Saturday, April 30, 2016

GatzBCN Journal Review

I will start by saying that I purchased this journal from the Etsy store operated by GatzBCN and did not receive this as a gift. This review is based off of my opinion and experience.

This journal is a handmade leather bound journal filled with 400 pages (front and back) of Tomoe River paper. The binding is hand stitched with 2 support cords on the binding. GatzBCN is run out of Spain and overall time from order to receipt of the package was 2.5 weeks. Not bad at all.

My initial thoughts:

This leather bound book is gorgeous! The craftsmanship is impeccable and is very professional. The package was packed well inside the box and contained a nice handwritten note as well as a small gift. 

The Journal Itself:

This journal measures roughly as an A6 sized book. The leather is soft and once again, the craftsmanship is wonderful. It is obvious that great care was taken to ensure a quality product.

Inside the cover is lining paper that looks nice and has some whimsy to it. I really like whimsy.

The best part of this journal is the binding being hand bound with stitching. It lies down flat on the surface it is set upon which makes writing in the journal a more pleasant experience.

I requested the elastic band closure and it is nice and tight but not overly tight.

The paper is Tomoe River paper which is 52 GSM (Grams per Square Meter) and so smooth. This paper is fantastic for fountain pens and is amazingly thin. I am not sure how it is made but this paper is a pleasure to write on.

The Bookbinder:

I contacted Anna, the woman behind the scenes here at GatzBCN and asked her if I may post a review of this journal and link to her store. She agreed to that and I thank her. Her shop can be reached through Etsy or

I received 2 tiny little hand bound journals as a small gift as well, which I thought was neat.

Anna has many more styles of journals to pick from, is a delight to work with and is an amazing bookbinder. I recommend her books and will buy from her again.

Finding a Pen For You

I'm back from my travels and I appreciate the patience as I start back into some new content.

During my travels, I visited a pen store down in Kansas City, MO. It is a very small store but packed to the gills with a wide assortment of pens and ink. This was my second time visiting the store and the first time I was in was a great experience. This time went fine but I experienced the snooty side of the pen community that I have heard so much about.

My grail pen is a Pelikan M600 or higher and this store carried a few. The store was being manned by the owner and overall a very nice gentleman. He was knowledgeable, professional and pleasant.

I had a co-worker with me who has just been bitten by the fountain pen bug and he was looking around at cheaper alternatives, which is completely acceptable. Fountain pens are in fact for the users enjoyment, regardless of price. He ended up getting a Noodler's Ahab and some ink to match the pen.

The price on the Pelikan was rather steep for the M600 and I know that Pelikan's are on the higher scale of what is considered a luxury pen. It was nice and a pleasure to write with, don't get me wrong but I was having a problem trying to justify the price to myself.  The pen wrote wonderfully but was not substantial in the hand and was a bit lighter than I like. 

I then decided to see if he carried another pen I was interested in and that was a Twsbi Vac 700. He did have them and I asked to see one. He said sure and then mockingly looked at me and said, "you're going to go from a Pelikan to a Twsbi? Seriously?" There it was, the snooty idealism I have heard about. I wrote with the Twsbi and it was smoother that the Pelikan, in my opinion and was much more substantial in my hand at a fraction of the cost. I bought it with some ink along with a Pilot Falcon and more ink. All of those items combined were still considerably less than the Pelikan.

What is my point? Well, brand names and luxury pens are not everything even though some will belittle you into thinking so. I was underwhelmed by the M600 both by size, experience and cost. The Twsbi Vac 700 performs quite well and I love writing with it regardless of it being considered an inferior brand next to Pelikan. Make your own choice! That is my point. Try out the pens, any you like when you have the opportunity. Do not let luxury be the only driver. Pens are there to be used and enjoyed and only you can decide which pen will deliver that for you.

I have never been one to follow a brand just for the brand sake. Montblanc is a great example. I find them to be quite ugly pens and very plain. I realize I am in the minority here but it is my opinion and I choose to use those pens as I don't like them. My choice and that is powerful. 

The fountain pen community is amazing and full of wonderful, helpful people. People who are supportive and very friendly. There are exceptions to every rule, of course and in my experience here, are in the minority. Think for yourself and make your choices when finding your pen. It can last a lifetime and can bring you joy.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Missed posts

I have been traveling the past couple days and I apologize for the lack of posts. I have not been able to but will be posting new content soon. I deeply apologize.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Getting Started

This post was requested by a reader and it makes perfect sense to provide this information.

