Jump to content

The Fountain Pen Network uses (functional) cookies. Read the Privacy Policy for more info.  To remove this message, please click here to accept the use of cookies






Photo

Grail Inks


  • Please log in to reply
22 replies to this topic

#1 stevekolt

stevekolt

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 270 posts
  • Location:WV
  • Flag:

Posted 01 January 2018 - 07:20

Certain inks seem to have achieved "grail" status, such as Parker Penman Saphire. Why do you think the companies don't step up and offer these inks again? It would seem to be a smart business decision...



Sponsored Content

#2 zaddick

zaddick

    BROAD Side Ambassador

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,073 posts
  • Location:SF Bay Area
  • Flag:

Posted 01 January 2018 - 09:20

I would propose it is lack of potential revenue vs. cost/effort to reissue ink. Plus, often it is the lack of availability that makes some ink more desirable. If Penman Sapphire was freely available, people would probably not pine for it in the same way. I suppose some LE inks may be hoarded, but thanks to this community it is often feasible to find a fair match in a production ink still available.

That said, I do wish some older inks would be reissued, but I don't mind moving on and finding new favorites.

Edited by zaddick, 01 January 2018 - 09:21.


#3 white_lotus

white_lotus

    Caution: Absinthe and Whiskey Distiller with Ink

  • FPN Supporter - Rhodium

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,413 posts
  • Location:New York state
  • Flag:

Posted 01 January 2018 - 13:05

For many if not all of the inks made "back in the day" the original ingredients are no longer made. This can be for many reasons, including cost, environmental and workplace safety, as well as simple business decisions. You see, the dyes used in FP inks are simply those available in that marketplace (dye world) and their use as FP inks is minimal to their overall sales.

 

And PPS was a very nice ink. I had a sample once. But there are so many inks available today with so many more colors and properties that I'll take the loss of the Penman line for all available to us now.



#4 pseudo88

pseudo88

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,559 posts

Posted 01 January 2018 - 16:34

It's a question of mentality and a new business model; previously you'd need to plan for x thousands of units produced and a big percentage of unsold inventory; today you could pre sell everything. The bigger change is when consumers can produce what other consumers want.


"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

B. Russell

#5 welch

welch

    Donor Pen

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,618 posts
  • Location:New York, NY
  • Flag:

Posted 01 January 2018 - 17:33

On the big one, PPS:

 

Marilyn Brown, of Art Brown's penshop, says that executives from Parker HQ visited in 2012 or 2013. She pointed to the display of Iroshizuku and Edelstein inks, pointed to their price, and mentioned how fast the two luxury inks were selling.

 

She suggested that Parker bring back Penman Sapphire and the other Penman inks. Parker execs just changed the subject. No explanation.

 

Since then, we see that several pen/ink companies have jumped into the super-expensive ink business: Faber-Castell, at $30 / bottle, and Caran d'Ache at about $40 a bottle (most expensive ink anywhere?).

 

Parker seems to have ignored a profit source. I bought three bottles of PPS at about $40 each about ten years ago, so any PPS, if found, might sell for twice that. (PPS is far and away the finest blue ink I've ever used.)A re-issued Penman line should be an easy sell at Edelstein prices. Weird thinking.


Edited by welch, 01 January 2018 - 17:38.

Don't take any job that requires new clothes.

#6 white_lotus

white_lotus

    Caution: Absinthe and Whiskey Distiller with Ink

  • FPN Supporter - Rhodium

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,413 posts
  • Location:New York state
  • Flag:

Posted 01 January 2018 - 18:34

I believe Parker is owned by Newell Rubbermaid, a company with 13 billion dollars in gross revenues. Even if they grossed $1 million from it, that's still nothing to a company that size. Peanuts. A waste of corporate effort, when you can come out with products that easily gross $10 million or $100 million or more.

 

And Sailor Bungbox inks sell for $43 in the US, and Montblanc's latest limited editions also sell for that. So Caran d'Ache is no longer the most expensive ink.


Edited by white_lotus, 01 January 2018 - 18:36.


#7 Mulrich

Mulrich

    Modern Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,056 posts

Posted 01 January 2018 - 20:20

The size of Rubbermaid isnt as important as the size of Parker within Rubbermaid but even that business unit is huge and doesnt target niche products.

