Rohrer & Klinger – Alt Goldgrün

I have seen pictures of this on the Internet. The general feeling that I got from this ink is that more people love it than they do hate it. From pictures, I thought it looked disgusting. I thought it looked like something short of pond waterAnd it does.

So why on Earth do people love this ink? Of all the Rohrer & Klinger inks, this is the one people know of, right? At least a toss up between this and Scabiosa. I decided to get a sample of this ink (from the ever wonderful UK retailer The Writing Desk – just to point out, I have no affiliation whatsoever with these guys; I have purchased from them before and had nothing but great experiences. This is all) and you know what?fullsizeoutput_69aI love it. As I said – it has grown on me. I’m not a fan of greens – in fact, the only green I have is Mont Blanc Irish Green. This is more of a yellow-green (hence the name..) whereas Irish Green is a full on bright and powerful green. I like both greens. If I had to choose, I would go for this ink purely because I am fascinated by the colour that is laid down on the page. Is it green? Yellow? Does it have some brown mixed in? And the shading. Wow. That being said, Irish Green is a more conservative shade of green; I wouldn’t use this in a business setting and it’s been an ink I’ve only used in my journal. It’s a fun ink. One final thing I want to praise this ink about is how wet it is. It’s no Iroshizuku, but it’s wetter than most other inks I have.

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On Rhodia paper the ink does well again. Though, I think the best paper to use it on is Tomoe River, above. From a fine nib you get a yellow/green coloured ink. The shading is minimal, but it still displays a nice colour. As you increase the nib grade, the ink gets noticeably darker and with more shading. It’s a wet ink and the larger pens (in terms of line width) will put down much more ink which contributes to the lovely shading. On the cotton bud swab, you get a green colour and on a second pass a much deeper green.

Again, I notice how there’s a lack of shading with the fine nib. I love shading, but sometimes there’s no need, which makes the TWSBI fine absolutely perfect for me. Perhaps not so much for others using a fine nib. Generally, if you want to use this in a fine nib, don’t expect excessive shading unless you’re willing to go up to a medium at the very least. Shading is more evident with the fine than on Rhodia – but on any paper with an extra fine I would say you will have no shading whatsoever. fullsizeoutput_67cfullsizeoutput_69fAs expected, the copy paper absorbs the ink completely and doesn’t allow for any shading. That being said, with the broader lines, I quite like the ink without shading. Personally I would be happy to use this ink on copy paper because I feel it still performs well. That is, as long as I don’t expect to write on the back:fullsizeoutput_6a0

There’s quite a lot of bleedthrough.

I never thought I would enjoy this ink as much as I do. I have a full bottle of the ink on the way and it’s one that will be in my rotation for quite a while I would think. I have the perfect excuse to purchase a Pelikan Tortoise Shell.

‘The Dragon Pen’

This is the pen you never knew you wanted.

Back when I was first getting into fountain pens, I mentioned in my J Herbin: Rose Cyclamen Ink Review that I had a £20 voucher from eBay. Well, one of the things I bought with this voucher was the Jinhao 1200. I saw it online somewhere as the black and gold version and I just had to have it because of the dragon on the clip (I am going to forewarn you – I love dragons. Enchantica models, anyone? No?). While on eBay, I saw that there were actually three finishes: gold, silver & black. Originally I was going for the black, but then I realised what it was exactly that I was buying. If you’re going to make a statement, then make sure you make a statement. Curiosity killed the cat and I bought the gold one and eagerly waited as I discovered just how long shipping takes from China. This is the pen that arrived:Pen CappedI have a feeling that this is a Marmite pen. I’m not sure if this is purely a British term, but it basically means, like Marmite, you either love it or you hate it; there’s no middle ground here. Personally, I love it. I just think it’s so.. Entertaining. Of course, I bought it because it cost £5~ including shipping directly to the UK. If it was a £50 pen then I would seriously have to consider the purchase. It’s gimmicky and that’s what I love about this pen. It isn’t one that I would pull out during a meeting or to write in front of the Queen with, but it’s a Monday pen. A pen that when you’ve got nothing fun going on with your day, this is the thing that will spice it up again. It does a good job, I cannot fathom just how much I enjoy this pen, but I don’t enjoy it in the same way as I do, say, my Pelikan M800. Full Writing Sample.jpgIt writes a medium line that I think is quite wet, which I love. I did have an issue with this pen when I first got it in that it would have the worst hard starts ever. If I left it more than an hour I would have to prime the feed again and start writing. Even then it would sometimes stop in the midst of a writing session. It didn’t help that the converter that came with the pen was a push type and was really stiff so I was concerned about shooting ink over my paper. After flushing the pen out a few times, this issue soon resolved itself. It’s a £5 pen, it really isn’t something that has put me off of buying and/or using fountain pens because of the price. I think there’s still some oil or something like that from the manufacturing process because whenever I brush over the writing with my hand (I am a lefty overwriter), I still get some smudging. I thought this may have been because of the ink, but I tried it in another pen and I had no problems.