Picking out your first fountain pen!

You have done the research, gotten excited about the prospect of giving fountain pens a try but, which one do I buy?

I will list some here that are solid pen choices and will break them down by price and any gotchas to make note of.

$1 - $25 Range

The first pen that pops in my head would be the Jinhao ($5 - $10) brand from China. I prefer either the Jinhao x450 or the x750 models. They are cheap pens but for the price, come with a converter so you can use bottled inks. The nibs on these 2 models are #6 medium nibs.

The Pilot Metropolitan ($15) also needs to be mentioned as it is so very popular. This pen brand is made in Japan and also comes with a converter but it only works on Pilot pens. The Metropolitan comes in many colors and has a metal body but the nib sizes on Japanese pens are usually ground thinner that western nibs so a medium Japanese nib is more like a western fine.

Noodler's Konrad made of plastic ($20) is also a popular pen in this range. These pens are made of a durable plastic but more importantly this pen is a piston filler. This means that the converter is built into the pen so it only takes bottled ink. Noodler's pens also have a steel flex nib which take a little breaking in but you can get some decent line variation out of it.

Noodler's Ahab ($23) is a popular pen but I don't feel it is quite the right pen for a beginner as the nib and feed need to be tweaked and fiddled with if you want to use the flex nib. It is a great pen for your third or fourth pen, in my opinion.

Kaweco Sport ($25) is also a very popular pen. It is a bit smaller and generally needs to be posted to fit your hand. They traditionally only take cartridges as the pen body is not long enough for a converter but Kaweco does offer a very small converter, but it doesn't hold much ink.

$25 - $50 Range

Lamy Safari ($29) is a very popular pen brand and this one is from Germany. These pens are plastic and light but are durable. They come with a triangular grip and you can change the nibs on these with other Lamy nibs. It is a great way to find out which line width you like without having to buy multiple pens. The downside is that these pens do not come with a converter but they can be purchased seperately for roughly $5 and they are proprietary.

Twsbi Eco ($30) is a pen brand from Taiwan and is the economical model to the Diamond 580 model of Twsbi pens. These nibs are super smooth and these pens are piston based filler pens much like the Noodler Konrad. They only tak bottled ink and are great pens.

Lamy Al-Star ($37) is exactly the same size as the Safari but is made of aluminum and has a smokey translucent grip.  Otherwise the Safari and Al-Star are the same.

Noodler's Konrad ($40) made out of Acrylic or Ebonite. This is the same Konrad pen as the $20 plastic version, just made out of different materials.

Conlklin Duragraph ($44) is a decent pen but from my experience, the broader the nib, the less scratchy the writing experience. These pens do come with a converter and are now made in Italy.

Faber Castell Loom ($45) is another German pen brand and comes in a variety of colors. This is a metal pen and it writes like a champ. Like the Lamy Safari and Al-Star, it does not come with a converter so if you want to use bottled inks, you will need to purchase the proprietary converter for around $5.

$50 and Up Range

 Twsbi Diamond 580 ($55) Much like the Eco but with metal parts where the Eco has plastic. It is a much more sturdy pen in the hand compared to the Eco but essentially the same piston filler pen. Great smooth nibs.

Twsbi Mini ($50) is the same pen as the 580 but smaller. It is the same piston filler pen with great smooth nibs. 

Twsbi Vac 700 and Vac mini ($70) is a Twsbi pen but has a vacuum filler mechanism rather than a piston filled version. It only takes bottled ink like all of the Twsbi pens but just uses the power of vacuum compression over piston filling. That is the only difference.

Lamy Studio ($70) is a very attractive pen that looks nothing like the Safari or the Al-Star but it takes the same nibs. These pens are made of metal and have a very professional look to them. They also have an interesting clip that resembles an airplane propeller. These Lamy pens do come with a converter, which is a welcome change.

Monteverde Invincia ($70 - $99) are a US brand that made solid pens. Monteverde do make cheaper pens but they have been known to have finish issues after mild use so I did not include them. Granted that is merely an aesthetic thing but it bothers me. Monteverde has good solid steel nibs and they are nice and smooth writers and generally a heavier pen. 

