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Waterman inks are another example of in-house maker’s ink; nothing that will drive the world mad with either glee or dispair (although in one case, dispair is possible).  The writing characteristics of their inks are generally pretty good, and their colours tend to be a little more than merely adequate (with that exception…).  Something the traditionalist in me enjoys is the fact that the shape of bottle has remained the same since the mid-1940s, and it is a highly functional shape to boot.

While I don’t have examples in my own supplies, correspondents of mine regularly use Florida Blue (a mid-range blue) and purple as Waterman makes it, and I like them a lot

Examples (note– I’ve not calibrated my scanner, so these are mere approximations of the true colour):

Black: Its… black. Those who get very excited about absolute blackness in their black inks tend to discount this one a little, though.

It manages on good paper; on cheaper stuff, it goes more green

Blue-black: The disappointment in Waterman’s inks. Similar to Parker’s version of this colour, it is given to fading into a greenish tone; many people think blue-black is supposed to be green, thanks to this ink. It seems somewhat less likely to disappear entirely than the Quink, but it is still a bit of a slap for those who want to use something of a dark blue nature.  During the great ink renaming of 2012, this was re-dubbed as “Mysterious Blue,” which seems appropriate, because it’s likely that whatever is written in it will eventually vanish.

waterman5Florida Blue: The standard blue as Waterman understands it.  It was renamed to “Serenity Blue” in 2012.  It is a little less vibrant that it appears in this scan, having a grey undertone.

Audacious Red: The name stems from the 2012 rebranding, of course. If there is any audacity here, it may be in that this is a rather pale red to claim such a name.

Lay your head on one side and peer at the side panel: “Writes a rich blue; turns to a lasting black”


Keep in mind that this ink is not less than 60 years old; a little paleness is allowed

Blue-black(vintage):  The packaging on this ink gives a sense of the traditional meaning of blue-black; a chronological progression rather than a blending.  The effects of several decades in the bottle means that it goes on the paper bluish and turns… darker, but it is still waterproof once it’s dry.  My bottle is from no earlier than 1944, and with that pen in the box probably not much later than 1953.

Blue (vintage): Once again, one must allow a little for entropy. This is roughly contemporary with the blue-black above, and gives a slightly dark medium blue, similar to Herbin’s Bleu Nuit.

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