J. Herbin Rollerball

The idea of a rollerball pen that uses ink cartridges was just too much for me to resist. I bought it from JetPens.com for a mere $9.00 a month or so ago and I really like it. It’s plastic, so it’s lightweight, and I love that I can use cartridges in it instead of either tossing it or scrambling to find refills when it’s empty.

The pen accepts standard J. Herbin ink cartridges or other short international fountain pen ink cartridges. Dimensions: 4.6 inches long, 0.4 inches diameter (11.7 cm long, 1.0 cm diameter).


I bought two sets of ink cartridges – Rose Cyclamen and Rouge Opera. I wish I had seen the color chart before I bought the Rose Cyclamen. I was expecting a more rose colored ink, but it looks more like fuchsia to me.

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So I transferred that cartridge to my really cheap Manuscript fountain pen and loaded the J. Herbin up with a Rouge Opera cartridge, which I like much better.


There is a color chart on the J. Herbin website and you can download a .pdf version, too. The Rose Cyclamen is at the bottom – really bright pink. Not so much rose at all.


Ink colors aside, it’s a lovely pen. It writes well, if a little scratchy on some papers, and it feels good in my hand. Since I love to write long, rambling letters, it’s important to write with something that doesn’t give me hand cramps! It’s described as a medium tip, but it’s on the narrow side of medium, on most papers. I usually prefer a fine tip on my pens, but this one works quite well for me. It can be converted to an eyedropper pen as well, but since I don’t have any bottled ink (yet) I will be content with cartridges for now. Next time I think I will try Bleu Pervenche, Rouge Bourgogne, and Lierre Sauvage. Maybe even Vert Olive. Which colors would you like to try?


  1. I'm not that big of a fan of rollerballs, but I like the look of this pen; I may have to consider trying it out anyway. I haven't used any of J. Herbin's inks yet, but Vert Olive would probably be my first choice, because I love olive green, then maybe Lierre Sauvage or Vert Empire for a darker green, and Orange Indien, because orange is my second favourite colour. Bleu Pervenche is also nice.

  2. What a cool pen! I currently have a moratorium on buying any new pens, but I might have to break it for this one!! :-)

  3. Added to Jetpens wishlist! I love J.Herbin!

  4. I have one loaded permanently with Rouge Caroubier as my editing / markup pen. Otherwise the line is too fine for me and they are a total pain to get clean (try flushing a Perle Noire out....)

  5. What beautiful font is it that you use for your blog? (The cursive headers)

    And fantastic review! I just got mine in the mail today, have it loaded with J. Herbin Eclat de Saphire, though it is a bit too light in color, not wet/saturated enough. Can't wait to try some more!

    1. Thanks! The font is called Dancing Script.