A visual look back at all of the annual Jacques Herbin 1670/1798 anniversary inks that have been available in the United States. Each bottle of fountain pen ink features added shimmer, a first for the Herbin brand (and possibly the world of fountain pen ink!), and comes packaged in a luxury 50ml glass bottle.
2019: 1798 Kyanite du Népal. A turquoise ink with added silver shimmer.
2018: 1798 Cornaline d’Egypte. An orange ink with added silver shimmer.
2017: 1798 Amethyst de l’Oural. A purple ink with added silver shimmer.
This was the first of the new 1798 series. 1798 commemorates a significant year in Jacques Herbin’s history. At this time, the French Revolution was ending, and the Herbin company, founded in 1670, was growing. In 1798 the company relocated to expand their production capabilities and the influence of their inks and sealing wax.
2016: 1670 Caroube de Chypre. A chocolate brown ink with added gold shimmer. You may even see green sheen if you put enough ink down on the right paper.
2015: 1670 Emerald of Chivor. A teal green ink with added gold shimmer. Still the most popular in the series! With enough ink on the right paper, you may even see a wild red sheen.
2014: 1670 Stormy Grey. A dark grey with added gold shimmer.
2012: 1670 Bleu Ocean. A medium/dark blue with added gold shimmer. This ink was originally formulated without shimmer, then re-formulated later to add shimmer.
2010: 1670 Rouge Hematite. A red ink with added gold shimmer. This was the first color in the anniversary series, celebrating Herbin’s 340th anniversary!
A few notes – when these inks first came out, the wax seal matched the shimmer color (i.e. gold), and the neck of the bottle was more narrow. In 2018-2019, the bottles, labels, and wax seals were revised as part of the Herbin / Jacques Herbin rebranding. Now all of the bottles have French language labels, a wax seal to match the ink color, and the bottle opening is wider.
Have you tried any of these inks?
The Goulet Pen Company
In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about huge nibs, his favorite Diamine inks, and sterilizing your pens. Enjoy!
- Closed on Monday for Labor Day
- Goulittles started school this week!
- Clairefontaine Art Deco and Basic Tan dots
- Retro 51 RB Rosie
- Stipula Carbon Florentia
- Diplomat Magnums in EF
- new LAMYs coming in soon (Studio Aquamarine, LX Marron, Studio LX Black, Scala Dark Violet)
1) peptis_gizmo- Instagram (07:13)
How long does a pen have if uncapped and you’re trying to find it?
- find it, huh? If you’ve lost it, it’s too long!
- fountain pens have water-based ink that needs to stay wet to work well
- the longer it sits, the more it dries out, it depends on the pen and on the ink and the environment it’s in
- really, you’re talking a matter of minutes, not hours or days
- if it sits for a little too long and is just sort of dry, you can flood the feed or wet the nib and be back to normal
- if it’s been longer, you can refill it and be good to go (with the same ink)
- too long, it completely dries up and needs to be cleaned, with water (at least), maybe with a little dish soap, or a pen flush if it’s really dried up
2) @ZedZedTop- Twitter (11:34)
I hear a lot of people saying not to eye-dropper pens with metal components that would be in contact with the ink. So how come vacuum fillers are ok, like the TWSBI vac700? Thanks!
- it really has to do with the type of metal
- vacuum fillers are using stainless steel or titanium rods that are not going to corrode
- it’s the same with nibs, they’re made of non-corrosive metals and are okay with exposure to ink
- many pens with metal components on their threads or finials are using some sort of plated corrosive metal, like brass, chrome, or aluminum, that will not hold up well long-term to complete saturation in ink (due to either pH or salts in the ink)
- manufacturers could make pen components out of non-corrosive parts, but they would be more expensive as stainless steel and titanium are more expensive to manufacture than other metals like brass
3) asherlewis- Instagram (18:54)
Aside from the Montblanc 149, what other pens have nibs larger than a size 6?
- this won’t be an exhaustive list, but here’s what I can think of….
