Private Reserve is a brand of ink for fountain pens known
for its bold colours. It is sold both in bottles and in the
shorter 'international' sized cartridge form used by many
All Private Reserve inks are pH neutral and (with the exception of the
discontinued Candy Apple Red, Tangerine Dream and Hot Bubble Gum colours)
safe for mixing. A wide range of colours are available, many of which are far
brighter and more vibrant than typical fountain pen inks. Traditional black
and medium blue inks are also produced — velvet black is probably the
most convincing matte black fountain pen ink available, whilst American Blue
is slightly less watery than the archetypical Waterman Florida Blue.
Most colours do not fade significantly when exposed to strong light; water
resistance, however, is variable.
Private Reserve inks tend to be slightly less smooth-flowing than those made
by Waterman or J. Herbin, but they are still suitable for everything except
very fine nibs. The ink does not tend to clog so long as the pen is used
correctly. Private Reserve inks are often described as 'fast drying'; this may
be true if they are being compared to dip pen ink, but by fountain pen ink
standards some colours (especially Spearmint and Naples Blue) are very prone to accidental
The ink itself is produced in Indiana by a company called Avalon Gallery,
a relative newcomer to the market. It is available from various specialist pen
dealers; because the company does not also make fountain pens, it is rarely sold
in typical high street stores. Getting hold of Private Reserve inks can be
tricky, but for serious fountain pen users the extra effort is worthwhile.