Reverse writing is good. It gives you a slightly thinner line, but it really isn’t much. I like to use the reverse of my nib for when I’m writing down physics equations and the such like to save me using two lines for fractions or formulae. It isn’t scratchy or dry, but I never experience this with any of my fountain pens and I’m beginning to wonder if it’s because I’m an overwriter, so the position of the nib mitigates the poor ink flow/scratchiness. Maybe I’ve just been lucky with every single one of my pens.

As for line variation, I think this nib performs very well. This is a cheap pen and you can easily buy a new nib for it – I wouldn’t be afraid of flexing because if I splay the tines then it isn’t the end of the world. If you want a flex pen then you could always change out a flex nib into this pen. After getting rid of the hard starts, I found that the feed can keep up very well, so it could be a contender for a flex pen. But that’s just an assumption.

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The nib is 18k gold plated, whether this is true or not I don’t really know.. But it looks like gold and whether it’s gold plated or not, it really doesn’t bother me. For a £5 pen, I think this nib has a lot of detail going for it. I have seen the 1200 model with a dragon design. Personally I would prefer that than this nib, but I can’t remember where I saw this design, sadly.

Pen Uncapped

As I said, the pen is gaudy. I think part of what gives it this gaudiness is the fact that the finish looks as though it is ribbed. While it does seem that way, there is a coating that makes this smooth to the touch. I’m not sure what it is, but it gives the impression almost of an optical illusion. It’s like the Confused Skittles – you take a bite out of one expecting strawberry because it’s red, but you get lemon.

Dragon.jpgAnother thing that makes it gaudy is the clip. But look at that guy! So cute. I often wear a pen in my shirt pocket, but this is one I usually refrain from because the dragon protruding seems a little silly. I usually tuck him in my inside jacket pocket where he sits and admires the world from there. I just want to pet him.

It looks cheap because he is sadly missing an eye (apparently it is a he. He looks like a George, but let me know your thoughts on that. I feel at least there should be a name for him). For a £5 pen, it’s really sad to know I’ve lost one of those 100% genuine ruby eyes….. But I have considered buying a rollerball for my brother (even he has taken a liking to the pen) and switching the caps over as a deal for getting him the pen. This seems to be something that happens often with this pen as I read. I had the pen for a good few months before it happened, which apparently is quite good. I sometimes catch myself petting him when I’m bored. Hmm..

Measurements:

  • 48g total
  • 26g uncapped
  • 22g cap
  • 13.2cm capped
  • 12.5cm uncapped
  • golf club 16cm posted (extremely back heavy)

J Herbin: Rose Cyclamen Ink Review

 

Towards the end of November 2015, eBay gave me a £20 voucher. I can’t remember why.. But who am I to complain? I got into the fountain pen hobby in early October and I fell straight down the rabbit hole. I knew that I would spend the £20 voucher on pens (and a few guilty pleasure CDs.. Namely Katy Perry, but sh).

In my haul I got Visconti Purple, Diamine Red Dragon, a Jinhao 1200 (for the Red Dragon), Diamine Grape, a Hero 3019 and a new converter for my Parker Sonnet (I don’t like the push ones, but the piston Deluxe converters) and J Herbin Rose Cyclamen. I may have got more, but that’s all of the pen related stuff I got.

