2.02.2010

Review : Private Reserve Midnight Blues Fountain Pen Ink

This is a joint review (of sorts) between Goldspot Pens and OfficeSupplyGeek. Back on January 22nd, OSG posted a review of Fahrney's EverWrite Midnight Blues ink. Noticing that the names of Fahrney's inks mirror the color nomenclature used by Private Reserve, I commented on OSG's post if he knows whether or not Fahrney's Ink is simply re-labeled Private Reserve. Neither of us knew for certain, so a comparison review was born!

Private Reserve's Midnight Blues, as written with an Edison Herald in fine point, lays down a more-than-generous amount of ink on the page. My fine point is a bit broader than a Pelikan m215 fine, which OSG was using in his review. That being said, my experience testing out the ink was a bit different, as I noticed more show-through on the other side of the page. The dry time is also a bit slower, since more ink is on the page, taking longer to saturate the paper fibers.


The hue is a very rich and saturated blue-black. I know OSG was having a hard time trying to decide if he liked the Midnight Blues over his other favorite blue-black made by Noodler's. I would pick Private Reserve since the darker Noodler's colors tend to not flow as well with finer-sized nibs.

Now, to compare with the Fahrney's ink, we look back at OSG's handwriting sample to gleam any color similarities. Immediately, I noticed an aqua tinge to his color. However, the way that the ink was described led me to believe that there may have been some scanner shinanigans afoot. He says in his description that the ink appears more bluer than most blue-black inks and that there is minimal show-through, which are two observations that I noticed after writing on my Levenger Circa paper as well.

In an e-mail to OSG, I sent him my scan and asked if the color in the image may have been more accurate to what he physically saw on his paper. He wrote back and explained that he did not find any aqua tones in the ink on the page, although they are apparent on the pictured review below.


With the utmost respect and admiration of the high-caliber and technical reviews on Officesupplygeek's blog, I think that the scan may have been a tiny bit off. Hey, it happens and technology is, by no means, perfect. Which is why Goldspot, and most other pen & ink retailers, will disclaim that the colors on your monitor may not exactly align with the real deal.

To recap:
  • Both Private Reserve and Fahrney's Ever-Write Ink share the same color names, going down the line from Midnight Blues to Shell Pink.
  • They have the same capacity per bottle (50ml or 1.5 fl oz).
  • In this test of Midnight Blues, the color and behavior of the ink is virtually the same.
Therefore, it would be reasonable to conclude that Fahrney's ink is Private Reserve dressed in another label. A good question for Farhney would be, "Why is the same ink more expensive?" OSG paid $9.35 for the same bottle that Goldspot is selling for $7.49. Must be the label.

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