Regarding the original post...
I can think of a couple Sailor shop exclusives that dont have international distribution which could be considered grails.

#8 white_lotus

white_lotus

    Caution: Absinthe and Whiskey Distiller with Ink

  • FPN Supporter - Rhodium

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,413 posts
  • Location:New York state
  • Flag:

Posted 01 January 2018 - 21:14

Yes it's quite important as to which divisions and brands of a major corporation produce the revenue. Those are the divisions that get new products, that get the corporate dollar spent on them to bring in more dollars. NR also owns Sharpie, XActo, Uniball, and PaperMate, and we all know how popular these are. Fountain pens and the inks that go with them are a minuscule part of NRs business. Bringing back a line of inks, which haven't been made is 40 or 50 years or more — that had no competitors at the time — is just not part of the plan. It's pointless.

 

What Parker is promoting is the Parker Jotter. And this bring their 125th anniversary year, you'd think if they were going to bring back PPS now would be this time. But alas, no.

 

And all of this ignores the fact that the dye, the surfactant, the biocide used in making it haven't been made in who knows how long. Decades probably.

 

Grail inks are a chimera. A false thing to chase after. You might as well chase after unicorns and pixie dust. It's the oldest desire in human nature, to want something said to possess amazing qualities and what you can't get. Jason and the Golden Fleece is one old saga, I'm sure there are others in various cultures.

 

Anyway you folks can go argue over what inks you can't get or aren't made any more. I'm interested in the inks right in front of me that I can get, usually easily, for reasonable sums of money. And a lot of them are excellent inks.



#9 praxim

praxim

    On twig

  • FPN Supporter - Rhodium

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,205 posts
  • Location:Not upon the peneplain
  • Flag:

Posted 01 January 2018 - 21:47

NR owns Waterman too. If they were to do an upmarket ink line I would expect it to be there, distinct from their reliable range.
Anyone owning three or more working pens is in no position to disparage choices by others, so cheer up and enjoy your pens. :)

#10 Mew

Mew

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 797 posts
  • Location:Kyoto/Tokyo, Japan

Posted 01 January 2018 - 21:47

 
And Sailor Bungbox inks sell for $43 in the US, and Montblanc's latest limited editions also sell for that. So Caran d'Ache is no longer the most expensive ink.


Caran d'Ache costs $40 in the manufacturing country and Bungbox costs $43 in a foreign country. Both are not at the same level for a fair comparison.
And I think Montblanc standardised their pricing across all markets.

#11 Chrissy

Chrissy

    Ancient Artifact

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12,031 posts
  • Location:England
  • Flag:

Posted 01 January 2018 - 21:56

I wouldn't pay $40 for a bottle of Caran d'Ache ink.  :o  Sometimes I go on Amazon uk and there are some colours that are discounted. If one of the discounted prices lines up with a colour I want then I might buy it. I bought Divine Pink for a really good price that way.  ;)


flying-letter-exc.png

#12 Runnin_Ute

Runnin_Ute

    Grandpa T's desk - SUPER P.INKS

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,176 posts
  • Location:Sandy, Utah - Elevation 4509'
  • Flag:

Posted 02 January 2018 - 05:00

I got a cartridge of PPS when I bought a Parker 45 from Europe sometime back. Perhaps it was because of the nib the pen has/had (EF)that I used it in, but I wasn't overwhelmed by it. Again, had I used it in a pen with a wider nib, I may have been more impressed. And that is an ink I heard of going for $100 or more.

The one ink that I had a bottle of which got discontinued, that I wish I had a second bottle of it Levenger Pomegranate. Nowhere to be found. Smaller production to start with probably. And this is only been discontinued since first quarter 2016.

Brad
 
"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling
"None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try." - Mark Twain
 
<img=http://www.fountainp...poinpa-exc.png>


#13 wallylynn

wallylynn

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,718 posts

Posted 03 January 2018 - 19:57

I have my bottle of Montblanc Midnight Blue (Iron gall). I'm satisfied. Not so much the ink, but I kinda wish I was able to buy Visconti when the bottles were still glass.

