A Study In Scarlet

Buying red ink is a bit of a minefield; some are more pink and others are more orange with the base colour being very obvious but once in a blue moon you come across a red that really is red.

Yes, it’s base colour may be orange or pink or even have a hint of brown but the creators of the ink have not allowed the base colour to overpower what it is intended to be.

And as they did with Corn Poppy Red and now with this Writers Edition, Scarlet Red, Montblanc have hit the nail on the head producing another real red. This Writers Edition is a tribute to Arthur Conan Doyle and his first Sherlock Holmes story, A Study In Scarlet.

I first heard about this ink a little while ago but having a bottle or two of Shakespeare and Corn Poppy Red I didn’t really think Montblanc could compete with either of these inks, unsurprisingly I was wrong, and so I ignored it.

Then a week or two back I was in my local Montblanc Boutique, and I threw caution to the wind and decided to have another look at it and ten minutes later I was leaving with a bottle in a little Montblanc bag and just too finish this part of the tale I should add that less than a week later I became the proud owner to two bottles and another packet of nib cleaners!

The ink comes in the standard Montblanc square 50ml bottle topped with a black cap with the snowflake emblem on top. The bottle is in a red drawer that slides into a white cover and other than the Montblanc logo which is printed in black the rest of the text on the box is printed in a matching scarlet red.

If I had to pick an undertone for this ink I would say, looking at the Q-Tip test, it is orange but not a strong orange. It’s a well saturated ink that takes around thirty seconds to dry completely and to get the best from this ink need a nib with a generous ink flow as this ensures plenty of ink is transferred to the paper to give you sufficient depth of colour for the user to fully appreciate the colour.

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I tested this ink on a page of my Muji sketch book using my MB 146 which has a relatively wet nib and I got very nice results, I also tested it on a sheet of Muji Planting Trees paper with equally good results.

(If you haven’t tried Planting Trees Paper then get some, it’s not expensive and it comes in various sizes and formats. For this test I used loose leaf A5 and when they say it is bleed proof they are not kidding it really is. It is, in fact, ideal paper to use with fountain pens.)

I’ve now been using this ink for over a week and despite my best efforts it has not skipped or hard started once even when leaving the pen uncapped for several minutes. The ink flows well providing a good and evenly coloured line but it does not have any sheen.

Finally, it’s Montblanc, so it’s not going to be cheap; so, is it worth your pennies? Tough call because there are some very nice red inks available from other makers that are considerably less expensive, but I would say if you want too treat yourself or someone special then this should be on your shopping list.

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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.


N.B. The ‘Study In Scarlet’ image is the property of https://www.deviantart.com/littlebump8 .

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