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  1. First of all I must apologise as this ink should have been launched at the same time as the other Diamine new colour: Classic Green, that The Good Captain launched in his excellent review. However, due to me having been laid very low by a bacterial stomach infection, I'm late on parade with this review. Still, the show must go on, so I have written with this ink a few times and finally managed to get the review form done and scanned. So I'm back in bed with my trusty MacBook typing this. As many of you will know, Oxford Blue has to be a dark blue. That is Oxford University's team colour, whereas Cambridge University's colour is light blue. This is a fabulous dark blue. When I wrote with it, I thought I knew of several dark blues that I could use as comparisons to it, but when I actually came to find similar colours, it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. Oxford Blue is more blue than Montblanc JFK Navy Blue, and it's darker than Diamine Midnight. It's a well saturated really dark blue, with plenty of shading. I'm sure it will be a popular colour. I really like it. I'm not sure of the exact launch date, but it's not too far away. This isn't a waterproof ink, but it has good water resistance. The water was on the grid for about 1 minute before being swabbed and blotted by kitchen roll.Bearing in mind the paper I use is thick with a shiny, smooth surface, and I used a Lamy F and 1.1mm nib, this ink took 12-16 secs to dry.It flows very well and lubricates the nib very well. I saw no skips or hard starts despite leaving the pen uncapped while I did all of the swab tests.I'm not 100% sure yet if it will be part of the standard range, but I think it will. If it is, it will be available in 80ml glass bottles and 30ml plastic refill bottlesDiamine sell it directly to end-users on their web-site.
  2. Today I'm reviewing Cult Pens Deep Dark Blue ink. Cult Pens Deep Dark Blue is one of the 6 inks in the “Deep Dark” range that are made for Cult Pens by Diamine Inks. Deep Dark Blue is a very saturated ink that can show a little shading with finer nibs, and some great red sheen. I found it flowed very well with all of the pens I tried it in, felt quite wet, and it’s lubrication was really smooth across the page. It’s a really deep, dark blue and lives up to it’s name very well. It’s darker than all of my dark blue comparison inks, only Diamine 1864 Blue-Black was darker. I predict that this ink will darken even more, if you keep your pens filled with it for a while. My review was written on 100gsm smooth coated paper, that is not absorbent, and I saw no spread or show-through. I saw some nice red sheen though. The lines were crisp, but it took longer to dry on this coated surface than on some of the other papers I tried it on. On Field Notes paper it didn’t spread or feather. Writing on the reverse side of all of the papers I used would be acceptable as show-through doesn't look as bad on paper than when it is scanned and shown on screen. It's not sold as a waterproof ink but showed some water resistance. It stained my hands, particularly near to my fingernails. It took me several washes with bar soap and a couple of days before my hands were clean again. It didn’t stain my pens or the insides of my converters that I rinsed out with warm water as usual. Flow Rate: Excellent - quite wetLubrication: Very good - felt smooth across the pageNib Dry-out: Not noticed.Start-up: Immediate.Saturation: Very saturatedShading Potential: Some shading seen with F nib.Sheen: Fabulous red sheen on Tomoe River paper. Check it out on Seven Seas & Hobonichi papers even with this scanned image.Show-Through:Oxford paperSilvine NotebookCiaK by InTempoField NotesHobonichi Techo paper.Tomoe River 52gsm paperSpread / Feathering / Woolly Line: Not seen on any paper I used, even Field NotesNib Creep / “Crud”: Not seen, even after several days in the penStaining (pen): Not seen after several days - easy clean-upStaining (hands): This is a hand stainer. Use bar soap for several washes or Lava soapClogging: Not seen.Water resistance: Not sold as waterproof, but shows some water resistance.Availability: Available in 80ml and 30ml bottles plus International sized cartridges from Cult Pens web-site.
  3. There are some excellent inks in latest Diamine 150th anniversary range. As Blues are my favourite colours Regency Blue is my first review. This is a really dark and saturated blue. It's not a blue-black, and exhibits no black or green cast as blue-blacks might do. It has a slight hint of purple that gives it the name Regency Blue. I found it to be a really smooth writing ink and had no problems at all with flow or lubrication, no skips or hard starts despite leaving the caps off my pens while I was doing swab tests and comparing it with other blue inks. Despite it being really saturated, I had no problem at all with clean up either from my fingers or from my pens. This isn't sold as a waterproof ink but it's water resistant.Bearing in mind the paper I use is very smooth, this ink dries between 16-18 seconds using my quite wet Parker 45 stubbed nib It flows very well and lubricates the nib very well. It felt really smooth to write with. I love writing with it. It is currently only available in new unusually 'cake slice' shaped 40ml glass bottles that are very stable and very user friendly. They don't have internal plastic inkwells. It's widely available, and Diamine sell it directly to end-users on their web-site

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