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Ink Review: Monteverde Horizon Blue



ErrantSmudge

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ErrantSmudge
Monteverde's revamped line of inks recently got my attention for their comprehensive lineup of clear, distinct hues, as well as good value. A 90ml bottle can be had for about $13-$15 USD from the better known online retailers in the United States, making it a very good deal.
Monteverde touts their "ITF Technology". From Monteverde's promotional material, here's how it claims to benefit us writers:

Fountain Pen Ink with ITF™ Technology
  • Ink Treatment Formula
  • Improves Ink Flow
  • Extends Cap-off Time
  • Lubricates Feeding System
  • Improves Ink Drying Time
At my recent visit to the 2017 LA Pen Show, Monteverde gave a free bottle of Malibu Blue ink to all show attendees. A company representative had all their inks available for sampling with swabs, as well as show discounts.
I brought home four bottles of Monteverde ink, and post-show I've purchased a few more online:
  • Malibu Blue
  • Capri Blue
  • Horizon Blue
  • Sapphire Blue
Monteverde also offers two blues I am missing: Caribbean Blue (turquoise), and a Blue-Black. I am posting individual reviews for each of the four Monteverde inks I have.
I filled a variety of pens with these four inks, with nibs ranging from fine to double-broad stubs. Here's a snapshot from my Bullet Journal Ink Log, showing the pen/ink assignments and a writing sample from each.
fpn_1489099623__monteverde_inks.jpg
Monteverde Horizon Blue
This is Monteverde's Parker Penman Sapphire workalike. It is similar to Diamine Blue Velvet and Visconti Blue.
Here is how it appears on Clairefontaine paper.
fpn_1488914232__mv_horizon_blue.jpg
Color/Saturation
Horizon Blue is a deeply saturated, "pure" blue. It doesn't lean to purple or green.
Shading/Sheening
Horizon Blue has a light amount of shading on Tomoe River. A little bit of red sheening can be seen in the Tomoe River sample.
fpn_1489100051__mv_horizon_blue_shading_
Flow
Horizon Blue is a well-behaved ink. I had no skips or hard starts on the initial flow.
Horizon Blue came in second place for flow amongst the four inks tested. In my Sheaffer Prelude with M nib (a wet pen), it comes out wet but not too wet.
Lubrication
Like the other Monteverde inks, Horizon Blue has good lubrication, but has some stiction at the start/stop of a pen stroke. In my Clairefontaine bullet journal, my Sheaffer Prelude squeaks as I write!
Dry Time
Dry time is moderate, between 25 and 30 seconds on Clairefontaine paper from the Prelude.
Feathering
Horizon Blue performs well in the feathering test on cheap office paper.
fpn_1489100020__mv_horizon_blue_office_p
Bleedthrough
There is a medium amount of bleedthrough on the other side of the page on the cheap office paper.
fpn_1489099994__mv_horizon_blue_bleedthr
Water Resistance
Horizon Blue probably performed best of the four Monteverde inks, but still it is not a water-resistant ink in the 10 second immersion test.
Before
fpn_1489100241__img20170309_14280000.jpg
After
fpn_1489100316__img20170309_14581340.jpg

 

 

Comparison with Other Inks

 

Here is a tile comparing Horizon Blue with other medium blue inks.

 

NB: The Parker Penman Sapphire is from a diluted sample and so isn't quite true in terms of saturation.

 

fpn_1489112958__medium_blues_survey.jpg

Edited by ErrantSmudge
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ErrantSmudge

I have added a tile showing comparisons with other related inks to the review.

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ErrantSmudge

Hmm, so apparently this one is closer to Visconti Blue? I admit this is the first among the several Monteverde blues that attracts my attention.

 

Looking at my samples, I see Visconti Blue is actually a closer match to Monteverde Sapphire. The scan above doesn't quite capture the subtlety, but Visconti Blue is a little darker and a little more purple than Horizon Blue. Horizon Blue is a little greener.

 

Top is Monteverde Sapphire Blue. Middle is Visconti Blue. Bottom is Monteverde Horizon Blue.

 

fpn_1489113443__mv_vs_visconti.jpg

Edited by ErrantSmudge
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Great review! Hmmm, not sure which I like better - this one or Sapphire Blue.

"Today will be gone in less than 24 hours. When it is gone, it is gone. Be wise, but enjoy! - anonymous today

 

 

 

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  • 2 months later...

This is a comparison I did a few weeks ago comparing MHV and PPS

 

fpn_1495194223__monteverdehorizonblue.jp

 

Two pens, Sailor 1911 Large (Naginata Medium Fine nib) filled with Monteverde Horizon Blue and Jinhao 159 (#6 Medium nib) filled with Parker Penman Sapphire. The Jinhao was adjusted to have the same degree of wetness as the Sailor.

