Black (transparent smokey)
Reading blogs and watching Youtube about fountain pens, I noticed many fountain pen users like the Platinum Preppy. Even, some of them have a Preppy collection, almost like the Preppy is into some kind of hype. So enough for me to find out what’s so special about this pen. Are you preppy, euh prepared?
The Preppy is created by the Platinum Pen Company, founded in 1919. The company is based in Japan and sells worldwide. Their products range from very cheap (eg. the Preppy) to very expensive (eg. the #3776). In 2006, Platinum released the Preppy series. Their idea was to introduce this pen especially to children. Why? Well, children have to think first before writing down anything, because ink cannot be erased. And because children are more into low-budget pen, the Preppy is very cheap.
I bought this pen in February 2020 at Amazon.de for € 8,43. Yes, meanwhile I know I probably could have bought this pen much cheaper, but now it is too late. The Preppy I own is the black livery, be it more some kind of transparent smokey black/brown. The construction of this pen makes it the ideal eyedropper fountain pen, by which ink is dropped into the barrel of the pen without using a cartridge or converter. And that’s what I first tried with this pen. I filled the barrel with the Winsor & Newton calligraphy ink, but soon it turned out to be a bad choice. This ink really seems to be a pain in the ass for the feeder, especially when used with a finer nib. Inkflow stopped, whatever I did with the pen. So, I had to swich back to more regular ink, in case of this review the Platinum blue ink cartridge.
The pen looks as cheap as it is. On top of the cap is a print that indicates the size of the nib (eg. 0.2 = EF). The complete pen is made out of plastic. So for me it is as if the look of the pen is not a top issue for Platinum. The cap is transparent with the top of the cap and the clip in smokey black transparent. The plastic clip looks flexible enough to be practicable usable. Although I was a little bit concerned when stressing the clip a bit too much, it will break.
Inside the cap there is some kind of plastic cup with on top a spring. First I didn’t know the function of this construction. But it’s part of, or is, the ‘slip and seal system’, explained further. Same built for the barrel: smokey black transparent plastic with white prints on both sides. These prints are the barcode, brand type, nib size and ‘Made in Japan’.
Now what is the patented ‘Slip and seal’- system? It is a unique mechanism that consists of a spring-loaded inner cap that seals against the grip section and as such creating an ‘airtight’ seal. This system prevents the drying of the ink when the pen is not being used for a long period of time. And does it work? I asume it did, I encountered no problems with inkflow, no dry ink when you start writing after uncapping the pen. Also keep in mind that the inkflow of an EF nib (or F nib) is more sensitive. For me, the slip and seal system is worth it.
What about the writing performance? The Preppy is my first ever EF nib pen, and it surprised me how good it writes. Yes, it is a bit scratchy and sometimes the nib tries to search its own way when writing, but not in such way it was disturbing or upsetting me. I have to admit, it took me some time to get used to the EF nib because, until so far, I mostly wrote with M-sized nibs, and the difference between them is big.
For cleaning the pen, you can remove the nib. This is very handy for a thorough cleaning of the pen. Also the feeder and nib (even complete grip section) is the same as the Prefounte, so you can exchange them.
The plastic grip does not feel really comfortable, it is really hard and even slippery for people with sweatty hands. Nice is the transparency of the grip, by which you can see the ink flowing throught the feeder. Don’t look for any ergonomical grip on this pen.
This pen can be used posted. The cap stays tight and secure on the back of the barrel, this without taking the pen out of balance.
Before ending this review, I just wanted to know if I could use this pen further as an eyedropper pen. So I filled the barrel with the Pilot Iroshizuku Ama-iro ink. And, after some shaking and turning with the nib, inkflow started, happy me.
As a final conclusion for this pen, I have to admit I like this pen because it’s cheap, writes well and due to its transparency, you can do some funny things with it. At Platinum they did a great job to introduce this pen to children to get them thinking before writing. But, perhaps even more, amongst fountain pen lovers, this pen creates some kind of hype, let’s call them the Preppy tuners. And for only a couple of Euros, this is for sure not a bad buy.
The good and the bad:
+ smooth writing performance
- grip section: hard
– looks cheap, prints on the pen
– doubt about the plastic clip that could break when overstressing.
Some technical info:
- 13,9 cm closed
- 12,3 cm without cap
- 15,6 cm posted
- Weight (as eyedropper used):
- 15 gr. complete (ready to write)
- 10 gr. without cap
- 1 ,2 cm barrel
- 1 cm grip
- 1,3 cm cap
- 1,7 cm cap with clip included
Along with the growing number of fountain pen users, there are more customers enjoying ink colors. This has led us to create a transparent body model for preppy series so as to allow you to see the ink color you are w riting with. The nib made of highly-polished stainless steel, and the mixed metal point that provides excellent abrasi on resistance, make preppy one of the best quality fountain pens for this price range.
Perhaps the Preppy is a bit on its own doing its own thing. Is the Platinum Prefounte the next-step?
–> Review soon available