Lune (old formula) – Pretty color and good for flex.
  • Diamine Emerald – Muted green that shades very well.
  • Diamine Mediterranean Blue – Cheerful color that is outstanding at shading.
  • Noodler’s Apache Sunset – The ultimate ink for flex writing.

On reviewing the list, I was surprised to find the group represented the color spectrum so well. All write well on a variety of papers so no worries on that score. Though my notes mention flex and shading, all of these inks perform well with italic nibs. This is simply a group of well-rounded inks that have made the transition from extra-fine nibs to wide nibs as my preferences have evolved. Next time a fresh rotation is in order, this group would make a versatile and reliable foundation.

Matching each to its favorite pen might cause some conflict since the Namiki Falcon is everyones preferred partner. Can’t you just hear the bickering? WBBk doesn’t participate in the competition since its usual mate is the Waterman’s 54. Who am I to argue with perfection?

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A Little Flex Writing On Clairefontaine Paper

06/28/2014

Visiting a couple of old friends over the weekend, a Canadian Waterman’s 301 Ideal 2A flex nib and Waterman Blue-Black ink, was an excellent reminder that the latest and greatest aren’t necessarily better than my earliest discoveries. My Clairefontaine notebook was impressed with the results as well.

My post on how to take advantage of a Clairefontaine notebook.

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Is This Ink List Too Long?

09/15/2012

Some inks make it into my rotation based on just one characteristic. Not that these beauties don’t possess other stellar qualities but the inks on this list make it for color alone.

Blue:

  • Noodler’s Ottoman Azure – Greenish blue. Flows well in fine nibs.
  • Noodler’s Eel Blue – Medium dark blue. Very lubricating. Piston fillers.
  • Diamine Royal Blue – Medium blue. Shows well in broad nibs.
  • Iroshizuku syo-ro – Soft greenish blue. Good in all pens.
  • Diamine Mediterranean Blue – Bright sky/ocean blue. Broad nibs.
  • Iroshizuku ku-jaku – Dark turquoise. Free-flowing.

Green:

  • Montblanc Racing Green – Very dark green. Shades beautifully.
  • Noodler’s Zhivago – Very dark green. Looks black at times.
  • J. Herbin Vert Empire – Muted green.
  • Diamine Emerald – Medium green.
  • Iroshizuku shin-ryoku – Blue green with good flow.

Purple:

  • Diamine Violet – Purple that flows very well. Perfect for wide nibs.
  • Caran d’Ache Storm – Grayed red-purple.
  • De Atramentis Aubergine – Non-bright purple.

Brown:

  • Diamine Sepia – Orange brown. Shades and outlines.
  • Noodler’s #41 Brown – Dark brown.
  • Noodler’s Golden Brown – Yellow brown. Shades.
  • Noodler’s Kiowa Pecan – Somewhat pale yellow brown. Shades.
  • J. Herbin Lie de The – Medium dark brown.

Orange:

  • Noodler’s Cayenne – Orange red.
  • Diamine Vermillion – Red orange.
  • Noodler’s Apache Sunset – Intense orange. Excellent shading.

Red:

  • Noodler’s Red-Black – Dark red with strong black element. Shades.
  • Diamine Monaco Red – Dull red.
  • Noodler’s Tiananmen – Brick red.

Magenta:

Blue-Black:

  • Iroshizuku tsuki-yo – Greenish blue-black. Good flow.
  • Waterman Blue-Black – Unsaturated blue-black. Very safe ink.
  • Diamine Teal – Saturated greenish blue-black. Best on quality paper.

Black/Gray:

  • Noodler’s Lexington Gray – Dark gray.
  • Noodler’s Black – Basic black. Reliable.
  • J. Herbin Perle Noire – Very black. Good coverage.
  • Sailor Deep Rust Black – Brown black. Good flow.

Yes, the list is long but only a few inks go into pens at one time. What’s on your list?

Note: Links are to previous Inkophile mentions and reviews.

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