Ink Review: KWZ Azure #4

KWZ Azure #4 ink writing sample

I used KWZ Azure #4 in two very different pens, a Kaweco Classic Sport with a double broad nib, and a Lamy Safari with medium and extra-fine nibs.

I loved the ink in both pens. It wrote with a very lubricated feeling, flowed perfectly and started up without hesitation every single time. I suspect it’s slightly on the wetter side, but it never wrote a thick and blobby line like some wet inks do.

KWZ Azure #4 has a very lovely blue color. I was wowed by it from the moment I used it with the Kaweco double broad.

Here it is on Rhodia paper with the Kaweco. You can see the deep color it can attain with a nib that puts down a lot of ink.

KWZ Azure #4 ink writing sample

But Azure #4 isn’t that dark from most pens. Here is that same Rhodia page, but starting with writing samples from the Lamy Safari with extra-fine nib and the Safari with a medium nib.

KWZ Azure #4 ink writing sample

As appealing as Azure #4 is from the double broad nib, it’s also a lovely and distinctive ink for an extra-fine nib. It’s not dark, but it’s legible, you still get great shading and it writes a very tight line. In fact, my two favorite nib choices for Azure #4 were the extra-fine and the double broad. That makes Azure #4 a versatile ink.

Here is Azure #4 on Tomoe River paper, where the double broad showed off a color I would call “to-die-for.” There’s also great shading and even sheen.

KWZ Azure #4 ink writing sample

And because I love my narrower nibs, and want to show the range of Azure #4 in different pens, here is a writing sample from the Safari with medium and extra-fine nibs on the Tomoe River. This is probably closer to the color from most pens. It’s just as beautiful, but quieter.

KWZ Azure #4 ink writing sample

KWZ Azure #4 performed very well on regular paper, too.

On my everyday paper, Staples Sustainable Earth, Azure #4 looked great, with a nice tight line, good color and shading.

KWZ Azure #4 ink writing sample

Azure #4 resisted feathering very well on Sustainable Earth, even with the super wet Kaweco double broad nib. But there was showthough with the double broad that would have prevented me from using both sides of that paper. With the Safari, there was no feathering and just a normal amount of showthrough on Sustainable Earth.

On my lowest-rent copy paper, I got some feathering from the Kaweco double broad, but not with the Safari.

KWZ Azure #4 was very easy to clean from both pens. However, water resistance is minimal with Azure #4. Even on regular paper Azure #4 tried to flee when soaked in water;  forget about it on Rhodia.

KWZ Azure #4 ink water resistance

The color is hard to classify or match. I have a lot of blue inks, and I couldn’t really find anything very close to Azure #4.

Of the inks I compared it to, Azure #4 is probably most like Montblanc’s Blue Diamond limited edition ink. But not really: Azure #4 is much more lively.

Here is Azure #4 is between Diamine Majestic Blue and Montblanc Blue Diamond.

KWZ Azure #4 ink swab comparison

I almost have to shrug when it comes to comparing Azure #4 to other inks. It’s easier for me to think of how Azure #4 is not like most blues. It’s not turquoise. It’s not a dark blue (although in a very wet pen you can make it look darker). It’s not a standard blue like Waterman Serenity Blue. It’s Azure #4.

Maybe some of the answer can be found in paper towel chromatography of Azure #4.

KWZ Azure #4 ink chromatography

I would not have been surprised to find a tiny bit of green or yellow dye in Azure #4. But no; just the opposite. Azure #4 is mixed from a bright, deep sky blue, a tiny bit of gray and a muted pink, almost purple. As often happens, I am left impressed by KWZ’s inventiveness.

And I am very glad KWZ made another fantastic blue ink in Azure #4.

KWZ Azure #4 ink writing sample

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