Review – Monteverde Ceramic Gel Refill

Some companies are iconic. Some companies have existed for years and have made a lasting impact on all of the products in their market today. Parker is one of these companies. And when my Parker Jotter ran out of ink, and I was trying to find a refill, this became apparent. Because while there aren’t many Parker brand click pen refills to be found in the world (it can be done, and much easier than some other things, but still…) it is quite easy to find a refill that will fit into a Parker pen. In fact, it’s more common to find pens that fit such refills than it is to find a genuine Parker pen now. Monteverde is one such company that makes both refills and pens of the Parker type, and I’ll be looking at the Ceramic Gel refill from them today.

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The body of the refill itself fits perfectly into any Parker-type pen with ease. Printed on the cartridge is enough information to help you buy another and then some.

The ink is a jet black. It takes some time to dry completely, though, and even when it is dry enough to turn the page the ink isn’t completely dry. It sparkles for some time until it fades to a nice black with little to no shading, which I like in a black.

When dry the ink is very water-resistant, with only minimal feathering. Writing is quite smooth, though I chose the fine-tipped version, which is very finicky about the angle at which it is held and will skip if it is even slightly out of alignment. The tip can also upon occasion require a stroke before the ink flows. After this, there are no flow problems to mention.

It’s just a good refill that does what one would expect it to. It performs well, and its smoothness is quite nice. Really, though, the feel is so close to many other gel pen refills that it comes down to a matter of trying most of them and selecting a favorite.

Review – Pilot G2 Colors – Black, Blue, Red, Green, and Purple

I don’t believe I have talked about G2 Pilot gel-pens before, I will do a full review later, but first I want to talk about most of the different colors that they come in. I have collected 15, and will split them into three groups, the first of which is the “normal” colors of black, blue, red, green, and purple.

ink tests

Starting with the black: it’s black, there is literally nothing special about it. It is a bit of a warm black, and it goes on smooth. It doesn’t have any magnificent qualities, it is just an all-around black.

Now for the blue, which is a fairly dark but basically standard blue, very similar to the black. It is probably one of the darkest standard blue pens available, and it is a fairly cool blue, like a deep lake. Again, though, it has nothing particularly special to offer.

The red is a medium red, which is a bit different. Most companies go for either an eye-bleedingly light red, or a deep red that is much more pleasant. As far as reds go this is in the middle, but it certainly isn’t neutral. It has no tint of pink, and is most definitively, starkly, red.

The green is surprisingly dark for a standard green. It’s almost a grassy color, and not the light, lime-ish color most other companies associate with green (it’s like the cherry flavor of pens). It is definitely green, but is unoffensive and pleasant. It sticks out, though, making it seem like one of those “replace red because it hurts people’s feelings on grades” pens (I’m no psychologist, so I know nothing about whether that is good or bad, it’s just what I thought of). I think it’s nice.

And finally the purple, which is the black sheep of the normal colors. It is a light, almost violet or deep rose color. It is warm and goes on a bit less smoothly than the other colors here. I really don’t like it, it’s just far too light, and it doesn’t go with the deep other colors at all. It really won’t stick out on a paper either, so it’s just kind of there, it has no natural color akin to it, so it has limited art utility as well.

Overall these are a very good set of office colors, and if you’re just looking for some smooth-writing different colors that aren’t too wacky, I’d look here first. But they do all have limited art potential, so you may want to delve further to get just the right color in that case.