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Thread: Waterman Serenity Florida Blue Ink Review

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    Default Waterman Serenity Florida Blue Ink Review

    Waterman Serenity (formerly Florida) Blue Ink Review


    Prelude

    This ink is legendary. Period. Nowadays with thousands of inks available the perception has changed (and honestly not without a reason). Nevertheless it is worth to remind why this ink is a living legend.

    The ink has been around for many decades (most of the time as Florida Blue). And according to my friends who used it in school 50-60 years ago it has never changed (or at least not significantly). How many such inks do you know?

    The colour of the ink is not flashy yet it is not dull (unless used in a dry pen). It looks serious but not lifeless unlike some greyish IG/Blue-Black inks. In wet pens the colour is actually quite appealing, in super wet pens it is a vivid royal blue and even shows a bit of copper/bronze sheen.

    For the majority the word currently usually associated with this ink is SAFE. Indeed it is safe. And the main reason is not the acidity (the ink is very acidic while Japanese inks are usually alkaline) but the low dye load. For instance some currently popular sheen ink have many many times more dye in them than Waterman Serenity. It also has literally not water resistance. Due to these properties it is easy to wash and does not affect sacs, barrels etc. (but dipping gold plated trims in it is not the best idea).

    As with most inks people are questioning whether or not it is suitable for work. All I can say several French presidents (at least de Gaulle, Mitterrand, dEstaing) used it on a daily basis and that not for their grocery lists but for official papers. Though indeed in dry nibs it looks somewhat dull.


    I tested it in Waterman Liaison F nib (with somewhat above average wetness).

    The paper used is Oxford (a coated paper similar to Rhodia).

    The water test performed with a huge drop (it took about 12 hours to evaporate so we may call it a 12 hours soaking). There is no water resistence. Absolutely.
    Photos taken in a natural daylight (in a gentle sunlight).


    Description

    COMPOSITION: Dye based. A very low dye load, easy to clean.

    COLOUR: Royal Blue. Less purple than Pelikan 4001 Royal Blue. In very wet nibs it is quite impressive, in dry a bit dull.

    FLOW/LUBRICATION: The flow is very good and very consistent but not very wet. No lubrication really, flows freely but the feeling is nothing like Sailor. An old school free flowing ink.

    FEATHERING/BLEEDING: Nope. It has a low dye load and is not overly wet.

    WATER-/FADE-RESISTANCE: No water resistence. Fades like an average blue ink (some claims it is a real fader, not in my experience just average, for instance Pilot Blue Black fades just as quickly).

    SHADING/SHEEN: Shading depends on the pen and paper. Some sheen visible only in firehoses on coated papers.

    CLEANING: Nearly instant with just a bit of water.


    Summary

    I know people who use it exclusively. On the other hand some seeing so many vibrant, saturated and / or water resistant inks see no reason to use it. I quite understand that. However in wet pens it is worth. It is a calm and serious everyday ink.


    Thank you for reading. Merry Christmas!



    Photos taken in a gentle sunlight






    Water resistance. Absent.

    Last edited by aurore; January 10th, 2021 at 04:25 AM.

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    Default Re: Waterman Serenity Florida Blue Ink Review

    Yes, this is (and has been for a long time) my "standard" blue ink. And it still reads Made in France on the bottom of the bottle.

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    Default Re: Waterman Serenity Florida Blue Ink Review

    Thanks for the review, Aurore. I wonder if the French presidents could use washable ink for their daily work. Maybe they used Waterman Mysterious Blue, as you stated an IG ink in it's earlier days. Joyeux Nol to you too,

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    Default Re: Waterman Serenity Florida Blue Ink Review

    Quote Originally Posted by FredRydr View Post
    Yes, this is (and has been for a long time) my "standard" blue ink. And it still reads Made in France on the bottom of the bottle.
    Indeed it does! Also the bottle is still the same (or almost).
    Btw I spotted a very old Waterman JIF bottle that looks like... nowadays praised Akkerman. I forgot to save the photo, but now I found an article with the same bottle. Everything new is well-forgotten old
    Here is an article about it:
    https://gopens.com/jif-waterman-long...ervoir-bottle/




    Quote Originally Posted by Yazeh View Post
    Thanks for the review, Aurore. I wonder if the French presidents could use washable ink for their daily work. Maybe they used Waterman Mysterious Blue, as you stated an IG ink in it's earlier days. Joyeux Nol to you too,
    Thank you! Indeed they used this ink for the daily work (not only personal notes). Our impression that everyone used a waterproof IG all the time is far from reality. There were several reasons I guess, first of all IG inks are ugly and above all the guys really did not expect their papers to get soaked or being left in a sunlight for days/weeks. They took it easier
    Joyeux Nol toute la famille!

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    Default Re: Waterman Serenity Florida Blue Ink Review

    Merci, pour les voeux
    Love those Waterman/Akkerman bottles

    I guess the presidents weren't afraid that someone with wipe off their signature or texts. I recently read a text on how in late XIX century, New York records were tampered with to defraud the tax payers.

