Ink Of The Month – August ’21 – Namiki Asa-Gao

Welcome to the somewhat belated Ink Of The Month for August; I’m sorry about the delay but work on a couple of projects did not go as planned so I’m running a little late with things but I aim to catch up over the next few weeks. 

So, anyway on with the review.

I’ve long held a desire to buy some bottles of Pilot ink but was never sure which one I’d like and then I started reading about Asa-Gao or ‘Morning Glory’ as it is otherwise known and I decided, after much research, that I would like a bottle but at £29.95GBP it seemed a bit expensive for 50ml of an ink. 

I could have bought the 15ml version from Amazon for around £8.50GBP; but my problem is I’m not fond of ‘sample’ sizes as I am a bit of a klutz and ink usually ends up everywhere the more stable and larger bottle is generally the best bet.

Anyway, I shopped around and found the Namiki version for £23.80GBP and took the plunge and my ink duly turned up a few days later.

Although the listing was for Namiki ink it comes in the same silver box as all other Pilot inks with the colour matched label on the front; and when you open it it is exactly like opening an expensive fragrance.

03 Packaging Web 500hpx

The glass bottle itself is elliptical in shape with a simple black plastic cap. The bottom of the bottle is very thick which adds weight to the bottle but makes it very stable and allows for an internal indentation that would accommodate the nib of your pen helping you to fill it when the bottle is running low.

05 Bottle Web 500hpx

As for the colour of the ink, both the label and most everything I have read suggests this is a blue ink with purple leanings. I’m not sure I would agree with this in fact I would describe it as a bright mid-blue.

I’ve been using this ink for a couple of months, loaded in one of my TWSBI Eco’s with a Medium nib, and I’ve found it to be a consistently good ink. It flows well, the colour saturation is exactly what I would expect and there have been no occasions when I have experienced either skipping or hard starts and I do have a tendency to pause now and again for a minute or two which has caused problems in the past.

The ink test showed good even colour, layering the ink in a stripe test increased the depth of colour but showed no sheen and the Q-Tip test produced a very even mid-blue. The drying time surprised me, 15 seconds from wet to dry in a moderately warm room; potentially this could be a good ink for left-handed writers, but I’d buy a sample to test first in case I’m wrong.

04 Ink Test Web 800hpx

Lastly, is it worth your pennies?

Tough call, because this is an expensive ink, and you can get very similar coloured ink from manufacturers like Diamine. So what I would say is if you have the pennies and can get it at a good price then this is a wonderful ink to add to your collection.

Disclaimer: The ink was purchased with my own funds at retail price. The opinions expressed in this review are my own; and I am not connected with either the retailers or manufacturers in any way.

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