Mini Review: Another Look at the Platinum Preppy

4 04 2012

Eye-numbingly brilliant

I’ve been wanting to do a follow-up on the Platinum Preppy for a while now. Was my initial review too harsh? I don’t know about that—it accurately reflected my feelings at the time. But now I have a few more feelings.

This is the worst plastic, against which all other plastics are compared.

I still stand by that sentiment: this is unforgivably terrible plastic. It cracks, even when living a gentle, docile life in a pen case. Even with the tape, the cap doesn’t stay on. The pen then dries out, and becomes completely useless. The fact that people will use this pen as an eyedropper strikes concern into my heart every day, and each night I go to bed wondering who among our kind has had the rage of shoddy plastic turn against them, leaving ink everywhere.

Maybe the pen did better this time around because I couldn't clean out all the dried ink?

For whatever reason, I did not have the writing problems I had before. No fuzzing or feathering. No atrocious bleedthrough on everything I wrote. I would like to recant my previous assessment of the fineness of nib: just as it is a fine nib in this writing sample, it was a fine nib before; I don’t know what my previous problem was on that front. The yellow was a tad scratchy on non-Clairefontaine paper, but this is still just a $3.30 refillable fountain pen, so I’m not expecting miracles.

Since the Sailor Ink Bar has left this world, I am forced to acknowledge the inferior Platinum Preppy as heir to the low-cost throne

It’s a decent, cheap, absolute entry-level starter fountain pen that is, most importantly, refillable (though only with special Platinum cartridges). I’m not nutso about this pen, and please know that I worry about you if you’re using one of these as an eyedropper, but I’ve come around to more enthusiastically admit that this pen is pretty alright.

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14 responses

4 04 2012
Peninkcillin

Yeah these are simply not that great. I actually started to prefer the M nibs on the Preppy, which are actually pretty thick for a Japanese pen. But the cartridges kill me, they’re very hard to clean and refill.

I have an eyedropper, which came with a Noodler’s ink. When it gets close to empty it starts to spit ink and leak. I don’t like it at all. But then I guess that’s how eyedroppers tend to behave when near empty.

12 04 2012
No Pen Intended

Yeah, I’ve got a couple Indian eyedropper pens, and it is highly discomfiting when I uncap the pen to write and a huge drop of ink sails out of the nib onto the page. I don’t know that, for me, the advantage of having more ink accessible will ever outweigh the downside of this ink-throwing tendency.

Given that my original Preppy keeps drying itself out with its broken cap, I haven’t had the unfortunate opportunity to attempt to refill the cartridges. I will have to report back if I ever undergo that campaign.

4 04 2012
Klio

I’ve been using one as an eyedropper for almost a year now and another with a Carbon Black cartridge, keep forgetfully dropping the cartridge pen into pen cases, wallets, the bottoms of bags, going for weeks or months without using either one–and haven’t had a single problem with leaks, cracks, or drying out. They write smoothly, and my one complaint is that I like a super super fine nib. They’re a little wet, too.

This is such a different experience than some people have, it makes me wonder if the pens vary wildly from lot to lot. That wouldn’t surprise me, with a cheapie pen. I don’t really trust the eyedropper–it does kind of scare me–but the cartridge one has been reliable.

Okay, actually, my eyedropper Preppy scares me a lot, now that I look at it again tonight. It seriously looks the ink is trying to defy gravity to escape.

12 04 2012
No Pen Intended

I will be worrying about you and your eyedropper Preppy late into the night. Of course, working the night shift, that doesn’t say much. But still! I will worry.

Have you tried the Pilot extra fine nib, like they have on the Pilot Penmanship fountain pen? It is the super-finest nib I’ve ever written with.

6 04 2012
dagttv

I find that I am even more annoyed with the nib than the plastic body of the preppy. Do you get a weird feeling that the pen is neither rough nor smooth on the page? I can’t quite put my finger on what it is but it’s not exactly a positive feeling. I have been curious about the platinum Plaisir because it has a nicer body; however, I am still worried that the nib won’t feel quite right and there are so many other options at the $20+ range.

12 04 2012
No Pen Intended

I got to see a Plaisir in person, and I’m glad I did. Same nib, better body. I put that thing right back down and got a Sheaffer VFM instead. Crisis averted B)

Agreed on the nib. Some nibs are pleasantly tactile, but this is not one of them. It’s like there’s a sweet spot that I can just never find to make the writing feel right.

7 04 2012
Klio

I find my two inked-up Preppy pens to be very smooth. I just played with them a little bit more, and the one with the wetter Noodler’s V-Mail ink (North African Violet) felt as smooth as I’d have expected for each type of paper I tried. I begin to worry that I don’t know what is meant by “smooth” in a fountain pen. I’ve come to all my interest in pens from the art/drawing side, not the writing/calligraphy side, and I could be happy with a crow quill if I were stuck on a desert island with nothing but that and a role of duct tape.

If I recall correctly, there’s no difference in nibs between the Preppy and the Plaisir, but that’s IIRC. The Plaisirs look prettier, but feel less substantial to me, almost too light to use comfortably. But the body is metal….

12 04 2012
No Pen Intended

I’m not sure why, but art/drawing is often way different than writing when it comes to the performance of a pen. There are fountain pens that I can’t stand to write with that I love for drawing, and fountain pens that glide like butter when I write that I can’t use to draw worth a darn. And this is all part of the justification for why I have all these different pens :)

9 04 2012
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9 04 2012
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21 04 2012
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[…] is the barcode), the two cartridges this pen comes with are exact clones of the typical Platinum Preppy cartridge; word on the internet is that the Platinum converter is a perfect fit—and this is a […]

3 12 2012
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[…] have hard plastic that I’m afraid might be prone to crack over time (similar to the Platinum Preppy). The ballpoint would be better with a longer grip section, like the gel pen, but I’ll […]

18 04 2013
Jesse

I’ve had one for years, which shipped free with a large bottle of Noodler’s ink, and I haven’t had any problems. I use it as an eye-dropper.

4 04 2014
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[…] up from my beloved disposable Ink Bar to the Sailor A. S. Manhattaner’s and the Platinum Preppy and all other manner of fountain pens but I can confidently say that the Safari’s clear […]

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