Alongside the hours of meticulous research, cross-referencing reviews, finding the best price and generally procrastinating over purchases, I like the occasional moments of serendipitous joy that come with spur-of-the-moment purchases. Sometimes it’s completely out of the blue, but more often than not it’s the little extra you add to your shopping cart as part of a bigger order. After all, what’s the harm?
So it was with some recent ink purchases from Fountainfeder in Germany. My main objective was getting my hands on a couple of German-only inks from Diamine – Skull and Roses and November Rain.
The process from order to delivery was smooth and the wait wasn’t too long. As well as the ink, I got a nice, hand-written note and some chocolate – always welcome. Both Skull and Roses and November Rain look interesting in a “sheen-turned-up-to-11” kind of way. Even so, they weren’t the stars of the show. That honour goes to the contents of an unassuming sample vial – Super 5 Atlantic
From swatches on the web, it looks to be somewhere on the teal spectrum, but as it turns out, the online photos rather undersell Super 5 Atlantic (unless you love teal, of course).
I’m rediscovering my love for the sea in all sorts of ways at the moment, including inks that reflect its myriad colours. As a result, this ink has struck a chord with me, helped by the massive clue in the name. Not the Super 5 bit – that sounds like a posh upgrade from the Fantastic 4 (imagine it said in a plummy English accent) – I meant the Atlantic part.
Swabbed, you get a beautiful blue/green/grey kind of colour, which indeed evokes the ocean. Used in anger, it has plenty of shading to add interest. On 52 gsm Tomoe River paper, there’s some cheeky sheen. In fact, there’s wall-to-wall sheen. It’s a silvery sort of sheen, so it manages to be both subtle and extravagant at the same time. The sheen doesn’t dominate though and the true colour of the ink shines through.
Of course, there are risks and potential pitfalls with these impulse purchases. Failure to do any meaningful research meant that I didn’t pick up on the fact that it’s a permanent ink. If I’d known this I might have picked a different pen to my ghostly Franklin-Christoph 45. The cap has a habit of collecting ink spots that are hard to shift so I’m being a bit wary and handling the pen gingerly until I’ve written it dry.
At around €16 for 30ml, Super 5 Atlantic is not a cheap ink. It doesn’t seem to be available in the UK, so shipping costs from Europe add to the challenge. It’s such a beautiful colour though, that I didn’t hesitate and I should have a bottle in a few days. I can easily see this becoming one of my favourite inks – high praise from someone who has the attention span of a gnat when it comes to sticking with one ink.