Ask The Desk: Waterproof Ink & More Refill Questions

Ask The Desk

Stacey asks:

Hi there, I was gifted a pen in 2017 which is personalised with my name as I was working as a TA. It needs a refill now (I didn’t use it much) but the refill I bought doesn’t fit properly. It takes a Parker style refill but made of white plastic. I’ve measured it and it’s approx 8.5cm long, with a fat body and tapered tip where the spring would sit. And advice on what sort of refill I actually need would be great. I have pictures of the refill which I can attach to another email if this would help. Kind regards features a Size Guide section that shows a picture of a particular refill along with the length measurements. I didn’t see one that was the same length that you described but since I’m not looking at the refill, maybe there was a modification made to a refill (like the plastic insert on the end was removed)?

The Fisher Space Pen Refill looks closest in length. It’s essentially a regular Parker-style refill but without the plastic fins on the end. It will sometimes ship in a blister pack with removable plastic cap to fit the refill into standard sized pens. Do you think that might work?

Aimme asks:

I am wondering about what kinds of waterproof inks would be best for watercolour art? So I wanted to sketch with a waterproof/resistant ink and then paint over it with watercolours. Any suggestions would be great! Wishing you all a very happy New Year! -Blessings, Aimme

For water resistant inks for watercolor, I recommend Platinum Carbon Black ($22.50 for 60ml bottle). I did all of my Inktober one year using it plus grey watercolor brush and can attest to its waterproofiness. Some people prefer Sailor Kiwa Guro Nano Black ($21.33 for 50ml) but the reviews I’ve seen don’t seem to be as waterproof as PCB (that’s Platinum Carbon Black, not Panama City Beach, FYI).  I’ve never had issues with PCB clogging my pen. A quick dip in water or a wipe on a wet towel, even after sitting for months, was enough to get it going again.
I also did a test of a few various waterproof inks awhile back. You can also search the site for “waterproof” as there have been several other inks tested by Jesi and Tina as well.


Frederick asks:

Does another gel refill, other than Monteverde, exist for the somewhat unique Montblanc ballpoint format?

Unfortunately, Montblanc has designed their ballpoint pens and refills in such a way that they are proprietary. For drop-in ease, the Monteverde or Montblanc refills have been your only options. I found a listing on Amazon for a new refill that is “Montblanc compatible”, The Jaymo Montblanc Compatible Ballpoint Refill. I have not tested it nor do I know anything about it but this gives you another option to try.

My last option for you is to purchase a 3D printed  adapter from Tofty. He has several available for Montblanc ballpoints:



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