Ink Review: Kaweco Smokey Grey

Kaweco Smokey Grey
Pen: Lamy Safari (M)
Paper: Rhodia 80gsm #16 Blank
Shading: high
Saturation: low to moderate
Flow: medium
Dry Time: 14s in Lamy M

If you've followed the blog for a while, you know how much I love a good grey ink.  Everytime a new one comes out, chances are I'll be trying it.  Smokey Grey covers a spectrum of grey that not many other grey inks match.  Kaweco is really doing a great thing with their ink line, and I think it's far superior to most any other pen brand's ink line.

Smokey Grey is a nice medium grey ink that varies quite a bit depending on what pen you use it in.  In a dryer writing pen it's a pale light grey like Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogun, and in a heavier writing pen it puts down a nice dark charcoal grey line like Kiri-same or Faber-Castell Stone Grey.  Both "colors" have really nice shading, and the ink behaves really well on typical fountain pen paper.

Water drop - just for fun!  I see a hint of red in there..

Pen characteristics aside, the ink itself is about a medium on the wetness scale.  It flows nicely, with no hard starts; it doesn't dry too easily on the nib.  Dry time is moderate at around 14 seconds in medium nib Lamy Safari.

I really dig Kaweco's ink bottles.  The lid has a nice foam insert which keeps it from drying out in storage, and the ink bottle itself can lean on its side to assist with filling when the ink bottle gets low.  Just as I mentioned in the Kaweco Sunrise Orange review, the lid has a very satisfying "seal" when it closes, which I very much like.

As far as comparisons, this ink has a couple that it matches up with.  Depending on the pen you're using, it can be as light a Fuyu-syogun or J. Herbin Gris Nuage.  For most pens out there, however, it's going to be closer to Graf von Faber-Castell Stone Grey or Pilot Iroshizuku Kiri-same.

Chromatography is...anti-climactic to say the least; but still very interesting - an olive green and a little bit of blue.

I can safely say that I'll be adding Smokey Grey to my list of favorite grey inks.  It doesn't overtake the top spot for greys for me, but it definitely ranks up there.  It's a very well behaved ink with no frills - it just works and it works well.  I'm excited for Kaweco to release some new colors, as their latest have been fantastic.  Thank you so much to Kaweco in Germany for sending me this ink for review!

(Kaweco has provided this product at no charge to The Desk for the purpose of review.  My opinions are honest and without bias - visit the About Me page for more details).

Wanna be notified when new posts hit the blog? Head over to the Subscribe page and sign up for email notifications!

Ink Review: J. Herbin 1670 Stormy Grey


J. Herbin 1670 Storm Grey
Pen: Pilot Metropolitan (M)
Paper: Rhodia 80gsm Dotpad
Shading: Moderate
Saturation: low
Flow: medium wet
Dry Time: 9 seconds

I picked up a sample of this ink a month or so ago, and have been using it in my Metropolitan for a while.  I've gotten a few requests for a review on it, and I was very happy to oblige.  Grey being my favorite ink color, I have thoroughly enjoyed using it.

The shade of grey that this ink exhibits is a mid-range grey, leaning more dark than light.  If I were to imagine what "stormy grey" would be, this would be it.  It is reminiscent of the dark storm clouds, with just a tiny hint of blue underneath.

Of course one of the biggest draws to this ink is the gold fleck that gives your written word a brilliant glittery sheen.  On my Rhodia pad, the sheen stands out very well, but not so much as to drown out the color of the ink itself. Its sister ink, Emerald of Chivor, has a bit more gold sheen in my experience, though with the lighter color, it works very well.

Stormy Grey has a moderate amount of shading, and gives a good balance between shading and saturation.  Dry time is rather exceptional at 9 seconds for my Pilot medium nib.  I kept the ink in the pen for roughly a week, and did not have any trouble cleaning it out - much like Emerald of Chivor.

In comparison to other greys I've used, Stormy Grey is closest to Graf von Faber Castell Stone Grey, leaning just a bit cooler on the color scale.  Noodler's Lexington Grey is a close second, and matches better on paper than it does on the swab.

Overall, I really enjoyed using Stormy Grey.  I still am not really on the glitter/gold fleck ink bandwagon, but for those that are I think this is a great choice.  Being a huge grey ink fan, I loved the color more than anything else.  If you're interested in a bottle for yourself, you can pick up a 50mL bottle for $26.00.

Thanks for reading!

Ink Review: J. Herbin Gris Nuage

J. Herbin Gris Nuage (Ink Drop - April 2015)
Pen: Lamy EF
Paper: Rhodia Dotpad 80gsm
Shading: low
Saturation: low
Flow: medium wet

The third ink in this month's Ink Drop is J. Herbin Gris Nuage.  J. Herbin was established in the year 1670 and is the oldest name in ink production in the world.  The company namesake, J. Herbin, was a sailor who ventured on many journeys to India and brought back a recipe for sealing wax.  They perfected this recipe over the years and became famous for the quality of his seals.  By 1700 he was making inks as well, and soon was making exclusive ink for Louis XIV and Victor Hugo.  Both of these ink formulas reside in their headquarters in Paris, France.

I had actually been considering picking up a bottle of Gris Nuage in my quest for my favorite grey ink, but I'd incidentally found my favorite before I had a chance.  I was glad to see it included in April's Ink Drop because I'd been wanting to try it.  I don't think it'll beat Faber-Castell Stone Grey as my favorite, it is definitely high up on the list.

Gris Nuage is a fairly low saturated ink, but that adds to the nice pale grey color on the paper.  It is a moderately wet ink that behaves quite well on my Rhodia pad.  No feathering or bleedthrough to speak of.  This is definitely my favorite ink in this Ink Drop, and I highly recommend it if you're looking for a middle of the road grey ink.

You can pick up a 30 mL bottle from Goulet or a similar retailer for $11.00.

Ink Review: Graf von Faber-Castell Stone Grey


Graf von Faber-Castell Stone Grey
Pen: Kaweco Skyline
Paper: Rhodia Dotpad 80gsm

I stumbled upon the #1 ink in the Perfect Grey Ink countdown without really looking for a better grey than I already had.  I was already perfectly satisfied with Diamine Grey when I decided I wanted to pick up a Kaweco Skyline pen.  I knew that I wouldn't have a suitable converter for that pen, so I decided to grab some ink cartridges for it.  I went to Goulet's site and did a search for standard international cartridges.  I noticed Graf von Faber-Castell Stone Grey, and decided it would go well with my grey Skyline Sport.

When I got my Skyline, I popped in a cartridge and began writing and couldn't believe how much I loved Stone Grey.  It is slightly warmer in tone than Diamine grey and something about it just stood out to me.  I loved the shading, the tone and how well it behaved.  I didn't have the feathering issues I'd had with Lexington Grey, yet the color was extremely close.  Dry time is right in the middle of all the inks I tested at 6 seconds with an EF nib.

If there is a downside to this ink, it is the price.  At Goulet, a 75mL bottle is $30.  Though, as much as I love this ink, I am willing to pay it.  Especially since you get such a big bottle.  The bottle design is awesome as well, so as soon as I run out of my cartridges, I'll be picking one up.

I hope you enjoyed the countdown!  Let me know in the comments or on Twitter what your favorite ink is, grey or otherwise!