Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Platinum Preppy

Platinum is a highly respected Japanese Company  set up in 1919 for manufacturing writing instruments. In its nearly hundred years of history, the Platinum Pen Company (Rechristened as such in 1924) has made some very exclusive and innovative pens.

What is really remarkable about this Company is that while it continues to make some very high end fountain pens, it also makes several other types of writing instruments like felt pens, multi-purpose pens, drafting and technical pens, mechanical pencils, ball point pens and also a line of very cheap, but remarkable plastic fountain pens. The Platinum Preppy at $ 3.50 is too good a pen to be ignored. An anodized Aluminum body version of the same mechanism sells for $ 25 under the model name Plaiser.

Having heard good reviews about Preppy, I had in mind to purchase one at least to try. While looking for some other pens on ebay, I saw a listing for a set of three Preppy pens in Black, Blue and Red colours. The bundle was available for US$ 9.99 with free shipping to India. I ordered one to be delivered directly to my home in Faridabad, albeit with a bit of trepidations at the thought of Customs and India Post troubling me. The promised Delivery was by the end of July, but the packet was delivered on 26th July, three days ahead of schedule. The bonus was three Hong Kong postage stamps!

The pen itself is very interesting to look at. It looks like a Pilot V tech pen with a coloured nib instead of the usual thin point. The pen is made of clear transparent plastic and is 138 mmlong capped and 123 mm with the cap removed.  Posted, it is 156 mm and 13 mm thick at the barrel.

The clip on the top of the cap is the same colour as the ink cartridge in the pen and more interestingly, even the stainless steel nib is given a matching colour. Very convenient indeed!

The three I bought had nibs of 0.3mm size. 0.5 mm is also available.

Ink Flow And Writing Experience

Fine and Extra Fine nibbed pens often tend to write a bit dry as the point is thin. I was expecting Preppy too to write a bit scratchy and with strained flow of ink. I was pleasantly surprised. For a 0.3 mm nib, all the pens write soother than I expected. As I have a slight bias in favour of nibs which offer some resistance against paper, this pen was to my liking. Others who demand very smooth writing experience might find it a bit on the scratchier side.  One complaint I have, however about the ink is that it tends to fade as it dries. My Blue ink certainly looks a shade lighter after 10 minutes of writing. Also, the ink flow reduces after one has written a line or two continuously.

The cartridge is patented to Preppy and the pen does not take International Cartridges. Not to worry; there are adapters available for using with International Short Cartridges. Also, be informed that bottled ink for refilling the cartridges at home are also available in the market.

Writing samples


Am I happy with the pen? Would I buy this pen again? Would I recommend it to others?

Well, I frankly like the pen for its writing quality and cheapness. Where else can we get a decent fountain pen at this price? That apart, the pen is innovative and novel. It is the best pen to be kept in the glove compartment of your car or to be carried in the camera bag. The pen is tough and you can depend on it to write every time you take it out, even after a week inside the glove compartment. And then, one does not mind giving it to that stranger at the Bank who asks you to lend your pen for him to sign a cheque.  I certainly would not give him my Lamy or my Parker pen!

Probably, I will buy it again, if only to give it to participants in the next seminar!

I would recommend it to friends who I know value and appreciate innovation.


  1. 10$ with free shipping to india is an awesome deal !

    Where did you but it from ?

  2. Thank you for the visit. Believe me, the Platinum
    Preppy pens are probably the most used in my collectin. I prefer to take it in my camera bag for use while out on field trips! Very sturdy and theft proof.