KWZ Ink is known for making iron gall inks, but this is a dye-based ink, not iron gall. It writes with very nice lubrication, starts up perfectly every time, and flows on the wet side. It is fairly saturated. Drying time on smooth papers tended to be a little long, running about 10 seconds, but it dried quickly on poorer, more absorbent papers. It cleaned out very easily from my pens and converters with only water.
Azure #5 showed very minimal feathering, even on Staples Sustainable Earth paper and my terrible “everything feathers” copy paper. Show-through and bleed-through also were very good; only the combination of the 1.5 mm stub and the Staples paper created show-through heavy enough that you’d probably only use one side of the page. That is very good performance on that paper.
I liked it in every nib, but I think it looks especially nice at the two extremes of nib width. The 1.5 mm stub really showed off the Azure #5’s great color, without being overpowering. And the ink looked notably attractive, and easy to read, in an extra-fine nib.
Azure #5 on Tomoe River paper.
Shading was only moderate on most papers, but Rhodia brought out a bit. As you can see on the Rhodia writing sample, it has absolutely no water resistance.
Among all my blue inks, I couldn’t find a double. It has some similarities with Diamine Blue Velvet, but it is a different blue hue, it is darker and it is just different in feeling. Blue Velvet might be more showy and Azure #5 might more of an everyday type of blue.
Azure #5 is also different in hue and saturation than standard blues like Waterman Serenity Blue, even though it rivals Serenity Blue in ease of cleanup. Nor does it approach a purple blue like Akkerman Nassau Blue.
Here are the results of paper towel chromatography on Azure #5.
I think Azure #5 is an excellent and versatile ink. It is good for school or work because it handles poor paper. And because it is both saturated and easy to clean, it’s an ink that could prove a nice choice for people who like more “pop” in an ink but also worry about staining their pens. This is the first KWZ ink I’ve ever used, and I’m impressed.
I received this sample from a friend, but the inks are available from Poland through the KWZ website and from some US stores.