Five Months: an Extended Test of Platinum Carbon Black Pigment Ink

I kept Platinum Carbon Black inked up for more than five months, to see how it would clean out of a pen, and the answer is, nice and easy. This is a pigment ink that is a fairly low-maintenance ink. I’m chuffed.

I had it in a Platinum Plaisir. Here’s the pen’s feed after flushing out Carbon Black with water only. Perfectly clean.

Platinum Plaisir section after cleaning

This was one of my extended “torture tests” of an ink. I occasionally do these for the blog to check the limits of certain inks, because I like inks that I’m not afraid to keep in a pen for a while.

I have done extended tests on modern iron gall inks here, here and here — just to prove that modern iron galls from reputable makers are safe for extended time periods in pens with stainless steel nibs. Which they are.

But sometimes, you find yourself inadvertently giving a torture test to an ink that can’t handle it. Whoops.

In this case, I purposely chose to torture-test Platinum Carbon Black. It’s my favorite pigment ink and waterproof ink, and I’d noticed that it seemed to clean out pretty easily. I’m always happy to find low-maintenance inks that are waterproof — like the newer Sailor Souboku. I wanted to be sure about Carbon Black, too.

I decided to keep a cartridge of Carbon Black in a Platinum Plaisir I’d bought in mid-April. I used the Plaisir like normal — writing with it every once in a while, and then putting it back in the pen cup, where it might sit unused for days until the next time. The pen always started up and wrote perfectly: that may owe something to Platinum’s “slip and seal” cap design, but Carbon Black is nicely lubricated, too.

I finished Carbon Black on October 7. After more than five months in the pen, Carbon Black cleaned out perfectly, just flushing with water. It didn’t take much longer than cleaning out Waterman Serenity Blue would have — my standard for a low-maintenance ink.

Another photo, this time of the other side of the feed. The feed is clear of ink and unstained.

Platinum Plaisir section after cleaning

I ran the section through a cycle in my ultrasonic cleaner to verify: all the Carbon Black was gone.

Now, I can’t pull this particular nib to check if any ink may be trapped under the nib, but I did the next best thing I could think of. I attached a converter, and filled it with Montblanc Golden Yellow ink, which is the lightest ink I have. And then I wrote with that for a few days. The ink flowed normally, the nib wrote normally and the ink writes in its normal light yellow color, with no smears of leftover black ink.

Platinum Plaisir section filled with ink

My conclusion is a happy one. Platinum Carbon Black is a waterproof pigment ink that is low-maintenance. I won’t worry about using it in any cartridge-converter pen.

ZOMG Who Wants to Win the Sailor Professional Gear Ocean?

You do! And no, joke, you can! I practically tripped across a giveaway that Dan Smith, aka The Nibsmith, just started for the Professional Gear Slim in Ocean. It’s a beautiful pen! Dan said I could enter, so I did, but don’t worry, I never win anything. But I hope one of you do.

Apparently you can enter at this link but also on all forms of social media, like Twitter, where I follow Dan. But also maybe even on a whole bunch of other social media. Even Facebook, which I won’t touch because it’s horrible and evil — but then, if you’re already on it, go for it. What’s one more day on there, when you might win a free pen?!

Best part: I learned by entering that Dan has a heretofore unknown appreciation for Archer, which I think I may have corrupted him into. Now, if I can only get him into It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, my work on this earth will be complete.

True Confessions, Ballpoint Edition: Parker Jotter Jubilee Premier Edition Saffron

Parker Jotter Jubilee Premier Edition Saffron Yellow

This is my new ballpoint, which is actually old, and kind of dented and scratched, so it was a bit overlooked, thrown in at the bottom of a box that was part of a large collection of fountain pens.

The pen bears the official name of the “Parker Jotter Jubilee Premier Edition ” in Saffron Yellow. Quite a mouthful of nouns.

These were part of an anniversary edition of Jotters from 2004, as set forth in this excellent article by Len Provisor. Coincidentally, Len was in the room when this particular Jotter came out of the big box of pens. But he didn’t find it. It was Rich who found it, then told me about the edition, and then was nice enough to leave it for me to buy. Thanks, Rich.

Thus, my first Jotter.

Parker Jotter Jubilee Premier Edition Saffron Yellow

Mechanically, it’s just a regular Jotter, in regular Jotter size, made in the UK. The pen body is sterling silver with an inlay of saffron yellow. Mine clearly has been used pretty heavily, and it has some discoloration and dents and such, but that’s perfect for me, because that made it affordable, and I want to use it anyway. It came with a Jotter gel refill, which writes a very smooth line, albeit fairly broad.

I actually bought this pen for my younger daughter, who likes ballpoints and Jotters, but by the time I got home, I decided it was so good we should share it. “Look what I got for you! And we can share it!” was how I put it.

So now, I actually have three nice ballpoints. Although they were all bought at different times, I had them all out today, and something became clear. I had a theme.

Parker Jotter Jubilee Premier Edition Saffron Yellow & Caran d'Ache 849 Tropical & Lamy Pico

Or at least a color scheme.

Those are, from the top, the Lamy Pico in Laser Orange, which I carry in my purse, the Jotter and a Caran d’Ache 849 in Tangerine-Pink Tropical.

That Lamy Pico is an outstanding design, and the best purse pen ever; and in real life it’s even brighter than a photo can convey, so it’s impossible to lose. The Caran d’Ache 849 is a classic, and attractively subdued in color, and so is the Jotter. I’m pretty happy to have them all.

Plus, since they are ballpoints, I can stop right here. Right?