- Namiki Emperor (biggest I can think of)
- Pilot Custom Urushi
- Sailor King of Pens
- Pelikan m1000
- Montegrappa #8 like we had on our Shiny Lines
- Delta Dolce Vita oversize (discontinued) also #8
- Waterman 10, Parker 12?
- nibs larger than #6 are rare, and only on very large pens as they need to accommodate these massive nibs!
4) @ExiledTexan86- Twitter (24:35)
Is there a safe way to clean or sterilize pens without risking the material or color (for example the Conklin Nights)? I’m unsure what cleaners are harmful to pens. Thanks!
- it’s best to stay conservative with cleaning supplies on pens
- water and dish soap are a pretty safe pen on any pen material and you shouldn’t need more than that in most cases
- pen flush has ammonia base which is safe for most pens, but you should limit soaking in aluminum, but will be okay for a short cleaning session
- you pretty much don’t need anything apart from this unless there are extreme circumstances, like Noodler’s Baystate inks (clean with bleach) or mold growing in a pen (rare), where bleach would be needed
- no sterilization should be needed, most inks have biocides and you’re not ingesting or using them for anything medical, so general cleaning will be enough to get the pen working properly
5) etavirp_40fejn- Instagram (35:29)
What Diamine inks does brian suggest/like and why?
- this is tough! There are so many good ones, and I haven’t used every single one, so this will be a pretty subjective and personal list of mine
- Diamine Marine, love love love it- great color, amazing shading, and it’s just been love at first sight for me for so long
- Diamine Red Dragon…Oxblood is more popular, but I just love this red…honorable mention to Syrah, great wine color alternative to Red Dragon
- Diamine Majestic Blue & Blue Velvet– I’ve loved Majestic Blue for so long, but Blue Velvet is so good too and a little more vibrant, it’s really a toss up with these because both are deep blues with a heavy red sheen, which I’ve always loved
- Diamine Golden Sands– lots of great shimmers, I don’t use them often just in practicality, but I have an odd draw towards this one
- Diamine Pumpkin– just a great true orange, it crusts up a little on the nib like many oranges of this shade
- Honorable mention to Diamine Ancient Copper!
6) Tyler V- Facebook (45:20)
I’m an artist who is becoming obsessed with ink chromatography and I find it interesting, but understandable that most fountain pen users and even experts seem to not know much about this aspect of fountain pen ink. That being said, is chromatography something that you pay any attention to in inks and if so can you recommend the ones that you find most interesting?
- you’re not alone in this, and I’ve always been intrigued by chromotography
- I think it looks cool, but can’t really determine a practical, meaningful conclusion from it
- you can sort of see what dye colors are used to make up a given color, which is kind of artsy and interesting, but doesn’t necessarily mean much in practicality when using an ink in a pen
- maybe it’s helpful for doing ink washing and artwork, so you can see what effects it has, but you can do that by just doing ink washing…
- I haven’t personally heard of anyone drawing conclusions about permanence, water resistance, flow, etc from chromotography, so it remains right now in kind of the experimental fringes of the pen world
7) johnny_hu1- Instagram (53:56)
Who gets to decide on the content of your social channels and YouTube?
- I’ll explain some of the logistics and give you all sort of a twist ending 😉
- in the days of old it was me, with Rachel weighing heavily or contributing her own content
- 0ver time we built up a team, starting with social media, photo, then video, and we’ve expanded each of these roles in scope and number as we’ve grown
- the short answer is it’s a team effort, and we’re all working together to develop the most relevant content possible for you all
- we have a pretty sizable team now with John as Director of Marketing, Margaret and Media Manager, Andi on Video, Sarah Lead Photo, Whitney Photo, Lydia, Colin, and Jen on social channels, email, and making content
- the exact type of content depends on what it is we’re producing and where
- YouTube is most involved with Andi, me, and Colin, but Drew and Rachel are on regularly, others may collaborate, have ideas, even develop their own video stuff
- with so many products, so many channels, and some specialized technical work it can be an interesting challenge to try to balance it all with so many people and ideas, which is largely where good communication comes into play
- this is all just trying to put a process around what is ultimately the end goal…to produce the content that YOU want…and with your attention, likes, comments, shares, views, and other means of engaging with the content we create it informs us as to what you want and need to see, so really, YOU ultimately decide! We are here for you, not just to express ourselves or our ideas, we’re not doing this in a bubble, it’s to help you learn more about these products
QOTW: What are your top 5 favorite inks right now? (01:07:48)
Hello, everyone! My name is Micah, I am a Receiving Specialist here at Goulet. You may have also seen me on a few episodes of Write Now, where I’ve shared my excitement for Noodler’s inks and my self- proclaimed “fan boy” status for Nathan Tardif’s inky creations. This month, I’m excited to share Noodler’s Fox with you and tell you more about what makes this ink a must-try in my book. It is a no nonsense matte red that writes well!
