This week we’re going to take a look at Sailor Apricot. Unfortunately, Sailor Apricot is not offered anymore, but a near-identical ink is Sailor Kin-Mokusei. Since this review is going to discuss Sailor Apricot, I can’t promise that everything will be the same with Sailor Kin-Mokusei, but if you’re a fan of the color of Apricot this should at least give you an idea of how you’d like Kin-Mokusei.
The original Sailor Jentle colors, including Apricot, were discontinued around 2014. That tells you how long I’ve had this bottle of ink. I really do love the color, but am not always in the mood for an orange ink. Still, this ink is somewhat legendary for a reason. Hopefully this review will give you an idea why people love it so much.
To start, let’s take a look at the ink itself. It is a bright orange color. It is rich enough that it doesn’t look like a highlighter, but not so rich that it feels autumnal. It really is a perfectly summery orange, just like an apricot!
It has fantastic shading, but not so extreme that it is hard to read. In a wetter pen it looks quite dark, while in a drier pen it is significantly lighter. I personally prefer the darker color and tend to only use it in wet pens. When a lot of ink goes down onto a page, you’ll be able to see some sheen. This sheen isn’t like other sheens, though. It is more what I would call a varnish. Some people call it a white sheen, but really I think it is just shiny and reflects the light, making it look white.
This ink doesn’t have a very interesting chromatography. A bit of yellow does separate out, which could make a pretty neat fire effect, but overall it looks about the same. Unfortunately, it is not very waterproof. Most of the ink came off of the page when it got wet, so I wouldn’t use this for archival purposes.
Dry times are on the longer side. This is a very wet ink and if you’re using a wet nib you should expect to have to wait for it to dry when writing or doodling with it. On my doodles for this week you can see where I smeared some of them because the ink was still wet. Once dry, it will smear a bit if your hands are a little damp, but not as easily as some saturated, sheeny inks.
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:
Pelikan M205 – F nib
This Pelikan nib is a bit drier, but definitely not the driest of the week. This ink still looks good and dark, even though it doesn’t have as much shading as some of the other nibs. Given the wetness of this ink, I didn’t mind this combo at all.
Pilot Metropolitan – M nib
This Pilot nib is definitely wetter than the Pelikan, but the ink doesn’t look significantly different. In fact, I don’t know if I’d really be able to tell the difference between the two if I saw them side by side. It doesn’t show a lot of shading, but still looks quite nice.
Leonardo Officina – M nib
This Leonardo nib is quite dry and you can see it in how light the ink looks. Surprisingly, it still shows some shading. I personally don’t like the way this ink looks when it’s so light, but I’d imagine this color might really appeal to some people.
Parker Challenger (vintage) – M flex nib
This vintage Parker nib is quite wet and has a good amount of flex. It made the ink look nice and dark with a lot of shading. This was probably my favorite combo of the week for writing.
Pelikan 500 – OB flex nib
This vintage Pelikan nib is very wet and also quite flexible. The ink looked quite dark with this pen. While it isn’t the most practical nib to write with, it was still fun to use.
On cheap paper, this ink bled through with most of the pens. I didn’t see any feathering. On fountain-pen-friendly paper, it performed quite well. I saw no feathering on any of the papers. I only saw a very tiny amount of bleedthrough on the Stalogy paper and none on the Leuchtturm or Fabriano EcoQua.
Cleaning The Ink Out Of Pens
What a pleasant surprise! Cleaning this ink out of my pens this week didn’t take long at all. I was worried about the orange sticking around, but even in my vintage pens it came out quickly and easily. The initial rinse was very orange, but it quickly faded to yellow and then to nothing. Even if a bit were to stick around, I think it would just be a very slight yellow that would be covered up by pretty much any other ink you might want to use.
Sailor Apricot is one of those classic ink colors that many people (myself included) love. Sadly, it isn’t made any more, but that probably just fuels their love of it even more. Fortunately, Sailor Kin-Mokusei is quite close in color. I have never used it, so I can’t comment on how it performs, but most people seem to be happy using it as a replacement. This also makes me realize I need to get a sample to see how it compares. While Sailor Apricot has long dry times and isn’t very waterproof, the wonderful color and shading make up for it.