In 2012 I have had limited opportunity to try Caran d'Ache ink when I was in Rome. At the time, one of the members of the Vancouver Pen Club was a big fan of Caron d'Ache ink, and in particular, the colour Amazon. I must admit, that is a very appealing green. But, the ink was at a high price point. This, with an ink bottle that was extremely attractive, only hold 30 ml of ink and I felt was too small to fill large pen and nibs that I use.
So flash forward to 2014, I was in Paris. I walked by a Caran d'Ache boutique pen counter and wow there was a new larger 50 ml bottle with a distinctive style.
The hexagonal shaped bottles have a slant on the bottom, so the bottle sits on your desk at an angle already for a fill-up. The bottle also feels great in the hand. The cap is large and heavy, given the heavy glass bottle has a rich feeling. So it should, this is no cheap ink.
he company update its ink and the bottles.
At one point it seems I have been consumed with the task of finding the perfect grey ink. Well, what does perfect mean? I think the colour tone is a big factor as well as writing performance. I have found the inks to range from lights to dark tones. Infinite Grey is a light tone, however, it is a true silver grey. I have tried the ink in nibs ranging from Medium to Stub, and the colour is fairly consistent - flat, silver grey. As the nib gets broader, such as a stub width, the pen leaves a solid line of colour on the paper. With thinner nibs I found the ink has the same colour tone, but is light light in colour tone on the page.
The colour tone is one of the factors for me to rank an ink high, and the colour tone of this ink is a very clean silver grey. It is the silver tone that stands out with this ink. Some greys are just light or dark with various shades of undertones. But Infinite Grey has a distinctive look. That is what I like about this ink.
In terms of writing performance, nothing with this ink will let you down. The ink has good flow along with a reasonable dry time. There was no feathering or bleeding through the paper that I experienced. Of course, as you would expect, writing with the cheapest of office copy paper is one type of experience, and writing with a quality writing paper is another.
The have mentioned, ink dries to a very flat finish, and that is one of the characteristics that I look for with an ink. I particular do not like inks that have a glossy finish. Those inks tends to have a stickiness to them. Also, I found the glossy inks can be more prone to smearing.
As I have used this ink, it looks very good with personal correspondence. A note card written with this ink has an impressive look. I have used it for writing in my journals, and there also it looks good. At, taking notes at meetings, I find I would prefer to use a darker tone grey.
The Caran d'Ache inks rank out as some of the more expensive inks to purchase. The bottle and the writing experience of the ink do rank up there.
This was my first bottle of Caran d'Ache ink. The brochure refers to Magnetic Blue as a marine blue ink but for me, when I have used the ink, the colour comes across as a blue-black.
Consistent with the inks I have tried in the Caran d'Ache line, this colour dries to a good flat finish. There is no shine or stickiness to the ink on the paper. This characteristics is always an important characteristic for ink. Inks retaining stickiness are are problem and cause papaers to stick together.
Ink flow is good, and as the ink sits on the paper, there is a reasonable time - generally less than 5 seconds. Of course, the broader the nib, the more ink and dry times increase.
I tried the ink a Delta Dolcevita fountain pen with a stub nib. That meant a line of good width was laid and the ink had enough colour to stand well. I also have loaded other pens, such as an Esterbrook with a medium Stub nib. Good performance regardless of the pen. From the broader lines written with a stub nib, there was a good enough strength in the colour and there was some nice shading going on.
While I was happy with the Magnetic Blue which is one of those colours that like black, becomes a defining experience for a line of inks, Idyllic Blue has the brightness that I look for in a blue ink.
The bottle makes filling a pen easy. Ink performance is similar to that I have with Magnetic Blue: good flow, not runny, dries in a reasonable time, and dries in a good flat finish with no shine or stickiness.
In terms of the range of blue inks that I like, I prefer a blue with a bit darker tone.
I use this colour on an off-and-on basis and I must admit I am having a hard time deciding if it is a colour I will replace when that time comes. In the previous line of ink colours by Caran d'Ache, this colour was known as Storm.
I usually like colours with a bit more punch. What I do like about this colour is the overall subtle tone. I have used this for business writing and Ultra Violet is not one of those colours that when I go back to a page of notes I find myself saying: "What did I use that colour for?" It is a conservative colour tone. For example, Pelikan Violet looks great when writing with a fine nib fountain pen, but when I use that ink in a stub or broad nib, the stroke is broad and the ink often comes across so very bright.
Writing pPerformance is good, although I would classify this as an ink as having slower flow. The sample above is written with a Pelikan M800 Broad Italic nib. That nib has a fair amount of ink flow.
Now here is one of the colours that I really enjoy using.
When I was visiting one of my local pen stores I almost gave this colou a pass. I think the name triggered a through: who would write with a pink ink. But I have found the answer to that question different than expected.
I use this ink as a great example of bright red. This is a very good and easy to take red tone. The colour is rich and dark and has worked well in all the various pens and nib widths that I have used - from Medium to Stub.
Writing performance is very good. The ink has a good flow, dries to a flat finish on the paper. Dry time was reasonable, 5 seconds or so.
Of course you get the advantage of a different type of bottle, one that sits on the desk on a slant. The cap of the bottle is massive and solid and it is a good experience to screw on or off the cap. Some inks have flimpsy little plastic caps that I am sometimes worried about breaking. No such fear with this ink bottle.