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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Caran d'Ache Inks: Out With The Old, In With The New

New Caran d'Ache inks

Update 2/19/14: Caran d'Ache Chromatic inks now available for sale at Gouletpens.com.

You may recall I mentioned this blog post in early December 2012 that Caribbean Sea, Carbon, and Blue Night were discontinued. Well, now the whole line of Caran d'Ache inks is discontinued, and will not be available any longer in their current form. This comes as a bit of a surprise to us, and I'm sure to you, too. If you have any existing favorites in the Caran d'Ache ink line, get it now wherever you can, because they really will not be around long, they're already out of them in Switzerland and I doubt many retailers stock large quantities of these inks so they'll run out soon, too.

What's interesting is that Caran d'Ache is completely revamping their ink line. They're coming out with all new colors in what they're calling the Chromatics, with new names, and new bottles. You may or may not have heard rumors floating around about this, and I'm here to say that it is officially true. These are supposed to be available in the US likely around late-May/early-June. Of course, that could always change. Basically, it's going to be a little while.

There are going to be 12 new colors, Cosmic Black, Delicate Green, Divine Pink, Electric Orange, Hypnotic Turquoise, Idyllic Blue, Infinite Grey, Infra Red, Magnetic Blue, Organic Brown, Ultra Violet, and Vibrant Green. I'd really love you hear your thoughts on these ink names. They sure remind me of the Waterman name changes that we saw happen last year, and goodness knows there were some opinions about those!

12 new Caran d'Ache ink colors

Some people loved the old Caran d'Ache bottles because of the heft and attractiveness of the design, others didn't love them because they were kind of hard to fill from. They're making a very interesting change with these new bottles, one that I'm not sure how I feel about. They are going with a slanted bottom, so that the bottle actually tilts when it's sitting on your desk. When it's in the box, it stands straight up, but when out of the box, it slants. What I'm curious about is at what point the bottle is able to tilt without having ink spill out of the bottle. It looks to me like if you have a brand new bottle, then the ink level would be too high to put the slanted bottle straight on your desk and open the cap without spilling it all over the place. It could be that the bottles aren't completely full, and that it'll be okay slanted with a new bottle, but that's something I'm not able to glean from the marketing materials and I probably won't know until I see the bottles for myself. In any case, you will be able to fill from a fresh bottle if you have the bottle sitting in the box, so it appears.



When I originally posted this it was rumored the ink would be $40 a bottle, and I've since gotten confirmation (on 3/5/13) that it will in fact be $40 per bottle list price. That's….pretty expensive, even more than Pilot Iroshizuku. This will be the most expensive fountain pen ink that is currently made, at least in the US. The bottles look nice and packaging looks great, but these are going to have to be some pretty darn impressive inks to justify this price. I don't know anything about what the inks are supposed to be like, so I will be very eager to see for myself.



What do you think?


31 comments:

  1. Horrid names. I can't decide whether they're almost as bad as the new Waterman names, or if they're even worse.

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  2. Very interesting about the bottle design. Carn d' Ache, inks is one boutique ink that I would buy.

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  3. Bilious Green
    Vile Violet
    Cholic Yellow
    Rancid Red
    Bruised Brown
    Putrid Purple
    Necrotic Black
    Lascivious Lavender

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  4. I bought a bunch of Iroshizukus in Japan last year at less than $18 a bottle, but they're so good that I would willingly pay $28 if there was another colour I had to own. (There probably isn't: I have eleven of them, so I think I'm covered.) $40 is clearly an insane amount of money to pay for a single bottle of ink, no matter how good, but if the street price is really about $32, then I just might splurge on one, because that bottle is awesome. Too bad the names are so risible.


    What I really want is that display unit, though. Fully laden.

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  5. Never underestimate the power of a great bottle, though. I love my Noodler's inks, but the showoff bottles I have on my desk are Iroshizuku and Bethge (the graceful Herbin bottle made even nicer by being frosted). It may sound stupid but I will pay more for an ink in a nice bottle: the packaging counts, too. I wouldn't have paid $22 for Bleu Ocean if it had been packaged in a Scribal Workshop bottle: that elegant silvered box, hefty cubical bottle and antique-y wax cap made all the difference.