I bought Rose Cyclamen purely because I saw it and I wanted to add up my total to £20 so that I could use all the money. I was split between this and Rose Tendresse, but it was Rose Cyclamen that appealed to me because it popped off the page, while Rose Tendresse seemed to be a little flat and boring.

The ink came and I inked up the Hero 3019 immediately with Rose Cyclamen. I laid it to the page and I was amazed by this colour. A deep, rich, saturated and vibrant pink. It, in my opinion, has the perfect balance between brightness and readability. I have a system whereby I rate inks based on whether they’re professional, fun or fun-professional. This is a difficult ink to classify. Due to its saturation and readability, I almost want to class it as fun-professional, but  the end of the day it’s a pink ink. So I’ll leave you to decide. Here’s a writing sample on a Rhodia Dotpad to help you with said decision:

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Just look at that. How can you not fall in love with this ink? For J Herbin, I also find that it is actually quite wet. The feathering on the flex sample is purely a result of poor penmanship.. I really need to work on that. I think the cotton bud highlights just how astonishingly beautiful this ink is:

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With a second pass you can see the ink actually gets quite a bit darker. On the edges there’s a lighter shade of pink that doesn’t make it seem faint and in the middle there is a very well saturated and strong pink. I would also like to mention that none of these images have been edited and are directly from my phone. I tried scanning through and the scanner made it seem purple rather than pink..

You can also see that the ink is not waterproof.

The shading in this ink is only noticeable with broader nibs, and only just so. You can see that in the italic nib above as well as in the title (also with the Sheaffer italic):J Herbin Rose Cyclamen Ink Review

But even with the broad nib there is very little shading. I’m someone who quite enjoys shading: when I first got into fountain pens, it was something that fascinated me beyond belief. I lusted after inks such as Diamine Autumn Oak and Mont Blanc Irish Green because I knew they were great shaders. However, this ink is so saturated and such a nice pink, I am actually really glad this is an ink that doesn’t shade: it gets my approval regardless. I find that Herbin inks very rarely shade. The only ink I have that does shade is the 1670 Stormy Grey.fullsizeoutput_6a9

On copy paper, the ink does okay. It’s difficult to see the absorption because the lack of shading is actually a good indicator, but this is an ink that doesn’t shade so it’s difficult to tell. But with the italic nib (below) the shading is pretty much gone from the ink.

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I primed the feed when writing broad” but I got rid of any excess ink in the writing after that. I found that this ink behaves well in a fine nib on copy paper, and okay with a medium, but anything more than that and you’re sort of pushing it. As shown by the bleedthrough:

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Using this ink in a fine/medium nib means you can write with the ink, but I wouldn’t recommend it if you want to use both sides. I’d say it’s a lot of showthrough, bordering on bleeding. With broad nibs, it’s a 100% no-no if you want to use the back of the paper because it just bleeds.

With the copy paper, the pink outline in the cotton bud is gone and the shading in the italic has also disappeared. It’s an okay performer on copy paper, but certainly doesn’t compare to Rhodia, nor Clairefontaine:

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Damn, I’m just on it with these segues today..

Side note – the song in the writing sample is The Miracle by Queen. From their final studio album released in Freddie’s lifetime, I just find it completely and utterly inspiring that Freddie is singing about the wonders of the world while battling HIV. The other day I spilt cat food over my kitchen floor and felt like I was having the worst day ever. I think back to this song whenever I’m having one of those days and if you ever feel this way, I encourage you to do the same. I was basically raised on Queen and it’s very special to me.

The saturation is really evident on Tomoe River paper. This is my personal journal that I record my inks in that I started before these blogs began, so the few entries I do of old inks might seem a little cringey.. So I apologise:The ink becomes very dry on this paper.

To finish, I have one annoyance about this ink, and it’s the bottle it comes in. Why J Herbin feels the need to have these stupid bottles is beyond me. I decanted the ink into a Diamine bottle and I have a fair amount of the ink left still. Herbin can’t fix the design of their bottle, but they can have a silly indent to rest your pen. Why, J Herbin? Why?