#14 TinyHound

TinyHound

    NOS (New Old Stock)

  • Member - Bronze+

  • PipPip
  • 17 posts
  • Location:Netherlands
  • Flag:

Posted 03 January 2018 - 21:27

I could imagine that asides from the revenue/effort issues marketing is also an issie.

Right now you have those golden oldies, it could be detrimental to bring them back. It being a LE/collectors item might be more beneficial to the popularity.

#15 inkstainedruth

inkstainedruth

    Ancient Artifact

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12,635 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 04 January 2018 - 01:05

I wouldn't pay $40 for a bottle of Caran d'Ache ink.  :o  Sometimes I go on Amazon uk and there are some colours that are discounted. If one of the discounted prices lines up with a colour I want then I might buy it. I bought Divine Pink for a really good price that way.  ;)

 

I got a clearance bottle of CdA Grand Canyon several years ago at 50% off when I was at Bromfield Pen Shop in Boston.  It's a very nice ink, but I have other nice browns.  

While I liked the cartridges of PPS that someone here on FPN sent me a coupe of years ago, just to see what I'd been missing, I have no intention (or the funds) to buy a full bottle of it at current prices.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

#16 Mew

Mew

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 797 posts
  • Location:Kyoto/Tokyo, Japan

Posted 04 January 2018 - 08:38

My grail inks were Tomiya Akita and Office Vender Sendai inks, both made by sailor exclusively for shops in these cities. Now I have both and grail ink list is empty.

#17 dcwaites

dcwaites

    DavidW

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,705 posts
  • Location:Campbelltown, NSW, Oz
  • Flag:

Posted 04 January 2018 - 09:22

PPS used to be my grail ink. However, since Monteverde came out with Horizon Blue, which duplicates pretty well every feature of PPS, not just its colour, PPS is, for me now, just another excellent ink.

 

My other grail ink is Noodler's Black. I don't use it very often, but I don't know what I would do if I couldn't get any. There just isn't another ink with all the features and properties of NB. Perhaps I should get a larger bottle...


fpn_1412827311__pg_d_104def64.gif

 

 

“Them as can do has to do for them as can’t.

And someone has to speak up for them as has no voices.”

Granny Aching


#18 ksm

ksm

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 336 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 04 January 2018 - 09:40

I agree with previous posters:

  • Some inks would loose their appeal if supply was adequate.
  • Fountain pen ink market is not that big, and it become a little crowded in recent years.

But there may be some additional problems with reviving older product lines:

  1. Recipes may by lost.
  2. Ingredients may be no longer available.
  3. Formulations may be in conflict with current environmental or health regulations.


#19 displacermoose

displacermoose

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 316 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 07 January 2018 - 01:39

I don't have any specific grail inks. I frequently try new inks, but I've found that I tend to collect certain groups of colors that are very similar, so much so that I've started having to do comparisons every time I fall in love with a sample to make sure that its different enough from what I already have. For example, I recently saw and fell in love with BungBox Clown Tears. Fortunately I got a sample first. I certainly can tell the difference between it and Oku-Yama, Yama-Budo, Edison, Pouissire de Lune, and Scabiosa, but I have bottles of all of those others. No way I can justify yet another bottle in that same color group, especially at BungBox prices. I'm to the point where I can't imagine an ink where there is not a close-enough acceptable substitute.


Yet another Sarah.


#20 Jeff_H

Jeff_H

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 249 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 07 January 2018 - 21:54

The only grail ink I ever really had was MB Racing Green.  Everyone said it was the best green ever made.  I found a bottle listed here for fairly silly money, but I bought it anyhow.  When I received it, I inked it in my favorite MB 146 and was immediately underwhelmed.  I tried it in half a dozen of my other favorite pens with the same result. 

 

It turns out that MB Jonathan Swift is the grail green for me.  I sold the Racing Green and now have 5 bottles of J. Swift.  I haven't had a grail ink since.


I enjoy MB 146 pens, Sailor, Pilot and Platinum pens as well. I have a strong attraction to dark red and muted green ink, colors I dislike for everything but FP ink. I also enjoy practicing my handwriting and attempting to improve it. I love the feel of quality paper under a gold nib.  







Sponsored Content




|