My favorite pen, the Visconti Homo Sapient Bronze Age was filled with P.W. Akkerman #12 Mauritshuis Magenta ink back on June 12th. It lasted about six weeks, which is about normal these days. (I’m late getting these notes out.)
The ink performed well in this pen, no skipping or hard starts. It’s a little slow to dry so I did have one or two accidental smudges. The ink was easy enough to clean out of the power filler (similar or identical to a vacuum filler). Cleaning this pen is always tedious, but the time needed to flush this ink was normal. The ink doesn’t even pretend to be water resistant which does help in the cleaning.
The extra fine nib didn’t provide any noticeable shading or line variation and the ink wasn’t as vibrant as it was with a medium nib. There was enough pop to make Mauritshuis Magenta and an extra fine nib the perfect combination for marking up documents.
While I don’t think any ink should be banned from the workplace, I have to admit I probably wouldn’t use this pen/ink combo for long work related documents to be read by others. (Although these days anything that meets that definition is almost certainly electronic.). While I like the color a page full of this ink from an extra fine nib is neon bright and can be a bit off-putting. While a medium nib provides enough shading and line variation to provide some character and a full page of writing would feel less like an assault on the eyes.
The Visconti Homo Sapient Bronze Age will certainly return to the rotation very soon. It’s still my all-around favorite fountain pen but I am giving it some breaks these days. I really like the color of the Akkerman Mauritshuis Magenta, and since I don’t have too many magenta inks I’m sure it will be back. The color makes it ideal for highlighting documents and making notes that stand out. Unfortunately, it’s slowish dry time hurts it in these roles.
The Fisher of Pens Hermes is a fountain pen that I picked up at last year’s Washington D.C. Pen Show. I love the vintage celluloid material that was used. While simple, or maybe because it’s simple, I’m also really drawn to the design. That said, the Hermes has a temperament that makes it hard to like.
This time out I picked another green ink for the pen. I filled it with P.W. Akkerman #28 Hofkwartier Groen which is beginning to rival Montblanc Irish Green as my favorite green ink. It’s performance in this pen didn’t help it’s cause. (While not as bad, Irish Green wasn’t great in this pen either.)
First, I’ll say that writing performance was good. There wasn’t any skipping or hard starts until the very end when I had to force the remaining couple of pages worth of ink into the feed.
So the problem? Nib creep and a lot of ink in the cap which made it to the section. The pen did bounce around in my bag but other pens in the same case faired much better. Enough ink would work its way to the section that while unnoticeable it would get on my fingers and I would occasionally then smudge it onto the page.
With such free-flowing ink I expected the pen to be easy to clean. I can’t remember the last time a cartridge/converter pen was such a PITA the clean. The cap needed to be swabbed out to get all traces of the ink out. Flushing the pen required repeated flushes with a bulb syringe, then a ultrasonic bath, then some more bulb syringe flushes. It was more tedious and time consuming than the vac filler I cleaned at the same time.
I accept that this pen will drip more ink into the cap than most of my other pens and I can live with that. But the Akkerman #28 ink’s tendency to creep means it won’t be back in this pen. I’ve had enough good experiences with this pen to know this was an anomaly and it performs well in most pens, so it will eventually return in another pen.
Even though I seem to have a complaint about the Fisher of Pens Hermes each time I use it I still really like the pen and it’s capable of being a good writer. It will return to the rotation with a new ink as I continue my quest to find the perfect ink for this temperamental fountain pen.
Ink names seem to be getting longer these days, especially when the english translation is included in it. The P.W. Akkerman Dutch Masters line is relatively new and they come in oversized 120ml bottles. So they’re an investment of both ink and money. I picked the Akkerman Dutch Masters 09 Steenrood “Red Stone” Vermeer to give the line a try. I’ve been on a terra cotta streak lately and this ink fits the profile.
I’ve been enjoying new inks in my medium nib pens, a slightly wider than usual nib for me, but one that can show off an inks properties. I picked the Aurora Optima Nero Perla to inaugurate this ink. I love the nice warm brown color of the ink, but the performance has been disappointing. I didn’t flush the ink from the pen and wrote it dry in a month despite having several other good pen choices. So I guess the pluses out-weighed the minuses.
Ink starvation was a frequent problem. Unless the pen spent the night nib down I would have to put if nib down for several minutes before the ink would reach the nib. For the first couple of weeks the pen was fine all day after it spent a couple minutes nib down. But then it became worse. After using the pen awhile it would eventually begin to write a progressively drier line until I had to prime the feed. The first time this happened I instinctively (and carelessly) thought the pen was empty and worked the piston to release the reserve reservoir. There was still plenty of ink so I created a bit of a mess. Luckily the nib was pointed up and my hands were below so they caught the ink. I guess that’s another reason it went dry in a month.
