Ink Review: Waterman Audacious Red

Sometimes, we discover there are great products that have been around for quite some time that we never got around to reviewing. This is one of them.

There are some great inks that overlooked because some new, hot colors/brands, etc just got released. I thought it might be a good time to take a minute to remember one of those tried-and-true classic inks (and brands) that often get overlooked: Waterman. While it drives me absolutely insane that Waterman insist on changing the name of their inks every couple of years, I’m glad they keep their ink colors and formulas consistent. As a classic brand with a rich history, it would serve them well to lean into their tradition. But don’t listen to me, what do I know, right?

Today, I’d like to review Waterman Audacious Red ($11.30 for 50ml bottle). It is a bright, vivid red that still ships in Waterman’s classic bottle with the angled base making it easy to tilt it to fill your pen and get those last few drops out of the bottom of the bottle.

In the swatch, a green-gold sheen is evident around the edges of the vivid red color. There is a slight hint of watermelon red in the lighter shading areas so the red appears clean with a pink undertone rather than an orange cast.

In writing, Audacious Red just had good flow. There was a bit of shading with the fine nib and a tiny bit of the green-gold sheen. It would probably be more noticeable in a large nib.

Compared to other inks in my stash, KWZ Grapefruit and Bookbinders Snake Ink Red Spitting Cobra are both a little more orange. Conway Stewart St. Blazey is a pretty close match but is not widely available and Sietz-Kreuznach Tomato Red is a close match but a touch more pink. Everything else was either much darker (browner or blacker), much pinker or much more orange. Even the J. Herbin Rouge Caroubier wasn’t close. Weird, huh?


DISCLAIMER: The items included in this review were provided free of charge by Vanness Pen Shop for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

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2 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Really glad you do this best of doesn’t equal newest and you can get really good inks at really good prices

  2. Looks like a red I wouldn’t want to go too narrow with. The sheen/halo on the edges of the dipped writing sample are killer in a good way. And you’ll need a 1.1mm nib to get it reliably I’d bet. The finer bulk writing sample doesn’t show it much and it dramatically improves the readability to have the edge effect.

    Really pretty ink.

    I’ve got a mysterious blue cart in a Kaweco Sport with an iffy 1.5mm nib right now, and it seems to improve it. Haven’t tried it in a good nib yet, but if the red does the same trick I’ll have to try it. (The nib came with a naked eye visible case of baby’s bottom, so it got drafted into my first nib sharpening experiment)

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