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Waterman Blue Black


namrehsnoom
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Waterman – Blue Black


I bought my very first fountain pen (a Kaweco Sport in black plastic) somewhere in 2012. Initially I just used standard royal blue ink cartridges because I didn't know any better. Sometime after that I learned on YouTube that you could syringe-fill a cartridge. That's when I made a visit to my local stationery shop and bought my very first bottle of ink - this Waterman Blue Black. And that's also the moment I got hooked! This Waterman ink was much more interesting than the standard royal blue cartridges I used until then - had that not been the case, I might have lost interest. Instead, it was the start of a very satisfying hobby. As such, this Waterman Blue Black has a special place in my heart.


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In this review I take a closer look at Waterman Blue Black. Exactly why this is called a blue black is a mystery to me - what I see is more of a grey-blue leaning slightly to the green. The ink does lay down a darker blue line on the page when writing, but it lightens significantly while drying. I must admit that I like the end result, which is a very eye-pleasing grey-blue. This Waterman ink writes well in all nib sizes, with good contrast to the page and with elegant shading. The ink dries fairly fast in the 5 to 10 second range. This means that while writing you observe in real-time the ink's transformation from a fairly dark blue to a much lighter grey-blue - fascinating!



fpn_1600103932__waterman_-_blue_black_-_


To show you the impact of saturation on the ink's look & feel on paper, I made some scribbles where I really saturated portions of the Tomoe River paper with ink. This gives you a good idea of what the ink is capable of in terms of colour range. As you can see, Waterman Blue Black has a fairly small colour range, without too much contrast between the light and darker parts. This translates to soft and non-obtrusive shading, exactly as I like it. Shading is present in all nib sizes, even the smaller ones.



fpn_1600103942__waterman_-_blue_black_-_


The ink's chromatography shows quite some green in the mix of dyes. From the bottom part you might get the impression that the ink remains firmly attached to the page, but sadly this is but an illusion. In reality the ink is not at all water-resistant, leaving only some smudges on the paper when coming into contact with water.



fpn_1600103951__waterman_-_blue_black_-_


I've tested the ink on a wide variety of paper - from crappy Moleskine to high-end Tomoe River. On every small band of paper I show you:


  • An ink swab, made with a cotton Q-tip

  • 1-2-3 pass swab, to show increasing saturation

  • An ink scribble made with an M-nib Lamy Safari

  • The name of the paper used, written with a B-nib Lamy Safari

  • A small text sample, written with the M-nib Lamy Safari

  • Source of the quote, with a Pelikan M200 with F cursive italic nib

  • Drying times of the ink on the paper (with the M-nib Safari)


Waterman Blue Black gets an almost perfect score, with only a nearly invisible amount of feathering on the HP copy paper. It behaved extremely well on the Moleskine paper, with no visible feathering and with only a tiny bit of see-through / bleed-through. Any ink that can pull this off deserves a medal - very well executed! The ink looks great on all papers, with good contrast and fast drying times in the 5-10 second range. I personally prefer this blue on pure white paper - it's less impressive on more yellow paper.



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Writing with different nib sizes

The picture below shows the effect of nib sizes on the writing. Waterman Blue Black can handle all nib sizes without a problem. With the EF nib, you still get a nicely saturated line. Shading is present in all nib sizes. As usual, broader nibs accentuate the ink's shading capabilities, which never gets too harsh but always remains subtle and elegant. Be aware that the M-nib writing sample is too light - I had just cleaned my pen, and there happened to be some water residue in the feed that diluted the ink (and I was too lazy to redo the writing sample, so blame me and not the ink ;-).



fpn_1600104018__waterman_-_blue_black_-_


Related inks

To compare Waterman Blue Black with related inks, I use my nine-grid format with the currently reviewed ink at the center. This format shows the name of related inks, a saturation sample, a 1-2-3 swab and a water resistance test - all in a very compact format. I have no other ink in my collection with this exact shade of blue, although iroshizuku tsuki-yo and Callifolio Oconto seem to come close.


fpn_1600104029__waterman_-_blue_black_-_


Inkxperiment – Blue Faery Tree

With every review, I try my best to produce an interesting little drawing that shows what the ink is capable of in terms of colour range. These little inkxperiments are simply great fun, and they definitely add to the satisfaction I get from my pen & ink hobby. I really like the fact that inks can be used for all kinds of creative purposes - not just for writing.


For this drawing I used a piece of 90 gsm sketching paper. I started off with heavily water diluted ink, and added more and more layers with ever-increasing amounts of Blue Black. For the tree's foliage, I used a piece of dishwashing sponge as a stamp (which worked quite well). I like the end result, which gives a good idea of what you can do with Waterman Blue Black as a drawing ink.



fpn_1600104042__waterman_-_blue_black_-_


Conclusion

Waterman Blue Black is the one that introduced me to the world of bottled ink. It is a really attractive blue-grey (definitely not a blue black), that works well in all circumstances. A good all-round writing ink, with an interesting shade of blue.


