With the demise of the infamous Parker Penman series, Parker Quink is the
only remaining range of fountain pen inks produced under the
Parker label. As can be expected from a manufacturer ink, Quink isn't
particularly impressive, either in quality or variety of colour.
The Quink brand was first used in 1931 for an ink that, according to the
manufacturer, would not require blotting. Over the years it has undergone
numerous manufacturing changes; the modern range has little in common with the
original ink. It is now sold in five colours and in both bottle
and cartridge form.
It should be noted that Parker cartridges are a proprietary format and cannot
safely be used in other pens. Although they are a similar shape to the more
common long international form, the mouth uses an incompatible design that can
damage pens designed for narrower connections. The bottled ink, however, can be
used in most pens.
Quink is thinner than most inks (but not so thin as Sheaffer Skrip) and
reasonably free flowing. It does not work particularly well (or, on occasion, at
all) in fine nibbed pens. The colours vary significantly between batches, but
tend to run along the following lines:
- Utterly unremarkable. Slightly less intense than Waterman Florida
Blue. Usually labelled as washable (although there is also a
permanent variety in cartridge form), whereas other colours are sold as
permanent; this ink does not stand up well to water or strong
- More blue than black. Colour intensity varies massively between
- A murky deep blue / grey.
- Quite light. Similar to the Waterman and Pelikan greens, but with
less of a blue tint. Less intense than Private Reserve Spearmint or J.
Herbin Ivy Green.
- Medium bright red.
The only real reason to use Quink over a specialist ink is that it is
extremely easy to find, and thus not likely to have its price inflated by
delivery charges. The warnings on Parker fountain pen boxes regarding use of
other inks apply to non-fountain pen inks (e.g. India ink) — amusingly
enough, the fountain pen ink most likely to damage a Parker pen is probably one
from Parker's own Penman range.