Friday, May 27, 2011

Waterman Black

It's not too often that I get an ink that isn't made by Noodler's. It isn't that I don't like other inks, it's just that I like Noodler's more.  The durability of the ink on paper is one of the most important properties of the ink in my eyes. For this reason, I almost always choose Noodler's. Though there can be some drawbacks to Noodler's inks, such as feathering and nib creep, the durability and flow in almost all inks are so dependable that they are still my primary ink choice, and that doesn't even factor in how many different colors there are to choose from.

Pretty good lookin' bottle, huh?
I figured that my first step away from Noodler's would need to be conservative so that I wouldn't be disappointed eventually, so I bought Waterman Black.  It's about the most standard black that exists in my opinion.  It's not Noodler's Heart of Darkness Black, but it gets the job done.  For me at least, that's pretty much where this ink falls. It's not super saturated, doesn't flow unreasonably well or resist water very well, but this ink gets the job done. It's an average, run of the mill "Bic Stic" type of ink.  The ink is thus extremely well behaved with no shading, bleeding, showthrough, bleedthrough or nib creep.  I actually would highly recommend this ink for someone just getting into fountain pens because this ink washes off very easily, behaves so well, and is relatively cheap.

One of the more interesting qualities of this ink, however is that after being exposed to water, the black ink sitting on top of the page washes off, leaving a blue layer on the page. This prompted me to look at the bottle in direct sunlight and I realized then that the ink looks like a nice blue-black in the bottle, but believe me, this ink doesn't exhibit a single trace of blue. Being a fan of blue-black inks, I probably would have appreciated that a little more, but sometimes there's nothing wrong with an ink that's just plain and ordinary. It's the things that are plain and ordinary in our lives that help us appreciate the things that are truly great, so I will get some great usage out of this black ink.

Aeterne Atramentus,

The Classicist


  1. Though I also prefer Noodler's (because many of the inks are bulletproof + they have some great colors), I like to experiment with other inks as well. J Herbin and Diamine are some of my other favorites. Recently I got a bottle of Waterman Brown but I haven't tried it yet. I'm waiting for a pen to become vacant.

  2. Waterman inks are certainly staples here in France. They do manufacture — or used to, I have somewhat lost track — a very nice blue black as well that is also the poster child for safe, middle-of-the-page blue-blacks. If you like such colours, it is well worth checking out.

  3. I haven't seen the Waterman inks up close but from your picture I can tell that the saturation is not what I like. However, the Waterman red looks like a clear winner