This is only the third ink for the Aurora Optima Perla, but it’s the first with any sort of a problem. The other two inks were Aurora’s own Black ink and Akkerman #12 Magenta from their regular ink line.
I really enjoy using the Aurora Optima so it will be back with another ink soon enough. With about 118 ml of Akkerman Dutch Masters #09 Steenrood Vermeer left I certainly better use it so I’ll be trying it in another fountain pen. Hopefully it just didn’t get along with the Aurora and will take to a different pen.
My apologies but no writing sample. The photo was terrible and I didn’t notice until I was finishing up this post. I’ll try to retake it and update this post, although the review link below has a good sample.
Pen Review: The Aurora Optima Nero Perla — The Gentleman Stationer
Akkerman Hollandse Meesters #9 Steenrood Van Vermeer (Red) – Ink Reviews – The Fountain Pen Network
I inked my Aurora Optima with this purple(ish) ink the same day I inked the Homo Sapien with another purple ink. While the Homo Sapien/Montblanc Lavender Purple was a disappointment, the Mauritshuis Magenta was a delight. The wider medium nib of the Optima does a good job of showing off the pinkish-purple color of the ink. It pops off the page. I haven’t been overly impressed with the P.W. Akkerman inks that I’ve used, until now. This ink will probably be in more pens than any other Akkerman ink I’ve used.
I love the color of this ink and the performance was great. Well, except for the dry time which was a little slower than I prefer. The line stays true to the nib size. There’s a little line variation, which is nice. I really like the pinkish look to the ink.
The Aurora Optima was inked for nearly two months which is a little longer than expected, since I like the ink so much. That’s due to the large capacity of the piston fill Aurora plus the medium nib. I prefer thin nibs, so while the Aurora’s nib is great, it is a medium. As I mentioned the ink is a little slow to dry. So between the slow dry time and wide(ish) nib I never picked this pen for notes which tends to be most of my fountain pen usage.
Cleaning wasn’t a problem. I expected the purple dyes in this pen to complicate cleaning but I was wrong. I don’t like taking fountain pens apart just for cleaning and it wasn’t necessary in this case. The pen was cleaned by working the piston for about 10 minutes, then spending the evening nib down in a tissue to wick away a little remaining ink.
In my This Just In post for this pen I wrote that I considered the reserve reservoir an unnecessary complication, calling it a negative. The Aurora got its revenge and proved me wrong. I had started a checklist with the pen and it was over two pages long when the pen went dry. Now, I was home and I could easily refill the pen. Instead I released the reserve ink and barely missed a beat in my work. It was enough to get me through the rest of my work. I’ve been put in my place.
The Aurora Optima Nero Perla is already back in the rotation with a new ink. The P.W. Akkerman #12 Mauritshuis Magenta will be back in the rotation, but I’ll probably stick to medium or the occasional broad nib.
I picked up this bottle of Akkerman Hofkwartier Groen #28 in March at the Long Island Pen Show. My previous experience with Akkerman inks was only fair. Not bad enough to dump the ink and re-use the bottle for a favorite ink, but not good enough for regular use in my pens. Green is my favorite ink color so I decided to give this one a try. I’m glad I did as this ink has boosted my opinion of Akkerman inks.
I’ve only used this ink in wide(ish) nibs -stubs and mediums. I figured this color would need some width to avoid vanishing into the page. But as the writing samples show, it does well with an extra fine nib. I tend to like bright greens and while this ink isn’t neon bright, it is easily legible on every paper I’ve written on. The more I use it the more the color grows on me.
I use Doane Paper Grids + Lines for my writing samples because I like it, and use it a lot. But it also provides a good test of how an ink stands out since the Doane Jotter paper has a bit of a yellow/green tint to it along with the busy Grids + Lines in blue. The Hofkwartier Groen is very legible on this paper even with the extra fine nib. The ink would be fine on white paper even with an extra fine nib.
I use a Seven Seas Writer with Tomoe River paper and this ink looks and performs really well on the paper. The color is just different enough, and there’s enough line variation to provide a fun and enjoyable writing experience.
The ink performance has been great, no hard starts or skipping in any of the pens I used. The ink flow is nice and provides some line variation. Drying times are reasonable. I’m really pleased with how well this ink performs.
Considering the complete lack of water resistance it’s no surprise that this ink was easily flushed from my pens.
A major attraction of Akkerman inks is their unique bottle. While it looks great on a desk it also has the only “last drop” filling system I’ve encountered that actually works, even with big nibs.
Akkerman Hofkwartier Groen #28 is the first Akkerman ink I’ve encountered that could see regular use in my pens. The main thing holding it back is that I have several green inks that I like, although it’s unique color may give it an advantage.
The Gentleman Stationer Ink Review – He use is in thinner nibs and for annotation. A typical use for my green inks yet not something with this one yet.