Ink Review: Montblanc BMW Ink

 Montblanc BMW ink swabs

I’ve been using this ink for about two weeks, since a nice friend sent it to me. I’ve been using it in a Montblanc 146 with broad nib and a Lamy Safari with extra-fine nib.

Montblanc BMW is part of a special product line in collaboration with the car company to celebrate a BMW anniversary this year. The ink is only available for a limited time, since it’s in one of Montblanc’s limited edition bottles.

I’m not sure if BMW is taking the lead on this line in the US, because I don’t see BMW ink at Montblanc USA’s online store, or at my usual Montblanc ink sellers.

Montblanc BMW ink writing sample

That’s Montblanc BMW ink on Tomoe River.  The color is a deep sky blue, with very nice shading, and on Tomoe River some red sheen.

Its behavior is excellent. The flow is smooth and lubricated. It started up perfectly for me, even when I left my Safari unused for days to test it. Montblanc BMW ink is legible and attractive even in an extra-fine nib.

Montblanc BMW ink writing sample

On lower-quality paper, Montblanc BMW behaves well, but perhaps would not be ranked at the very top. It resists feathering pretty well on all but the worst paper, even with the broad nib. But it’s a bit of a wet ink, so I saw some showthrough on Staples Sustainable Earth with the broad nib, even though I could still use both sides of the paper.

It was just fine on Sustainable Earth with the extra-fine nib Safari, as you’d expect.

And the color still looked great on Sustainable Earth.

Montblanc BMW ink writing sample

The blue of Montblanc BMW is cheery without being either cloying or I-need-sunglasses bright. It’s a good blue for personal writing. Even though it’s not a serious or grim color, I think it’s appropriate for work use and probably for school as well.

BMW ink is a blue, not a turquoise, but it has a similar feeling of being more light-hearted than a standard blue.

Montblanc BMW ink is not particularly water resistant. It can survive being soaked on ordinary, absorbent paper, but on fountain-pen friendly paper like Rhodia it’s not going to survive any sustained exposure to water.

Montblanc BMW ink water resistance

BMW ink cleaned up easily from my Safari, which I emptied only to test that very thing. And I did so reluctantly, “for the blog.” Because I only have the one bottle, and I really like the ink, I am going to write the other pen absolutely dry.

With only limited availability of the BMW ink, comparisons and alternatives seem even more important. And luckily, alternatives do exist. Here are just a few I plucked at random.

Montblanc BMW ink comparison swabs

I inked up Pilot Iroshizuku Ama-iro because as a sky blue, it’s in the ballpark. But Ama-iro is definitely lighter than BMW, as you can see.

Pelikan Edelstein Topaz is another possible alternative: an attractive and reliable ink that’s not too far away from BMW, and that also has lovely shading. Admittedly, Edelstein Topaz is closer in color to Ama-iro than to BMW, but it’s a good ink that’s always been a favorite of mine. There’s a lot about Pelikan Edelstein Topaz here.

Sailor Jentle Sky High has been discontinued by Sailor, though it certainly may come back. Since right now it probably would be easier to find Montblanc BMW ink than Sky High, I can’t suggest Sky High as a practical alternative unless you already own it. Not to mention that Sky High is a darker and bluer blue than Montblanc BMW.

That said, Sailor probably has a few similar inks available in Japan under the Kobe or Bung Box labels. So finding one of those may be an alternative for Sailor fans.

However, I think Diamine Mediterranean Blue is closer in color to BMW. And Diamine inks are widely available and well-priced.

Montblanc BMW ink comparison swabs

So let’s talk about these two. Here’s a writing sample on Rhodia, with Montblanc BMW and Diamine Mediterranean Blue compared twice. The first pair has BMW on top, then Mediterranean Blue from a dry nib, and the second pair shows BMW followed by Mediterranean Blue from a wet pen.

Montblanc BMW ink writing sample comparisons

With a wet pen, the color of Mediterranean Blue can look very similar to that of Montblanc BMW. Not identical, to be sure. Montblanc BMW is a slightly different hue, and it shades more. But Mediterranean Blue is nearly there.

Now, here are Ama-iro, Montblanc BMW, Mediterranean Blue and Montblanc BMW from the extra-fine nib, on Tomoe River paper.

Montblanc BMW ink writing sample comparisons

Ama-iro looks closer to BMW on Tomoe River than it does on most paper. I think that’s because Tomoe River can change the color of some inks, and it always brings out the sheen. BMW sheens, and so does Ama-iro. But Mediterranean Blue did not show any sheen for me.

Here is paper towel chromatography of Montblanc BMW.

Montblanc BMW ink chromatography

Two blue dyes. Which explains the fabulous shading.

So, there we have Montblanc BMW ink. A dark sky blue, with excellent shading, some sheen and a lovely silky flow. If you get the chance to buy it at the regular price, it’s a good one. And if you do, please buy an extra for me.

4 thoughts on “Ink Review: Montblanc BMW Ink

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