2012 Ink Line: Intense Black, Mysterious Blue, Serenity Blue, Harmonious Green, Absolute Brown, Tender Purple, Audacious Red, Inspired Blue - they are not new colours.
Previously: Black, Blue-Black, Florida Blue, Green, Havana Grown, Purple, Red, South Seas Blue
I am not too sure when Waterman actually made the switch in the packaging of their inks. From what I can determine the change happened late in 2011 and the bottles with the new labels and new names started showing up in pen stores during the first half of 2012. The change had next to nothing in announcements. In fact as of August 2012 Waterman has not reflect the new packaging look on its website.
What changed in the box and label. Gone are the wavy lines and in is a solid colour with a band of lighter colour. It swish of a band mirrors the "band" appearance of the "W" in Waterman.
I had been told to expect a difference in the colours.
The samples I saw in one pen store made the new line of inks look very different. I picked up a couple of bottles and headed for for a couple days testing. My first reaction was that the colours did change somewhat in tone. But the change is so minor, I can accommodate that to differences that occur between batches of ink runs. Waterman representative have confirmed, no change to the colours were intended, there were some batch tone issues.
Blue-Black was the ink that not only I, but others have written to me to note that sometimes it is a rich blue-black, and other-times a more washed our green-blue. Of the colours that had the greatest inconsistency, it would Blue Black. So below is an example of the new Mysterious Blue (left) and a previous bottle of Blue-Black (right).
Mysterious Blue vs Blue Black
Likewise I have tested the former Florida Blue with the new Serenity Blue. Do you see the subtle difference?
Florida Blue vs Serenity Blue
As the inks dried on the paper and I went a photographer the samples I found there was a slight difference between the two samples. Were those differences just the shade differences that could exist between different batches? Could be. Both were new bottles, but the Florida Blue was purchased some time ago and was in my ink cupboard.
The inks are still made in France, and Waterman produces their own ink at their factory in Nantes, France. When I was there a good number of years ago, they explained to me that they use a basic "base ink", and then add the dyes.
Over the past years, stores have consistently ranked Waterman Florida Blue as one of the most recommended inks that works well in all pens. In fact, when someone tells me they are having problems with a pen writing smoothly I typically suggest trying Waterman Florida Blue -- the response is usually "it is like a new pen".
I try a extensive number of inks and I consistently come back to Waterman Ink as one of the best inks around. Acceptable depth of colour and the ink dries within a short time (under 5 seconds) and as such is not prone to smudging.
While Herbin inks are known for their scents, at one time, so was Waterman ink. That was because they included phenol in their formula as a means of stopping mold from growing in the ink. But that is prior to 2000 as the phenol has been replaced with another chemical that does the same trick.
Havana Brown - nice tone, no longer available in cartridges throughout North America, but the bottles are everywhere. A very rich dark brown. This is the benchmark for brown inks. When people compare browns, Waterman Havana Brown is usually the colour the is the reference points. Browns are either reddish or yellowish as compared to this one. I use this often when I go through my brown stages. When you go back years later and look at notes written this colour they look good. If you want to try a brown ink this is one I recommend.
I have not yet the opportunity to try the new "Absolute Brown".
Green - a great green - a bit of a blue tinge to it. Good flow. Works well in many different pens. I would consider this one of the greens with the most colour to it. An Ink of Choice . The store did not have the new Harmonious Green, so I will have to wait a while to try that bottle out.
Florida Blue - now Serenity Blue, has good colour density and flow. Works well in just about every pen. This is one of the most basic blue inks around. Judging from comments on Internet discussion boards, its very well accepted although some refer to this colour as boring.
If pushed so that I could only take one bottle of ink with me... dread that day... it would be this one, Florida Blue. The all round best blue ink - an Ink of Choice.
Comparison to Florida Blue are found above. The inks is very similar to Florida Blue, I am just not sure if the variation in colour I see is batch-differences, or a purposeful difference in the ink.
Blue-Black is an interesting colour. I use this quite often when I am traveling and have to depend more on cartridges. The Florida Blue cartridges sometimes don't seem right to me and the Blue Back in the cartridges have a blue-black-Grey tone.
I have gone back over old notes made years ago and the Blue Black still looks pretty good although there is colour variance between the various bottles. I should note that I am talking about trip Journals written over a twenty year time span. Maybe that has to be expected, but greater consistency of colour would be helpful. I would call it one of those basic colours you should have on hand. An Ink of Choice.
But while I regularly buy this ink, sometimes I have had surprises, and that is a concern. I am not talking about a one bottle error. It may be the bottles from a bad batch are nicely spread out and it is my luck to buy one of them. I would add, not just me, as I receive emails where people challenge my colour sample and say "that is not the ink I have".
I have right now at one of my offices a bottle of Waterman Blue Black that has a definite green tone (see above sample) and I have had some bottles where it is that tone, but quite washed out look. Typically I just junk the bottle as I may be on the road and why keep it. The bottle above, just happens to be at a satellite office I use and it is good to have a bottle in ink waiting.
It is just a matter of poor quality control, and considering the decades that I have been buying Waterman ink, luckily not too often.
The new name for the Blue Black ink from Waterman. My comparison of Mysterious Blue and Blue-Black are found above.
After awhile I will take down the samples from the previous line.
I have not had the opportunity to try out the Intense Black to comment on the colour tone. What I expect is it to be very similar to the traditional Black by Waterman.
Black is pretty good, although there is a "gray" look to the ink. It has been referred to as the least-saturated of the inks and a gray-black with a hint of blue.
The ink has very good flow. The colour tones produced can given your writing a personality, as the line is darker where the nib has moved across the paper more slowly. (Thanks: R. Womer).
This is not a waterproof ink.
My first feel when I used the new Tender Purple is that it was a darker purple. But in looking back at samples of writings from previous years, depending on the nib, it came across darker or slightly lighter.
Purple flows well and has a nice rich look. I still prefer the Pelikan purple as a brighter, sharper colour but I use this ink on a regular basis. One of my most popular selections and the second best purple around. An Ink of Choice.
I ave not had a chance to try out this colour.
South-Sea Blue is somewhat light. The Turquoise by Lamy has richer tones. This is a good performing ink in a variety of pens and I find myself coming back to this when when I want something a little brighter to write with.
I could not get this colour yet, the sample I saw in the store looked like a marked colour change, but I will have to wait to see.
Red - Boy, here is a colour with a wide range of colour quality. Some bottles I have bought are a nice red. Others have a orange-red washed out look. When you get the right dye lot the colour is great but there sure is a lot of variances to my buying history with this colour.
Rose is only available as cartridges.
Rose - I have only seen the Rose colour in France, and it is only available in cartridges, NOT in bottles. Patte Rosebank wrote and describes the ink as a nice cool rose-pink (in finer or "dry" nibs) to a wonderfully rich magenta (in broader or "wet" nibs). Thanks Patte.