Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Waterman Florida Blue ink review

I don't often review full ink bottles anymore, but when I do, it's mostly because Jetpens were so kind to send me one. Today's review is for Waterman Florida Blue, an ink that is somewhat extinct, which is probably another reason why there's no giveaway this time. Jetpens told me that the only thing that has actually changed is the name, box and bottle graphics, while the ink formula remains the same. The new version is, thus, Waterman Serenity Blue. Now between you and me, I think I prefer the old graphics to the new.

Waterman Blue ink bottle

Before I start the review, let me just plug my Twitter feed shamelessly, yet again: @Peninkcillin. I can assure you that I don't tweet incessantly and when I do it's pen/ink related.

If you haven't seen this post, and you are interested in future ink reviews, I highly recommend you take a look: Ink sample survey. Voting has already been successful but if you haven't expressed your opinion on what ink you would like to see reviewed next, it's not too late.

Moving on to the subject my review, I loaded it up in my Kaweco Sport Classic fountain pen, with a simple eyedropper conversion. I've been using it daily for the past 2-3 weeks, at work.

Bottle and pricing
While this ink doesn't go by Florida Blue anymore, the new version, Serenity Blue, costs $8.64 for a 50 ml / 1.7 oz bottle, or $0.17 per milliliter. Very affordable.

Color and saturation
Waterman Florida Blue is fairly highly saturated though not to the extreme. I have compared it side-by-side with 3 other blue inks which I have tested in the past, which are similar: J Herbin 1670 Anniversary Bleu Ocean, Diamine Majestic Blue, and Private Reserve Electric DC Blue.

Waterman Blue 4-ink comparo

It is a neutrally bright ink, leaning towards the cheerful side, with slight hints of violet.

Ironically, Florida Blue seems to be most similar to my last review, J Herbin 1670 Bleu Ocean. Out of the two, based only on color, I would pick Florida Blue. However, of all four I would pick Diamine Majestic Blue.

Shading
It's stablemate, Havana Brown, had some great shading, so I wasn't surprised to see that Florida Blue also shades, though not as intense.

Feathering
I didn't see any.

Bleedthrough
It doesn't bleed as much as you would think but there is some ghosting on cheap photocopy paper. All within parameters.

Flow, lubrication, and smoothness
I am very happy with Florida Blue's flow and smoothness. The pen starts up wet every time and it writes very smoothly. It's certainly not the wettest or smoothest ink I've encountered but it's up there with some of the best.

Drying time
As with many other inks, drying times vary depending on the quality of the paper. It dries fast on cheap paper and much slower on high-quality, glossy paper.

Smearing when dry
None.

Water resistance
Water resistance certainly isn't in the books for Waterman Florida Blue. 1 minute exposure under running water wiped out most of it.

Conclusion
While this isn't the best Waterman ink, or even the best blue ink I've tested, I would definitely consider Florida Blue (or rather Serenity Blue) if I were looking for a classic, safe blue ink. It is middle of the pack but the wet flow and smoothness, as well as the price, make it stand out.

Waterman Blue ink bottle

Here are the two samples on photocopy and Rhodia 80g, respectively.

Waterman Blue on photocopy

Waterman Blue on Rhodia

3 comments:

  1. I am a huge fan of Waterman's Havana Brown and the properties you describe for the Florida Blue (or Serenity Blue) seem very much in line with the brown. While not a huge fan of blue inks, this is one I would certainly consider as a daily 'business blue'. Your review and color photographs seem to bring out the best in this color. Also, it demonstrates, at least to me, that a good ink does not have to be pricy.

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  2. Thanks Freddy! I love Havana, but this one is a bit more subdued. Still, it's better than the Waterrman Purple I also tested. I'm afraid my writing samples didn't turn out quite the way I wanted them. For some reason, photographing blue/purple inks, even with a modern DSLR, is tricky.

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