My family was fortunate to have enjoyed a three week tour of Europe this summer. While in Italy, they were kind enough to buy me a Montegrappa Classica fountain pen (as a gift for me staying home with our dog, Ginger, and watering my wife’s flowers). I have included a picture of the pen below, which comes from Airline International, as I have not been able to take my own pictures as of yet. The depth and variation of the colour of this pen is really something to behold – it reminds me of the different shades of blue that one can see while flying over the Atlantic Ocean/Gulf of Mexico/Caribbean Sea when headed to one of the islands in the Caribbean.
Unfortunately, I have become infected with a mild form of a syndrome, that I have come to learn affects a large portion of the fountain pen user community – matching the ink colour to the pen colour. I was not even aware of the existence of such a disorder until I came into contact with a compulsive matcher; in fact, the thought of matching had never even occurred to me.
Until recently, whenever I picked out a pen to write with, I filled it with whatever ink appealed to me at that moment, whether based on a recent purchase, my mood at the time or simply (dare I say) at random. The pen colour never entered into the decision. Apparently there a fountain pen users who are compulsive about matching – their ink selection must always coordinated with whatever pen that they are going to use (query what happens to them when they cannot find such a match??). Some users (like me) have a milder form of this affliction – the pen colour is more of a guideline to use, when an identical match cannot be found, they choose a colour that is complementary or contrasting.
That long story leads me to my current dilemma – I have this wonderful new blue pen to fill, but with what ink? I have a very large collection of blue ink and I have narrowed down the candidates to those that are included in the scan below. But I can’t make a decision, I need your advice on which ink to use. I don’t guarantee that I will use the advice of the majority who respond (hey, this is not a democracy but I am a benevolent dictator). In order to remove any potential bias that the names of the inks might create, I have simply numbered the choices. When the selection period is over, I will post the names of these inks for your reference.
By the way, in the course of creating these ink swatches and scan, a couple of them did stick out as being somewhat closer than the others; however, I have not been able to reach a decision. I know I can’t go wrong whatever I choose but I just want to have a bit of fun with this.
Lastly, the paper used for these ink swatches is an 80 lb. premium blend that was removed from a Behance Dot Grid Book that I purchased from Russell at papeterie nota bene*. This paper has a wonderful texture to it; however, what makes this paper so neat is the light geometric dot matrix. The dots can be used in whatever ways you can think of (I use them for writing in a straight line), and they disappear after you write over them. I would trade all my Rhodia, Clairefontaine and even Whitelines for these Dot Grid Books!