Nowadays nostalgia isn’t what it used to be or at least that’s what they say… To be perfectly honest I’m feeling a bit nostalgic as the lyrics of the 1980’s modern romantic song ‘Fade to Grey’ by Visage (for a reminder go here) keep resounding in my mind as I write this review on Montblanc’s ‘Oyster Grey’, memories of a time when I had much more hair than I do now and wore clothes that were, well in retrospect plain weird. My taste in clothes at least obviously left something to desired, but more of that later. I’m glad to say that this elegant ink by is by no means a disappointment.
Presentation: Two things to say here. First the packaging. This ink is excellently boxed and snugly packed. The materials used are top quality and give a tactile sense of excitement as the unboxing process unfolds. Mine actually came gift wrapped, thank you La Couronne du Comte. Incidentally but worthy of praise is the fact that this ink was sent to me free of charge as I had ordered a pen from the Dutch pen retail meisters and it was sadly out of stock whereas the website had said it was in stock. This gift was by way of a recompense for any delay and inconvenience caused, which I think is a lovely gesture and indicative of the great customer care that they provide, so thank you Dennis et al.
Back to unpacking. First is the task of pulling the box out of the cardboard sleeve which fits tightly round the enclosed carton. This done, the next thing to do is pause, admiring the top of the ink bottle monogrammed as it is with the Montblanc ‘snowcap’ logo. Then off with its foam blanket and out it comes from its snug compartment.
If this wasn’t enough, we have the bottle itself. Out of the box it stands – beautifully designed and practical to boot. It is, I think, simply stunning to look at, and has a classic art deco look to the bottle. To use it is a pleasure, everything has been well thought out and wonderfully designed. from the quality bottle cap to the wide neck perfect for filling even the widest fountain pen. The bottle is rectangular with a ridges on three sides with an arch on the underside to aid picking the bottle up and holding safely. This indentation in the bottle also serves to create a handy reservoir for ink as the bottle is used and the contents depleted. This certainly rivals the best presented inks I’ve seen, perhaps even betters them.
On Test: No disappointment on test either. A luxuriously opulent ink that epitomises the essence of writing elegance. It transports you in use to a more refined and perhaps decadent era, it puts me in mind of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby” and to paraphrase that great author you could say this ink ‘allows you to slip briskly into an intimacy from which you may never recover’…This ink just works; it allows the pen to glide across the paper, leaving its well-defined trail. It is delightfully complex in its hue and shading along with excellent drying times on good quality coated paper.
Summary: I’m sure that this ink will become a favourite of mine, in fact I can almost say that it already has. Now a grey might not immediately set your pulse racing and figure much in your pantheon of desirable ink colours but on bright white paper its a cracking contrast!
I wholeheartedly recommend this top class ink, and retailing at the price of approximately £11 in the UK at present, which is by no means even a mid range price point it might make you look twice at other premium inks costing two or three times as much. Why not go buy some and try for yourself…