thINKthursday – Sailor Souboku

Sailor Souboku

Sailor Souboku delivers a truly waterproof blue-black that is all business.

Sailor has released a new nano pigmented ink – Souboku. This new ink compliments the already available Sei-boku and Kiwa-guro. Souboku is a blue-black that delivers the same outstanding performance as Sailor’s other inks. The ink comes in the new 50ml square glass bottle that is much easier to use than the old round bottles. Eventually, all of Sailor’s inks will be coming in this new bottle design, but it will take a while until all the colors have switched over. This review was done with a Sailor 1911 F, Lamy Safari B and on Rhodia blank No.18 paper.

Souboku is a true-to-form blue-black ink. There is a moderate amount of shading, so there is some nice gradation in color. At it’s lightest, the ink is a slate blue. From there, the ink shades to an aegean blue before finishing as a dark navy denim. The ink dries to a matte finish, so you’re not likely to note much sheening.

Sailor’s nano pigment inks are always my first choice when I need an ink that is waterproof. Souboku did not disappoint, offering water resistance as well as all the other great properties you’d expect from a Sailor ink. Souboku has good flow with no feathering or bleedthrough on Rhodia paper. It is a moderately saturated ink with good dry times at 15-30 seconds. I would be a bit more fastidious about cleaning a pen with Souboku because it is a nano pigmented ink, but I’ve never personally had any issues with any Sailor ink.

Yes, we really did drop water on the ink above. This is the “water test” image. When Sailor says waterproof, they mean it!

When I’m not at work, I always have a Kaweco AL Sport with Sailor Sei-boku, and I’ve often wished that it were a little darker. My wish has been granted – I will now always have Souboku in that pen. It’s an ink that writes very well and is about as utilitarian as it gets. I may be gushing a little too much, but if anyone is looking for a blue-black recommendation, Souboku is my new first pick.

As with any ink review, the pen, paper, and person doing the writing will influence the way the ink looks. If you’re not sure about a color, try a sample to see if it’s the one for you.

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