It's been a long time since I wrote a review and here I am now, typing this from an airport waiting-lounge on another continent. In truth, I haven't been using other inks save for the one I'm reviewing now: Private Reserve Tanzanite. In what has almost become a tradition, I tested this new ink in my trusty Pilot Varsity.
Private Reserve is a new brand for me and Tanzanite may just
be that perfect purple ink I've been searching for. Let's find out if it really
is. But before that, I'd like to mention something. Ever since I heard about
the Private Reserve brand, I made an automatic association in my mind with old
cognac. Am I the only one who makes this connection?
I'm only testing a sample, but Private Reserve Tanzanite
comes in a 50ml (1.7oz) bottle which retails for $8.75 or $0.18 per milliliter.
This makes it middle-of-the-road, neither cheap, nor prohibitively expensive.
Color and saturation
I have a strong suspicion that the name Tanzanite comes from
the semi-precious stone of the same name. As such, this is a purple
ink. Dark purple, to be precise. This ink reminds me strongly of another
purple ink whose color I liked, Noodler's North African Violet. However, as you might
remember, that ink contributed to the ruination of one of my fountain pens so in the end I wasn't that fond of it. Private Reserve Tanzanite is darkly purple but pleasantly
so. I really like its color. It is also highly saturated.
You might be forgiven to believe that PR Tanzanite doesn't
shade very well, especially with a thin nib (I guess everything short of broad
or italic). Well, you would be
surprised. It actually has some very nice shading, especially when applied
liberally, such as I did with the q-tip. Tilting the paper towards the light
will reveal the beautiful golden-red accents.
None to speak of.
Being a dark ink, PR Tanzanite ghosts a little on cheap
paper but otherwise behaves nicely and I can testify to that since I used it
daily for over a month at work, on the cheapest copy paper possible, on both
sides, without issues.
Flow and lubrication
Generally PR Tanzanite flows well in the Pilot Varsity but that pen is very well behaved as a rule. However, it seems to me that flow isn't consistent all the time. Sometimes it's wetter, other times drier. It's hard to pinpoint the exact cause of this and I very much doubt it's the pen. Still, in the overwhelming majority of cases PR Tanzanite flows impeccably.
Happily, the drying times are short, between 5 and 10
seconds on photocopy paper and 10-15 seconds on Rhodia 80g.
Smearing when dry
Though this ink isn't labelled as waterproof, it is
surprisingly water resistant as can be seen from the sample which was exposed to running
water for 1 minute. Notice that the text remains completely legible even though
some of the color has washed off.
Private Reserve Tanzanite has been a pleasant introduction
to PR's line of inks. I'll be sure to try others from the brand. I love the
color and the general behavior and I especially appreciate the added bonus of
water resistance. The latter does come at a price though. It makes the ink harder
to clean than your garden variety watery ink. In all, I highly recommend this
ink if purple is your color.
Finally, here are the two samples of Private Reserve Tanzanite on photocopy and Rhodia 80g paper, respectively.