I kept KWZ Honey inked for weeks in two pens, a Pelikan M620 Piazza Navona with double broad nib, and a Lamy Al-Star Pearl with medium nib. Behavior was flawless, with immediate startup even if the pen had been left unused. I didn’t find it a particularly wet-writing ink, however: the ink dried fairly quickly, and the line width seemed on the narrow side. But KWZ Honey flowed perfectly in both pens, even the normally dry-writing Lamy.
In fact, my favorite pen for KWZ Honey was the Lamy with medium nib. As you can see in the photo at the top of the page, tone and shading are beautiful, and the line is crisp and on the narrower side of medium. Yet I saw no startup issues ever, not even when the ink ran low in the converter.
Here is KWZ Honey on cream-colored Tomoe River paper, first with the Al-Star with medium nib and next with the Pelikan double broad.
You can see a few things right off the bat: gorgeous shading, but the looks remains on the subtle, elegant side. It’s easy to read, despite the light color you’d expect from a gold ink ink. It’s a nice, warm neutral color. The color doesn’t vary in these pens.
Here is a writing sample on Rhodia.
The photos today are darker than normal, since it’s been raining or completely overcast for a week straight here. Luckily KWZ Honey lights up the page.
On paper that’s not fountain-pen friendly, KWZ Honey had impressive performance. Feathering and showthrough were minimal, even on the worst copy paper. Here is the ink on my normal “regular” paper, Staples Sustainable Earth.
KWZ Honey does not have much water resistance, but there’s a bit on absorbent regular paper. Here’s what happens to the ink when it meets water on copy paper, on the left, and Rhodia on the right.
Note the orange halo that remains on the copy paper. That was surprising. It’s not an ink that ever looks orange, or even leans orange.
In terms of how easy it was to clean KWZ Honey from my pens, I’d grade it in the middle. I only needed water to clean both pens, but cleaning the Pelikan required more cycles than the lowest maintenance inks. I found that surprising for a light golden brown ink. Surprise number two.
While I was using KWZ Honey, it reminded me a little of Pelikan Edelstein Amber. (It never reminded me of Montblanc Golden Yellow, which is yellow, not a honey golden brown.)
Here is a swab comparison of KWZ Honey with Edelstein Amber and with two J. Herbin inks that seemed in the same neighborhood as KWZ Honey.
There is no comparison. Surprise number three.
Now, if you don’t want to see how the sausage is made, as the saying goes, don’t read any further.
Paper towel chromatography of KWZ Honey.
Okay then. That’s surprise number four.
Now I know why KWZ Honey was hard to pin down. It’s a very unusual blend. There’s is a bright gray-blue dye, where the blue almost leans periwinkle. But most of it is bright yellow or yellow-orange. You can see the orange best at the very top of the chroma.
But then go back to the water resistance test. There’s the vivid orange halo. And remember how KWZ Honey didn’t clean up as easily as I expected from a light golden ink — as Ambre de Birmanie or Edelstein Amber, for example, do. Also remember how legible the ink is, even in the Lamy. Those dyes in Honey aren’t delicate. They have strength.
In the end, what you get in KWZ Honey is really interesting, very attractive, and engaging to write with. In the end, this what I had left of my sample.
I received a sample of Honey from KWZ so I could review it. KWZ Ink is available online from at least one US store — Vanness Pens — and also directly from KWZ in Poland.