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.

Other reviews

Cult Pens Deep Dark Purple

A workhorse ink, currently in my Platinum 3776 Century UEF. A deep, rich colour which still works on ivory paper. On white paper however it is much easier to see the purple. It’s a nice understated colour suitable for the office.

Cult Pens Deep Dark Purple
Cult Pens Deep Dark Purple

On filling, this ink gives the gold nib the appearance of being rose gold which is surprisingly nice (I do not like the look of gold). The ink has a good flow but is not too wet, it’s also easy to clean. I enjoy writing with this ink. I don’t come across others in the office using purple but while it is different it’s not too bright to get too much attention.

My experience with darker, more saturated Diamine inks has one consistent feature, gunk. As I use the pen residue builds up on the nib, typically on the underside at the ends of the feed and along the channel between the tines. So long as I am writing constantly there is no issue. However, stopping for a couple of minutes without closing the cap leads to the flow of ink being blocked. It can take a few moment following cleaning to get started again; this delay has been quite frustrating when I do not have another pen to hand.


An intriguing feature of this build up of residue is the resulting change in the properties of the nib, making the line take on a similar appearance to that left by an architect grind. It’s quite entertaining if I’m honest. The residue has a green tint to it which I cannot see in the ink itself.

An ink with personality but not too much.


Since posting my initial review above, I have swapped this ink into a different pen and what a huge change this made. It’s now in my Pilot Custom 74 which has a Fine nib, quite a bit larger than the platinum.1

Cult Pens Deep Dark Purple + Pilot Custom 74

This wider nib lays down significantly more ink, showing more of that purple colour. It’s great with the purple now looking even richer than before on the page. The writing experience is also changed; that variation due to the residue is gone and where I felt as if I were painting, it’s a more normal writing experience. The build up of residue on the nib is now virtually non-existent, with some of that green colour deposited about corners on the feed and a small amount on the top of the nib along the channel between the tines.

Of course, with more ink means a longer drying time but that’s no major issue, this ink is quite well aligned to others in use.

So, it’s now an ink with slightly more personality but still not too much.

1 Yes, the UEF is so fine that switching to a Japanese fine feels at first like I’ve started to write with a crayon (perhaps I embellish)