Pilot’s Iroshizuku Kon-peki is probably one of this inks which were reviewed and tested do death. Probably I won’t discover anything new here (but who knows), however I really like this ink and use it on daily basis in my lab-book at work, so I decided to to add something from my experiences.
So, what is so special about this ink, that makes it so popular in the fountain pen community? Well, number of things starting from packaging towards quality, color and properties as well as price tag.
Similar to Iroshizuku Yama-budo I revived recently and all colors in the series, bottle itself looks exceptional. Is made from thick good quality glass with black plastic cap, in which ink looks very distinctive. The silver cord tied around the bottle neck gives extra feel. As many people before my noticed, that when you open the box (minimalistic but also very pretty) Iroshizuku reminds bottle of luxurious perfumes. I think, Pilot’s idea was to deliver prestigious product which tells you everything about quality from first glimpse, and for many people it truly is.
Color. This is interesting one. Kon-peki translates (after Pilot) to ‘Deep Cerulean Blue’. Some people translate it to ‘Deep azure blue’ either. After Wiki…’cerulean is a color term that may be applied to certain colors with the hue ranging roughly between blue and cyan, overlapping with both. It also largely overlaps with azure and sky blue, although cerulean is dimmer’. I think this definition reflects what color of kon-peki is. It does look as the color of the sky on a clear summer’s day (especially when looked through polariser). The swab card and diffusion in water show nicely the variation of the color from deep blue towards cyan with some hints of turquoise. The most intriguing feature of this ink is that ‘final’ color depends largely on paper used. On some types of paper it may looks very deep vibrant blue (may be very dark when saturated), whereas on some other papers gives more turquoise feel. The same with shading properties. Shading may be really good on some but it may looks flat too. What I found exceptional about this inks, is magenta shine it can produce, especially when line is well saturated and wet. This shine is very pronounced when ink dries completely, and usually is visible like a dark magenta outline. Again, on some types of paper this effect may not be visible.
Properties: Iroshizuku line has a reputation of inks which performs flawlessly. The flow is very smooth and consistent. The lubrication is very good too. Ink dries fast (with flex nibs a bit longer) and do not smudge once dry. It does not feather on most papers, but on some may show small bleedthrough (also depending on line wetness and nib used). Ink is not water resistant, but on skin stains may stay for s while.
Conclusion: This is a ‘must’ ink. Usually, it looks gorgeous on the paper and writing experience with this ink is great. When I purchased it from Japanese seller on ebay and tried out I purchased another Iroshizuku ink, because the writing experience I had was amazing. I stopped myself couple of times from pressing ‘Checkout’ button ..but I believe I will fail someday because temptation is high.
This ink looks luxurious and the price reflects this. It costs around $28.0 in US and about £22.0 in the UK, which is not very cheap. However, this is well spent money. Online sellers in Japan offers this ink for less, but usually delivery take 3-4 weeks (customs may apply). For people who can’t afford this ink Pelican Edelstein Topaz and Sailor Jentle Souten which I review soon are very good alternatives having very close color to Iroshizuku kon-peki.