Like any pen enthusiast, I’m quite excited about the launch of Vinta Inks, as I have been seeing photos of swatches and writing samples of those in my Facebook and Instagram feeds. Aside from being excited to see the 10 promising ink shades released as the first collection of Vinta inks, it’s also the idea of using a Philippine-made quality product that drove me to wait for the restock of these inks (which sold out in a matter of days since launch day!).
And it really was worth the wait.
I ordered 4 out of 10 inks from the Vinta Inks website last March 12, 2019. A 30-mL bottle costs Php 449. I paid via online bank transfer and received a tracking number after my order has been confirmed. The package arrived in my address, in bubble wrap, March 15, 2019. Ordering online from the website is such a breeze and updates regarding the package is sent via email.
One of the bottles seem to have some leak, though. The 30-mL amber bottle got a bit stained.
Let’s take a look at the inks.
Andrada, 1898 is a teal-colored ink inspired by the founding of the Philippine Navy. The headquarters was located in Andrada, Manila, named after its commanding officer, Jose Andrada.
Andrada ink dries between 15-20 seconds, although most probably it will dry completely at 20 seconds. This is supposedly a sheening ink, but I can’t really see well the red highlights it is supposed to have. Under ordinary indoor fluorescent light, it looks greenish black, which may actually pass for work ink. Ink has good flow, though I may have to test this with smaller nibs. Water resistance is low.
Now, Dugong Bughaw is one of the more popular inks in the collection and it really isn’t hard to see why. “Dugong Bughaw”, translates literally to “Blue Blood”, refers to ancient Filipinos belonging to the royalty.
Dugong Bughaw is a monster sheening blue ink with bright pink and red undertones. I don’t think my photos give it enough justice and I try to make it up for it by posting photos of writing samples taken at different angles. Personally, I’m not really the type who likes sheen that much. But I can’t help but admire the beauty of this ink.
It sheens so much, even the ink bottle sheens.
Another writing sample below, made using Leonardt 30 nib.
Surprisingly, it also has the same dry time as the other inks (20 seconds). Because of the monster sheen and good wet flow, I was expecting that it will take ages to dry. This ink probably already replaced my favorite sheening blue ink, which was Diamine Blue Orient.
La Union 1971 is a beautiful grape ink. If Dugong Bughaw shows monster sheen, this one has monster shading. This ink is named La Union in honor of one of the first grape farms and vineyard in the Philippines.
I would love to fill pages and pages of my journal with this ink. However, among the 4 inks that I’ve got, La Union is one that takes the longest time to dry. It may be difficult writing fast and continuously with this ink, unless I use finer nibs or even extra fine. But then, a finer nib will not show the shading that much. Sigh, priorities.
Sandugo is a red ink inspired by the Blood Compact between Datu Sikatuna and Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. It’s another monster sheening ink (although a little less flashy compared to Dugong Bughaw) with strong green undertones. The green and red combination actually reminds me of christmas.
The orangey red shade reminds of freshly drawn blood. If you dilute the ink and it dries up, it surprisingly shows up as a brighter red (look at the water resistance test done). It dries up on the average of 15-20 seconds and, like all the other inks, has good flow.
Overall, I pretty much love all the Vinta inks that I bought. I would also like to try the shimmer ones, Santa Cruz and Cosmic Blue. And certainly I will be on the lookout for the other collections Vinta Inks would be releasing in the future.