Pilot Iroshizuku Yama-Budo

A beautiful purple. Picked up a sample of this from The Writing Desk and after one fill I have decided to buy a bottle. I’ve been looking for a good purple for quite some time, this is bright while not being too much for use in the office. I do get the occasional look but who really cares.

In a wide nib the colour is deep and rich. In a finer nib the colour is lighter, leaning toward pink. It is bright on the page, really standing out. Works very well as a markup ink but I use it as a main ink.

Like its stablemates, it is easy to maintain and clean, which is good as it is expensive.

I note that when I use a wide nib this ink sits on the page when it dries, I can feel the ink as a residue on the page. I have never noticed this with other inks though that could be due to my tendency to only use very fine nibs for writing. This is not a bad point, rather just an observation I have had. It can bleed through even Rhodia 90gsm paper when in a particularly wet nib so care may be required there.

Pilot Iroshizuku Yama Budo

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Cult Pens Deep Dark Orange

This is a great colour. Somewhat of an outlier in the Deep Dark range from Cult Pens as it is quite a bit brighter than its stablemates. The ink currently functions as both a main and a markup ink. On white paper the ink “pops” nicely. On ivory (e.g. Rhodia Webnotebook) it appears darker but still clearly orange.

One property in which this ink is very much a part of the Deep Dark range is its flow; it’s quite a dry ink and leads to regular hard starts. Leaving a pen uncapped for what feels like a few seconds leads to a stop in flow and not using it for a week or so is just asking for trouble. Starting again takes quite a bit of effort. Thankfully it’s an easy ink to maintain being straightforward to clean.

The pennaquod

The pennaquod is a search tool that will search a specific set of the very best pen (stationery) blogs out there. Are you interested in a specific product? Then use this tool as it’s very likely that quite a few of the searched blogs have already had a look at it.

This is a fantastic resource. The only issue is, I keep forgetting about it. So I’m putting this post out as much for myself as for anyone that may happen upon it.

Go visit the pennaquod now (and don’t forget to bookmark it!):


The tool was built and is maintained by Ian Hedley of Pens! Paper! Pencils! (go on, have a guess what he blogs about). Ian can also be found on Twitter and Instagram.

Waterman Serenity Blue

My most heavily used ink. I first received a bottle of this ink over three years ago and it has been in continual use ever since. The colour is perfect for both work and personal use. Little shading that I can see but then using fine tipped pens I wouldn’t expect to see much of that.


The ink is very easy to clean and flows very well. In fact the latter point leads to the only negative I can find, that flow can lead to quite a bit of ink to be deposited on the page meaning that it does not dry very quickly. In fact, of all the inks I have this takes the longest to dry. In my use however this is not a problem but it is something to be aware of nonetheless.

The ease of cleaning has meant that leaving the ink in a pen for an extended period of time does no harm though is still not a smart thing to do. The longest such period was about thirteen months, started to write immediately with only the slightest hint of a hard start. Cleaned right out very easily. This ties with the reputation of Waterman inks as being very safe, particularly for vintage pens.

I highly recommend this ink.

Update [7th March 2016]

Since posting my initial review above, I have swapped this ink into a different pen and what a totally minimal change this has made. It’s now in my Platinum 3776 UEF which has a far sharper nib than the Pilot.

There is no change evident in the ink’s behaviour arising from the use of the sharper nib. Unlike the ink which was previously in this pen, there is no build up on the nib whatsoever. As expected, the Waterman ink continues to be extremely well behaved.

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