Ink Notes: Private Reserve Invincible Black

Fountain Pen Revolution Dilli filled with PR IB

[Updated Pens Used on Oct. 16, 2013]

Private Reserve Invincible Black has a deep black color, is quick drying and it’s waterproof. These are all properties I like. Even so, I may never use PR Invincible Black again.

I bought the bottle of IB back in March 2012 but the bottle has been unopened until now.  I mention this because I’ve seen widely differing comments about this ink and it may matter. The ink bottle is taller than my earlier PR ink bottles and holds 2 oz of ink.

The ink clings to everything. Opening the bottle reveals a bubble across the opening more often than not, as seen in the picture above The inside of the bottle cap is solid ink, despite being right-side up for days, if not weeks or months. The Vac 700 Demonstrator was solid black, even after emptying the ink.

The TWSBI nibs were solid black, even after trying to wipe the ink off with the bottle. My usual ink cloth also left plenty behind, I ended up having to use an absorbent tissue which was messy on my fingers and still left some ink on the nib. There’s no doubt how far the section went into the ink as there was a solid film of ink on it.

This is the first time I washed my hands during the sampling, after every nib change. It washes off skin quit easily but is slow drying and kind of sticky and I found it impossible to clean the excess off the nib without getting the ink on me. Not that I mind, I usually get ink on my fingers during the nib changes, but in this case it was slow drying and remained tacky on my fingers for several minutes. I had to wash my hands to avoid leaving smudges on the paper from my hands. The ink dries fast on paper, slower on skin and cloth.

I was really hating this ink before I ever put nib to paper. But then I wrote with it and things began to change. It flows well, it’s well saturated and wetter than most inks I use. I did have some problems with ink dripping off the nib when I reached for something with my pen hand when the TWSBI had the broad nib. I was amazed when the ink dried so quickly since it seems so wet going onto the paper. It’s not such a bright black when it dries and larger areas of the ink (such as the black blocks in the samples or an ink swab) appear slightly chalky once dry.

It’s a dark saturated ink so there’s significant show through on many papers. More so than many of the other inks I use. On Rhodia it took some thick nibs for show through, but it happened on Doane writing pad with fine nibs. In a Doane Jotter (not as white as the writing pad) the show through is minor and not enough to prevent using both sides of the paper. There wasn’t any bleed through on any paper.

There was some faint feathering on cheaper copy paper, with the wider nibs, but not on any other papers.

I used the FPR Dilli (fine nib) as a daily writer for a couple days, writing about 10 pages. There weren’t any problems with the ink.

As the name suggests, it’s waterproof. It also supposed to be bleach-proof and otherwise tamper proof but I didn’t test that.

Cleaning was easier than I expected. Between the ink clinging to everything and being a fast drier I expected problems. But it wasn’t all that hard to clean. For the TWSBI I removed the nib, washed off the excess and threw them in the ultrasonic cleaner. But this is my typical process when cleaning all the Vac 700 nibs at once. The ink did wash out of the Vac 700 body with a few more flushes than typical but it was ink free.

I cleaned the Dilli (a piston filler) without having to take it apart, just a lot of filling and emptying. It’s a demonstrator so I could tell it was ink free.

Pens Used

The TWSBI Vac 700 with extra fine, fine, medium, broad and 1.1 mm nibs was used for the testing and samples. No problems but just a short session with each nib. The ink was wetter than most in this pen. Cleaning the ink off the nib was tough. I’d typically leave some ink streaks near the slot in the nib and up where the nib meets the section.

Fountain Pen Revolution Dilli with a fine nib was used as a daily writer for a couple days. There weren’t any hard starts or skipping. This was the first ink in this pen so I can’t compare it to anything. This nib actually seemed easier to clean off the excess ink than the TWSBI nibs, maybe simply because its smaller. There’s no signs of nib creep or excess ink near the slot in the nib. Filling was less messy with the Dilli than with the Vac 700.

[Oct. 16, 2013] Franklin-Christoph Model 40 Pocket with a Needlepoint nib. An absolute disaster. There was a large quantity of ink in the cap after a couple days. It took considerable scrubbing, pen flush and time in the ultrasonic cleaner to get the ink out.  Never again with this pen.

Wrapping Up

The ink has begun to win me over. It’s still messy. I’d only use it in a demontrator. Not because I could tell the ink level. I can’t, because the ink coats the pen so it always looks full. But least with a demonstrator I could be sure all the ink is out.

I think this would be one of the few inks I’d dedicate to a specific pen. Cleaning it is a bit more tedious than most inks. Plus filling it is a messy task. The ink clings to the nib and section and wiping it off is a messy affair. It was easier to deal with this ink in the Dilli than in the Vac 700 although the actual writing experience was about the same.

I like Private Reserve Invincible Black, I just hate having to get it into the pen.

Additional Reading

There seems to be difference experiences among users of this ink. This FPN thread has some of them.

Writing Samples

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