pens, inks, stores, companies and about the pleasure of owning a fine pen


Sheaffer first introduced its Skript ink back in 1922. At the time, Sheaffer sold Skrip as a near product, an improvement over the current fountain pen ink. I used to have one of the old Skript ink bottles with the metal lids and the handy well for filling a pen. I used the Blue Black and Peacock Blue (remember that name) ink in some of my first pens.

In the 1990 Sheaffer closed its plan that made ink in the USA. In 2002 the started to have their ink manufactured in Slovenia and it was sold in an updated cone-shaped bottle. The updated bottle had a plainer label, and a nib pointing up. Then in 2011 they updated the bottle with a band of colour meant to represent the colour of the ink, and the classic sheaffer nib is on the right side pointing down.

I had tried some of the inks on the first switch to production in Solvenia, but found them to be thin, watery and lacking good colour depth. As such I did not use the ink and never recommended it to others.

I recently met the local sales representative for Sheaffer and he asked me what I thought of Sheaffer ink. I told him my view. Don't like them, find them watery, colour tones too light.

He was surprised and asked me to write with his pen. I did, and the Blue ink looked good. My first response/defense, was that his pen was a medium nib, and I use mainly broads, and the ink would not be able to perform in a similar method producing a broader stroke.

I was given the challenge. Use the line of inks and then draw my conclusion. So I called this "My Week with Sheaffer" - kind of a play on the movie My Week with Marilyn. Off I went with a bottle of each colour. The only colour I did not get was the Blue Black.

For the next week I loaded various pens with Sheaffer inks. I used various brands of pens that included Montegrappa, Delta, OMAS, Waterman, Laban, Stipula all with different nibs, primarily broad but some stubs and even a medium.

Overall I was surprised... pleasantly surprised. The inks had a bit more punch in terms of colour. They all performed well. Below are comments on the colours I test.

My only wish is that they would have selected a different design of the bottle.

Bottle design is an important issue as it impacts the ability to get all the ink out of the bottle. Sheaffer has a relatively low bottle, versus taller and narrower, and the bottle gets wider at the base than the top. This is great for stability of the bottle on the desk, but means that more ink sits in the bottom of the bottle that at the upper portion of the bottle. No problem with the first couple of fills, but if you use a big pen, with a big nib, as the ink goes down, it becomes impossible to submerge the nib in the ink and get a good secure fill.

Some manufactures like Waterman, or OMAS has various flat sides along the bottle that support tilting the bottle when the ink level gets low.