these violet delights: platinum Plaisir
The silence right before the dawn is intoxicating, even the cicadas have stopped. Not a single sound is audible, not a single soul is visible. A car waits in front of the garden gate, which squeaks open but doesn’t initiate a response from the wilderness. Doors slam, windows roll down and the motor roars to life. Headlights illuminate the road that curves out of the village and snakes through the forest, climbing up the mountain. Lines of the road glow, the signs appear from the dark. Wind whips your hair, slaps your face. It’s cool, smelling of great pine forests. The same forests that burned down halfway last year. The same forests you drove through last year, before they burned. Then, there are a pair of headlights coming towards you, swerving from the bend of the road. They pass by, leaving darkness and a faint smell of gasoline behind. Somewhere towards the right, the sun starts to illuminate the starless sky.
This type of pale purple colour reminds me of wisteria flowers. They’d bloom during the summer and the hot winds would carry the sweet smell of them. Whole facades would be covered in the curling, reaching vines, you’d have to duck under the cloud of bees surrounding the flowers when you walked down that side of the sidewalk. The light reflecting off the satin finish of the aluminium barrel of the Platinum Plaisir (in violet) has the same colours of the clusters of those flowers. The lightweight material doesn’t add much heft to the pen, so it’s comfortable to hold during long writing sessions for me. It does show scratches a bit though, even though it feels more durable than the Platinum Preppy. My least favourite part about the appearance of this pen is the cap band. It’s both too wide and too cluttered, breaking up the sleek, playfully minimalistic looks of the pen.
On the other hand, my absolute favourite part about the pen is under the cap. The section is transparent and shows off the ink saturating the feed. It’s especially lovely to watch when you first ink up the pen. The ink flows down from the top and through the fins of the feed to the nib. The section is also a good size for me, but the straightness of it doesn’t make it the most comfortable pen I own. It’s neither uncomfortable nor especially comfortable. A happy medium, perhaps?
The nib is quite lovely and smooth, even the reverse writing isn’t scratchy. 0,2 nib in my Preppy that I absolutely love wasn’t available for the Plaisir, so I got 0,3 (about fine size). It’s noticeably thicker than 0,2 and still small enough to accommodate my handwriting. Even though I tried -and succeeded- to pull out only the nib to change them, the whole section is interchangeable with the Preppy. I do screw in the section with the 0,2 nib sometimes, especially when I’m taking the pen to the school. The snap cap makes it easy to take notes, but the snap of it is a little loud for me to be comfortable capping and uncapping it in a lecture hall.
The cartridge that comes with the pen is a black Platinum cartridge with a faded black ink. I don’t like it. I have another empty cartridge that I fill up with a syringe, but with the ball rattling inside the cartridge, I’m a little annoyed. The converters seem to be the way to go, though considering the price point of the Plaisir, it might not be worth it.
Platinum is making great pens in the entry-level range and that’s an especially tough market to get into right now. There are just so many good pens. Out of the Japanese manufacturers, I think Pilot is the superior one due to its two very strong pens. The Kakuno is almost 2/3 the price of the Plaisir and it takes international cartridges instead of proprietary ones. Then there is the Metropolitan which is a heftier pen with a metal barrel and an awesome nib. Even considering these, Platinum has made a strong contender in this category. Time will tell how successful it is. I trusted Preppy’s stellar nibs and the lovely purple colour while buying the Plaisir. The experience was not disappointing at all.
Generally, I like to think that I’m pretty good at judging a pen (who doesn’t?) on its own merits instead of comparing it to other pens. I struggled with that during this post, mostly because the writing experience is so similar to the other Japanese entry-level pens.
Thank you for reading! This post turned out to be quite different than what I had in mind. I had a long day, most of it was spent crawled up in the car. Holidays are great, but I’m missing my other pens and inks at this point. At lest I learned that I’ll have to bring a larger bag of stationery next time…