Technical test results on Rhodia N° 16 notepad paper, written with Lamy Safari, M-nib


fpn_1600104058__waterman_-_blue_black_-_


Back-side of writing samples on different paper types


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So glad you found that bottle of ink - otherwise, we would miss out on these reviews, and that would be sad indeed! :)

 

Thanks for sharing the story and the review. Makes me want to go chromatograph my cartridges to see how it compares (since there are implications it's changed formulas), but I really don't want to open a whole cartridge at the moment. I'll try to remember to do some chromatography next time I use one.

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Thanks for another great review as always. I too have always found/felt/grumbled that this ink is not at all a blue-black but rather a turquoise-grey.

That applies to my own bottles which I once bought years ago. although I also heard here on the forum somewhere recently that Waterman has at some time changed the formulation after 2012.

If I have the time and dough I'll buy a pack of new cartridges (simply because that ought to cost less than a whole bottle which I wouldn't use either, just to compare chromatographies of old versus new. In any case -- and yes, this is a completely different story -- an old chromatography shows me that the old Waterman b-b looks just like the old Parker b-b....

Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)

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This is not my favorite blue black as far as color goes (that would be Edelstein Tanzanite, which doesn't lean teal the way a lot of blue-blacks do). That being said....

I would never want to be without a bottle of Mysterious Blue. I ran it for several years in my Parker Vacumatic Red Shadow Wave. Never flushed it, never had to do anything to floss the nib out, nothing. It Just Worked -- refill after refill after refill.... :thumbup:

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

 

edited for formatting issues

Edited by 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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I always write in purple, but my second thought was that this would be a fine ink for writing soothing letters.

 

My first thought was in line with LizEF's, that I am so glad you discovered Waterman Blue-Black and, through it, the wide world of fountain pen inks. I feel distinctly heartened whenever I see that you have published a new post, not because I am likely to buy the ink--I do not make frequent purchases--but because the reviews themselves are such a source of pleasure.

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This is not my favorite blue black as far as color goes (that would be Edelstein Tanzanite, which doesn't lean teal the way a lot of blue-blacks do). That being said....

I would never want to be without a bottle of Mysterious Blue. I ran it for several years in my Parker Vacumatic Red Shadow Wave. Never flushed it, never had to do anything to floss the nib out, nothing. It Just Worked -- refill after refill after refill.... :thumbup:

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

 

edited for formatting issues

 

This is good to know about Mysterious Blue. Thanks.

"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.

 

 

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This detailed review is very interesting and informative. I have some of this ink and like it. Blue black has always been my favorite color, and the different versions sustain my interest, now this one, now that one.

"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.

 

 

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This is good to know about Mysterious Blue. Thanks.

 

Just FYI in case you've missed it, but Mysterious Blue is a different color formula from the original Blue Black. The color was changed somewhere around 4 years ago +/-. I have it confirmed by Waterman, and I see the colors are different. I have the latest Mysterious Blue and added a small amount of green to it manually to be happy with its color. Now I love the new version, post the slight modification. The latest Mysterious Blue is a more rich dark blue with only a very slight hint of teal to it.

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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thank you for such a nice review, which at last explains without leaving me any other doubts that, no, the reason why I don't like this ink is not because I got a defective bottle, this ink really is a blue-green, which I tend to dislike. This will save me from buying another bottle just to check my doubts and end up having two bottles of an ink I don't like... Very useful.

(btw, the same types of reliability characteristics I find in Florida Blue/Serenity which is a real reference for me.)

Like few others here I much prefer blue blacks (like Edelstein Tanzanite) that do not lean on green.

Nonetheless your review is gorgeous.

 

Edit: then again, considering the post above, it's probable I have an early bottle, so that second bottle might be a surprise...

But I'll probably pass anyway...

Edited by sansenri
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I had a bottle of Waterman Blue/Black and found the color looked too pale for my preference. I decided to try and darken it to a richer Blue/Black. I had a bottle of Noodler's Black ink and started a mix. It took about half the bottle before it started to make a difference. Further addition it became green! Looking at your samples I now see why.

 

The good news is, I was looking for a green ink to add to my collection, now I have it and been writing letters with it these past two months. I bought a bottle of Parker's Quink Blue/Black and find it a better color. It was the ink of my Grandmother's choice.

They came as a boon, and a blessing to men,
The Pickwick, the Owl and the Waverley pen

Sincerely yours,

Pickwick

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