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  • A Fleeting Ripple

sunday shorts: platinum preppy

A dog barks in the distance. A rooster screams, nearer. The smell of dry hay mixes with the smell of mountain herbs. The leaves of the trees are tickled by a soft breeze from the sea. It carries the salty smell, the salty taste. The sun is rising behind the mountain, its light pouring down from between the clouds, filtering through the clouds. The world is alive, even when not a single person is awake. I’m on the front porch, watching the colours shift from a moody blue to a dusty purple and then the cheery orange of the dawn behind the mountain, with a heavy mug of coffee and holding into my what mere shirt I have for warmth in the breeze.

I try to pack my backpack light, since I tend to overpack because I want to keep all my pens and notebooks accessible. In order to satisfy this need of variety, I keep a “sketch kit” in my bag. Even though sketching is not my preferred method of communicating ideas, it is handy to keep a few pencils and (drawing) pens close by. Most of my non-fountain pen pens live there. A Platinum Preppy in 0.2 (extra fine) is also a crucial part of this kit in case I want to write or draw with a fountain pen. Sometimes the ideas will not adequately flow to the paper without the right tool.

The 0.2 nib is hard to come by in Preppy’s. Most such fine nibs are painfully dry, they are made to be that way. Mine is decently wet. Even though it’s an extra fine, even though it’s one of the cheapest pens, even though it’s a mass-produced steel nib, it works. I understand that nibs have to be drier in order to write the finest line possible. This is probably not it, I don’t have any needlepoints or Platinum’s ultra extra fine to compare it to, but this nib is wet. Not the gushing triple broad that takes three days and a sacrifice to the desert goddess to dry, just wetter than you might expect. The inks shade slightly, and this is the blue cartridge that the blue Preppy came with. It’s not a soft nib, but it feels slightly cushioned, like the nib wants to have the shock-absorbing effect, but it’s a stiff steel nib, so it cannot. It doesn’t stop it from trying though. I enjoy these little nibs a lot, especially since they can be pulled out easily and swapped into some of the other Platinum pens like the Plaisir. Which is great since I couldn’t find the Plaisir in 0.2.

The construction of the pen is completely plastic and transparent. I like seeing how stuff works. That’s especially wonderful on the cap. Platinum has their own slip and seal mechanism to keep the pen from drying out. The spring inside the cap helps the inner cap secure into the section to create a good seal- in full view for people like me who was wondering what’s so special about it. And the best part of it is that it works. It works wonderfully. This pen was opened, inked and not used for three months, maybe more. Even in 30 degrees weather, even after being left in the car in said weather, the ink did not evaporate. At least not enough to darken the ink that’s coming out of the nib. It’s great to consistently use an inked pen, but it’s even greater to pick up a forgotten pen and see that it writes like a dream months after.

I have read some people describing the construction of the pen cheap-feeling and plasticky. I understand the point, but I want to point out how solid this pen feels. The material isn’t particularly thick, but there is no rattling or anything that moves while the pen is uncapped and in use, or capped and in transport. Okay, there is a rattle, but that’s from the cartridge. I have used converters that were more expensive than this pen, and they rattled and didn’t feel as solid. It’s super light. Even when it’s posted the pens balance doesn’t change much. Along with the Kaweco Sport, this is pretty much the only pen I can handle when it’s posted.

With all-plastic construction, you might be tempted to convert the pen into an eye-dropper filling "system". Well, make sure to not be conservative with your silicon grease and keep the pen filled more than halfway through. Otherwise, you might have a leaking, burping mess on your hands like I did. Needless to say -after one unhappy landlord later- I have stopped with my eye-dropper experiments. Best of luck to you.

The Platinum Preppy is not only a great starting point to venture into fountain pens, but a great pen for everyone. I like carrying it around with me, it has not gotten any visible damage except for some minor scratching. Never leaked or burped when not used as an eyedropper. A part of me wishes that I had these when I was in high school, I would’ve liked taking notes in the class a lot more -which is something considering I was dubbed the “secretary” at one class due to the constant click of the computer’s keyboard. Then, I would’ve used a pen.

Thank you for reading! As it turns out, small villages do not have great internet or electricity. It's a rare a treat to find both of them at the same time and I intend to catch up on some DC Pen Show drooling. I hope everyone had a great time!



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