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  6. I thought "Organic Brown" wasn't a bad name, but my son thought it was hilarious. Apparently, one particular organic source of brown color rose to the top of his mind.

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  7. You could always use http://organicsstudio.com/ - :)

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  8. The bottle looks interesting. I'll wait for reviews. But if I had $40 for ink it might more easily go towards an Iroshizuku.

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  9. I hope that the formulas for Amazon and Saffron stay the same. Those are by far my favourite green and orange inks. As for the bottles, they look interesting. It looks like they will be more functional (when the ink level gets low just drop the bottle back in the bottom of the box to get the last few dregs). The name changes don't really do much for me, but given that they don't have any "earthy" named pens, the "colours of the earth" names might not make sense in thier opinions.

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  10. Those bottles look WAY too impractical. The idea with tilting the bottle is to get to the last bit of ink. Even with the slant you will STILL have to tilt the bottle and the added slant just looks like an accident waiting to happen, to me. The price? They must have smoked their socks. Unless that ink can magically unclog feeds, repair leaks, lube pistons and polish the outside of the pen all at the same time.

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  11. I have trouble understanding which kind of fp user is meant to be interested in a display that makes the bottles look like a perfume set from the Jetsons at wintertime. And then be asked to spend that kind of money.

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  12. I honestly don't know the motivation, no doubt it's because they saw the Iroshizuku and Edelstein bottles and wanted something fancier. Not that there was anything wrong than the 30ml bottles...

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  13. I don't know...probably a lot :P It does kind of stink to have to keep the box to store them, they would look pretty weird on a shelf leaning over.

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  14. Yeah, some of the guys around our shop had the same reaction ;)

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  15. I would have chosen different names, personally. The bottles are very different, that's for sure. I can't decide whether I love them or hate them yet...I'll probably have to see them in person to decide. One thing is true, they'll be unmistakable with that 'melting into the desk' look!

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  16. Yeah, it's intriguing. I'm eager to see it in person.

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  17. It would be so much more sensible to make the bottle stand straight up but slant the interior of the bottle to one side. Duh!

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  18. The price is $40 (officially), and I imagine that the street price will be around $32 each. That is definitely expensive!

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  19. Tell me how you really feel! ;) I don't know what to expect with this ink, honestly. The Caran d'Ache inks have always been good, it's not like their inks are bad, but for them to cost more than Iroshizuku....it's going to be tough for a lot of people to swallow that.

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  20. What's a good question, I won't know until I get the ink to test for myself. The bottle does look interesting though! I wouldn't judge the color off those digitally rendered pics, though, they look like they're just an approximation, not an actual swab of the ink.

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  21. I'll be very curious to see how the inks are, too!

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  22. I have the feeling I'm going to hear that last sentence a lot ;)

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  23. I hope so too, it would be nice if Grand Canyon was the same as Organic Brown, too. But wow, I would have a hard time telling people that I showed my pens to that I have them filled with "Organic Brown", Grand Canyon sounds much more majestic.

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  24. But then it wouldn't look as cool on the display ;)

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  25. Clearly someone has to be into it or they wouldn't design it that way...I know that a lot of people criticize Pelikan Edelstein and Pilot Iroshizuku for putting so much effort into their design (and it is undoubtedly a lot of the cost, too). Time will tell if this is a good move for Caran d'Ache.

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  26. I'm actually really angry they discontinued Sunset. It was one of the most well behaved inks I've reviewed.

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  27. I'm sorry....I liked that one, and Amazon, too. Perhaps Divine Pink will be like Sunset was?

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  28. Hmm, that gives me an idea... how about decorating a desk with ink bottles that appear to be melting into the surface? Like, I'll be placing a layer of sketchpad paper on top of my desk, then trace the bottoms of bottles (the new Cd'A bottles will be the selling point of all this) with their own inks. It'll look as if the bottles were all embedded into my desk, haha.


    Now, if only the new inks weren't so dang expensive ._.

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