In owned quite a few fountain pens before I bought my first Sailor and discovered what a joy to write with they are – there is definitely something to be said for a gold nib over stainless steel. With every pen there has been a package containing cartridges of black ink. I have never used them going straight for the converter and bottled ink. However, recently I bought a pen and there was no converter – SURPRISE. A converter was ordered and while waiting I decided to use the cartridges.
I love coloured ink and rarely use black, having an old, still half full bottle of Parkers black quink. Then again black is not a colour, as it is an absence of visible light having no specific wavelength it isn’t a colour. White on the other hand contains all the wavelengths of visible light. If you add black to a colour to change its intensity the colour is known as a shade, adding black and white makes it a tone and adding white alone makes the colour a tint.
The cartridges can be bought in a box of 12, with the pen you get two.
The ink is Sailor Jentle black ink which if you are lucky you may still find somewhere in the old squat Sailor ink bottles. Unfortunately Sailor has changed their ink packaging and price, and not necessarily for the better. You now get less ink for a lot more money. The new bottles are the same shape as the 20ml ink story or Shikiori bottles but are larger holding 50ml.
There are a lot of black inks available on the market and not all are black, well they are but believe it or not there are various tones. Some seem more like dark grey than a true pitch black. Chromatography revealed a black – no surprises there but it would have been interesting to see if there were any colours, tomes or tints in the mix.
It is also the same as the other blacks I possess.
For the writing I was using the Sailor pen I had bought. It is a stunning dark blue pro-gear with rose gold trim and no matter how I try I cannot get a photo that does this pen justice. I saw it on Pen Sachi and have had to use their photo, even then the pen is much nicer in the flesh but you get the idea.
I tried the ink on Rhodi, Tomoe and copy paper. On all it was black – more no surprises! What was interesting though was the dry time on the various papers. Very wet on Tomoe, long on Rhodia and dried almost immediately on copy paper. The only down side to that is there was some bleed through on the copy paper which was definitely not seen with Rhodia and Tomoe.
I don’t use a lot of black ink but think I will use up the cartridges before I go to the convertor and bottle dink. Mainly because I have them and this is a nice ink to use even if it isn’t colourful.
In summary –
Saturation – high
Shading – no
Sheen – no
Flow - excellent
Nib dry-out – none
Nib creep – none
Start-up – excellent
Feathering – none
Drying – depends on the paper almost immediate on the cheapest paper and closer to a minute on the best quality (Tomoe).
Cleaning – good
Water resistance – not sold as waterproof, Sailor do offer a waterproof black but this is still very good