Pen & Ink Notes: Pilot Custom 823 with Pelikan Blue-Black

Pilot Custom 823 fine nib with Pelikan Blue-Black ink bottleMy Pilot Custom 823 (review), with its fine nib, was inked up back on Sept. 19th and went dry on Dec 2nd (yes, I’m slow in getting this posted). A run of 70 days on a full tank of ink. I picked Pelikan Blue-Black (the 4001 line, not Edelstein) rather than my typical choice of Pilot ink for this fountain pen.

I’m conflicted about the Custom 823. It’s a terrific writer and very comfortable in my hand. It’s great for long writing sessions. Yet, nothing about the aesthetics appeals to me. It’s a colored plastic demonstrator which I don’t like, although it’s brown which I do like. It’s got gold trim which I don’t like, but it works with the brown color. I don’t think it’s a ugly fountain pen, but it doesn’t catch my eye. And this helps explain why such a great writer took 70 days to write dry, it just doesn’t catch my eye.

I like the Pelikan Blue-Black ink. I’m not a enamored with it as many people are. I like dry writing ink, although I used to like them more in the past. My tastes are changing and I prefer a little more flow these days, at least when I’m writing long form (as opposed to notes and lists). The Pilot nib is a good writer but not a wet writer, so the combination is on the dry side. It never skipped, or even felt like skipping. The ink isn’t available in the Unites States (I believe this applies to Canada and Mexico too since the distributer is in the US). It uses a chemical that’s not on the right EPA list. Technically it’s not banned, just not tested and that testing would cost money.

Despite spending 70 days in the pen the Pelikan Blue-Black was easily flushed out. I did cheat a bit. I wrote the pen dry Wednesday morning. Rather than let it sit until the weekend I quickly flushed it a couple times to remove most of the ink, then left it filled with water until I cleaned it on Sunday. The remaining ink was easily and quickly flushed from the pen. The Pelikan ink has a reputation of being super easy to clean, so this soaking may not have had any effect.

The Pilot Custom 823 will be returning to the pen case for storage. It will be back, no doubt about that. The Pelikan Blue-Black is nice enough but I don’t foresee it returning to this pen but it’s already in another of my fountain pens.

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One thought on “Pen & Ink Notes: Pilot Custom 823 with Pelikan Blue-Black

  1. Wow, I’m actually surprised with the fact that Pelikan 4001 isn’t sold on the US. This is pretty much the only ink I can find for a (very) reasonable price in Brazil and the biggest advantage of it (besides the price) is that I can find it in a great variety of colors! Plus, it feels like a relatively lubricated ink. It works wonders with the Pelikan TH.INK pen.

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