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Waterman's Permanent Blue-Black - Vintage Ink Mini Review



Intensity

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I happened upon some new-old-stock bottles of "Waterman's Permanent Blue Black" ink. They were in pristine condition, and the cap sealing was good such that no ink appears to have evaporated. I see no precipitate or any other issues. The ink has a chemical scent I can't quite identify accurately, but it makes me think of paint and art supplies, for the lack of better description. I don't know if this ink has any amount of iron gall or not, but I suspect it has a small amount. If anyone wishes to contribute to this ink's description and dating, it would be great.

 

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The bottle has the following embossed on the underside:

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There are no visible dates on the bottle or the carton, but the following is stamped on the inner side of one of the carton flaps in black ink with silver shimmer--and it's difficult to read.

Box #1:

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Box #2:

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The ink itself goes down on the page in a cool-toned (with a very slight purple tinge) hue of medium saturation and then dries to a muted very slightly teal-tinted blue. The color change is gradual over the next day or so to what you see on the photographs. The final color of the ink is quite consistent with the bottle cap.

 

I can't explain why that is, but, subjectively, the color of this ink feels just right to me -- a classic.

 

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The water resistance test was a wash under running water, 3 days after the writing was done. I really like the look of the paper towel "chromatography" -- medium blue fading to slightly more cyan vintage light blue to almost cream. The more ink is concentrated, the more the blue is shifted toward green, as can be seen on the Col-o-Ring card. There is some red-magenta sheen.

 

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Not sure if I am going to hold on to both bottles yet--I got them out of curiosity, but it turned out that the ink inside was surprisingly good. And the bottle, along with the carton, look great on my desk. That "19 cents" printed price :lol:

Edited by Intensity

“I admit it, I'm surprised that fountain pens are a hobby. ... it's a bit like stumbling into a fork convention - when you've used a fork all your life.” 

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Some of the scent is probably phenol, but not entirely. That's what I meant about the difficulty of categorizing the scent.

“I admit it, I'm surprised that fountain pens are a hobby. ... it's a bit like stumbling into a fork convention - when you've used a fork all your life.” 

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arellano81366

Thanks for this review! I enjoyed it! I have been lurking on eBay but vintage inks are too expensive... IMO at least. Thanks again!

Javier

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Thanks for the great review! My luck with buying vintage inks online has been mixed.

Rationalizing pen and ink purchases since 1967.

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I got this one at a local pen shop. One of the people there sometimes finds vintage inks and puts them out for sale. I've gotten a decant of ~100-year-old Carter green ink from them before, which was not as good as this ink: rather low saturation. I can see this ink being a great daily blue, very suitable for work environment. If anyone is interested in some, it's sold by the Bromfield Pen Shop in Boston, MA. Not cheap, unfortunately, $20 per bottle :(

 

I've repeated the water resistance test today, and it's even better than before--significantly less ink washed off. It's still slightly smeary looking unless you wipe off the ink that lifts off the paper surface, but once you do, the writing is clearly legible.

Edited by Intensity

“I admit it, I'm surprised that fountain pens are a hobby. ... it's a bit like stumbling into a fork convention - when you've used a fork all your life.” 

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AlexLeGrande

This was the required ink for use in the required Esterbrook pen in Hawthorne Avenue School, Newark, New Jersey where I learned to write in cursive in the early 1950's. Fond memories of this bottle.

Edited by AlexLeGrande
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I love seeing those old inks ...and bottles :-)

 

Is that a phenolic smell?

 

Cheers and thanks for showing

 

Michael

Yes, me too.
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Going to post comparison photos of this ink fresh and after a month in storage. The written ink is slowly changing color, it's very interesting to observe. A week and a half later, the writing is more grayed and teal-shifted compared to fresh writing, which is more blue. Water resistance increases with time as well. I also really like this ink in higher saturation after it sat in a pen for a few days or from a high flow pen.

Edited by Intensity

“I admit it, I'm surprised that fountain pens are a hobby. ... it's a bit like stumbling into a fork convention - when you've used a fork all your life.” 

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