Posts filed under Caran d'Ache

Caran d'Ache Chromatics Ink Cartridge Idyllic Blue Review

Fountain pen ink cartridges are an economic and environmentally bad choice. Compared to bottled ink, the price per milliliter is far greater, and you are tossing empty plastic tubes into the trash can on a regular basis. Now that I have gotten that out of the way, let me tell you why I love these Caran d'Ache Chromatics ink cartridges.

Color name imprinted on the cartridge. Thank you!

Color name imprinted on the cartridge. Thank you!

I’m a huge fan of Kaweco pens, especially the pocket varieties like the AL Sport and Liliput. There have been attempts at making converters for these pens (I’ll be testing the newest one soon) but so far nothing beats a standard short international ink cartridge. The issue for addicts like me is that color choices are limited, unless you want to syringe fill empty cartridges. I’ve done that plenty, but let’s face it: Cartridges are far easier to use, and more portable.

Kaweco offers 8 colors to satiate people like me, but getting a high end ink like Caran d’Ache in this format is great news. Granted, only Cosmic Black and Idyllic Blue are available right now, but I would be over the moon if they continued down the Chromatics color lineup. (Edit: I'm happy to note I am wrong. All colors ARE available.)

Idyllic Blue is one of the best standard blues I recall using. I’m not usually a blue user, I go for blue black or turquoise shades before reaching for stock blues, but this one is fantastic.

The color has a depth and richness than normal blues can’t achieve. Many are light and watery looking, but not Idyllic Blue. There is minimal shading, with slight variation from light to dark in the lines, but the lubrication is off the charts. I used a crisp fine cursive italic for this review, and the nib was noticeably smoother than with other, less lubricated inks. The dry time was impressive as well, even at the five second mark.

In barrel double stack approved.

In barrel double stack approved.

This is a premium ink, and it comes at a premium price. $5.50 for for six ink cartridges doesn’t sound expensive in a vacuum, but that is nearly a 100% increase over the aforementioned Kaweco cartridges. There are also only two color choices for now, unlike the 25 Diamine currently has available in the short international size.

Still, I’ll be enjoying these Idyllic Blue ink cartridges for a while and crossing my fingers for more colors to join the lineup soon.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)

Posted on February 29, 2016 and filed under Caran d'Ache, Ink Reviews.

Caran d'Ache Chromatics Magnetic Blue Ink Review

Being a fan of blue black inks, there is a lot to like about Caran d'Ache Chromatics Magnetic Blue. But regardless of if I like the color or not, there is one big, BIG hangup with this ink.

The Chromatics line was created to mimic the color spectrum found in a prism, and the 12 colors represent a very nice range. The Magnetic Blue I chose is a nice cloudy blue with hints of grey and a hint of purple. The shading is average, with a narrow range of color found in my lines. You can see it, but the shading is not necessarily a standout. The smoothness and lubrication of the ink is a highlight, flowing true and easily form the nib. It is a long-drying ink though, one of the longest I recall testing. When using it in my Midori Travelers notebook I actually had it transfer to the previous page when shutting the book.

Ranking it against only the other blue black inks I use frequently, it's not top 5 material on color alone. It's just not special enough to stand out from the crowd, and therein lies the major problem. It will cost you $38 dollars to try out an average ink.

This is easily the most expensive bottle of ink on my shelf and it will be rarely used. Looking at the swatches on JetPens I think I would have been happier with one of the brighter colors like Electric Orange or Hypnotic Turquoise. I use so many blue black inks I am very sure of where this ranks, so picking a different color may have left me more impressed. Still, for a premium ink it doesn't do enough for me to justify the price. Pilot Iroshizuku has nothing to worry about.

Have you used any of the Caran d'Ache Chromatics inks? I've love to get some feedback and comments if you have. Let me know what I am missing!

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)

Posted on January 9, 2015 and filed under Caran d'Ache, Ink Reviews.

Caran D'ache 849 Ballpoint Review

Caran d'Ache 849

A Pen Addict reader requested months ago that I review a pen from the Caran d'Ache 849 series, and I was more than happy to oblige. I had my eyes on this pen for a while, and it didn't take much for me to hit the buy button.

I ordered the Black Metal version from Amazon and the photos don't do justice to how great looking this pen is. And honestly, I didn't expect anything less from a company that manufactures very high end pens. The 849 series is a way for us common folk to get in on a well-made and highly-respected Swiss pen.

The hexagonal aluminum barrel enhances the clean lines of the pen, and the chrome clip and knock add a sharp touch. My only issue with the design is that I would prefer more feedback from the knock. Maybe it is a Swiss thing, but there is no audible feedback when engaging or retracting. It is more of a squish-down, squish-up feeling and I would like to hear a more solid click when the ballpoint is engaged.

About that ballpoint ink cartridge - it is terrible. The tip is scratchy and there is a lot of white space in the line. That is normal ballpoint cartridge performance, but I expect more from a company like Caran d'Ache. I will be looking for a suitable replacement soon because this barrel deserves to be used.

One sentence review: The barrel is built to last but swap out the refill to protect your sanity.

Posted on April 11, 2013 and filed under Ballpoint, Pen Reviews, Caran d'Ache.