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Rohrer & Klingner Limited Edition 2019 Kastanienbraun



AidenMark
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This time last year German ink makers Rohrer & Klingner introduced their first limited edition ink Aubergine. Right on cue the LE ink for 2019 has appeared - Kastanienbraun. This year R&K have conjured up a chestnut brown, or Maroon ink (as the company is mistranslating for the international market). No matter, since to my eyes it is neither a Chestnut nor a Maroon but rather a true brown, the colour of grandmother's cocao powder.

Brown inks can be classified as Golden, Redish and the Dark Side. This one lies in the center with a slight tendency to the red. Even when the ink is showing shading the colour remains a constant mid brown. Brown all the way down.
fpn_1574600566__img_0373-1.jpg
Bottle, Wing Sung and Dwell Discourager
The ink comes in a sensible bottle and costs a refreshing 12 Euros for 50ml. This is 3 times what their standard-line inks costs on the German market but in this era of 70 Euro Montblanc inks it seems more than reasonable.
R&K is a kind of anti-luxury brand - a serious minded East German firm, from the land of Luther - unfrivolous, quality products for decent prices. Put it this way: R&K are not about to introduce an ink line called Sheen Godzilla or Scented Twinkle any time soon. This sober attitude carries through to packaging.
"How can we make the LE ink look a little more exclusive without being superficial or environmently unfriendly?”, "I have a idea", said the creative. “Let's package it in a toilet roll. Yes, the kind used for that scratchy, dwell discourager paper in the staff WC."
So must the converstation have run.
So what of the ink? How does it write? I inked up a wet, medium nib (Waterman Man200) and tried the ink on Moleskine textured paper and Oxford Optik paper as well as torn off pieces of envelope lying around my desk. The performance was excellent, with no excessive feathering on the cheap paper and great shading on the higher quality papers.
fpn_1574601179__watermanrk2.png
Oxford Optik, Man200
Then I inked up my everyday brown pen - a fine nib Wing Sung 626. This nib married less well with the ink. It began to feel dry and needed some encouragement to write fluently on the Optik paper. It did fine on the Moleskine.
fpn_1574599966__kastanienbraundoodle2.pn
Moleskine WS626 Doodle
How does it compare to other inks? I don"t reach often for R&K Sepia; Kastanienbraun is much warmer than that. It's lighter than Diamine Chocolate yet more highly saturated than Saddle Brown. Despite the saturation, R&K dries quickly and has not tendency to smear once dry.
It's a nice ink. I will use often. If you like brown inks and have a wet nib you will enjoy it too. Try it on your dry pens too and see if it works for you - but quick R&K LE inks really are limited. Aubergine was hard to obtain by mid December and this will certainly sell just as quickly.

Less is More - Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Less is a Bore - Robert Venturi

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Thanks for the nice review. While "maroon" is IMO an "okay"-translation for Kastanienbraun (chestnut-brown), I think the name used is also okay, although the colour itself is still a bit too reddish for a real chestnut brown (either the nut or the bark of the tree, often used for a hair-colour. Unmistakeable is the price. I.e., most other inks in the world -- especially LEs -- are always more expensive. My bottle of this ink here in Berlin costed me 8.98 Euros!

Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)

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Very nice review! Thank you so much!

 

I love Aubergine, and I know that I would like this one as well. Most of the browns that I have used do tend towards the dry side. But, I have several browns that I am satisfied with right now. I think I will pass on this one.

 

But thank you for taking so much time for this review!

"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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Forgot to mention...

 

This ink (like last year's "Aubergine") is so inexpensive for the simple reason that it is/was manufactured, distributed, and sold in Germany, whereas all of the previous R&K LEs were done so solely in Eastern Asia.

 

********************************************************************************

Name of R&K LE ink Issued Made for = sold by Total # Numbered

Der Blaue Reiter......... 2011...... Hokushin, Japan............ 500 Yes

Blau-Schwarz............. 2012...... R&K, Germany............... 1000 Yes

Efeublatt................ 2012/13... Tsutaya, Japan............. 1000 Yes

Blue & White Porcelain... 2014...... FWI, Taiwan................ 1000 Yes

Kaffee Kantate........... 2016...... Hokushin, Japan............ 1000 Yes

Aubergine................ 2018...... R&K, Germany........... ca. 2000 No

Kastanienbraun (maroon).. 2019...... R&K, Germany........... ca. 3000 No

********************************************************************************

  • Aubergine was, and Kastanienbraun is issued in Germany and sold worldwide. Inasmuch, these two are just like Blau-Schwarz, because this was made for, i.e. issued as a creation prompted by, and then actually sold by R&K themselves. All other LEs were made for (because prompted by) sources in other countries e.g. Japan and Taiwan and thus distributed and sold only there.
  • The total number of each of Aubergine and Kastanienbraun bottles manufactured is about 2000 (for Aubergine) or 3000 (for Kastanienbraun) and not 500 or 1000. The number of each bottle as well as the total number is not documented -- either on the bottle label or on the box label. That was, however, the case for all other R&K LE inks to date.
  • As usual, the R&K LEs are not issued regularly. There were none made and/or issued in 2015 or 2017.