Noodler's Neponset ($75) are a very interesting large pen if you can find one. They are made of either acrylic or ebonite but they come with a stell music nib, which is very cool.
And lastly, I will make mention of the Pilot Vanishing Point ($148). This pen is a bit pricey for a beginner but is an amazingly unique pen. It has a retractable nib like a ballpoint or rollerball pen but it is a 18k gold nib. They are very stylish and unique and I highly recommend this wonderful pen.

I sure hope this helps with the choices. There are a lot of great pens out there but these are some solid ones to really look at.

The vendors listed above have not paid me in any way. These are my opinions and I am not being compensated in any way.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Diamine Ink Review

Ancient Copper

Diamine is an ink company based out of the UK. This company was established in 1864 and is still producing a multitude of inks for fountain pens and calligraphy til the present day.

The pen used for this test is the Montegrappa Copper Mule with a M nib.

This color of ink is quite lovely and really captures the essence of copper, especially when it has dried. Dry times are quick and this ink is a great shading ink.

Diamine inks are not generally known for their water resistance qualities but this ink did fairly well. I could definitely recover what was written if need be and the explosion due to water was minimal.

All in all, this ink is a winner and a great match for copper pens if matching pen and ink is important. The saturation is good, the flow is medium and overall a great behaving ink.


  • Rich color
  • Nice Saturation
  • Good flow, not too wet
  • Affordable

  • Not overly water resistant

Friday, April 22, 2016

Let's Make It A Comeback!

I made a resolution this year that is a bit different than what you hear from most people. My resolution didn't revolve around quitting smoking, or losing weight. I chose to try to make a difference in a different way. My resolution is to connect more with people around me and around me encompasses the planet.

That sounds a bit daunting, right? I am making progress, slowly but progress nonetheless. I started off looking at sites that offer pen pal connections. Letter writing just made sense to me. It has sadly become a lost art but I have found that there is a very large and thriving letter writing community out there. 

Letter writing is so personal. There is something to be said for receiving a letter from someone that took time out of their day to sit down and express their thoughts with a pen and paper. Whenever I receive a letter, I feel good and it really brightens my day. That sealed envelope contains a mystery, a story of sorts waiting to be opened and explored. I love the thought of people setting time out of their busy schedules to tell me how they are, what they have been up to and asking sincere questions back at me. It is a written conversation unlike what people get in email nowadays.

So far I have connected with people in Germany, Australia, Russia, The Netherlands and several states here in the US. I am still looking for more people to write to and I don't know if there could be a limit. I enjoy this too much. One of my favorite groups I have found so far is the Letter Writers Alliance. A whole group of people like me who enjoy the art of the written letter for correspondence. I love it.

I also created this blog to try to connect to more people who also share the love of analog based communication and expression. Snail mail is a great outlet but using a digital medium to discuss analog endeavors makes me smile as it seems a bit devious. I will be adding a contact form to this blog here shortly but in the meantime, you can reach me at my email address. If you would like to become a pen pal, let me know or if you just want to email, that is fine too.

I am 4 months into my resolution and I have made excellent progress to my goal and I have no intentions of stopping. I have been very happy here connecting with strangers I share the planet with and I would love to meet you all.


Thursday, April 21, 2016

My Favorite Ink Colors

Everyone will find their favorite colors and ink brands and it comes from trying as many as you can. I have found that I prefer darker colors most of the time and I also like the richer, more saturated inks. I then started looking at my inked pens and the most used inks in my collection and decided to give you the list.

  1. Noodler's Heart of Darkness
  2. Noodler's Bad Black Moccasin
  3. Pilot Iroshizuku Take-Sumi
  1. Pilot Iroshizuku Asa-Gao
  2. Blackstone Sydney Harbor Blue
  3. Private Reserve Black Magic Blue
  1. Diamine Red Dragon
  2. Diamine Oxblood
  3. Pelikan Edelstein Garnet
  1. Private Reserve Ebony Green
  2. Pelikan Edelstein Aventurine
  3. Blackstone Daintree Green
  1. Noodler's Apache Sunset
  2. Noodler's Cayenne
  3. Noodler's Habanero
  1. Faber Castell Hazelnut Brown
  2. Pilot Iroshizuku Yama-Guri
  3. Noodler's Kiowa Pecan
  1. Diamine Imperial Purple
  2. Private Reserve Ebony Purple
  3. Noodler's North African Violet

Well, yellow is so hard to read and I do not own any yellow inks

As you can tell, I really like Noodler's Ink and there is a reason for that. Nathan Tardif makes a lot of very interesting inks and I love the amount of permanence that many of his inks have. I also really like his viewpoints and how he wants to provide the most value for my dollar. I get the same feel from Private Reserve but these inks are just a joy to use.

