Dust and ashes: A review of MontBlanc Permanent Grey ink

Some links are too easy to make and so are best avoided… I decided to demur from any crass ’50 shades’ comments when reviewing this particular grey ink, probably a good thing as I’ve no intention of either reading the books or seeing the recently released film, both of which I think would be valuable time wasted… I am however very happy to review this limited edition MontBlanc (MB) Permanent Grey ink which was brought out to celebrate 90 years of the MB Meisterstück fountain pen.

Presentation: This limited edition ink comes in a round 35ml bottle. Personally I much prefer the MB ‘shoe’ style so that was a tad disappointing. Having said that, the box and bottle are nicely done. The box has a quality, matte feel to it and is nicely designed. The bottle is very nice too and has an almost period feel. The neck of the bottle is narrower than I would like but should still allow most of the ink to be accessed, though the last few ml might be a problem.

On Test: This shade is a true ash grey, which I like. The swatch particularly evokes the sense of ash suspended in water. At first I wondered if there was a slight green sheen with this ink as it dried but thankfully that wasn’t the case. I loaded this ink into a Franklin Christoph M-14 with a 1.1mm stub nib and right from the off the ink performed beautifully. I gave the ink a good dousing with water to test its resistance and was very pleased with the result. I often wish more of my favourite inks were permanent so this is a welcome addition to my ink collection.

The ink flows well and appears well-lubricated. The shade seems well-balanced which can be difficult to achieve for shades of grey as they are troublesome in terms getting the saturation right. Too saturated and they look black, not saturated enough and they disappear on the page. This grey hits the sweet spot perfectly and stands out from the page, giving a nice contrast without being too dark.

I have read other reviews that bemoan the drying time of this ink which I find strange as I found it incredibly fast drying, around 10 seconds on Rhodia paper, which in itself was a feat I was so surprised by that I had to repeat it a couple of times just to check.

I compared this to my other grey inks and was mainly very pleased with how it held up. It isn’t quite as stunning a grey as my favourite fuyu syogun but as it has an almost gun-metal grey look which is growing on me the more I use it I.m very happy with it.

Summary: This particular ink has much to commend it. First, it has the caché of being a limited edition. Second it benefits from being a permanent ink which is handy when using in a formal situation, signing those important documents. Third is simply the fact that it performs so very well, if like me you’re into the refinement that a good grey ink gives then this offering might just be for you.



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3 thoughts on “Dust and ashes: A review of MontBlanc Permanent Grey ink

  1. I really like this ink. I was apprehensive to spend £15 on a bottle when other Montblanc inks are, slightly, less than that for twice the volume, but it was worth it.

    I find black inks so boring, and so a good grey really fills the niche of a business sensible ink with a little bit of individuality. Just like a nice Blue-Black. I’ve also found it very well behaved and dries quickly (a must for a lefty like me). All in all a great ink. Not too dark, and not too light. I’ve heard it’s similar in shade to the Einstein Grey released a few years back as well which is good as it’s almost impossible to find a bottle of that at any sensible price.

    trouble is I’ve got a taste for the limited Montblanc inks. I’ve been eying up a bottle of JFK navy.

    1. Hi Adam, thanks for the comment. It was the sample I think you sent me that got me into this ink, and now I use it regularly; it is on the premium side in terms of price so I’ll have to try and make it last 🙂

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