A bit of history Diamine have been making a splendid range of inks in Liverpool since 1864, and as well as their own extensive branded range of fountain pen refuelling solutions, they occasionally make an ink or two specially for another company, pen manufacturer, or indeed anyone who asks nicely and stumps up the cash. Fine examples include the series they used to make for Conway Stewart, the handsome collection cooked-up for PW Akkerman, and indeed the eponymous SBRE Brown. You can hardly blame the mighty Cult Pens team for getting in on the act – and so, starting with a nice rich blue, they have gradually developed a striking collection of inks which do just what they say on the bottle; they’re deep, they’re dark, and, well, inky.
Deep Dark Blue kicked-off the collection, with the aim of getting a blue similar that in the Cult Pens logo. It looks a bit darker than that when it first goes on to the paper, but dries to a dark blue that is just on the blue side of blue-black. ‘Probably an ideal choice for writing with at work if you want something suitably sober but still more interesting than standard ‘school’ blue. It’s good stuff, which Stuart declares his favourite deep blue ever, and you can watch Ian put it through its paces here too.
Deep Dark Brown is as far as dark as brown can go without becoming black really, but Diamine have pulled it off. If you ever need to dash off a quick facsimile of the Magna Carta, then this is probably the ink for you – although if you can also write more legibly than those thirteenth-century scribes that would be greatly appreciated by constitutional law experts the world over.Deep Dark Red is almost a must-have ink, especially if you want a red ink which you can legitimately use at work without being mistaken for a very unimpressed teacher. It manages to stay red without fading into brownish hues, as Oxblood tends to, and rather surprisingly it’s Scribble’s favourite (purple fans may now need a little sit-down to recover). Ian loves this one too.Deep Dark Green provides seems a logical addition to the mix, although we’re struggling to think of many occasions when it would be the ideal choice. In the dusty corridors of Whitehall, writers of incendiary letters of complaint to ministers are traditionally known as missives from the ‘green ink brigade’, and rare as it is for governmental correspondence to be issued in any sort of fountain pen ink at all, this seems right for the job. Green ink is also still used by the chief of MI6, but it’s going to take C quite a while to get through the whole production run of this ink without some assistance…Deep Dark Purple has been one of the star turns in Scribble’s over-the-top Too Many Purples mega-review, and for good reason; purple ink obsessives need something which they can get away with using at work! This one has a special trick up its sleeve, too – if you really pour it onto the page you’ll notice a striking green sheen floating to the top, and it’s quite a sight.Deep Dark Orange seems like a tall order, and the risk of smudging into a light brown must have been a seat-of-the-pants ink-blending challenge, but they made it (in both senses). Somewhere between Pumpkin and Ancient Copper, if you know your Diamines, this ink has impressive shading in the right nib. A bit of a connoisseur of all things orange, even Ian was impressed.What next? Cult Pens are working on the understanding that this collection is now complete, and with six stonking inks who can blame them? But then again, if Deep Dark Orange is possible, surely Deep Dark Turquoise should be! Here’s a mock-up of how that could look, mixed from Havasu Turquoise and 1864 Blue-Black, but the boffins at Diamine could do it so much better. What do you think?Getting hold of a refill is a simple enough job since all three of the standard Diamine packages are available; pre-filled international cartridges, 30ml sample bottles or the classic 80ml glass flagons. Better still, until the end of March 2016 you can get a 10% discount by going to the website and using this code: CULT10 (remember to enter it in capitals).
If you want to see even more you can Scribble’s hand-written review and Ruth’s video review too!