Well, there they are. My favorite ink colors at this time. It may change as I continue to amass more and more ink to the dismay of my wife.

This post is my opinion only based off of my experiences. I am not getting paid by any vendors listed here nor am I affiliated by any of them.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Blackstone Ink Review

Daintree Green

Blackstone is company based out of Australia and currently have 5 ink colors in their line up. Until recently, Blackstone inks came in a powder and to use them we would have to add distilled water to the powders to liquify the ink. I am so glad that they decided to get away from that idea. Anderson Pens was the only site in the US that I could find that sells this brand of ink.

The pen used for this test was a Jinhao x750 Frosted Black with a broad #6 Goulet Pens Nib.

Daintree Green is influenced by the Daintree Rain Forest in the Northern coast of Australia. The green here is lush, dark and has a high saturation.

Water resistance is low and what remains is not very recoverable as the ink explodes with water unlike the rain forest of its namesake.

All in all, I love the ink color and the flow is perfect for me. I tend to like darker inks and this one is one of my all time favorite greens.


  • Deep, rich color
  • High Saturation
  • Good flow, not too wet
  • Affordable
  • Not water resistant
  • Little to no shading
  • Only can be purchased from one US retailer, as far as I know
  • Only available in 30mL bottles
This review is based off of my opinion and experience. I am not compensated by nor affiliated with Blackstone or Anderson Pens. I purchased this ink outright.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Are Expensive Pens Worth It?

I'm pretty sure I am opening a can here as this can be a heated topic. Do I have some expensive pens? Yes, yes I do and I have cheap pens as well. So this post is purely my opinion and not based on any facts other than my own experiences.

I guess I will need to set boundaries here to differentiate between inexpensive and pricey. To me, inexpensive falls in the up to the $50 - $60 range where as the expensive pens are going to be $200 and up. The in between is dicey but I'll address it.

I have a Twsbi Diamond 580 with a 1.1mm stub nib which is around $55 and I also have a Visconti Millenium Arc Moonlight Green with a 1.3mm stub which was around $350. To me, the Twsbi out performs that Visconti by 10. The Twsbi is a smooth writer with a steel nib, very pleasant to use and has a large ink capacity as it is a piston filled pen. The Visconti is a Chromium nib and is smooth but is hampered by baby's bottom on smooth paper like Rhodia or Clairfontaine. It is a crescent filler with a much smaller ink capacity than the piston filler and ink tends to pool under the feed when writing. 

So the Twsbi is better right? Well, yes and no. The Twsbi writes better for me and stores more ink as well as being affordable. The Visconti writes well on toothier paper but has other qualities. It is a limited edition pen and only 200 of each color were made. It is also amazingly gorgeous with the resin used and those swirls are mesmerizing. It also feels rich to the touch. In other words, I paid for the name and the aesthetics which I am ok with. 

What I am saying is that it is not all about price when discussing fountain pens. What they are made from, their design and the nib material all factor in. The pens are functional but the expensive pens tend to be more luxurious but that does not make the cheaper pens less valuable. I have 5 different Jinhao pens which retail anywhere between $5 - $12 and I love them as they write very well and still look great.

It is all in the eye of the beholder and what appeals to you. I have 2 pens that are made of copper, yes, solid copper. One is a Karas Kustoms Ink which is $175 and the other is the Montegrappa Copper Mule which retails for $375. So what affects the difference of $200? Both pens are made out of the same material and both pens are machined meticulously. Both pens write incredibly well and have a nice heavy weight, which I prefer. The only thing I can come up with is the Mule is made in Italy by a luxury brand whereas the Karas Kustoms is made in the US by a newer company. The Mule is shipping a limited edition copper mug with the first installment of pens for a small amount of units and the mug sold me...I will admit it. I love that mug and I know it was a gimmick but I found it to be worth the price as I did buy it.

Pens are much like anything out there. Do you buy a Chevy or go for a Corvette? Can you afford either? Would you spend the extra money to get the sporty vehicle? The point is it is your choice and your choice alone. If you find the value in the cost of a fountain pen that appeals to you, whatever that cost may be, then it was worth the expense. Not all pens appeal to all people and that is why there are so many to choose from.

