Sailor produces custom lines of ink for different stores, particularly in Japan and its always a joy to find a new, bespoke Sailor Ink from a boutique pen store. The Nagasawa Penstyle store, located in both Osaka and Kobe, has one of the largest collections of bespoke Sailor inks – at the time of writing the collection exceeds 70 inks, and is one of the more accessible Sailor bespoke inks. Some collections are incredibly difficult to purchase outside of Japan and are considered a little mythical they are so rare!
The Sailor Kobe Ink Story line came the in (now old) squat, round Sailor ink bottle, without the plastic insert – which I prefer over the insert (which I found unusable with larger pens including the Sailor 1911 large). I’m not sure if they have switched over to the new ink bottles and sizes, used in the Sailor Ink Studio line. I suspect as they reorder stock, it will switch over eventually.
I picked this ink up last time I was in Japan and its arguably the brightest, most cheerful purple I own. This purple is based off Hydrangeas and without being an expert in flowers, I think they are spot on with the colour – it certainly reminds me of hydrangeas when I use it. It’s a beautiful blue-purple that brightens up my day. I certainly wouldn’t describe this as a “work appropriate” ink – especially if you are in a conservative office. I used this ink in a boardroom one time in a meeting with the senior managers of our company and got some strange looks. Although it certainly made the meeting much more interesting!
The ink displays a good level of shading – obviously in wider nibs but much more subtle in the fine – shading is pretty consistent across all of the papers tested here.
There’s slight pink sheen that’s apparent in Tomoe River Paper and subtle on Rhodia. On Tomoe River Paper, this can be seen in all nib sizes broader than the medium. I can see it in the fine nib in person, but it’s difficult to capture in photos.
This ink was dry when I wrote this review – in the Spencerian grind it railroaded very regularly and I had to write extremely slowly for the feed to keep up and rest the pen in between. The dryness was apparent on the fine nib, especially on Rhodia and Air Paper, which are both super, glassy smooth. On Fabriano and Tomoe River Paper, which has the slightest bit more texture, dryness was not as obvious and I felt like the paper’s texture helped prime the nib as I wrote.
This ink also cleans out quite easily, a few flushes or a quick soak and the ink is pretty much cleaned out of the pen. A big plus for a lazy fountain pen owner!
In my collection, this is the brightest purple I own. I typically own darker, or moodier purples, so there’s not much else to compare this to.
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