This week we’re going to take a look at P.W. Akkerman #8 Diep-Duinwaterblauw. Since that is a bit of a mouthful and I’ve never heard anyone refer to Akkerman inks by their entire name, I’m just going to refer to it as Akkerman #8 from here on out. P.W. Akkerman is based in the Netherlands and is located in The Hague. It is a stationery store, but is probably best known for its own line of inks which come in unique bottles (which I will discuss in more detail later).
According to the Akkerman description for this ink, the name Diep-Duinwaterblauw means Deep Dune Water Blue. “Dune water is drinking water that is pumped from the dunes. Deep dune water blue refers to the moist dune valleys that lie between the city of The Hague and the beach. It is not always the case, but walking through the dunes of The Hague is wonderful!”
P.W. Akkerman #8 Diep-Duinwaterblauw
To start, let’s take a look at the ink itself. I think it is best described as a blue-black ink. Much like deep water, it does have some color variation. At times, it looks a little teal or slightly greenish. It’s not a strong variation and I probably wouldn’t confuse it for a dark blue or traditional blue-black ink, but it is a little more complex and colorful than most blue-black inks I’ve used.
When exposed to water it doesn’t have a strong chromatography. There is a bit of color separation and you’ll see a bit of violet and light blue, but it’s not very significant. This ink is not very waterproof. As you can see, most of the color came off of the page with my cursive writing (which generally has less ink application than the print writing). The print is somewhat legible, but ink saturated the water and left behind some blue on the page. I wouldn’t trust this ink for archival purposes.
As for dry times, it dries pretty quickly. I didn’t ever feel like I had to wait for it to dry while I was writing and doodling with it. Once dry, it will smear a little bit. It does have a bit of copper sheen, which I suspect is the main reason for this smearing. The sheen doesn’t really show up in normal writings, which means it just causes issues and doesn’t add anything special. At least this ink has beautiful shading. With the flex nib the shading is gradual and beautiful, just like the falloff of light passing through water.
Akkerman inks can’t be discussed without mentioning their unique ink bottles. Instantly recognizable to anyone who has seen or used one before, Akkerman bottles are a pleasure to use. The long neck has a glass marble inside of it that can block ink from flowing back into the lower part of the bottle. This allows you to fill the neck with ink by tipping the bottle sideways (with the lid on, of course), which you can then fill your pen from. The lid has a prong that prevents the glass ball from touching it, creating some air space for when your pen displaces ink during the filling process. I’ve never had an issue filling a pen from this bottle. As far as bottle design goes, this one is both functional and beautiful.
The Pens I Used
Each week I choose five different pens to fill with the ink I’m testing. My goal is to get a variety of nib sizes and styles, as well as a mix of modern and vintage pens. Here are the pens I chose this week and some writing samples from each:
Lamy Safari – F nib
This was a really nice combo to write with. The fine Lamy nib brought out some great shading in the ink. I would definitely use this combo again.
Parker 45 (Vintage) – M nib
This Parker nib also did really well with this ink. It was a bit drier than the rest, so the ink looks a bit lighter. It still shows great shading.
Jinhao 100 – M nib
I don’t really like how this ink looked in this Jinhao nib, at least for writing. There’s something about the way it shades that just looks irregular and sloppy to me. I did enjoy using this pen for doodling.
Lamy Studio – B nib
As far as the way my writing looks, this broad Lamy nib is probably my favorite of the week. It has great shading and was a pleasure to write with. I didn’t really like it that much for doodling. It was a bit dry for my taste.
Pelikan 500 (Vintage) – OB flex nib
This nib is extremely wet and makes this ink look quite dark, more like a traditional blue-black ink. There is almost no shading to be seen. While I normally love this nib, I don’t think it is the best choice for this ink, as it just doesn’t do it justice.
This ink performs fairly well, even on cheap paper. It did bleed through the cheap paper with the wet nibs and heavily ghosted, but I didn’t see much feathering. On fountain-pen-friendly paper I didn’t observe any bleeding or feathering.
Cleaning The Ink Out Of Pens
Akkerman #8 is a decently-saturated ink, but not so much that it’s difficult to clean out of pens. It will take a bit more effort than a light ink, but still comes out with little effort. I wouldn’t hesitate to use it in any pen that I own.
I really enjoy using blue-black inks and Akkerman #8 has got to be one of my favorites. With subtle shades of green and teal, it is not a traditional blue-black color, but I don’t think it can be described as anything else. It has fantastic shading that brings out the hidden colors in the ink. While it does have a tiny bit of sheen, it doesn’t add anything to the ink and may cause a bit of smearing if you’re not careful. Still, that’s a small price to pay for such a nice ink. If you want a darker, professional color that is still interesting and fun to use, consider dipping your toes into some Diep-Duinwaterblauw.