I’ve been using Platinum Blue-Black since I bought it, in early June. I’ve had it in several pens, including my Charleston by Jonathon Brooks with fine nib, and a Kaweco Sport with fine nib. Ink flow is on the wetter and more lubricated side, but the ink still writes a normal line, without spreading. Dry time can be slightly longer on fountain-pen friendly paper, especially with a broad nib.
Startup was excellent in normal circumstances. However, I kept the Kaweco Sport inked while I was on vacation for a week, and after a week of non-use it didn’t restart without a little help. That’s pretty much what I expect from a pigment ink. I’m only mentioning it here because otherwise I don’t have anything to write about Platinum Blue-Black that isn’t, “It’s perfect.”
I like the color. It’s a regular blue, with a little extra. If you hate blue, or you think blue ink is boring, this won’t convert you. But if you like blue, then compared to my other standard blue inks, Platinum Blue-Black is darker, a little peppier. Plus, it has all the pigment-ink qualities.
Here is a writing sample of Platinum Blue-Black on Rhodia.
This writing sample only features the Kaweco Sport, because the ink looked identical in both pens with fine nibs. I’ve also been using Platinum Blue-Black in pens with wider nibs, like a Pelikan with a broad nib, which accentuates the shading, compared to a fine nib, and perhaps makes the ink look a touch lighter. Fine nibs seem to concentrate an ink’s color. But it’s a consistent ink in color, not a shape shifter.
What stands out for me about Platinum Blue-Black, whichever pen or paper, is how nice it looks.
Here is Platinum Blue-Black on cream-colored Tomoe River.
Platinum Blue-Black has nice shading. I see what I think is a tiny bit of sheen potential, but this is a pen with a fine nib, and I’m not much for sheen anyway.
The main thing I see, especially on Tomoe River and Rhodia, is an almost three-dimensional presence on the page. That’s often a feature with pigment inks, and the crisp blue color of Platinum Blue-Black makes the most of it.
Here is a writing sample of Platinum Blue-Black on my typical “normal paper,” Staples Sustainable Earth legal pad paper.
On normal paper, behavior is excellent. Platinum Blue-Black resists feathering on all the regular paper I’ve been using, with all the pens I’ve been using. It also resists bleedthrough and showthrough. Best of all, Platinum Blue-Black is that rare ink that manages to still look fresh and vivacious on regular paper.
Platinum Blue-Black is water-resistant, rather than perfectly waterproof. Some of the blue dye runs off after contact with water, though a waterproof core remains.
But happily, Platinum Blue-Black is very low-maintenance. I cleaned out the Brooks Charleston after a month, very easily, and the Kaweco Sport after two months, also very easily. I have no fear using it in expensive pens, even for an extended time period.
In terms of color, I think of Platinum Blue-Black as a dark blue. Here are some swab comparisons.
Platinum Blue-Black is more saturated and darker than any of those inks.
There is some mystery, even disagreement, about what Platinum Blue-Black is made of. The box says “pigment” and also “dye-based,” and as one commentator says below, there is always some difficulty in translation. I know some people think it’s iron gall, and I had heard that it was; but after using it, I don’t see the evidence. I’ve used iron gall inks extensively, for years; and I think Platinum Blue-Black lacks the characteristics of an iron gall ink. So I’m going to rely on the Platinum box and assume it’s either pigment or dye-based. It has some of the characteristics of either.
The problem here is that manufacturers often refuse to say what’s in an ink. They probably think no one cares. And you can’t tell just by looking at things like water-resistance, or good behavior on poor paper, because those characteristics can be found in inks that are made with iron gall, pigments or dyes. In many ways, what an ink is made of isn’t always as important as how an ink behaves. So maybe the manufacturers have a point.
Whatever it’s made of, Platinum Blue-Black behaves like a very low-maintenance ink, with great color and behavior. But given that it has something of a pigment ink look, to me, and that it’s at least called a pigment ink, I’m going to compare it to what is definitely a blue-black pigment ink, the new Sailor Souboku, because I’ve been using these two contemporaneously.
Color is the first and most obvious difference between Sailor Souboku and Platinum Blue-Black. Luckily, they are so different a person can decide that she needs both.
Both are nicely wet and flowed well in my pens. Souboku is probably wetter, and seems to write a wider line in a fine nib.
If you don’t know what paper you may encounter, Platinum Blue-Black is the better choice. I had both in a Kaweco Sport with fine nib: Platinum Blue-Black didn’t feather, but Souboku did. On fountain-pen friendly paper, both inks look great, with that nice three-dimensional quality. But Platinum Blue-Black looks better on regular paper.
If you need an absolutely waterproof ink, Souboku is the one. The Sailor is perfectly waterproof, while Platinum Blue-Black is merely (very) water-resistant.
Both are low-maintenance and easy to clean from a pen, which is wonderful in a pigment ink, and very nice even if it’s a dye-based ink.
Platinum Blue-Black costs less. It’s $20 for a 60 ml bottle of Platinum Blue-Black (or Platinum Carbon Black) versus $24 for a 50 ml bottle of Sailor Souboku (or Seiboku or Kiwa-guro).
Just a quick note on the Platinum bottle, since I have many friends who are bottle fanciers. I like it. It looks unpretentious and small, even cute, but it’s larger than it looks. The shape is similar to the Diamine glass bottle, but with a wider mouth, and it easily accommodates pens with larger nibs. It’s not designed to look fancy, but to be useful. That’s my favorite kind of ink bottle.
I want to give Platinum some general props. The Platinum pigment ink lineup is tiny: I’ve only used Carbon Black and Blue-Black, but more knowledgeable blogger Paul Godden says there is also a blue and sepia. Carbon Black and Blue-Black are superior inks. I’d recommend them to anyone.
Normally I don’t even like using water-resistant inks for regular writing. But these two Platinum inks have made my list of regular users.
In the end, I just really like Platinum Blue-Black. It’s my ink crush of the summer. Maybe there’s no rhyme or reason for this, just personal taste. I like standard blue inks, and this is a very good one. I think if you like standard blue inks, you probably would like Platinum Blue-Black, too.
So, again, why isn’t everyone using it? Why did it take me so long to find it? I bought it on a whim, just to try it. Shaking my head. This should be one of the top recommendations for a blue ink, especially for those who want a water resistant blue.