Ink Review: Sailor Studio 140

By Jessica Coles

I doubt it’s a secret that I love the new Sailor Studio inks. The downside to this love is the sheer number of them – 100. At the rate I’m going, it’s going to be at least another 2 years before I’ve reviewed all of them, but I’m committed to trying.

This review covers Sailor Studio 140 ($18 for 20mL at Dromgooles). In the Sailor Studio lineup, the first number indicates the saturation level of the ink. Even though this ink is the lowest saturation level of the group, I had no problem at all reading anything written with it.

There are days in Colorado in the middle of the summer when the sky is such a brilliant and clear shade of blue that I could swear certain patches were almost purple (this is probably true in many other places as well but in my experience, Colorado has the best summer sky).I’ve never been able to point out these supposedly purple spots, but one day…

Sailor Studio 140 is the same color as that summer sky. It also replicates the same experience of feeling there is purple in there somewhere, but not being able to actually point out the color. The color changes between various papers, nibs, writing styles, lighting, and possibly even phases of the moon.

140 is somewhere in color between Diamine Florida Blue and Montblanc Miles Davis, although once again, there is a purple undertone but it is next to impossible to capture here.

Writing with Sailor Studio 140 is wonderful. The ink is a bit on the wet side of normal, not water resistant in the least, never feathered and didn’t bleed through the paper.

Now for the shading! I purposely used Tomoe River 52gsm paper, a broad nib, and print rather than cursive to show as much shading and color variation as possible. The color moves from a pastel blue (still legible, though) to a medium summer blue that leans towards violet. Below you can see that much of the shading was a smooth transition rather than a sharp division between dark and light.

I love using 140 – the entire page is cheerful and bright but I never need to squint to see pale ink on the page.

If you have ever tried to purchase Sailor Studio inks, you know how tough it can be to find a store selling it, pay for the shipping and wait for the slow boat to make its way overseas (unless you are lucky enough to live in Japan). Good news! Sailor has recently started allowing sales of these small bottles of sunshine by select retailers in the US. However, Sailor did put a restriction on these sales – orders for Sailor Studio inks can only be taken over the phone. Dromgoole’s was kind enough to provide this bottle of 140 for review and you can find ordering instructions here. The entire staff is great to talk to when ordering and if you order before the Dallas Pen Show, you can pick up your ink at their table  – no shipping cost!


  • Paper: Nanami Seven Seas Writer ($26)
  • Pen: Franklin-Christoph 45 Prototype with a broad steel nib ($115)
  • Ink:  Sailor Studio 140 ($18 for 20ml bottle)

DISCLAIMER: The ink included in this review was provided free of charge by Dromgoole’s for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

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