Ink Review: Blue Black by Monteverde

The first fountain pen that I bought for myself was a Lamy Safari from Amazon. When the pen was added to the cart, so were eight cartridges of Monteverde Blue Black. I was super excited to get my flashy yellow Safari in the mail. As soon as the pen was free of its packaging I slammed one of these cartridges home into the back of the feed and what came out was GREY! WTF, I ordered Blue Black. Thats like navy or indigo or something like that, not grey! And what was with all of the changes in the ink's colour intensity, was it such a weak assed ink that it couldn't even keep a consistent colour? Eighteen months later I am better able to appreciate this ink for what it is; probably one of the best shaders on the somber end of the spectrum.

Where To Buy (No Affiliate Links)

JetPensGoulet PensWonderPensCult Pens
Price / 90 ml Bottle$12.50 US$12.50 USNot carried as of January 2015£8.99
Price / ml$0.14 US$0.14 USNot carried as of January 2015£0.10
Writing Sample on Rhodia 80 gsm

Writing Sample on Rhodia 80 gsm

Writing Sample on 20lb copy paper

Writing Sample on 20lb copy paper

Writing Sample on Field Notes - Front and Back shown

Writing Sample on Field Notes - Front and Back shown

Ink Properties

Shading: Excellent shading, especially on ink resistant papers.
Bleed Through: Minor bleed through on absorbent papers, more pronounced on Field Notes. None on Rhodia.
Show Through: Absorbant papers will exhibit show through
Outline: None
Saturation: Not very saturated.
Sheen: None
Water Resistance: No useful water resistance.
Drying Time: Reasonably quick, 10-15 seconds using an EF nib.
Flow: Very dry, leads to scratchy feeling nibs and hard starts when the pen has sat for a while.
Cleaning: Easy to clean

Colour Make Up

Chromatography Sample

Chromatography Sample

This ink is comprised of a shock of turquoise with underpinnings of mauve and peach. A surprising makeup for what appears as grey when dry.

Similar Inks (Images Courtesy of Goulet Pens)

Conclusions

When the nib first places the ink on the page the colour starts out as a muted blue green but within seconds this colour transitions to a storm cloud grey. On ink resistant papers you will even get all of the colour variations that you would see in a storm cloud. The next thing you will notice is how dry the pen is when filled with this ink; sometimes to the point of even having to prime the feed a couple of pages in. Nibs that you had previously thought were smooth are now scratchy with audible feedback.

Of the original eight cartridges I bought with my first pen, I now have five left and I don't think that I will ever run out of my supply on hand.