Ink Review: Platinum Chou Kuro

What is the blackest ink on the market right now? Platinum Carbon Black? Montblanc Permanent Black? Platinum recently advertised an ink that is significantly darker than Carbon Black. Platinum Chou Kuro.

The potential downside of Chou Kuro is the ease of cleaning. The first edition of this ink comes with its own converter and a bottle of “Cleaning Water”. Closer inspection shows that the water is purified or distilled water, not a cleaning solution.

The bottles of Carbon Black ink and Chou Kuro ink are the same, although I believe the Chou Kuro ink is darker even in the bottle. I could be imagining this, though!

This is is definitely a dark black. No trace of grey, blue, purple, any color other than pure black. Please note that the ink name is misspelled on the swatch below!

Another note – I have not included water resistance test with this review. Why not? Because there was nothing to show! Both Platinum Carbon Black and Platinum Chou Kuro are pigmented water proof inks. They both win the test because once these inks are on paper, they won’t move.

And the comparison. Platinum Carbon Black shows a slight reflection of light in my swatch above – more of a shiny surface than any kind of actual sheen. Personally, I believe Montblanc Permanent Black is the darkest after Chou Kuro.

Platinum Carbon Black and Chou Kuro on Midori Cotton paper:

Platinum Carbon Black and Chou Kuro on Cosmo Air Light 83gsm paper:

Platinum Carbon Black and Chou Kuro on Midori MD paper:

Platinum Carbon Black and Chou Kuro on Tomoe River (TR7) 52gsm paper:

The cost is currently high with Platinum Chou Kuro. The 50mL bottle set comes with a price tag of $60, although this includes the “Cleaning Water” (250mL) and a Platinum converter (usually around $11).

I have heard rumors that this ink will be available in the future as an individual bottle, but the information has not yet been confirmed. Does the matte surface and darker color make this ink worth twice the cost of Carbon Black?

Please check back for the follow up post when I try to clean Chou Kuro out of my pen…


DISCLAIMER: The items included in this review were purchased by me because I can’t seem to say no to new ink and for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

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6 comments / Add your comment below

  1. The darkest dye-based ink by far is Graf von Faber-Castell Carbon Black.
    This might be worth the cost for some artists, but otherwise a regular black ink and/or a good caligraphy ink should do.

  2. Platinum has said cleaning it with tap water will create unwanted precipitation and best to use distilled water to clean the pen. Also they recommended pharmacies as the best place to get it cheapest.

  3. Sounds good as a daily writer due to low bleed through, according to Platinum less than Carbon Black.

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