Don't get sucked in by a brand name though, if you are new to the fountain pen world. Try to find more information online as there are a lot of reputable reviewers out there. If you are fortunate to live near a pen store, visit it and try the pens out. It pays a lot to try before you buy to see what you may or may not like. Go to a pen show. That is the great opportunity to see a whole multitude of pens in a single place. Find other enthusiasts in your area or on a forum like Reddit. A name brand may work for some people but it may not be your cup of tea.

You and you alone can dictate the value of a pen. If you want to pay the price then it is worth the expense. Plain and simple. I cannot stress finding a way to use a pen before purchase as then you know if it works for your tastes. Fountain pens are to be used and cherished, they are extensions of your thoughts and creations. You set the price.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Leave your mark!

When I was young, I loved to write and tell stories. As far back as third grade can I remember having a school segment on creative writing. I was a hit with the stories I came up with and the whole class would laugh and be thoroughly entertained. Somewhere along the way of growing up I lost that piece of myself and as technology moved rapidly to a more digital presence, I wrote less and less.

Then I bought a fountain pen and literally fell in love with writing all over again. I now write in a journal daily, I am making new pen pals every week and I am writing letters more and more. I got to thinking about all of the factors that make this experience so special and ink is quite a big one.

A pen will look sleek and classy based off of what you like and the materials they are made from. A pen can have different nib sizes to change the line width or different nib materials to give a smooth effortless writing experience. Paper also aides in this but what really brings it all together is the ink used.

There are so many different types of ink and brands and colors. I myself have the ink bug and have amassed quite a collection of ink. What shows on the page is ultimately what this is all about in the long run.

A mood can be conveyed with ink, personalities can be expressed through ink and depending on the ink, your thoughts can be timeless. Fountain pen ink has so many different properties and sometime I will try to go through them on this blog. It is so much more than a medium, ink can be fun.

Every fountain pen user who has been using them for a bit have their favorite inks, whether by brand or colors or specific properties they have (shading, permanence, shimmer...etc). Some users love to match ink colors to their pen colors which can be fun. In fact, that right there is the whole point of is fun.

I was looking through my journal and noticed that every paragraph is in a different color as well as a varied line width based off of what pen I used. I then realized what I had been doing and that was using a different pen with a different ink color when changing thoughts. I didn't realize I was doing it at the time I was writing, but it sure makes the journal vibrant and fun.

Through fountain pens, paper and ink, I have rekindled a love of writing as well as storytelling. I have influenced a few friends into fountain pens and they have said the exact thing to me; fountain pens make writing fun. I could not agree more.  

Pick up your favorite fountain pen, grab your paper of choice and fill that pen with your ink of choice. It is time you make a splash of your own.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

So Much Paper!

As a person who is newer to fountain pens, you will hear mention of paper that is used for fountain pens. Then you take a peek online and see all of the selections and brands...which one to buy? AHHHHHH!

I have been into fountain pens for a while now and have learned a bit and I remember how daunting it was at first. I also didn't really have anyone to ask, either. Let's take a peek at the selection and make this less scary.

Rhodia Paper 

Rhodia seems to be the most popular in my opinion. Most ink reviews shown online are done on Rhodia paper, which is a very nice, quality paper. Rhodia paper is 80g/m2(grams per square meter) or approx 20lb paper. What makes Rhodia special is that is has a thin ceramic coating on the paper making it very smooth and somewhat ink resistant, which makes great fountain pen paper as it helps bring out the shading qualities in ink. It will have longer dry times than "normal" paper used in the US but that is part of the fountain pen charm.


Clairefontaine paper is 90g/m2 which is roughly 24lb paper. Clairefontaine is not ceramic coated like Rhodia but it is very smooth regardless. Smooth paper is very nice to write on with a fountain pen but can be troublesome with an overly polished nib and can lead to skipping, sometimes referred to as baby's bottom. Some of these terms used in the fountain pen world make you wonder.


This paper is my personal favorite and measures in between Rhodia/Clairefontaine at 85g/m2 which I would assume would be around 22lb paper. Fabriano does not have a ceramic coating nor does it have a smoothness to it. It has something called tooth which is described as rougher textured paper. Fabriano has some tooth but it is not dramatic, just enough to still have a great writing experience as well as eliminating that baby bottom issue. It also has ink resistance and really makes shading pop with shading inks.

