Private Reserve has come out with a new line of fountain pen ink that goes by the “Invincible” name, meaning that it is designed to be fraud resistant and very permanent. Lucky for me, Tom over at Goldspot.com was kind enough to offer up a bottle of it for me in trade for something else so I could give it a try and review it. This review will take a look at the Private Reserve Invincible Aqua Blue, with a focus on its being fraud resistant.
Upon my first look into the bottle, the ink had a rather bright blue look to it which I was excited about, but you can also see that the glass of the bottle itself is a bright shade of blue as well. With my propensity to favor blue black inks I was a little reluctant to try a straight blue ink, but I thought this had a pretty nice look to it at first glance.
I figured that since this was a pretty new ink and I didnt find many reviews of it online, Id load it up into both my Lamy Studio and my Pelikan M215 to try it out in different pens and see how they responded. The first thing I noticed about the Private Reserve Invincible Ink in my Lamy Studio was that like some other inks in this pen, it displayed quite a bit of nib creep. I figured that I could deal though, because normally its not THAT bad. I decided to give it a chance and see what came of it. I did not have as much of issue when I loaded the ink into my Pelikan M215 though, so that was a good sign, probably just an issue specific to the ink and the Studio.
Im going to hold off on putting the photos of the writing samples in here just yet because they also show the tests I did to see how permanent the ink was. My initial writing experience with Private Reserve Invincible Ink did not start off too well in either pen. Although the ink seems to dry incredibly fast on paper, which is good, it took me by surprise that more often than not, I would have to take multiple strokes with the pen before the ink would start to flow. I was concerned about this and thought it may have been something I did, or that there was something wrong with both of my pens, so I flushed them each again, and loaded them up again with the ink. I was also very cautious to make sure I never left the pen uncapped for more than a few seconds to make sure that was not the reason it was drying up. After the reloading and being very careful, I noticed that the results were slightly better, but I still need a few strokes (1-2 instead of 7-8 like before) to get the ink going. For the most part this wasnt a terrible thing so I moved on.
The photo above is the first writing sample you will see of the Private Reserve Invincible in Aqua Blue that I did. The sample was written on Levenger Circa notebook paper, and as you can see, there was absolutely no running or fading of this ink, the color you see there is actually the same color as before the water was run over it. Personally this is not my choice of color to write in, but so far so good…it writes very smoothly, it dries incredibly quickly, and there was no feathering or bleed through. You can see the results of the other two inks on the page which are a Noodler’s Bulletproof and a regular Private Reserve ink. The regular Private Reserve washed out a lot with the water run over it, while in comparison, the Private Reserve Invincible compared to the Noodlers Bulletproof held up just as well.
The next photo shows a full writing sample, and swab of the Private Reserve Invincible along with comparisons to the Noodlers Bulletproof and regular Private Reserve ink. I did four different tests with the three inks, the first swatch of ink was rubbed with water, the second was rubbed with 91% alcohol, the third was rubbed with Amodex ink and stain remover, and the last swatch was rubbed with bleach.
I think the most drastic difference that you will see in the sample above is between the Private Reserve Invincible, and the standard Private Reserve Ink when bleach was applied. For the standard Private Reserve Ink, the bleach completely removed the ink from the paper, while with the Private Reserve Invincible remained unaffected. For the most part, neither the water, the alcohol, or the Amodex had any effect on the Private Reserve Invincible ink, and the Noodler’s also stood up to those items just as well. If you click on the close up picture of the writing sample, you might notice what looks like some of the ink fading or being removed in some of the swatches, but other than the bleach on the standard Private Reserve the only thing you see is paper loss from the friction of rubbing the wet paper. Additionally, if you look at the water, alcohol, and Amodex on the regular Private Reserve ink, you will see that it did either smear, discolor, or fade that ink, making the results of the Private Reserve Invincible all that much more impressive.
As I mentioned earlier, this ink dries really quickly, and there is also a decent amount of nib creep that I got with both the Studio and Pelikan M215. The photo above shows one of my concerns with this ink, which is that with all of the nib creep and the quick dry time, it seems to dry on the nib and make for some stains that take some polishing to get rid of. None of the other inks that I have used in the past have actually dried on the nib like this, they remain in a liquid state kind of beaded up on there. Now I dont mind having to give the nib a little extra elbow grease to get it cleaned up, but what does concern me is what I cant see going on inside the nib and the feed…is the ink drying up in there as well? I dont know. Now I do know that with good pen maintenance that shouldn’t really matter because if you flush the pen when changing ink, and make sure not to let it sit unused for a long time, you shouldnt have any problems. I guess the person inside me that probably worries a bit too much is still concerned by the sight of the dry ink on the surface of the nib.
Overall, the Private Reserve Invincible ink definitely lives up to its “invincible” title in a quite impressive way. From that perspective this ink is definitely a winner. For me the color is not a personal favorite, but clearly thats just user preference. There are plenty of folks out there who would probably love this color though. For those two reasons Id say “have at it!” with this ink. I would however suggest staying away from putting it into a Lamy Studio unless the excessive nib creep is not an issue for you. If you do chose to use the ink in any pen, make sure you follow good practices for cleaning and using your pen as to avoid any possibility of clogging or staining of the nib.
One last thanks to Tom over at Goldspot.com for trading this ink for some other office supplies that I had…I know, shocking that I would have any extra unused office supplies…but seriously, Tom and Goldspot offer some great products and awesome customer service should you need to buy any pens or ink, or just have some questions that you need help with.