Drawing Inspiration and Technique
The inspiration for this piece is pretty clear, I drew a fox because the ink is named Fox. I started out with a pencil to get my shapes and outlines right. When I was happy with it, I erased the pencil lines so they wouldn’t be visible. Then I used a TWSBI ECO and drew over my erased pencil lines. I grabbed a brush pen and filled in the fox and added texture to the background. I kept it pretty simple but I think it shows off the ink well!
- Flow- Wet
- It has a dry feel when writing, but it is not scratchy, and has no trouble writing.
- It flows well out of the nib
- Dry Time- <5 Seconds
- Very quick!
- The ink does not smudge at all, even after 5 seconds
- Water Resistance- High
- The lines smudge a bit in the drip test swab but don’t move at all in the individual drop spots.
- The writing would still be legible on the page after water exposure.
- Shading- Low
- The color is pretty consistent, no shading apparent.
- How did the ink behave on other papers?
- This ink did bleedthrough a bit on all of the papers used in the swabs.
- Some feathering and ghosting with wetter nibs.
- Special Features Worth Noting?
- It is what Nathan calls “eternal”
- he says this about it “’Eternal’ refers to any Noodler’s Ink that resists the effects of time – moisture, humidity, UV light, acids, water exposure, and many common detergents such as dish soaps and household ammonia, as well as alcohols and acetone”
Giveaway (Wednesday, September 25 – Wednesday, October 2, 2019)
Would you like to win your own bottle of Noodler’s Fox and a TWSBI Eco in your choice of nib size? We will be giving this prize away one each of the four platforms mentioned below (There will be four winners total, one each on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and here on the blog). Winners will be randomly selected after the contest closes.
How to enter the Inksploration Giveaway:
- Match a pen and ink together. They don’t have to match in color, any fountain pen, and ink works.
- You can choose to enter only one way or submit up to 4 different entries if you’d like. Feel free to use the same picture for all 4 entries.
- Here’s how to enter:
Woven carbon fiber, translucent blue accents, and crisp chrome trim come together to make this striking collaboration between The Goulet Pen Company and Stipula, the Carbon Florentia. This limited edition pen is a stealthy and stylish, perfect for wherever your writing adventures take you.
The Carbon Florentia is made in Florence, Italy and the body is outfitted in matte carbon fiber woven material. At each end of the pen, there are translucent blue resin accents that cap this pen off with a splash of color. The grip section is also made of this striking blue material, giving this pen a distinct look. Due to the unique materials used in this pen, you may notice subtle differences in the weave of the carbon fiber and the color of the resin.
The silver trim ring features its own distinction, having been fashioned in a lost wax cast process. The leaf-like filigree emblazoned around the band coordinates and mimics the design of the clip. The Carbon Florentia caps securely via a threaded cap. The #6 steel nib is available in Fine, Medium or 1.1mm Stub nib options. It fills via standard international cartridge or converter (both are included in the box). The elegant box makes this pen a great pick for your next gift-giving occasion, in addition to offering a secure place to store the pen when not in use.
The Stipula Carbon Florentia is limited to 300 pieces and is exclusively available at The Goulet Pen Company.
What do you think of this new pen?
