Friday, 14 June 2013

Ink Resurrection: Waterman's Washable Blue

The label of the old Waterman’s Washable Blue bottle is appropriately faded as if washed away. It is preserved well: a dirty-white seagull flies wings outstretched over a deep blue sea its waves neatly outlined in white in the distance. Immersed in the sea the familiar lettering: “Waterman’s Ink” – these were the times were the apostrophe was still important – and “British Made” – this was the era when UK manufacturing was still something to boast about.

The iconic Waterman bottle designed by Ted Piazzoli of Capstan Glass Pennsylvania in the 1930s allows for the bottle to be tipped on its edge making the use of ink to the very last drop possible. Alas, no drop remained in this one bottle of Washable Blue Palimpsest came upon. Only some unsightly dry remnants were stuck at the bottom. But lo! A few droplets of water and the Non Permanent Washable Blue was resurrected. And what a blue it is!

If time has altered the original colour of this ink, it has done it well. What comes out of this bottle is green-blue, almost teal. The flow is flawless, the saturation superb – I dip the paintbrush in and then straight on apply it on Rhodia paper and the shading is magnificent. The new favourite steel pen at Palimpsest’s – a John Bond Crystal Palace (of which later) – loves to be dipped in the old bottle and flexes its muscle to produce wonderful writing.

Want to try it? 10ml inksample will be available for a few days in the shop.


  1. Interesting review thanks. I have dabbled in the vintage pen area and certainly enjoyed a multitude of new ink hues but can't say I've ever considered vintage ink. Thanks for getting me thinking about it.


  2. The colour looks great. It reminds me of Noodler's blue V-Mail, which is also petrol blue and which I like very much.

  3. Yes, vintage ink has its own special allure. Matthias: yes, petrol, was the word I was looking for!