(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)
A few months ago I reviewed my first Sailor Ink Studio ink: Sailor 123. It is a fascinating color that shifts and changes before your eyes. Around the time I bought Sailor 123, I also purchased Sailor 442 from a different retailer.
Sailor 442 is a blue ink with purple tones. On my Col-o-dex card, the swab looks like a basic blue, but there is some green sheen in the splats. Shading isn’t very evident on the card because my Brause Blue Pumpkin nib was pretty saturated. You can see better shading in my other writing samples.
I tested the ink on Rhodia dot-grid paper with three Lamy Vistas in different nib sizes and the 2.4mm Pilot Parallel (dipped). The ink is a medium to dark blue with good shading in wider nibs. The purple tone comes out slightly in the broader nibs, but is most evident in the water test. The ink dries quickly but seems well lubricated when you write with it.
Chromatography reveals all the different shades combined to create this ink (light blue, purple, lavender, turquoise, green, and yellow). It’s a shame these colors don’t show up in swabs or shading. Unlike Sailor 123, 442 is not a shade-shifting ink. It’s quite striking in chromatography, but rather bland in the nib.
Even in my Handwritmic nib, which best displays the color variations, shading, and sheen potential of an ink, Sailor 442 was disappointing. There’s a good amount of shading, but only slight hints of the color variations found in the chromatography test. On the Midori Cotton paper, sheen was not evident.
After the magical experience of Sailor 123, I must say I was disappointed with 442. It’s not that it’s a bad ink--it’s actually a very nice blue with good shading and medium wetness. I just expected more from this rather expensive little bottle of ink. I now know that only certain Sailor Ink Studio inks have the shade-shifting characteristics of Sailor 123. I definitely plan to purchase those. I’ve read that the higher the number given to Ink Studio inks, the more sheen they have.
For an amazing overview of all 100 Sailor Ink Studio inks, I recommend Mountain of Ink’s blog. Not only can you read about the collection as a whole, there’s a detailed review of each one.
I purchased Sailor 442 from an eBay seller for around $21.00 plus shipping. Now you can purchase Sailor Ink Studio inks at $18.00 a piece (plus shipping) from Dromgoole’s (though you have to do so over the phone).
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