Montblanc, regardless of how much you love or hate ‘precious resin,’ is one of the most prolific pen companies in the world. The company also releases several (somewhat exorbitantly priced) special and limited edition pens per year in several categories; in 2015, Montblanc released the Leo Tolstoy Limited Edition pen, and coupled the pen with a Limited-edition sky blue ink. This ink, called the Leo Tolstoy Limited Edition (sky blue), is an ink that I have been after for a while, as it was out of production for several months. Luckily Montblanc has produced one final batch and I managed to find a bottle to review. And, as you'll see, I believe that the ink is well worth the purchase.
The ink itself comes in the normal Montblanc Limited Edition ink bottles, which, unfortunately, does not one of the best available. For starters, it only holds 35 mL of ink, which for $20, is a rather expensive bottle. Not only that, but the bottle is rather squat, only measuring an inch deep, meaning a #6 nib barely makes the cut—anything larger, and an eyedropper or alternative reservoir will be required. That said, the artwork on the bottle is well done—it has the Montblanc logo along with a photo of Tolstoy’s hands on the left and a signature (which I cannot read, unfortunately), on the right. Next to the Montblanc Logo is the ink information, which reads “Leo Tolstoy / Sky Blue Ink 35mL”. However, aside from the artwork, there is not much about the bottle worth writing home about.
However, the color of the ink is indeed something special. It is a very, very nice deep blue color—reminiscent almost of the color of dark denim. (Note: this ink is not in any way ‘sky blue,’ according to Montblanc, Sky Blue refers to a desk of Tolstoy which I have yet to find more details on.) Nevertheless, and despite the naming inaccuracies, the ink is a really beautiful deep blue color; it is also quite decently saturated with a very nice pinkish red sheen when applied liberally. The ink flows rather wet and is very well lubricated, performing very well in both a western broad and a Japanese extra-fine nib. It also is billed by Montblanc as being a ‘self-cleaning ink,’ as, according to a Montblanc sales representative, it has Montblanc’s self-cleaning ‘SC-21’ additive as part of the formula. For what it’s worth, the SC-21 seems to do its job very well. It is easy to flush from a pen, as well as skin or most fabric (from what I’ve experienced). However, it does feather and bleed through horribly on cheap papers—although it does not do either of the aforementioned on Rhodia or Clairefontaine, so, if you're writing on quality paper, you have nothing to worry about.
This ink, albeit a rare limited edition, is spectacular, and I wished that they were to make more as stock is running low. However, Montblanc has a couple bottles left for $19 with $5 shipping. So, while it’s still in stock, I’d highly recommend you picking up a bottle. And, if it’s not quite to your taste, some inks appreciate quite well over time, and while this is certainly no Dark Lilac, it is still a very popular ink and will likely remain in demand for long after it ceases production.
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