The paper is Rhodia A5 notebook (obviously written on the other side as well).

I interleaved the lines of MHB and PPS so you could truly see how similar they are. Colour is the same, as is shading and sheening, and the same minimal degree of spreading. Obviously on Rhodia there is no feathering or bleeding.

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

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I purchased this ink a few weeks ago after reading dcwaites comparison to PPS (a copy is posted above.) I have really enjoyed this ink's handling and its color. I have only one other Monteverde ink, Red Velvet, and also like it quite a bit. I would recommend both highly.

"It's funny; in this era of email and voice mail and all those things that I did not even grow up with, a plain old paper letter takes on amazing intimacy."  Elizabeth Kostova

 

 

 

 

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ErrantSmudge

I have Parker Penman Sapphire in my ink collection, but the ink has evaporated and I am unsure how much to dilute to bring it back to its original concentration. Nevertheless I may have to try comparing PPS and MHB for myself.

 

I included PPS in my sample mosaic as part of the review, but my PPS (diluted) is significantly greener than MHB. Perhaps something has happened to my bottle of PPS in storage.

 

But It looks like we may finally have an off-the-shelf workalike for PPS. Thanks for posting your findings.

Edited by ErrantSmudge
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I have three separate lots of PPS, two original in bottle (one almost untouched except for tiny samples to verify the colour), and one from a set of cartridges (100, I think) that I bought from Pokydady a few years ago.

 

All three have the same colour, so I am confident the colour is accurate.

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

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This is a comparison I did a few weeks ago comparing MHV and PPS

 

fpn_1495194223__monteverdehorizonblue.jp

 

Two pens, Sailor 1911 Large (Naginata Medium Fine nib) filled with Monteverde Horizon Blue and Jinhao 159 (#6 Medium nib) filled with Parker Penman Sapphire. The Jinhao was adjusted to have the same degree of wetness as the Sailor.

The paper is Rhodia A5 notebook (obviously written on the other side as well).

I interleaved the lines of MHB and PPS so you could truly see how similar they are. Colour is the same, as is shading and sheening, and the same minimal degree of spreading. Obviously on Rhodia there is no feathering or bleeding.

 

That's that then . . . :)

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  • 1 month later...

I'll confirm that with my needle swatch method. I never get sheen (must be the air?) but on HP 32# laser all three look the same. Horizon in the big bottle is cheaper than UK Diamine (and much cheaper than USA retail), so I guess if you don't have the Diamine already, there's your deal. From unobtainium to easy and affordable. Sure nicer than the original Monteverde plain blue.

 

Scan:

http://i.imgur.com/zM5GJG2.jpg

 

Under halogen light:

http://i.imgur.com/UGOSZEh.jpg

 

is it normal for the Monteverde bottles to come with the level this low? I'm used to Noodler's, and even Diamine comes up the neck a bit:

 

http://i.imgur.com/VHVaregl.jpg

Edited by radellaf
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ErrantSmudge

 

is it normal for the Monteverde bottles to come with the level this low? I'm used to Noodler's, and even Diamine comes up the neck a bit:

 

All of the Monteverde 30ml bottles in my collection (five so far) have arrived filled low, just like your photo.

Edited by ErrantSmudge
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Cool, good to know. Was going to get the 90mL but this bottle is cute. Not 10mL Iroshizuku cute, but still.

 

I see on Jetpens that the 30mL are also filled like mine.

 

http://i.imgur.com/T3nJQfAm.jpg

Edited by radellaf
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ErrantSmudge

I also have several Monteverde 90 ml bottles, and those are filled to the base of the neck as you would expect.

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Thank you for the review. The color is a good blue, and I love italic nibs. Wow, a free bottle of ink! Very nice of Monteverde. I look forward to seeing more of your Monteverde ink reviews.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have used Horizon Blue a week now. I got it after being convinced by this review. I love the color, and it's excellent behavior.

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I got sheen! I never get sheen. Pilot Parallel 1.5mm puts down enough ink on Rhodia to do it, apparently.

 

http://i.imgur.com/ISc0mTu.jpg

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Another significant characteristic, oil from my hand does not cause Horizon Blue to skip on Clairfontaine paper. My favorite, Asa Gao, will sometime skip near the bottom of the page, if I have not used a sheet under my hand. After ten, or more pages, Horizon Blue has not skipped once. It is not as bright as Asa Gao, but it is beautiful, and skip free.

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