Graf von Faber-Castell recently updated their line of inks with six new colors in gorgeous new bottles. I’ve only seen the inks available from two places – in the US from Pen Boutique and in the UK from Cult Pens. The ink is $30 per 75ml bottle at Pen Boutique which puts it firmly in the luxury category although it doesn’t seem as bad when priced per milliliter. At 40 cents per ml it’s well below the 64 cents per ml for Caran d’ Ache’s new inks and Pilot Iroshizuku’s 56 cents per ml. Both those inks are even more expensive when comparing their list prices.
The Graf von Faber-Castell Stone Grey ink is “Document Safe” according to Faber-Castell. This means it’s not visible on the back of standard paper, non-correctable, not removable without traces, UV resistant and resistant to water and solvents.
The ink leaves the pen on the black side of grey and lightens a bit as it dries. On white paper, such as the Rhodia Dotpad or my Black and Red Notebook, the ink stays on the black side of grey even after it lightens up. On slightly off-white paper, such as my Doane Paper Jotter, they ink is a more muted grey. It shades a bit and provides some nice variation.
The ink is a little on the dry side, but I like my inks this way so it’s not a problem. In my thin nibs it’s dries fairly fast, about 5 seconds. It can be smudged for 20 seconds or longer with broad nibs. I found it interesting that dry time was about the same on both Rhodia and Doane papers. The ink lives up to it’s waterproof claim and I didn’t detect any show-through on the papers as used.
The ink was easy to flush from my pens although it was only in there for a day so that’s really not a good test. It will be in my Pelikan for awhile (until it runs out) and I’ll update these notes if it’s anything but easy to flush.
I like this ink and it will compete with my Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogun as a standard grey ink in my rotation.
It wrote well in my TWSBI Vac 700 with extra fine, fine, medium and broad nibs for the writing samples. It was also easy to clean from the nibs and pen.
I used my Pelikan 101N with this ink as my daily writer, mostly as a note taker. As expected, the flow was consistent and problem free. After sitting uncapped and unused for just over six minutes it did write immediately, but with a thin line at first. It wrote normally at the 5 minute mark.
(Click the images to show full size.)