A comparision between the Diamine Asa Blue and Pilot Iroshizuku Konpeki inks. They are both vibrant blues but does Konpeki justify its price tag?
As you can see in the picture, they are very similar colours. I did a heavier swatch of Asa blue so it comes across a bit darker, but they are very similar in real life. Asa blue appears to have more of a green tinge compared to Konpeki which is a true blue and perhaps is a slight bit more saturated. In pens, this is barely noticeable. They both don’t typically produce any sheen, but when piled on there can be a slight red shift on both. In most nibs, you can’t really tell them apart.
Cost wise, Pilot Iroshizuku is substantially more expensive with it being around $30USD for a 50ml bottle. A 80 ml bottle of Diamine ink will set you back around $15USD or £5 or £6 pounds. The difference is price is pretty obvious. Diamine and Pilot both also sell their inks in smaller bottles with the Diamine being 30ml and pilot is 15ml.
Performance wise, I find the Pilot Iroshizuku has a slight edge. Both perform admirably, so I’m really nitpicking now for differences. I find the writing experience with Konpeki, slightly smoother and I like the ink flow better. Asa blue feels slightly rougher? (not quite sure how to describe it). Both of them aren’t very water resistant and as a result clean out of pens pretty easily.
There is definitely a clear difference with regards to the packaging, though. Both bottles are practical, but Pilot Iroshizuku definitely wins the race, as the glass bottle looks feels great without sacrificing usability (I’m looking at you J Herbin 1670 and Sailor). While the Pilot bottle feels heavier in the hand, the Diamine bottle actually holds more ink. If you want something you can display on your desk or make a statement then go for Konpeki. Both bottles are easy to fill from.
I have a full review of Pilot Iroshizuku konpeki, if you wanted to know more about this ink.
Overall I have to say that Diamine Asa blue wins the smackdown. The inks are close enough that you can mistake one for the other and you get more ink for a better price. That being said, there is just something luxurious and premium with Pilot Iroshizuku inks and they never disappoint. It all comes down to budget and personal preference, but I hoped this informed you a bit. Maybe you might even get both like me! 🙂