The Goulet Pen Company Team
In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about ideal pen weights, how product reviews affect new product hype, and unusual vendor origin stories. Enjoy!
- took off Q&A last week for Garth Callaghan’s video
- kids are starting school! Change of mode
- Personally getting into Rubik’s cube/puzzle solving, having fun and my kids love it
- TWSBI Mini Al mint blue
- Esterbrook Estie Honeycomb
- Aurora Duo Cart
- Retro51 Corsair RB/FP
- Robert Oster Ocean, Cosmic Swirl, Blood Rose, Violet Clouds
- Visconti Mirage/Breeze in EF
- Emerald of Chicken stickers
1) ayesha_0222- Instagram (7:40)
What are pens at either side of the weight spectrum? What’s Brian’s sweet spot?
- Our pens range from Platinum Carbon Desk Pen (9g) to the Jinhao Dragon (99g), in total weight (body and cap)
- Technically not everyone writes posted, so you’d maybe have to factor out the cap weight in that case
- Body weight only: Diplomat Magnum (5g), Kaweco Classic Sports (6g), Pilot Explorer and Parallel (6g) up to Jinhao Dragon (60g), Visconti Il Magnifico, Kaweco Supra (42g)
- These are the extremes, for sure, and I think everyone’s sweet spot will vary for sure
- I tend not to like pens that are too light, personally
- In terms of total pens we have, the most bountiful offerings we have (which somewhat speaks to popularity) are in descending order: 10-19g, 20-29g, 30-39g, 40-49g, 50-59g, 60-69g, and just a couple others
- My sweet spot falls in that 20-29g range in my hand (which could be posted or unposted)
- I don’t mind something a little heavier for a desk pen, lighter for a pocket pen, but largely I am somewhat size/weigh agnostic as I’m testing and carrying so many pens all the time
2) @growe_home- Twitter (13:10)
In video pen reviews, they often comment on the pen’s ability to reverse write. Why would anyone ever do this?
- I know what you mean, and I get it, it’s something kind of interesting to talk about
- We have done some videos specifically on this (and here I’m speaking about it again!), but don’t include this as a regular part of a pen review
- Flipping over the nib can be handy when writing on cheap paper to decrease the line width/ink flow, but it’s not designed to be written with that way, basically; it’s a hack
- I’m willing to bet the reason most reviewers do it is because if they don’t, inevitably they’re going to get asked about it on every review
- it’s actually the same for eyedropper conversions, and kind of an inside joke in the pen community (or at least in our company and our suppliers) because we know, with every pen, we’re going to get asked about it!
- That completely makes sense as a blogger/reviewer, because they’re reviewing that one pen they’re using
- I know that reverse writing isn’t something that’s consistent or honestly even considered from most manufacturers, so we hardly talk about it here because it is a hack…it’s not something we can promise or predict on a given pen
- Personally, I almost never flip my nib in practical writing, but then I get to choose what paper I write on the vast majority of the time!
- But yes, this has a purpose but isn’t something universally used in the writing world, it’s just something kind of quirky and interesting to show as a reviewer
3) @Archimage- Twitter (19:39)
Is there a common thread pitch for the section/barrel? I know they are different, but can one replace the section of one pen with the barrel of another across manufacturers? Tnx.
- There’s nothing common, even within a manufacturer, it’s all over the place
- there are a lot of small details that will determine if a given threaded part will fit into one pen or another’s barrel or grip, but basically none of them are standard
- It’s going to be super rare to be able to swap parts on a pen, and even if you can you have to worry about things like cap fit, grip/nib length if you were to swap between one brand and another…these are engineered to work with themselves and aren’t standard across manufacturers in nearly any way, with the exception of nib units (which is still a minority)
4) @NancyRHM- Twitter (23:30)
I’ve turned a Preppy into an eyedropper pen using your technique (silicone grease + O-ring). I’ve noticed some ink in the thread area. Is this normal? It’s not leaking.
- yup! totally normal, especially if you go light on the grease or skip it altogether and only use the o-ring
- if it’s not leaking, you’re good!
