Ink Notes: Montblanc Midnight Blue

Montblanc Midnight Blue bottle

I’m back on the iron gall ink train after a brief detour. Midnight Blue is a “permanent” ink from Montblanc. The permanence comes from iron gall, although the enclosed pamphlet calls this “ferro-gallic content.”
I’ve seen reference to a non-permanent/non-iron gall Montblanc Midnight Blue. My box was labeled “Permanent for documents” and the pamphlet, while general for MB inks, mentioned that Midnight Blue was “permanent, ferro-gallic.” So this bottle is definitely iron gall based.
The ink is a fairly wet flowing ink and it’s also fairly slow drying. Slower than the other iron gall inks I’ve tested recently. I stop timing the dry time when it reaches 20 seconds and on Rhodia a broad nib barely met this deadline. A 1.1 mm stub took well over 20 seconds on both Doane Paper (large jotter) and Rhodia. On the positive side, drying time was very reasonable with my preferred thin nibs, especially on Doane Paper which is my preferred note taking paper. The ink is suitable for work and meeting notes.
There wasn’t any bleed through on any of the papers that I used and feathering was non-existent. The line width was true to the nib size. The ink is waterproof in that it can still be read after drying for 24 hours and then being soaked. There was dye in the water and a little spreading of the ink.
The ink does have some nice shading to it, especially when if first goes onto the paper. It gives this business-like ink a little character. I can’t quit place why I like this ink so much so I’m calling it “character.”. There’s just something about this ink I like. Its color varies just slightly depending on the paper or lighting. Sometimes it’s a little grey, sometimes a little more black. I guess I’d classify this as a blue-black ink. I equate it to my R & K Blau-Schwarz, both in color and character. The MB ink will be a capable replacement when the limited edition R & K ink is used up.
Unlike the other iron gall inks this ink doesn’t darken a lot after it dries. That’s mainly because it starts as a dark blue.

Pens Used

The ink worked well in my TWSBI Vac 700 with extra fine, fine, medium, broad and 1.1 mm nibs, These nibs tend to be on the dry side, but not with this ink. The ink flushed out easily although it wasn’t in the pen very long.
I used my Stipula Model T with the titanium nib as a daily writer with the ink for a few days. There was a little nib creep but other inks have a tendency to creep on this nib too. Not a lot, just enough so that the nib always had a little ink spreading from the slot between the tines. I also had a hard start after a day of ignoring the pen. No extraordinary measures were needed to get the ink flowing, just time with the nib pointed down.

Bottom Line

It doesn’t have a lot of the iron gall characteristics of the other IG inks such as a significant color change or absolute waterproofness. That said, the Montblanc Midnight Blue is another nice Montblanc ink that keeps me a fan of the ink brand.

3 thoughts on “Ink Notes: Montblanc Midnight Blue

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  3. I really don’t think this is an iron gall ink. I know for sure it’s now not in production anymore and I believe it was available in the old bottles only. I found this the hard way getting a new bottle to find out it wasn’t an iron gall ink at all. That ink did not darken overtime and that made me sure it was an ordinary ink.

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