A friend of mine kindly gave me a sample of Bung Box First Love Sapphire, and I’ve been using it in an Aurora Optima with fine nib as well as in a Kaweco Sport with Kaweco’s 1.1 mm calligraphy nib.
Those are sort of pen opposites: the Optima has a very thin fine nib, and the Kaweco nib is wetter and much wider. However, the ink color remained consistent.
I thought Bung Box First Love Sapphire had fantastic writing behavior. It was so nicely lubricated it felt silky smooth. It started up perfectly. The ink is on the wetter side, but dried in a normal amount of time. I didn’t see showthrough or bleedthrough on any paper, and the ink resisted feathering beautifully even with the stub nib.
I am not surprised by its good behavior: Bung Box inks are made by Sailor, and Sailor makes good inks in my experience.
I liked Sapphire’s look and color very much, even in the narrow Aurora nib. It was easy to read, held a narrow line and had a very nice vivacity. It shaded only moderately. It seems appropriate for business or personal writing.
The wide nib really shows off the color of Bung Box First Love Sapphire. It’s a lovely standard blue ink, which is cheerful and bright without being eye-searing.
These first two writing samples are on Rhodia.
I also loved Bung Box First Love Sapphire on Tomoe River. I was hoping to see some sheen, and I had high hopes, but I really didn’t find it with the two pens I used. No worries, though. The color is beautiful.
Here’s more of the same.
I always like to test an ink on lower quality paper, too, and my go-to is Staples Sustainable Earth. Bung Box First Love Sapphire did very well on Sustainable Earth, although the color was a bit flatter because the paper is more absorbent.
Here’s a closer view on Sustainable Earth.
Bung Box First Love Sapphire has some water resistance, certainly on regular paper.
The only note of caution that I’ll sound is that it was not a low maintenance ink to clean out of a pen for me. Because I am a worrier, I emptied it from my Aurora Optima after only three days. I still ended up needing to use an ammonia-based pen flush, because plain water wasn’t doing the job. But that worked fine.
That’s because Bung Box First Love Sapphire is a saturated ink. Like most saturated inks I’ll be more careful with this one in some pens. I won’t leave it for weeks in a pen that can’t be disassembled or might stain. But I’m not worried about how long I keep it in the Kaweco Sport, since I’m using a converter in that pen.
I don’t have any ink absolutely identical to First Love Sapphire in color, but I find it close to several other medium blue inks that I consider vivacious and fun.
But first a contrast: here is the Bung Box next to the standard blue ink Waterman Serenity Blue.
And here it is next to some inks that I find more similar.
I’ve talked about Diamine Blue Velvet here, and I’ve reviewed KWZ Azure #3 here. Unfortunately, Sailor Jentle Sky High is not available right now, but Sailor has been known to bring back inks, so don’t give up hope.
These four inks vary in hue, of course, but the main distinction for someone choosing among them is that Diamine Blue Velvet is the brightest and most vivid. It’s a firework. KWZ Azure #3 and Bung Box First Love Sapphire are just as attractive, but give a mellower impression.
I guess I should add that there’s also a price and availability issue that would impact one’s choice of ink. Bung Box inks are made in much smaller quantities, and are harder to find. As a result, they cost at least $40 per bottle. KWZ and Diamine cost significantly less.
Here is paper towel chromatography of Bung Box First Love Sapphire.
Well that was so fun. Thanks to a lovely friend, I used my first Bung Box ink!