FWIW

Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)

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Something omitted from the review: Kastanienbraun is water resistant to the point of being waterproof.

 

fpn_1574948715__kastanien-water.jpg

 

The scan above shows the effect of a water droplet on each of the crosses for around a minute. This was sufficient to soak the paper but the ink did not wash off and showed little spread.

Edited by AidenMark

Less is More - Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Less is a Bore - Robert Venturi

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I'm very glad you've posted this review -- was very curious about the ink. "Marron" together with very burgundy-maroon label and marketing made me think of a maroon-brown, which is indeed misleading. This looks like a nice shade of brown, and the high water resistance is a major plus. Still on the fence about it, as I already have a few fantastic browns that I'm very happy with: J. Herbin Lie de The, Pelikan Edelstein Smoky Quartz, GvFC Hazelnut Brown, Iroshizuku Tsukushi, Sailor Ink Studio 673, Sailor x Maruzen Athena Sepia. Brown inks are my favorite, so I've gone through a lot of different ones on my path to finding my ultimate brown(s).

 

I'd like to see how this ink performs on less absorbent Japanese paper or Italian Fabriano paper, as those are my paper of choice nowadays. I've stopped using Rhodia and Clairefontaine due to them being good for feathering and bleed-through but doing nothing to bring out the best in ink appearance.

“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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fpn_1575017353__kastanienbraun_vs_toffee

Hmm... Kastanienbraun seems to me to be a bit redder than Toffee Brown, at least to my eyes on this Rhodia 80 g/m2 g paper, although this scan on my screen doesn't verify that beyond a doubt. KB is not only redder but also bluer than TB, or, TB is yellower than KB. In any case, KB is not only darker but also more saturated. And, for sure, KB is much wetter. For those in need, the swabs are each with 100 µl of ink, in a single, double and triple wipe.

 

Gag

Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)

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Just as a side note, "maroon" is a German spelling for the color describing "Chestnut Brown" (Kastanienbraun) - I mean R&K is a German company anyway, but I thought I'd especially point out that it's not a misspelling of French. :P

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Events may be horrible or inescapable. Men always have a choice - if not whether, then how they endure.


- Lois McMaster Bujold

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Thank you for the review. My experience differs a bit in the feathering department. Feathering of this ink is not horrible but it is definitely above average.

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Something omitted from the review: Kastanienbraun is water resistant to the point of being waterproof.

 

Thank you for this very informative review. The ink looks really nice, and the waterproofness makes it a useful ink for the workplace. I will still let it go... my two bottles of Edelstein Smokey Quartz fit my need for a workplace brown for the foreseeable future.

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My experience differs a bit in the feathering department. Feathering of this ink is not horrible but it is definitely above average.

 

 

Interesting. Is there a particular type of paper where you are seeing more prominent feathering?

 

I was looking at Lapis's fine comparison with the MB toffee brown. There didn't seem to be much difference between the two inks in this respect, at least to my presbyopic eyes.

Less is More - Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Less is a Bore - Robert Venturi

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Some feathering seems pretty paper-dependent even for good paper. For instance, I find that Iroshizuku Kiri-Same (gray) feathers on Rhodia (!) and a bit on Nakabayashi Logical Swing loose leaf Japanese paper that normally can withstand puddles of ink. But it doesn't feather at all on Fabriano Bioprima 85g paper.

“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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Interesting. Is there a particular type of paper where you are seeing more prominent feathering?

 

My post was based on my experience with Rhodia paper which is very featheringproof but Kastanienbraun showed some feathering. I tried several other papers, here are the results:

  • Rhodia: a little bit
  • Midori: none
  • Clairefontaine Triomphe: a little bit
  • Tomoe River: none
  • cheap Collegeblock from Kaufland: none
  • no-name office paper: some

As I wrote, it is not horrible, the ink is definitely usable, but its tendency to feather is above average.

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  • 4 months later...

 

 

 

[...] but Kastanienbraun showed some feathering...

I realize that the review was done a while ago, but do you remember what pen you used? I find that with nibs that dig a bit into the paper, I will have feathering with this ink because the tip breaks the paper fibers. I did a swab on my usual Rhodia dot grid paper, and there was no feathering.

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amberleadavis

Thank you.

Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).



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Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 366 Inks in 2016



Check out inks sorted by color: Blue Purple Brown Red Green Dark Green Orange Black Pinks Yellows Blue-Blacks Grey/Gray UVInks Turquoise/Teal MURKY

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inkstainedruth

I don't know how I missed this thread before now. That's a really nice brown. Reminds me of some vintage brown ink I had some of (don't remember now if it was Quink or Skrip), and it's nice to know that at least there's a possibility of a modern substitute.

Anybody know whether the ink is still available? I don't remember seeing it advertised anyplace of the usual US retailers who carry R&K inks, but then I haven't really been buying ink much recently until this week.

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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