Today I'm going to talk to you about a fountain pen and an ink that I have already reviewed. The two were reviewed separately but now they've come together, and it is such a good match that I just had to say a few words about it.
As you might know, I'm not a fountain pen collector and I certainly don't own expensive pens. My most expensive fountain pen costs around $50. Yet, one of the best fountain pens I have in my humble collection, which also happens to be the cheapest, is the Pilot Varsity. While many users of the Varsity most likely don't give it a second thought and simply throw it away after the ink is depleted (because, after all, it is a disposable pen), I have chosen to refill my Varsities with all kinds of inks.
Follow the link to my review if you haven't read it already, but I would like to re-iterate the fact that the Pilot Varsity has an amazing nib-and-feed system which offers very smooth writing, great flow and even defies drying (with the cap off), something which even very expensive fountain pens fail to accomplish. The post (linked above) which details the refilling process shows an anatomy of the Varsity.
Next, we have Noodler's Heart of Darkness, a black ink with a heart, if you will forgive the silly pun. I like this ink for all kinds of reasons. I wanted the blackest ink possible and HoD fills the bill. Ironically, I've heard that Noodler's Black is even darker but I have yet to test that ink.
Heart of Darkness has plenty of good features across the board. It is a very easy ink to work with and it is also very resistant to water. In fact it might be the best performing (and well behaved) waterproof ink I have tested.
Now, take these two ingredients and combine them into... drum roll... a Pilot Varsity filled with Noodler's Heart of Darkness. I have been using this for almost two weeks and I have to say it is amazing. It's simply (cheap) fountain pen heaven.
The Varsity gives good flow with any ink but HoD makes it even better. It flows wet, not extremely so but just the way I like it. On a 1-10 scale, it is at least a 7, if not 8.
The Varsity's nib is smooth but with Heart of Darkness it becomes a baby's butt. I don't know what's up with HoD but I suspect it has some very good lubrication.
Apart from these two features that stand out, all the best characteristics of the pen and ink are now combined into one.
This is all I wanted to say but I highly encourage you to experiment with your Pilot Varsity. If you also happen to have Noodler's Heart of Darkness at your disposal, even better. You might give up more expensive fountain pens entirely!