Ink Review #788: KWZ Chicago Blue


When I go to Seattle Pen Posse meetups, my friend Matt lets me play with his pens. He often has one inked with KWZ Chicago Blue and after trying it in his pens a few times, I wanted my own bottle. Unfortunately, Chicago Blue was only sold at the 2017 Chicago Pen Show. I was so excited when Chicago Blue was re-released at the 2019 Chicago Pen Show. Luckily for me, my friend was able to pick me up a bottle! I did take a look around online and found out that Vanness Pens currently has some for sale, I think they bought the leftover ink when the show was over.


The color:

Chicago Blue is a medium, vibrant blue.



In large swabs the ink has some pretty black sheen.


Writing samples:

Let's take a look at how the ink behaves on fountain pen friendly papers: Rhodia, Tomoe River, and Leuchtturm.

Dry time: 20 seconds

Water resistance: Low

Feathering: None

Show through: Medium

Bleeding: None

Other properties: medium shading, high sheen, and no shimmer. The sheen is black on blue ink, so it’s subtler than other inks, but the sheen is visible in all nib sizes on Tomoe River paper as well as in flex nibs on Rhodia and Leuchtturm.

On Staples 24 lb copy paper the ink feathered in all nib sizes and had a little bit of bleeding.

Comparison Swabs:


Chicago Blue is darker than Monteverde Ocean Noir, and has black sheen rather than Ocean Noir’s copper. Click here to see the KWZ inks together, and click here to see the blue inks together.

Longer Writing:


I used a Edison Collier Steel Blue with a broad nib on Tomoe River paper. The ink had a wet flow.

Overall, I’m glad I have a full bottle of this ink because I really enjoy it. I love the color and the subtle sheen. It has a nice wet flow and some nice shading as well. If you like the look of this ink, go get some from Vanness Pens while it’s still available.

Disclaimer: I purchased this ink myself (through my friend) and all photos and opinions are my own. This page does contain affiliate links, but this post is not sponsored in any way.