    This is from Forty Centuries of Ink

    by David N. Carvalho -1904

    "The serious part of the business, however, is
    the evanescent character of some of the kinds now
    used, especially of the cheaper grades. These are
    the inks made from aniline and other dyes which
    are held in solution in water. Such inks are made
    from a fine, cheap powder, of which nigrosine is
    used in making black inks, eosine for red, and
    methylene for blue ink, and they cost only a few
    dimes a gallon to manufacture. The writing made
    with such inks quickly dries by the evaporation of
    the water, when it merely requires the application
    of a little soap and water to wash them out, leaving
    the paper absolutely clean, besides being fugitive.

    "It is said that as a result of the present lack
    of system in this matter there are now public records
    of the city of New York in which the ink has
    entirely faded. These records have been made
    within the past forty years, and are now worthless
    because of the character of the inks originally used.

    "In the Police department of this city a blue
    ink is often used which is made from prussian
    blue. A large portion of the entries in the books
    of the Police department are made with ink of this
    kind, and the warrants and other public documents
    with which the police have to do are similarly written.

    "A little soap and water will wipe out this writing,
    so that the record can be easily altered at any
    time. The use of this ink in the Police department
    is said to date from the time of Tweed
    , which
    is significant of the original purpose for which it.
    was adopted.

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    Default Re: Waterman Serenity Florida Blue Ink Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Yazeh View Post

    I guess the presidents weren't afraid that someone with wipe off their signature or texts. I recently read a text on how in late XIX century, New York records were tampered with to defraud the tax payers.
    They were. But the paper used then was not a coated stuff, so technically removing even a Florida Blue fully wasn't that easy. So with soap you would end destroying the paper (or at least it would have been visible something had been done).

    On the other hand all I can say is they used this ink indeed and they used it a lot... so all in all it was OK for them

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    Default Re: Waterman Serenity Florida Blue Ink Review

    Quote Originally Posted by aurore View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Yazeh View Post

    I guess the presidents weren't afraid that someone with wipe off their signature or texts. I recently read a text on how in late XIX century, New York records were tampered with to defraud the tax payers.
    They were. But the paper used then was not a coated stuff, so technically removing even a Florida Blue fully wasn't that easy. So with soap you would end destroying the paper (or at least it would have been visible something had been done).

    On the other hand all I can say is they used this ink indeed and they used it a lot... so all in all it was OK for them
    So true.. Though the paper mentioned in the text was whatever they used in late XIXth century...

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    Default Re: Waterman Serenity Florida Blue Ink Review

    A lovely gentle review of a lovely gentle ink. This has been my go-to safe ink for decades - especially for older or more fragile pens. I love the colour as well - and this from someone with a bit of an ink problem...

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    Default Re: Waterman Serenity Florida Blue Ink Review

    Very fine review, aurore. I like your style!

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    Default Re: Waterman Serenity Florida Blue Ink Review

    Thanks for the review. It's an ok blue. I much prefer the Pelikan, so I won't replace my Waterman when it is gone.

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    Default Re: Waterman Serenity Florida Blue Ink Review

    Quote Originally Posted by mizgeorge View Post
    A lovely gentle review of a lovely gentle ink. This has been my go-to safe ink for decades - especially for older or more fragile pens. I love the colour as well - and this from someone with a bit of an ink problem...
    Thank you. The ink looks great im older pens - they are often wet writers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    Very fine review, aurore. I like your style!
    Thank you, you are too kind!

    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    Thanks for the review. It's an ok blue. I much prefer the Pelikan, so I won't replace my Waterman when it is gone.
    You are most welcome. Indeed with so many lovely blue inks available it easily gets overshadowed, moreover most of modern pen are nowhere as wet as vintage pens were so the ink is far less impressive. On the other hand you like Pilot soft nibs (so do I) as far as I remember and in those pens it looks quite well. Pelikan is a superb ink, Serenity is somewhat less purple though (which I prefer).

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    Default Re: Waterman Serenity Florida Blue Ink Review

    For your curiosity I am adding a couple of photos of vintage Waterman Florida Blue ink made in the beginning of 50s (in France - when de Gaulle was the president). The ink has evaporated a bit, so the concentration is roughly 150-200%. I spilled quite a lot of it to make this sample (but Waterman pens were so wet those days that it could look quite similar when writing). What is interesting - inside the original (glass) cartridge it looks quite bluer (less purple) than the current Serenity Blue.








    Last edited by aurore; December 26th, 2020 at 05:57 AM.

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    Default Re: Waterman Serenity Florida Blue Ink Review

    Thank you for your review. Waterman ink was recommended in an articel I read when first starting to restore Esterbrooks. Initally I got black ink, but later decided I wanted something different. I also got the purple waterman, Tender Purple, which was not something I found useful. This lead me to Serenity Blue which has become my primary ink, although a sometimes still use the black for mostly dip pen use.

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    Default Re: Waterman Serenity Florida Blue Ink Review

    Aurore, I understand what you say, about old pens and Waterman. I had the same experience with a Made in France, Parker in a vintage French wet noodle. Really a delight to right with, when flexed......

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