- it’s also normal to have ink showing between the feed and the grip on a demo pen like the Preppy
5) oftenanomad- Instagram (26:21)
Will Goulet Pens ever have an in-house nib grinder or calligrapher?
- Calligrapher? No, that’d be cool for content creation maybe, but calligraphy as a trade make sense more with commissioned art which isn’t in our wheelhouse, so no, collaborating or freelancing would make more sense
- Nib Grinder…Ever? I hope so! Soon? Likely not, it’s more complicated than you’d think
- One HUGE factor is actually getting the blessing from our manufacturers
- When we’re grinding a nib, we’re essentially voiding the warranty on that nib, which some manufacturers really, really don’t want us to do, so we would have to offer it strategically with the blessings of each manufacturer since we’re an authorized retailer
- This is why we started with Mark Bacas and Visconti, because we got the green light from them to do this
- When you’re sending a pen to a nib grinder, you’re doing that “after market”, which is also voiding the nib warranty at the manufacturer, but that’s you as the customer choosing to do so, it’s a little different (in the eyes of the manufacturers at least) if we’re offering it “new” this way…but I’m working to help them see the difference, and have proper disclaimers and the like
- Assuming we have a path to offering customer grinds though…
- Partly it requires specialized knowledge and training that is hard to come by
- I did get some training, Drew’s had some training, and we know enough of the fundamentals to have a pretty solid foundation for troubleshooting, inspection, adjustments, and giving feedback to manufacturers
- But offering in-house grinds would be a step deeper than than, and I’ve practiced it myself quite a bit but it’s like any other trade craft, you have to pay your dues to get good
- We have two options, train someone internally, or hire someone with experience
- Hiring someone is basically impossible, there are a handful of people that do it, I know pretty much everyone who has the experience and capacity to do it full time, and none of them have the interest or ability to relocate here (though hey, I could always be surprised)
- Training internally could happen and will basically be the route we need to go, but that will take a long, long time to do
- In the meantime we’re offering Mark Bacas grinds as we can, and I am exploring expanding this soon, but even that’s taking a lot of time because the logistics behind it
- I’m super curious, what custom nib grinds do you all want to see? on what pens?
6) Steven G.- Email (38:33)
Without getting into proprietary info/sales numbers, I was wondering if you’d be able to discuss how/to what extent/IF the customer reviews on the site effect hype, demand, sales, etc. Sometimes I’ll see posts like “I ordered this Kon-peki, but I don’t like blue ink! I only like red! Zero stars!” and it’s pretty obvious the writer is just a crank. But I’ve also seen times where a string of seemingly-legit bad reviews *appear* to derail a highly-anticipated launch.
- Product reviews are great, and a huge asset to you as a customer shopping on our site, we totally get that
- The short answer is yes, they do impact sales to a degree, though exactly how much is very difficult to say
- Yes, some people leave less-than-helpful reviews, and we try to do what we can (in a very ethical way) to filter out those that aren’t helpful
- Sometimes people use that as kind of a five-alarm bell to get attention towards getting customer service, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” so to speak
- this isn’t necessary with us, but it’s not uncommon with other ecommerce (outside of the pen world) so sometimes people just go to this tactic
- We definitely don’t scrape bad reviews as a way to make a product seem better than it is…that’s not only unethical but it’s against our core value of “Be Honest”, but we do look to try to get to the core of the issue
- From a customer service standpoint we do monitor our reviews and get notified when we have bad ones, and we’ll engage with those individuals as a way to help troubleshoot or replace a defect
- In terms of affecting hype, a lot of hype happens before a product is released, so there really aren’t any reviews to be had (that are legit and not just speculation)
- Surely it can tank the interest in a product after a release, if the product truly isn’t beloved by those who bought it, and as long as that’s the actual sentiment, well then that’s fine!
- we’re not just here to sell stuff and break dance all the way to the bank, we’re trying to bring products we believe in to the pen community
- we want your honest feedback (good and bad) reflected in your reviews, because that helps others, helps us learn more, helps our manufacturers understand your sentiment, too
- reviews obviously mean more if there are more of them, the law of averages will reflect more what the true sentiment is, so take that into account
- but basically, we want you all to leave a lot of reviews, it helps us!
