Tag Archives: ink

Private Reserve Sonic Blue

When we first picked up Private Reserve, we asked for some feedback on what colours you’d like to see most. With all our lines, we mostly grow slowly and hopefully organically, picking up colours or products as they’re requested. I remember someone said we should get all of the blues because they’re all beautiful. They were right.

Review of Private Reserve Sonic Blue Fountain Pen Ink with a TWSBI Mini

Private Reserve Inks are among our most popular inks in the shop. They have a few popular non-blue colours (Black Cherry, Avacado, spelled to differentiate itself from the fruit, Tanzanite), but by far the most popular colours are shades of blue.

Electric DC Blue, Naples Blue, DC Supershow Blue, these are some of the most vibrant and popular blues we have in the shop. They’re super saturated and some have sheen, and they just pop.

Private Reserve Sonic Blue, however, is not one of those bright, bright blues, and not one of the blues Private Reserve is best known for. Maybe its name is a little misleading, because it’s definitely not Sonic the Hedgehog blue.

When I first swabbed it, it looked a bit murky, like a foggy blue, and I thought it might be a little dull. However, its swab does not do it justice.

Writing Sample of Private Reserve Sonic Blue Classic Blue-Black Fountain Pen Ink

The writing sample is with a TWSBI Mini and a medium nib on Rhodia 80gsm paper (standard pads).

It’s actually a bit closer to a classic blue-black with some grey in there. It’s similar to Platinum Blue-Black, or Rohrer & Klingner Salix. While it’s not permanent or water proof, it’s also not quite as dry as Salix, and it shades beautifully. This is the sort of colour of ink old diaries or letters were written with.

As beautiful as the bright, saturated blues are, I have a thing for good shading, and less attention-grabbing kinds of ink. It’s a true indication of being written with a fountain pen, and makes it look more interesting. And because Sonic Blue is a less saturated blue, there’s quite a bit more shading.

Handwritten Excerpt from George Orwell's Essays with a Fountain Pen

Close-up of writing sample – look at the shading!

It’s well-behaved – not really any feathering or bleed-through on standard copy paper, easy to clean. Not too saturated, so dries fairly quickly as well. Great for the office, while still standing out just a bit.

Sonic Blue is a great blue-black or standard blue kind of ink, with shading and great behaviour. It gets overlooked a bit for its flashier neighbours, but it’s an old-school blue ink. Subtle and classy.


Updates from the Shop

The holiday season is really beginning! We’ve seen our first bit of snow and frost and I’m about ready to spend as much of my time indoors as possible.

Lots of new things are going on in the shop, and it seems like we hardly have time to get things done. We have lots of new products and we’re working on taking photos and getting them up on the site soon – some of the new products are just new shades of ink or a new ruling in a notebook we already carry; check our Just In section as we try to make sure stuff goes there as soon as we get it up.

It feels like there are new shipments coming in every day (I see a UPS truck right now!), and while some stuff may say it’s out of stock online, we may have just not updated it on the site yet, so feel free to give us a call or send us an e-mail if you’re looking for something in particular.

Kaweco Dia2 Fountain Pen We’re getting new Kaweco products – the Allrounder is up on the site already, and the Dia2 will be up soon. Both of these are metal and weighty and smooth.

Kaweco Dia2 – will be up on the website soon.

Diamine inks has stopped shipping for the winter, so unfortunately, what we have is all we’ll have until maybe around March. Our distributor was optimistic and said maybe even February, so let’s keep our fingers crossed. Both for Diamine inks and warm weather sooner.  Diamine was a newer brand for us, we just picked it up in the fall, so in the new year, we’ll be working on making sure we have enough stock to last us through the winter, like bears preparing for hibernation.

TWSBI Diamond 50 Glass Inkwell for Fountain Pens

And to hold your ink, we’ve got some TWSBI ink bottles. They are very heavy, with a thick glass base and metal bands. They’re designed to work cleanly with TWSBI 580s & Minis, but you can use any pen. It also has the same inner cone that the Sailor bottles have. These will also be up online soon.

Gift Registration for Calligraphy Classes at Wonder Pens in Toronto

Calligraphy Class Registration – Holiday Gifts!

Our calligraphy classes are just about finishing up for the year, but we have three new classes posted for the new year. We’re also offering gift registrations for the holiday season. We have the registration certificates printed on the beautiful G. Lalo paper so you’ll have something nice to give. If you order online, we’ll mail it to you.

