Here is a brief review of a double concentrated Pilot Blue-Black ink.
A prelude. Or a kind of
I have always been fascinated with this ink. For a bunch of reasons except one: it is rather lifeless. Then I used it in my modern Duofold (with the damn hole in the cap causing evaporation) and found out this ink can be gorgeous with a lot of gravitas, beautiful shading and some sheen... if evaporates a bit.
Pilot Blue-Black standard concentration properties summary
A couple of positives of this ink (in the normal 100% concentration):
1) VERY cheap if you get a 350ml bottle from Japan, it costs there roughly $12,
2) VERY water resistant,
3) (unlike most Blue-Black inks) when exposed to water it stays purely blue instead of black/grey,
4) flows well in any pen,
6) no strong smell,
7) while it stains, the stains disappear fully if well soaked/filled with a soapy (dish detergent) water with no other treatment required at all; it is also very easy to wash from clothes, leaving no stains.
Aren't these 7 wonders of the ink?
Well, yes, but despite all the positives this ink normally isn't what one would expect of a solid blue black. Honestly, it is quite dull.
Say no to the dullness - let it evaporate
So what did I do? I bought a 350ml bottle, filled my empty Edelstein Sapphire bottle (actually not the most lively ink either), folded a kitchen paper towel in 8 layers and fixed it with a rubber band to the bottle. Then put it in my desk (the place that is dark and dry - just like my soul). I had been checking it regularly, but cannot remember how long did it take to evaporate a half of the bottle, but roughly 2 weeks. And... see the result below. A lovely navy ink, very water resistant, with a sheen and shading. With no misbehaviour. And still very cheap.
For this process the wider the open surface of the bottle is the faster is the evaporation. Sailor old style 50ml round bottle (reminding jar) would fit the best. On the contrary heating or exposing to sunlight would not be the best idea.
The paper used is Oxford 90g A4 optikpaper notepad (a coated paper like Rhodia etc.).
The pen used is MB 146 from early 90s (1st gen. plastic feed) with M(edium) feed - a bit broadish but not the wettest.
The photos were taken in a natural light (direct sunlight/2 sorts of a shadow).
You can see the comparison of the ink in 100% and 200% concentrations, written with the same pen.
The writing sample was kept in the notebook for 24 hours before performing the water test.
It was left for 30 second under a tap.
I went quite hard with cotton swabs, it even damaged the paper surface.
UV resistance results (notebook vs. summer window) will be updated in 2 weeks.
The inks does not bleed (except the cheapest paper in almost a toilet paper quality), does not feather.
While the standard Pilot Blue-Black is a very good ink it is not the best choice if you need a serious business ink. The double concentration will do the job.
What a lovely colour, isn't it?! What a performance! And very, very cheap.
As for the price, while the ink is cheap the shipping is tricky but for instance Mercari now and then offers discounts on shipping or even a free international shipping, like recently.
Edited by aurore, 06 July 2020 - 08:38.