Montblanc Toffee Brown is the fourth of the current Montblanc inks that I’ve looked at recently. I only bought a sample since it seemed like a rather unexciting brown.. Some browns are described as “reddish brown”, some a “yellowish brown”. I’d describe Toffee Brown as a “brown brown”. It’s a nice dark, saturated brown ink.
I tested this ink differently than other ink tests, at least in the pen selection. The Vac 700 just doesn’t work well with ink samples and all those nib swaps. So I decided to use different pens. I picked my collection of Sailors, mostly 1911. I didn’t go back and check, but this has got to be the first time I used all gold nibs, and mostly 21kt gold at that. The Sailor nibs are thinner than the European counterparts, more so for the fine nibs. I added a Lamy Safari medium nib to add a dose of reality with a steel nib. The Lamy is a steel nib, the 1911M is a 14 kt gold nib and the rest are 21 kt gold nibs.
As I said, Montblanc Toffee Brown is a dark brown with good saturation. There’s a little shading and line variation with my thin nibs. Shading is more pronounced with thicker nibs although it’s not heavy shading, but I like the look.
The ink is well behaved. The only noticeable feathering was on cheap copy paper with a broad nib. There was some feathering with medium nibs but I had to look really close to see it.
Since it is a dark, saturated ink there is some show-through on both Doane and Rhodia paper, even with the thin nibs. It becomes minor bleed-through on Doane paper with thicker nibs. I call it minor because it only happens when there’s a higher concentration of ink than normal writing would put down. There wasn’t any bleed-through on Rhodia paper. The bottom line is I can take notes on both sides of my Doane Jotter without being affected since I typical use extra fine or fine nibs. Even a medium is OK.
Drying time is better than most inks. On Doane Paper a Sailor fine nib dries in about 3 seconds. The Lamy medium takes about 8 seconds on Doane Paper. Fast enough for my typical use. See the sample photos for the drying times of the various nibs.
The ink has a hint of water resistance. I could still read the washed out ink after the water test. Some of it was mostly gone and none of it looked brown after getting wet. It might be enough for a accidental spill that is quickly soaked up, but I wouldn’t use it when I really needed to count on it be water proof.
Cleaning is extremely easy. A couple flushes with the bulb syringe and the pen was ink free with any pen I used.
The bottom line – I love this ink and added it to my DC show shopping list.
Lamy Safari with a medium nib – Good ink flow and saturation as shown in the samples.
Sailor Pro Gear Imperial Black with a fine nib – One of my favorite writing thin nibs and the thinnest of the nibs tested. The dark brown is easy to read even with the thin line.
Sailor 1911s with a medium nib, a zoom nib and a music nib and a Sailor 1911M with a broad nib. The ink wrote fine with the topside of the zoom nib which is a very thin line.
[Updated Sept 1, 2013] – I’ve been using the ink in my Edison Menlo Pump Filler with an extra fine nib. Never a hard start or any skipping. A consistent flow.