Private Reserve Blue/Purple Inks Test

Here are the next batch of 20 bleach swatch tested Private Reserve inks in the blues and purples range. Of note, there are 2 Mindnight Blues with the second one being the fast dry option.

Since my my first post I have done some digging on this particular brand. This a quote from Jordan, posted in August 2016, who is a member of the Fountain Pen Network:

“The man (Terry W. Johnson) behind Private Reserve passed away recently, and he failed to properly document his knowledge before passing. His family has tried their best to keep the business running, but has had persistent quality issues, causing customer complaints. If we can learn a life lesson from this, it is: if others depend on your specific knowledge, write it down somewhere. You never know what tomorrow holds.”

I also had a chat with another very knowledgeable character within the industry who confirmed the info in the above quote and also divulged that ink contamination (bacteria) has been a big problem with this brand which may explain the gloopy consistency I found with some of the samples. Didn’t feel great after hearing this I as sometimes lick my paint brushes and may well have done so during these tests!

Well, as you can see apart from one colour there is not a lot to get too excited about here. They all blend with water and gradate out. There is some reaction with bleach – Sonic Blue and Purple Haze were the most dramatic. Chromatically, there is nothing noteworthy and even from a sheen perspective there’s not much happening. I don’t enjoy bad mouthing, but when a brand claims to be the Number 1 and it evidently isn’t, well…. That said, the samples I have could ALL be rotten and maybe you should ignore my post? However you look at this, if Private Reserve want to live up to their claim of being the premier brand – they need to pull their fingers out and do something about it! This brand can be summed up as lack lustre – at best – and I’m being kind.

Inks tested: Ebony Purple, Midnight Blue, Midnight Blue (Fast), Sonic Blue, Electric Blue, Supershow Blue, American Blue, Naples Blue, Tropical Blue, Daphne Blue, Black Magic Blue, Cosmic Cobalt, Tanzanite, Purple Mojo and Purple Haze.

Ebony Purple – bizarre name considering that I can’t see any purple in it, but there is a hint of chromatic activity and evidence of a metallic green sheen. No reaction with bleach.

Announcement: I have finally given into pressure and opened an ETSY shop. If you’d like to buy any of the original art featured on my site you can purchase it here. I will do my upmost to add value to your investment over time – click here to access the shop . I am also accepting commissions for swatch tests. So, if you have a favourite ink(s) and some words for someone special, or maybe just for yourself, drop me a line and we can discuss further.

If you’d like to know more about this project, please take a look at the Mission Statement.

All tests on Bockingford 200lb watercolour paper using a dip pen with titanium zebra G flex nib for the bleach work and a Noodler’s Ahab for the ink work.

Ink samples sourced through Goulet Pens.

Just for the record – I do this for myself, I receive no remuneration what-so-ever and I tell it exactly how I see it.