Ink and Pen Notes: Namiki Sterling Silver Hawk with Pelikan Brilliant Green

Namiki Sterling Silver Hawk with Pelikan Brilliant Green bottle

In late March I had the urge to ink up three sterling silver fountain pens. The last to be written dry is the Namiki Sterling Silver Hawk with it fine nib and Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Green fountain pen ink.

Like its Dragon sibling, the Hawk hasn’t been used in years. The sterling silver does tarnish over time and the need to polish it up added just enough friction to keep it in the pen case. All three were inked at once because if I polish one I might as well polish them all. And if I polish them, I might as well ink them up. This provided an impromptu comparison. While this pen’s fine nib could be used to explain why it was the last to be written dry, I have to admit this was my least favorite combination. (The other two were a Sailor 1911 with Visconti Bordeaux and the Namiki Sterling Silver Dragon with R&K Smaradgün). I would have expected this to be my favorite because of the fine nib, but the Pelikan Brilliant Green ink, while not bad, didn’t add anything to the experience.

The Pelikan Brilliant Green ink is new to me. It was an passable ink. I liked the color, but it wasn’t what I expected from an ink named “Brilliant”. In a pen, especially a thin nib, the ink is much more muted than a swab. It’s rather dull, not brilliant. So that was disappointing.

The ink was fairly easy to flush from the pen. The feed does still hold a lot of ink when the pen has been written dry so it takes a little longer to flush than many c/c pens.

The Namiki Sterling Silver Hawk fits my hand nicely and the fine nib is firm and smooth. And as I said with the Dragon, the pen is technically a great writer, yet it doesn’t excite me. I won’t miss it when I return it to the pen case.

The Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Green ink is nice enough but it’s lower on my list of green inks, and it’ll be awhile before it returns to a fountain pen. It may do better in a wider, wetter nib, but that’s not my nib of choice.

Ink and Pen Notes: Namiki Sterling Silver Dragon with R&K Smaragdgrün

Namiki Sterling Silver Dragon with R&K Smaragdegün bottle

I’ve had two Namiki Sterling Silver fountain pens for many years. I can’t remember the last time I inked them up, so it was time. For the Namiki Sterling Silver Dragon, with its medium nib, I picked Rohrer & Klingner Smaragdgrün for this outing. It was inked up back on March 28th.

R&K Smaragdgrün is a green ink that’s new to me. While the nib is a medium, it’s a Japanese medium which makes it thinner than many of my fines and even some extra fines.

The nib and ink combined to provide a nice writing experience with some line variation. There’s nothing close to shading, just enough variation from the flow to give it some character. The nib itself is firm, which is my preference.

The sterling silver does tarnish over time so I needed to polish it up before inking. While the pen is not hard to clean, it does seem to take longer to flush out all the ink. Even when it’s been written dry there’s still a lot of ink in that feed. A bulb syringe makes it a little easier. In this case I went to the ultrasonic cleaner since the pen will probably be in storage for awhile and I wanted all the ink gone. This polishing and extended cleaning time makes the pen a little high maintenance.

The Namiki Sterling Silver fits my hand well and has a terrific nib which provides an enjoyable writing experience. While technically great, the Namiki Sterling Silver Dragon just doesn’t excite me. Unlike other pens I won’t miss it when it’s back in it’s case. As for the ink, the R&K Smaragdgrün is one of the nicer greens I’ve used. I do expect it to return in another pen although it’s not a contender as a favorite green fountain pen ink for me.

Ink Notes: Namiki Blue

Namiki Blue Bottle

First off, I have to give a big thanks to David, who suggested the ink back in January. I’m not a fan of blue inks, despite that, I really like Namiki Blue. My only regret is I had the bottle 4 months before cracking it open.

The whole Pilot/Namiki branding thing is confusing, My ink was in a box labeled “Namiki” and the word “Pilot” doesn’t appear on the box or the bottle. But it does seem that the ink is the same as the Pilot ink sold elsewhere. Only the bottle (and price) is different.

The ink goes down on the paper as a bright blue but it fades a bit as it dries. It doesn’t appear washed out, just a bit lighter. Since I’m not a fan of blue there’s not much I can compare with Namiki Blue, but I like the color (for blue). There’s no real shading or line variation, especially with my thin nibs. There’s no noticeable feathering either.

Namiki Blue is one of the fastest drying inks I’ve used on Doane Paper. Drying was nearly instant with my thin nibs on Doane Paper. I does take longer on Rhodia Paper, putting it more in line with other inks. This is the first ink I’ve encountered where drying time was dramatically quicker on one type of paper than most others. It’s not quit as fast on cheap copier paper but I still have a second or two to smudge it. On Doane there’s no time at all to smudge it.

My only complaint is with the bottle. It’s curved, wide and shallow. There is an insert in the bottle to collect the ink around the nib. I still had issues filling my TWSBI Vac 700 and other longer nibs. The ink level in the insert would drop while filling and air would be let in. About the best I could do with my Vac 700 was about a 50% fill. Part of the problem was probably my reluctance to just let the nib press against the bottom of the bottle as I pushed the plunger down.

Cleaning was quick and easy. A couple flushes with the bulb syringe and a couple wrist flicks (like an old mercury thermometer)) and all traces of the ink were gone from the nib, It was also easily flushed from my pens, including my clear Vac 700. Some inks leave a few hard to get drops above the plunger which can be hard to flush out. Not so with the Namiki Blue. The water test showed a high level of water resistance.

I’ve seen others comment about staining. I didn’t have any issues with staining but the ink hasn’t been in my pens very long. I didn’t have any staining on the parts of the pen that were in the ink.

Pens Used

The TWSBI Vac 700 with nib extra fine to 1.1 mm stub was used. There wasn’t any extended writing, just testing. There wasn’t any skipping and the flow was consistent.

My Edison Collier, with an extra fine nib, has had Namiki Blue for a couple weeks of occasional use. I’m not a fan of blue so I have to force myself for any extended writing. I like the color and since most of my use is on Doane paper I love the fast drying. There weren’t any problems such as skipping or hard starts, even after sitting for a few days.

Additional Reading

Inkophile Review

Ink Nouveau Review (Goulet Pens)

Peaceable Writer compares Namiki Blue to other blue inks