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Ink Review: Monteverde Sapphire Blue


ErrantSmudge
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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 Sapphire Blue
This one is my hands-down favorite of the Monteverde inks I have tested. If I could have only one of these four inks, it would be Sapphire for sure.
Clairefontaine paper sample.
fpn_1488844321__mv_sapphire_blue_safari.
Color/Saturation
Sapphire Blue is a rich, dark ultramarine blue. It reminds me of Levenger Cobalt Blue but without Cobalt's issues (very long dry time, smearing even after dry).
I compared my writing sample of Monteverde Sapphire to Levenger Cobalt, and they're very close. Cobalt has a touch more purple. Otherwise they're dead ringers in terms of vibrancy and saturation.
Shading/Sheening
Shading is light to moderate on this Tomoe River sample. A little bit of a reddish-purple sheen appears in the wide lettering.
fpn_1489100203__mv_sapphire_blue_shading
Flow
This ink flows beautifully from both my Pilot 78G BB Italic, and from the Lamy Safari. It is the best of the blues in this comparison.
Lubrication
Lubrication is also great with this ink, and is the best of the Monteverde inks I have tried so far. Like the other Monteverde inks, this one has a slight stiction feel with my Lamy Safari pen.
Dry Time
Dry time for this ink is very quick, under 15 seconds on Clairefontaine paper with the Lamy Safari. I should give this ink a try for note-taking.
Feathering
Sapphire Blue performs well in the feathering test on cheap office paper.
fpn_1489100183__mv_sapphire_blue_office_
Bleedthrough
There is a medium amount of bleedthrough on the other side of the page on the cheap office paper.
fpn_1489100162__mv_sapphire_blue_bleedth
Water Resistance
Sapphire Blue 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 to Other Inks
Here is a comparison with other ultra-marine type inks and related blues. Click on it for an enlargement.
fpn_1489112077__ultramarines_survey_2.jp
Edited by ErrantSmudge
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Thank you for the review! This looks quite close to PR Electric Blue but I suspect that this one dries much quicker. From your review, Horizon Blue is a tad brighter and is an interesting colour as well but is much too close to this one and it dries twice as long.

Hero #232 Blue-Black is my Waterman Florida Blue.

 

Your Kilometrage May Vary (#ykmv), a Philippine blawg about ink and fountain pens.

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I have added a comparison tile to the review. Some notes on the comparison:

  1. Baystate blue is more purple and vivid than my scanner can capture.
  2. Visconti Blue is a closer match to MV Sapphire than is MV Horizon Blue, as I had stated in my review of that ink.
Edited by ErrantSmudge
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Great review! I may have to consider this one.

"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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I've been using this ink in several different pens for a few weeks now. It has performed very well in all pens, including my Jinhao Century, Sheaffer Taranis and Waterman Carene. It is quite smooth, and not at all a dry or watery ink. Compared to PR Electric DC blue I find it to be just as saturated but the color is not as dark... the shade of blue is a bit more vibrant. This may very well become my every day blue.

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A nice and detailed review; thanks.

 

Has this ink been discontinued or is it also known by another name, at least in the UK.

I can't seem to find it on the Cult Pens or The Writing Desk websites.

 

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Sapphire Blue is part of a new line of inks, called "Gemstone", which Monteverde recently added to their regular ink line-up (end of last year I think, but not completely sure). In any case, UK stockists may not have added this to their inventory yet.

 

As a postscript, I started with a 30ml bottle of Sapphire Blue purchased at the pen show, and I just stocked up with an additional 90ml bottle. This ink is a keeper for me.

Edited by ErrantSmudge
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Sapphire Blue is part of a new line of inks, called "Gemstone", which Monteverde recently added to their regular ink line-up (end of last year I think, but not completely sure). In any case, UK stockists may not have added this to their inventory yet.

 

As a postscript, I started with a 30ml bottle of Sapphire Blue purchased at the pen show, and I just stocked up with an additional 90ml bottle. This ink is a keeper for me.

 

Good to know, many thanks.

I'll keep an eye out for it.

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I did a bit of research. Goulet Pens lists the Monteverde Gemstone inks as "just introduced" in a blog post on their site dating from mid-February 2017. I'm guessing it might take time for retailers outside the United States to get it in stock.

Edited by ErrantSmudge
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I did a bit of research. Goulet Pens lists the Monteverde Gemstone inks as "just introduced" in a blog post on their site dating from mid-February 2017. I'm guessing it might take time for retailers outside the United States to get it in stock.

 

Thanks.

So it's wait and watch.

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Thanks for the review. While I have several of the inks in your comparison already, I think Monteverde Sapphire Blue is just enough different to merit at least sampling.

After I go through all the OTHER ink samples in the current stash, that is.... :headsmack:

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."

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