Tomoe River 

Ok, this stuff is magical and defies all logic with paper. It is 52g/m2 but is super tracing paper thin. This voodoo paper is phenomenal and handles fountain pen ink like a thicker paper. Ink looks amazing on it, it is super smooth to write on and it takes quite a bit to make the ink bleed through to the other side. It's magic I tell ya. The only downside is that it is the most pricey of the bunch but it is definitely worth it.

Is that all? 

No, not at all. I am not going to list all of the papers, just the most prevalent and popular ones. 

Do I have to buy fancy paper to use a fountain pen?

Nope, not at all but there are some things to consider. Using standard US based paper, this stuff is thirsty when using fountain pen ink and the wider the nib used on a pen, the worse off you will be. Feathering, spread and bleed through are the main culprits and frustrating factors here. Generally using fine or extra fine nibs are the way to go on standard papers and ink that is not runny or lubricted is preferred. I do like Noodler's X-Feather for this as it is made for the less than ideal paper.

I know I have thrown a lot at you here and that is only because there is a ton of choices out there and it gets confusing. There is nothing wrong with trying out different papers to see which you prefer more but hopefully now, you have a little more ammunition to make a better choice. Watch out for any paper cuts!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Why Fountain Pens?

Hi. I actually get asked this quite a lot. What is so special about fountain pens? What's the big deal?

The only answer back that I have is asking if they have ever written with one. That is what got me hooked. I had heard about fountain pens ever since I was a kid and had always wanted to try one. One day I was in an office supply store and saw a cheap one for sale. Well, here is my chance so I bought it.

I got home, opened the package and inserted a cartridge that came with it. It seemed to take forever for the ink to reach the tip so I can finally see what this was like. Holy crap! I actually said that out loud when I started writing. The experience was so effortless as the pen glided along the page and the ink looked so much richer than a standard ballpoint.

I then started researching this pen and fountain pens in general. I then learned about converters and then which one fit this pen. I ordered it and a bottle of Iroshizuku Take-Sumi (black). This was even better for me. That is when I fell in love with bottled ink, in fact I do not ever use cartridges any more.

So what other pens are out there? I found a Pilot Metropolitan and ordered it with a M nib (which is more like a western Fine as this is a Japanese pen) as well as a Rhodia dot pad. And so started my journey into the fountain pen world.

I now have around 25 pens of differing dollar values and over 50 bottles of ink. My notebook collections are getting a little out of hand as well. My wife will ask me what I'm watching when I am on YouTube with my iPad and then see that I am watching a pen video. She rolls her eyes and calls this my version of porn, my pen porn.

So why do I love fountain pens? It is really simple, honestly. I love how the pen will glide on the page of nice paper with no effort required. I love how the ink can shade on the page with each letter of every word. I love the ability to have different pens with different nib sizes to change up line widths or the vast possibilities with ink colors. There is a freedom with fountain pens that I never imagined could happen. With proper care, they can last a lifetime which cuts down on the disposable pens clogging up landfills, which is also why I don't use cartridges. I also love that scratchy sound the nib has when writing too.

Are they for everyone? No, they are not but I believe everyone should try one even for a moment. You may find out what others of us have already learned. Fountain pens are wonderful and make you fall in love with writing which is a treasured thing in this digital age.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Blackstone Ink Review
Sydney Harbor Blue

Blackstone is company based out of Australia and currently have 5 ink colors in their line up. Until recently, Blackstone inks came in a powder and to use them we would have to add distilled water to the powders to liquify the ink. I am so glad that they decided to get away from that idea. As far as I could see, I could only purchase these inks from Anderson Pens here in the US.

This test was done with a Platinum 3776 Century with a broad nib

 Sydney Harbor Blue is a very rich, dark blue and is quite saturated.

 There is some nice shading but due to the darkness of the ink, it is not always easy to see.

Even though the inspiration for the color of this ink is water related, water is not its friend. The ink explodes with water and gets a bit hard to read but I believe it can be recoverable if you had to.

All in all, I love the ink color and the flow is perfect.


  • Deep, rich color
  • High Saturation
  • Good flow, not too wet
  • Shading
  • Affordable
  • Not water resistant
  • Only can be purchased from one US retailer, as far as I know
  • Only available in 30mL bottles
This review is based off of my opinion and experience. I am not compensated by nor affiliated with Blackstone or Anderson Pens. I purchased this ink outright.