Along with our calligraphy classes, we’ve got some new calligraphy tools, including nib holders and nibs available in store, and soon online. Stay tuned for more information on our pointed pen calligraphy classes!

As the new year comes, we’ve got Rhodia 2014 planners in stock. We also have a few Quo Vadis ones that we’re hoping to get up on the site soon. We have new Jinhao pens in, and we’re working on getting the inventory updated and the new pens up online soon as well!

We’re looking forward to getting the shark staplers and the Delfonics Pen Cases back in stock soon! I know I’ve been saying we’re going to get the Delfonics in for a while now, but I think this time I really mean it.

In store, we’ll soon have gift wrapping available in a few sizes, so please stop by as you’re doing your holiday shopping.

If you’re ordering from us online and you’ve got ink in your package, we’re sending it to the post office for you to pick up unless you let us know otherwise. Please keep in mind that even if you know that someone is going to be home when the mailman comes, the mailman picks up his packages along his route from the grey Canada Post pick-up boxes. After the mailman sorts all the mail, a carrier truck drops off mail for each section of the route at the pick-up boxes, and the mail man stops by along his route, so it’s difficult to tell how long a package may be sitting in the grey boxes for before the mailman picks it up to deliver to you. I know this is not super convenient for many of you, but please bear with us as we want to get your ink to you safely!

We’re closing the shop for a week between Christmas & New Year’s, so please keep that I mind if you’re in town visiting family for the holidays!

Holiday Hours:
Monday, December 23rd: 10am to 6pm
Tuesday, December 24th: 10am to 1pm
Wednesday, December 25th to Wednesday, January 1st – closed
Thursday, January 2nd – regular hours

Jinhao 165 Fountain Pen

Aside from the Platinum Preppy, and right along with the Serwex, the Jinhao pens are one of the most affordable fountain pens we carry.

People who use much more expensive fountain pens are often pleasantly surprised by the performance of Jinhaos. While they are not going to be as robust as your Safari, they will write, and write well. Quality control is also not going to be as superb as with the Safari’s (and even they, once in a while, let one through), but for $7.50, you can’t beat it.

Jinhao 165 Chinese Fountain Pen Review

Jinhao 165 Fountain Pen Writing Sample

People who just happen upon our shop often will come in and pick up a Jinhao and a bottle of ink because they’re interested in trying a pen, and the Jinhao’s are so inexpensive. These pens are a great way to get started in using fountain pens, especially because they already come with a converter, and choosing your bottle of ink is sometimes half the fun.

Jinhao 165 Fountain Pen - Medium Nib

The JInhao 165 is one of our more popular Jinhaos. One of the perks of running a bricks & mortar is that you can talk to people about their thoughts and likes and dislikes about pens. I must admit that some people feel that this Jinhao in particular is a bit “bling”, but it’s actually my personal favourite of all the Jinhaos we currently carry (but we’re expecting a new shipment in soon, with a few new pens!).

Jinhao 165 Lava Finish and Glossy Black Finish

Jinhao Lava Finish on the left and Glossy Black on the right.

The Jinhao 165 comes in a “Lava” finish and a glossy black finish. They’re both metal and fairly weighty – on my not-especially-accurate scale which only shows even numbers, the Lava is 32g and the glossy black is 30g.

It has a snap cap that quite secure, you can feel the click as the fits onto the pen. The section is smooth, black plastic, and the step up to the barrel of the pen isn’t too steep.

Jinhao 165 Two-tone Steel Nib - Medium

Right now, each model of Jinhao only comes in one nib size. The 165s are both around a medium-broad, and fairly wet. The nib says “18KGP” which might lead one to think that it’s 18K gold-plated, but I’m pretty sure that might just be some fancy marketing on the part of Jinhao…

The writing sample is done with Platinum’s Blue-Black.


Writing Sample of the Jinhao 165 with Platinum Blue-Black

Jinhao 165 Writing Sample with Platinum Blue-Black Ink

So how does it write? It’s wet without being too wet – but then again, I like wet pens – no skipping, no starting issues. It’s smooth and flows along the page, I guess lubricated by the wetness. Unfortunately, there are no other nib size options for this model, no fine or extra-fine, no italics or stubs. The other Jinhao pens we carry, like the 126, will have finer nibs, quite fine.

For the price, it’s a great way to start using fountain pens, to have a few extra kicking around with different ink colours, or a gift for someone who may not know if they like fountain pens or not.