If it isn’t obvious yet, I have a thing for bright blue inks; the more saturated and vibrant the better. My first love was Noodler’s Bay State Blue (still near the top of my list), but I had some concerns about using it in some of my pens, and I wanted something with a little better shading. Several bottles into my search I found a little bottle of Herbin’s Eclat de Saphir.
Eclat de Saphir is a wonderfully vibrant true blue, very similar in hue to Diamine’s Sapphire Blue (surprising nobody), and it produces no sheen.
You’ll get some shading from the ink (certainly more than Baystate Blue), but not a ton; the color is generally pretty smooth and even.
Flow with this Herbin ink is just about perfect! Nice and wet, but not too wet. It does feather heavily on cheap paper, but on good paper (or even just decent paper) it behaves nicely.
Drying time is moderately good: on Clairefontaine paper, drying time is around 20-25 seconds with a medium nib, with no stragglers. On more absorbent papers it’s even faster, of course.
I did not encounter any water resistance on good paper. Water drops on my test sheet pretty well erased the underlying lines. On cheap, absorbent paper, however, the ink maintains its form and just feathers a little.
Overall, this remains one of my favorite blue inks for writing, owing largely to the smoothness of the ink on the nib; writing is velvety smooth, regardless of what pen I use. The color is very nice, but there are plenty of similar blues out there.
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