(This is part three of a series of reviews about the new Colorverse ink line. Please refer to the overview for details about the whole collection.)
For the second collection of Colorverse that I’m going to review, I decided to focus on the blues. I got all three shades of blue from the Season One: Spaceward Collection — #2 Proxima B, #3 Saturn V and #12 Crystal Planet. All three of these colors come with the two matching bottles of dye-based ink, one 15ml and one 65ml bottle. For more details about the overall packaging and bottle design, check out the overview post about the Colorverse collection.
Proxima B is the darkest color and best described as a blue-black. For the purposes of Colorverse’s spacey theme, it’s their deep space color. Saturn V is the steely-eyed missile man blue. This is the ink color that should have been found in every Parker 51 on every desk at NASA in the 60s.
And Crystal Planet just blows my freakin’ mind. It’s a luminous blue.
I took more close-up shots of the swatch cards to see color shading, sheen and detail. Proxima B is deep and rich with a little bit of shading but not much.
Saturn V has some reddish sheen and some shading but is still a dark rich “all business” blue.
Crystal Planet is so freakin’ bright with a max-q payload velocity magenta sheen that would make Elon Musk lose signal. Suffice it to say, its makes your eyes bleed and Yves Klein cry.
The blue-black ink channel is as deep as it is wide so its pretty hard to do something truly outstanding here. If you don’t own any blue blacks or you love blue blacks and you’re looking to add another to the pile, don’t let me stop you. Proxima B is a lovely option. But, if like me, you already have a half a dozen or more 50ml+ bottles in your stash, its going to be pretty hard to make a strong case for buying TWO more bottles of Proxima B.
Saturn V is so close to Parker Quink Blue Black, down to the reddish sheen that I feel a little guilty recommending spending three times as much money on Colorverse unless you like me are a big space nerd and want to be able to say you’re using “Saturn V”. So, my earlier comment about Saturn V being “steel-eyed missile man blue” and the Parker 51 reference? Totally accurate. So, Colorverse nailed the color and not many other companies have.
As for Crystal Planet, luminous blue is a lofty goal that many inks have attempted but each have landed in a slightly different place. I think Crystal Planet has carved out its own unique space. I included Private Reserve Cobalt which is a color I know many have liked but the overall performance of Private Reserve inks have been unstable so Crystal Planet may make a more stable alternative. Especially with the detailed information that Colorverse has been providing about their ph information and other color and chemical properties. Crystal Planet is listed as having a ph of 8.4 which, according to Richard Binder’s tests, is on par with Apache Sunset and Pilot Iroshizuku Take-Sumi. I feel fairly certain that that bodes well for the overall performance for Crystal Planet.
With the three blues from Season One: Spaceward, I wholeheartedly recommend Crystal Planet. It’s amazing. Saturn V is a lovely sheening, business blue but its a clone for Parker Quink Blue Black. Mind you, the bottle for Saturn V is much cooler so if you can rationalize that and the extra mini bottle, go for it. Proxima B is competing is a very tough field. There are dozens of blue blacks and if you gotta catch ’em all, don’t let me stop you but at $36 a set, there are other colors in the Colorverse.
- Paper: Rhodia Uni-Blank No. 16 with 7mm guide sheet
- Pens: Hacked Midori dip nib holder with Zebra G titanium nib ($33.50 per 10-pack), Esterbrook #2442 nib in a Shawn Netwon custom nib holder
- Swatches: Col-o-Ring Ink Testing Cards
- Brush: Blick Synthetic Studio #0 Round
- Ink: Colorverse Saturn V, Proxima B and Crystal Planet inks (15ml & 50ml bottle set for $36)