26 February 2023

Ink Color or Ink Properties?

Now we know that the Pilot Tsuwairo inks –or at least the blue one-- do work in the water resistance department. And I will assume that the claims of being lightfast are also true, although I have not tested that.

So all is good and well, but do we really need all that? Is there a demand for inks with those properties?

Before the bath.

Some water resistance might indeed be useful. Back in 2015, the Peaceable Writer wanted her inks to “have decent water resistance, so that my pages survive an inevitable coffee ring or spill” (::1::). Do we need much more than that? And my point now is that the old fashioned Pilot Blue and Blue-black inks do show an acceptable resistance to water at a much lower price.

The bath.

Something similar can be said about lightfast capabilities. The usual action is to close the notebook or to file the document after writing. Then, how much more resistance to light do we need?

And more importantly, how much are we willing to pay?

And back to the first question—is there really a demand for inks like these by Pilot—or by Platinum, Sailor, etc?

After the bath.

I confess my lack of understanding of the ink market. The inflation in colors, brands, and also in prices defies any rational analysis, but the inkunuma creature –the dweller in that colorful swamp of inks—seems driven mosre by the ink color than by the actual characteristics of the ink.

And that is why I do not understand these new inks by Pilot.

Parker 51 — Sailor Yama-dori

Bruno Taut
February 24th, 2023
etiquetas: Pilot, tinta, mercado

16 February 2023


On the previous text I mentioned that the Pilot Tsuwairo inks should not be used in the old converter CON-70. I am showing side-by-side pics of the old and the new versions of this converter.

Top, old CON-70. Bottom, CON-70N.

The same modifications were applied to the black version common to the urushi-based decorated pens under Pilot and Namiki brands.

There are a number of differences between them, but the one that looks more significant is the internal cylinder right behind the rubber stopper. Pilot, in fact, points at it when warning about the usage of Tsuwairo inks. The ink capacities of both versions have not changed significantly—they are 1.0 ml (with a margin of error of +-0.05 ml).

Pilot Custom 74, Yamada Seisakusho — Diamine Teal

Bruno Taut
February 15th, 2023
etiquetas: Pilot, conversor

13 February 2023

Old vs. New. Regular vs. Tsuwairo Inks by Pilot.


Pilot has recently released a new line of inks called Tsuwairo (see Fig. 1). Interesting as these inks might be, they also come with a list of inconveniences the old inks in similar colors did not have.

How do these two lines of inks compare?

That is the question I want to answer on this text.

Figure 1.


Among the big three Japanese pen companies, Pilot was the last one to release a pigmented ink. The reason for that was that Pilot already had a permanent ink—the Pilot Blue-black ink. But in 2022, Pilot finally marketed three pigmented inks under the series name of Tsuwairo (強色; literally, “strong color”).

Pilot declares these inks are lightfast and water resistant. But Pilot also warns about their risks (see Fig. 2):

– Not to be used in urushi-decorated pens.
– Not to be used in three Pilot pen models Custom Heritage 92, Custom 823, and Justus 95.
– Not to be used with the old converter CON-70 but only with the newer version CON-70N and with the CON-40.
– Not to be used with non-Pilot pens.

Figure 2. The instructions and warning of Pilot about the use of Tsuwairo inks. It also describes the differences between the old CON-70 and the newer CON-70N.

And their price is 2.5 times higher than those of the regular inks by Pilot—JPY 1000 vs JPY 400, taxes aside; 30 ml.

But if the Pilot Blue-black is also permanent, albeit by different means and possibly not lightfast, are the new Tsuwairo inks worth the extra cost and the extra risks? How permanent are those older inks?


To answer those questions I performed some simple experiments. In essence, three inks were tested against water immersion.

The inks were Pilot Blue, Pilot Tsuwairo Blue, and Pilot Blue-black. The paper was Pilot sample paper, manufactured by Life. (See Fig. 3).

The writing was done with Sailor fude nibs and with Pilot M and calligraphy (CM, stub) nibs made of steel.

The immersion in water was made at two different times: about 5 min after being written and after several hours after that.

Figure 3. The inks and the papers used on the experiments.


On figure 4 we can see the written sample made with Pilot nibs before (top) and after (bottom) immersion in water. On the left, the sample was exposed to water 6 minutes after being written. That on the right, after 4 hours.

Figure 4. Written samples. Pilot nibs (M and CM). Sample on the left immersed in water 6 minutes after written. Right sample, immersed 4 hours after being written.

And on figure 5, the results of a similar experiment but with Sailor fude nibs. The sample on the left was immersed after 5 minutes of written. The one on the right, 12 hours later.

Figure 5. Written samples. Sailor fude nib. Sample on the left immersed in water 5 minutes after written. The one on the right, immersed 12 hours after being written.

Pilot nibs, on figure 4, carry a lot less ink that those by Sailor (Fig 5).

The results are quite clear and do not change significantly with the variables explored on these experiments—time of the ink on the paper, and amount of ink in the nib and on the paper.

The Tsuwairo ink clearly performs better than the regular inks, and there are not major differences between the behaviors of the regular Blue and Blue-black inks re their resistance to water.

However, the traditional inks are perfectly legible after 15 minutes in water, and they do this at a much lower cost, and without the risks associated to the pigmented inks, as warned by Pilot.


The Tsuwairo Blue ink is indeed water resistant, but according to the manufacturer it should not be use under certain conditions.

On the other hand, the traditional Blue and Blue-black inks show a remarkable resistance to water without any of those risks and at much lower cost.

Moonman A1 — Montblanc Burgundy Red

Bruno Taut
February 13th, 2023
etiquetas: Pilot, tinta

06 February 2023

Curidas' Second Chance

The Platinum Curidas (::1::, ::2::, ::3::) was launched in the early months of 2020. Its release was carefully planned and Platinum managed to raise some anxiety in the market. But the pen, after those initial months, did not live up to the expectations—frequent problems in the release mechanism and in the sealing lid did not help to make this pen a success.

The old Curidas.

And now, three years later, Platinum has announced the release of some new variations of the Curidas in the next weeks.

This new Curidas departs from the transparent look of the first models an adopts what looks like a rubbery sheath. The color options are limited to three –black, blue and red. The nib points are reduced to F and M, leaving EF for the original model.

The new Curidas.

The price of this newer version is higher—JPY 9000 vs JPY 7000, prices without taxes. However, the new package includes the converter and a 20 ml inkwell.

The new package includes the converter and a 20 ml inkwell.

But the important question now is whether Platinum has solved the problems present on the first model released in 2020.

NOTE (April 25th, 2023): This new release of the Platinum Curidas is called Curidas Depth. The package including the inkwell is a limited release.

Parker 50 'Falcon' — Sailor Yama-dori

Bruno Taut
February 5th, 2023
etiquetas: Platinum, capless