As the year 2020 was coming to an end Montegrappa finally released their range of six Harry Potter inks; one for each of the four Hogwarts houses and one for the Knight Bus and one for the Threstrals.
Now as some of you will have gathered, I’m a bit of a Harry Potter fan so I was very interested when I first heard about the inks, particularly the Gryffindor Red.
But I have to admit I did have second thoughts when I saw the price; £22.50GBP for 50ml is a lot of money to pay for a bottle of ink, especially when you consider that ordinary bottle of Montegrappa ink can be bought for around half that price.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, Santa was good to me and on Christmas day I unwrapped a bottle of Gryffindor Red.
The ink comes in a nice dark blue box with Gryffindor images printed as background in black and the Hogwarts crest, ink splashes and other branding in a golden yellow.
When I opened the box, I expected to simply lift the bottle out instead it was quite a struggle as Montegrappa have built in a card collar to stabilise the bottle and it’s a tight fit made even tighter by the plastic shrink wrap they used to keep the bottle sealed.
Secured in the box.
So, after much wrestling with the packaging (I didn’t want to tear it – I listened to my inner geek on that one) I finally got the bottle out of the box and out of its shrink wrap.
Finally out of the box.
As you can see from the header image the labelling on the bottle follows the box and the gold bottle cap has a very nicely done version of the Hogwarts crest etched into it. The bottle itself is a nice solid rectangular glass bottle that looks good on your desk and has the added advantage of being small enough to travel with you.
Close up on the bottle cap engraving.
Ok so what’s the ink like?
Well, I was actually quite impressed with it. I expected it to be little more than a repackaged standard red, but I was wrong as you can see the ink is a good colour match for maroon red of Gryffindor House.
The swab and stripe test produced good results and layering the ink increased the depth of colour but did not show any sheen and the ink definitely has pink and possibly brown undertones. Drying times were very good; in a warm room the ink dried at around 22 seconds, in cooler rooms expect a few seconds longer.
Swab and stripe test.
The writing test was done in a Muji F1 sketchbook, the paper in these sketchbooks has a slightly textured surface which poses a small challenge when writing but this ink was not fazed by the surface and produced good results. As part of the writing test, I left the pen to one side for a minute or so to see if it could be persuaded to skip or hard start and I was not able to achieve either. As soon as I picked up the pen to continue writing it restarted immediately. So, overall, this is an ink that delivers good results.
Full ink test results.
Close up of text.
Finally, the big question is, is it worth your pennies?
This time I can’t say a simple yes or no because it depends on what you think about Harry Potter because there is no doubt that, on the one hand, you are paying for the Harry Potter branding but, on the other hand, you are buying a collectible ink and any collectible or special edition always comes at a premium price; so it’s your choice.
All I can say is that I think it is a good ink and whilst it is a little expensive I will definitely be adding another bottle of Gryffindor Red to my collection.
Disclaimer: The ink was purchased at retail price and given to me as a gift. The opinions expressed in this review are my own; and I am not connected with either the retailers or manufacturers in any way.