How do you decide your first color for a new pen?

Everyone has a ‘Holy Grail’ pen. It may be a vintage flex nib pen, or a special limited edition pen that has a theme that really speaks to you. For me, it was a brand new release pen, the Pelikan m800 Souverän 1.5mm Italic Nib pen in blue. I am a huge lover of italic nibs, and this pen caught my eye when I first heard it was going to be released. I knew I wanted it, and I also knew it would be a terrific pen for testing out the wet-writing/italic nib pen category for future ink reviews.

It was a sacrifice to get it….it lists for more than 10 times any new pen I’ve ever owned ($500). Granted, I didn’t pay that (seeing how I’m a Pelikan retailer, perks of the job!). Still, it was quite a bite for a self-employed young father. I was told the pen would be here in November, but lo and behold, it arrived to me today with no warning! A happy surprise indeed!

We all have our pens that we hope and save up and hope to one day get, and now I have mine. The first thing I did was pull it out and take tons of pictures before I dropped the thing and scratched it all up! Here’s a teaser:

But this isn’t meant to be a ‘brag’ post (well, maybe a little, haha). I got the pen, and my first thought (after ‘what cool pictures can I take for the blog’) was what is the first ink I’m going to put into this pen? I’ve been using cheap pens that are more or less disposable so far (except for a lovable Sheaffer 300), so I’ve never put so much thought into the pen, it’s been more about the ink for me. But this pen has been my most anticipated, and the idea of the ‘first ink’ in the pen is somehow very important to me! Maybe it’s silly, and it’s surely ridiculous since I’m obviously going to be using many inks in this pen over the years. But it really has me thinking!

I’m enamored with some of the new Diamine colors….and it’s also not going to be long before the Pelikan Edelsteins come in. Should I wait for them? Should I try a new ink? Should I go with a classic favorite like Poussière de Lune? I don’t know!! Help!

How about you? Do you think about the first ink you put in your special pens?

2017-10-11T13:36:52+00:00 September 16th, 2010|A Goulet Life|14 Comments
  • Nathaniel

    Whenever I cannot decide, I leave it to chance. Pick your top contenders, grab a coin or die, and have a battle of chance.

  • Amazing looking pen! That is indeed a tough decision but don't wait for those Edelstein inks, you may not have that thing inked until December and that would just be torture.

    I agree with the pick your favorites and flip a coin. Or feel free to send it to me and I'll happily ink it up for you… lol.

    I bet something with lots of shading would look great. Man that is a sweet pen!

  • Hmm…the "roll a die" approach is interesting! For a first inking, I tend to pick an ink that "matches" the pen, usually in color. I may have to try the random chance thing next time though!

  • Ankeet

    J. Herbin Polire Norie, it is my favorite ink and use it day in and day out so I know its properties and help take out one variable in how I like my new pen. I know how it acts in my other pens so i know its lubrication properties, line and all other stuff.

    After i run that for a fill or so I go to whatever new color I have or that goes with the "theme" of the pen. For yours, maybe a blue or a blue-black…

  • kvka

    I pick a colour that I've been dying to try out as much as I was dying to try out the pen. Generally, it also must match the pen in colour, or texture, or just 'feel'. I hope I'm making some sense here? I can't quite find the right words to articulate my thoughts.

    Anyway, good luck with the search! It's a gorgeous pen, so I hope you really do manage to find the perfect first ink!

  • Some first inks I've started different pens out with…
    Pelikan Violet • Pelikan Souverän 600
    Vintage Montblanc Black • Montblanc Meisterstuck 146
    Sailor Blood Orange (custom mix) • Sailor Realo
    Private Reserve Sherwood Green • Souverän M1000

    The first is always an important inking for me.

  • If I know nothing about the pen then I'll run a couple of fills of a standard ink (Waterman Blue-Black) through it. Then I'll go from there. Since you have a broad italic nib then I would choose an ink that I think would look the best coming from the nib. Normally, I choose an ink I really like.

  • Anonymous

    Much like Sidney, I start a new pen with a totally safe and washable blue in case there's a problem which might necessitate a return to the seller or a trip to the manufacturer's warranty repair center. First I use as a dip pen to get a feel for the nib, pen balance and overall characteristics. Then move on to actually inking it up (still with that safe ink) and continue testing.

    Only after I've satisfied myself that it's a keeper do I flush out the tester blue and look for an ink in the cabinet which fits the pen's character…obviously considering nib width and flexibility, flow characteristics, intended use of the pen (no hot pink if it'll be used in an office setting) and even the color of the pen.

  • Firat Cingi

    What, other brand in a Pelikan?? 🙂 Wait for the Edelsteins, I'm sure M800 will love that.

    If you are in a hurry than J. Herbin Poussiere de Lune. I know that you like it also 🙂

  • Firat Cingi

    What, other brand in a Pelikan?? 🙂 Wait for the Edelsteins, I'm sure M800 will love that.

    If you are in a hurry than J. Herbin Poussiere de Lune. I know that you like it also 🙂

  • Ankeet

    J. Herbin Polire Norie, it is my favorite ink and use it day in and day out so I know its properties and help take out one variable in how I like my new pen. I know how it acts in my other pens so i know its lubrication properties, line and all other stuff.

    After i run that for a fill or so I go to whatever new color I have or that goes with the "theme" of the pen. For yours, maybe a blue or a blue-black…

  • Nathaniel

    Whenever I cannot decide, I leave it to chance. Pick your top contenders, grab a coin or die, and have a battle of chance.

  • 777_Pen_Repair

    Yes, I do think about what ink I put in my special pens. Granted, I've never owned a "special" or grail pen… I'm about to though. I just got a re-tip for my parker 51 (a 1.3mm stub) so It's kind of like a new pen… I wan to put Noodlers Cayenne in it first thing. Love that color! Can't wait to try it out!

    Regards,
    777 – Tyler Dahl

  • Parsifals

    What a lovely dilemma and congratulations on this fabulous looking pen. 

    Until the last few years I was a black, or blue inker, and didn't face the myriad choices of ink we have today.

    But I often select an ink that matches or enhances the look of the pen and the nib.