7) Lee S- Facebook (52:53)
What’s the most unusual vendor relationship you’ve needed to strike up in order to bring excellent products to us? It might be a pen or an ink company, but I’m thinking there has to be a great story about some repair tool or accessory you’ve sourced creatively. Tell us a good true story. 🙂
- most are pretty straightforward, they have some kind of challenging/nerdy logistical issues around them that would be mildly interesting to the right people, but mostly not what I’d call a “great story”
- there are a ton of really fascinating people we get to know and sell their products like Nathan Tardif and Dante Del Vecchio
- one great story is our backstory with Edison pens
- Edison is technically our longest standing vendor relationship, because I knew Brian back in my pen making days in 2009 before we were retailing fountain pen stuff ourselves
- I was aware of him because of his reputation in the pen community, and was largely looking to do the exact same thing he was doing (making pens)
- The only problem was, he was already doing it! I was literally envisioning the same path for myself, then when I discovered him, I was like “well I’m just gonna seem like a copycat here, this is ridiculous”
- Side note: I personally have always wanted to take the road less traveled, and direct competition does not motivate me, I am driven by innovation through iterative improvements
- Nothing that Brian did prompted this in particular, but just the way I’m wired made me completely disinterested to manufacture machined pens because Brian Gray was already doing it (well, I might add)
- Without him there doing what I already envisioned, I surely would have gone down that path
- Instead, I did a 360 and looked at every direction I could go, found that retailing others’ products was more of an unmet need, and ran with it, thus, Goulet Pens was born in its current form
- It gets better…I was not 100% clear on this path at first, and was retailing ink and paper in order to get awareness around my own handmade pens
- I actually bought a bunch of JoWo nibs from Brian to install on my own pens, I’m not even sure I ever sold any with them on there as I actually sunsetted my pens in mid-2010
- When I worked the DC pen show, I had worked out with Brian to return all my unused nibs to him for a refund, sort of admitting defeat on my own brand of pens
- Brian was so cool about it, and was such a great guy to work with, and literally the only pens I’d sold in that late 2009-early 2010 timeframe were the ones I’d made…but Brian didn’t view me as a competitor, he was kind and helpful and supportive
- I so appreciated the way he treated me as a “competitor” (/customer?) of his, that when we later expanded to start selling other brands’ pens in late 2010, I immediately approached him about retailing his pens
- he’d never sold to another retailer before, he’d always sold direct
- we co-designed the Premiere and released it in early 2011, and we called it the Premiere because it was our first pen we’d ever designed, and his first he’d ever wholesaled, and here we are some 20-versions later on the Premiere and both of our companies have grown so much!
- We’re not only business associates but we’re also friends, and we’ve developed a meaningful personal relationship over the years, so this has definitely become a great story for us both
QOTW: What is the most recent pen you used and what ink is in it? Like literally the last one you just put down. (1:12:03)
Get your foot in the door to fountain pen fandom with these low cost options. Get all you need for under $10 including a pen, ink, and paper. Check out our recommendations:
Start your fountain pen journey with a bit of fun with the Jinhao 993 Shark pen. Featuring a hooded extra-fine nib, this pen will be great on a variety of paper as it lays down less ink. While under $4, this pen is a favorite of many Goulet employees who frequently grab these low-maintenance choices as their tool of choice.
It’s hard to know where to start when it comes to fountain pen inks. Which brand? Which color? Which properties? Take some guesswork out of the equation and roll the dice with a random ink sample! The choice could surprise you as try things out before committing to a full bottle.
Let’s not shock the system too much. The Clairefontaine Classic Staplebound should seem familiar. It’s reminiscent of the composition books you may have used in school, with one major difference: super smooth fountain pen-friendly paper! Do not worry about ink issues such as feathering, ghosting, or bleed-through with this tremendous paper.
What do you think? Can you find a better combo for under $10? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
The Goulet Pen Company Team