09 February 2017

Gary's Classic Inks

By now the news are well-known—-Platinum has released a new family of inks by the name of “Classic Inks”. In Japanese, “classic ink” means iron-gall (IG) ink, and this is what these new inks are—iron-gall inks.

The initial announcement was made through the website of the stationery shop Nagasawa, in the city of Kobe. This shop had the privilege of an early release of these inks on January 27th. The general release will be on February 10th (2017).

Picture taken on February 10th 2017 at a well-known stationery shop in Tokyo. These is the new series of inks by Platinum. Six inks with iron-gall formulation. But, are they really new?

But are these inks really new? They are, in fact, new to the general market, but these inks are not new to the pen community in Japan. The mastermind behind them is a fellow stylophile by the name, in fora and blogs, of PGary (Gary).

It all started some years ago, around 2010, when Gary decided to create his own IG inks frustrated as he was with the limited selection of colors available in the market for IGs. At that time, the only non-blue-black IG ink was Rohrer & Klingner’s Scabiosa.

Gary never made a secret out of his developments. He published his recipes on YouTube and on his blog and even on the Japanese pen magazine Shumi-no Bungubaku (16, p. 66; 23, p. 106). The Wagner group of pen aficionados took good note of those inks and asked him to make some inks for the annual pen fair celebrated in Spring in Tokyo. That was in 2012, when the chosen colors were red-black and blue-black.

Some inks made by Gary.

Since then, Gary has received the same request on following years, and Wagner group members have stocked –and enjoyed—a number of his IG inks.

And now it was Platinum contacting him for the creation of this new “Classic Inks” composed by six new colors: Cassis black, Forest-black, Citrus-black, Khaki-black, Sepia-black and Lavender-black. Note the absence of a blue-black ink—Platinum already had an IG ink of this classical color.

Writing samples of the previous inks. The ink flow determines how dark the ink looks after the oxidation took place. All the writing on this test, save that of the 2012 Red-black ink, were made with a glass pen.

This Yellow-black ink shows a brighter hue when laid with a fountain pen with a more controlled flow. This ink was one of the 2013 Wagner inks.

As a matter of fact, Platinum is the only Japanese maker still making IG inks, and there is some kind of logic in this new move to expand its selection of inks.

Platinum now has three different types of inks—dye inks (red, black and the Mix Free line), pigmented inks (Carbon-black, Sepia, Blue, Pink), and iron gall (blue black and the Classic Inks line).

The problem of these new IG inks comes with their price. It is JPY 2000 (plus tax) for 60 ml, which is significantly more expensive than that of the pigmented inks (JPY 1500, plus tax). The old and well known blue black IG ink is a lot cheaper—JPY 1200, plus tax.

Strange pricing policy, I would say. But all in all this is, most of all, another sign of the increasing influence of the stylophile community in the market of fountain pens.

My thanks to Gary. And my congratulations!

Pilot Custom Heritage 92 – Gary’s Red-black (Wagner ink 2012)

Bruno Taut
Nakano, February 8th 2017
etiquetas: tinta, Platinum, Gary, mercado


Leigh said...

Yay! :) Great to know the background.

Bruno Taut said...

Thanks, Leigh. It is an honor to have you as a reader.


Tinjapan said...

Had no idea that "Classic" meant IG for Japanese ink!

Great back story too.



Bruno Taut said...

Thank you, Tinjapan, for passing by and commenting. Japanese language is obscure at times... But you know that very well.



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