Montblanc Mystery Black – Handwritten Fountain Pen Ink Review



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Montblanc Mystery Black

Fountain Pen Ink

– Handwritten Review –

PenMontblanc 149, Medium Nib
Ink: Montblanc Mystery Black
PaperRhodia dotPad, No. 16 – Top Spiral Bound


Notes: First thing’s first, I got the bottle of ink through the TRADING POST (a place to host your list of fountain pen goodies that you would like to trade, click the link for more info). A big thank you to Wilfred E. for trading with me, I’m enjoying the ink quite a bit. I’ve heard some not-so-great things about Montblanc inks in general, mainly that they’re expensive for what they are. Since I got this bottle in a trade, the price of the ink doesn’t play into my review too much. The ink performs well, it’s nice and smooth with a good, consistent flow. I take it with a grain of salt when a pen manufacturer says only to use their ink, but I felt like loading up my 149 for the full experience. The lubrication in the ink is supposed to keep the piston in good working order, but I can’t comment on that because this is the first time I’ve had MB ink in my MB pen.

The inkwell that this ink comes in is really, really classy looking. The metal / shiny plastic cap looks great and the shape of the bottle is convenient for filling and looks great on my desk. The only thing that may not be for everyone is the lower saturation. I understand some people like their black inks to look like a void in the universe (myself included), whereas some people prefer black inks that tend to be more grey. This one falls in the middle of the line and is actually capable of some minor shading. There are certainly other options at a lower price point that can achieve pretty much the same results, but then again, they don’t come with the great inkwell (wow, I really didn’t take a picture of it…sorry!). If you’re into Montblanc and like what you see, by all means check it out, but there are certainly better black inks out there for a fraction of the price.

Thanks and enjoy!

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Thanks Wilfred! Don’t forget to go check out the Trading Post, there are tons of ink samples, ink bottles, and pens up for trade right now.

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MB Mystery Black exhibits some slight shading, this could be a make-or-break characteristic for black ink.

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Excuse my poor attempt at a Montblanc logo, those things are tricky.

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Here’s a few black inks for comparison. I’ve actually been enjoying the Pilot Iroshizuku take-sumi quite a bit.

Further Reading:

13 thoughts on “Montblanc Mystery Black – Handwritten Fountain Pen Ink Review

  1. A friend of mine gave me this ink used – perhaps she didn’t like it… actually I’m not sure. But either way, I like it! So the price never really came into play. I let my husband borrow some and he loves it. Very professional he says! When it runs out though, I’m not sure I’ll replace it because of the price. You’re right, there are more inexpensive black inks out there that are just as good.

    1. Pretty much the same opinion here on my end. The inkwell is easily refillable, which I think is the highlight of the whole thing. I love the shape of the bottle and the cap, the ink could easily be replaced with a Noodler’s or a J. Herbin.

  2. I’m glad you’re enjoying the ink. I’m still loving the Oxblood and haven’t checked the other 2 inks.

    I wasn’t a big fan of it of Mystery Black, preferring a darker black, but I loved that bottle.

    1. Once again, thanks for the trade!

      Glad to hear you’re enjoying the Oxblood, I currently have it in two pens myself.

      The bottle is on constant display on my desk, I don’t mind the lighter black / darker grey color.

  3. Hello,
    I have been using this Ink for a long time and found the following issues which finally made me change to other inks.
    I really do like the look of this ink, but it takes way to long to dry and responds very much to wetness (sweaty palms). This is no problem if you are taking your time to write your diary, but if you are in a meeting taking notes you will endup with smears of black ink all over your page and black fingers and palms. I takled this for years by using other pens or pencils in meetings until I found out that there are Inks out there which behave much more friendly in this respect (J.Herbin Noire or the Iroshizuku Kiri-same (grey)). Under the exact same conditions I have no smears, no ink on Fingers or my palm.

    Apart from that I still like the mystery black and it sure works well over a long period in MontBlanc pens.

    1. I’ve found the dry time to be reasonable actually, but your mileage may vary based on what pen/nib/paper of course.

      There are definitely much more friendly blacks for everyday use, if you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend Sailor Kiwa-Guro Nano Black. It’s pricey, but it’s a great ink that dries fast and doesn’t feather.

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