17 January 2014

Platinum Changes

Platinum has released what seems to be just a new presentation of its traditional line of inks—that is, those that are not pigmented not belonging to the Mix Free gamut. Up to now, Platinum offered three inks –red, black and blue-black—in 30 ml inkwells for JPY 400 (plus tax). The blue-black ink, might be worth to mention, was an iron-gall formulation.

The by now old 30 ml inkwells of Platinum ink. Only the red ink is missing from the picture. The blue-black is an iron-gall ink. The price of these inks was JPY 400, plus tax.

The new presentation are 60 ml inkwells with the same design as those of the remaining inks (pigmented and “Mix Free”), albeit with the novelty of an inner cup to help using the last milliliters of ink in the inkwell. The price of this new presentation is significantly more expensive—60 ml of ink for JPY 1200 (plus tax). This price represents a 50% hike over the old 30 ml inkwell presentation.

The new inkwells of 60 ml at a price of JPY 1200, plus tax. Are these inks the same as those on the previous picture?

Now, are these inks the same as before? Hard to say, as Platinum incurs in several contradictions on its website and on the new packaging.

On one hand, on its website, Platinum speaks (look for reference INK-1200; as read on January 15th 2014) of these inks as dye inks—“dye stuff ink”, it literally says. However, in the past and even today, Platinum had already stated that the blue-black ink was a ferro-gallic ink (as read on January 16th 2014).

The new, or not so new, black ink together with the pigmented "Carbon Ink".

The "water-based pigmented" blue-black ink together with the "Pigment Blue" ink, both by Platinum.

And on the other hand, the new packaging the company labels these new inks as water-based pigmented inks. Inside, it also mentions they should not be mixed. And in the case of the black ink, there is an additional note saying it contains a “special resin component for improved water and light resistance”.

The notes on the box speak of a "special resin component" included for the black ink.

The new/old inks are not to be mixed, the box says.

So, what should we believe? Are these dye-based inks or pigmented? We might need to perform our own experiments, although this 50% price increase is a discouraging argument to buy this –or any— Platinum ink.

NOTE ADDED ON JANUARY 17th, 2014: Commentator Gary added some insight to the basic question of this Chronicle. In his opinion, the whole problem is due to a confusion between the terms dye and pigment when translated from Japanese to English. The experiments he described on his blog showed that the "new" blue-black ink is still an iron-gall formulation.

But then, the price hike --that unjustifiable 50% increase-- can hardly be understood.

Pilot Capless (1998 model), steel nib in M – Pilot Black

Bruno Taut
Yokohama, January 16th, 2014
etiquetas: Platinum, tinta, mercado.


gary said...

Hi Bruno,

I suspect the PLATINUM company has not been proofreading by English native speakers. They are confusing the word of dye with the word of pigment.
I believe the Inks of the old bottle (30mL) and new bottle (60mL) has not changed.
Because, Same sentences, e.g. “special resin component for improved water and light resistance", are written on the old box and the new box in Japanese. Only new box are written same sentence in English.
And then, I already checked chemically that blue black in new bottle is still iron gall ink, and I wrote on my blog in Japanese (http://d.hatena.ne.jp/pgary/20131122/p1).


Bruno Taut said...

Thanks, Gary, for your information and your insight on these not so new inks. The chromatography you show on your blog is quite conclusive.

I will add a note to my text linking to your blog and adding the information you mentioned in here.

Thanks a lot, Gary.


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