Robert Oster Signature Inks from Australia is one of the most prolific ink brands on the market right now, seemingly introducing new colors on an almost weekly basis. I recently reviewed their acclaimed "Fire and Ice" ink, and ended up enjoying it despite the fact that I typically avoid highly saturated inks with a lot of sheen. Every Robert Oster color that I've tried has behaved so well - both in pens and on paper - that I'm making an effort to try as many of the inks as I can. A huge thank you to Vanness Pens for providing me with the two ink samples featured in this review.
Robert Oster Midnight Sapphire
While Robert Oster Midnight Sapphire is an excellent ink that can serve as your everyday "blue-black," this color left me wanting something more. I guess the "sapphire" reference led me to expect a bit more blue "pop" than this ink delivers. Once it dries, it actually turns out to be a fairly standard dark blue-black ink with grayish undertones, though it does exhibit some nice shading, especially in a wet nib on Tomoe River paper.
Robert Oster Astorquiza Rot
I would characterize Astorquiza Rot as a darker red with hints of brown, orange, and/or copper. I originally picked this sample because I hoped it could serve as a replacement for my rapidly dwindling supply of Montblanc Alfred Hitchcock Red. As it turns out, the Hitchcock doesn't have nearly as much orange and might have a touch more black. A better comparison to the Astorquiza Rot would be Montblanc's latest William Shakespeare Limited Edition. The search for a Hitchcock replacement continues!
Takeaways and Where to Buy
While neither of these inks blew me away from a color perspective, that's more of a function of my ridiculous ink collection/hoard than anything else. I simply have too many other inks that are too close to these. That said, if you're looking for a nice standard blue-black ink with a fair amount of shading, Midnight Sapphire would be a solid choice. Similarly, if you're looking for a brick/blood red, Astorquiza Rot is a perfectly serviceable red ink that seems to be fairly low-maintenance, which can be rare with colors like red and orange. Both inks flow well, dry quickly, and didn't crust up or demonstrate any other "behavioral problems."
You can purchase both Midnight Sapphire and Astorquiza Rot, as well as all the other Robert Oster inks, from Vanness Pens. I'm a big fan of Robert Oster's bottles: their tall-and-slim design makes them easy to store, and at $16 for a 50ml bottle, the price is right.
I've previously reviewed several other inks from Robert Oster. Check out these reviews here:
- Brand profile plus a review of Robert Oster Direct Sun, Tranquility, Khaki, Lime Green, and Claret
- Review of Robert Oster Fire and Ice and Melon Tea
Disclaimer: I was provided with the ink samples in this post free of charge, for review purposes. I was not otherwise compensated for this review.