Archive for the ‘Japanese Pens’ Category

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Review: Platinum Plaisir Fountain Pen

11/22/2016

The Platinum Plaisir has so much going for it, that calling it an entry-level pen is too limited. It is a fountain pen that offers excellent functionality at a reasonable price with features anyone can appreciate.

The Plaisir is a well-constructed, anodized aluminum bodied model that comes in a variety of colors. It is a medium sized pen at 142.5 mm long and 15 mm in maximum diameter. The weight is 15.4 g and should be comfortable in most hands. The cap is friction fit, but does not pop off without a little effort perhaps due to the Slip & Seal mechanism that prevents ink from drying in the nib. It is a great feature, particularly for anyone who is lackadaisical about pen use or care.

The pen comes with the same much loved, stainless nib as the Platinum Preppy. My fine nib has good flow and a little definition. It isn’t an italic, but the shape does enhance line edges.

With the smooth and luscious Platinum Carbon Black, the medium nib puts down a substantial line that is comparable to some broad nibs. The bonus is that it can be used upside down for a fine line. It isn’t quite as smooth as a pen with a true fine nib, but with the right ink on quality paper, it is perfectly serviceable. This can be especially useful for sketching or doodling. A Stillman & Birn Epsilon Sketchbook  made fast proof of that.

The section is clear revealing the ink’s color and whether the nib is running dry. It can look a bit messy, but a brilliant ink turns this into a colorful feature rather than a liability.

Some people consider the Plaisir to be a beginner’s pen. Using one revealed one of the reasons: the medium has a very large sweet spot. It can be rotated and held upright or even at a low angle and will still write well. As a gift to a newbie, the fine is worth considering as it produces a line more comparable in width to the familiar rollerball or gel pen.

The Plaisir comes in many colors, an array recently expanded with the a new release called Nova Orange. Compared to orange inks in my collection, the colors that match the barrel best are Iroshizuku yu-yake and J. Herbin Orange Indien. The metal barrel reflects light producing a variety of tones adding to the appeal of what Platinum has christened the Color of the Year for 2017. The Frosty Blue pen is well-matched to Diamine China Blue, but that’s only to give you a sense of the color. Gunmetal is a welcome change from the ubiquitous black and a neutral home for any ink. The three pens look very inviting on my desk. For a color lover having only one of these jewels may not be enough.

The pen comes with a single cartridge. If bottled ink is on the menu, a converter will be needed. Since it’s a metal pen, staining won’t be an issue. Bring on those inks that are known to misbehave and let the Plaisir tame them.

With its quality fit and finish plus variety of colors, the Platinum Plaisir is a good choice for the budget conscious whether for personal use or as a gift. It makes an attractive travel pen and, if lost, easily replaced. If you fancy carrying a loaner, the firm nib should withstand a few minutes in the grip of a heavy-handed newbie and provide a good initiation into the world of fountain pens. The more the merrier, eh?

A big thank you to Carol at Luxury Brands for the Platinum pens and Carbon Ink. It was great fun getting acquainted. The Nova Orange is good for a smile every time I see it. Yeah, I am a sucker for orange and in that I am not alone. Bet you won’t be able to keep this one in stock.

More info at Platinum Pen Co.

Where to buy:

Fine nib at Amazon

Medium nib at Amazon

Platinum converter at Amazon

Platinum Carbon Ink at Amazon

Noodler’s Black Swan in English Roses

 

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That Platinum Music Nib Gets Noodled

10/27/2016

Sometimes I wonder why we use any pen and ink save the ones that make us the most happy. This duo is not only a joy to use, but the Platinum #3776 music nib has special memories as a gift from Dick Egolf of Luxury Brands. Noodler’s Kiowa Pecan was a lucky acquisition years earlier when I was looking for a saturated and shading brown ink. Kiowa Pecan ended my search. Years later, the duo remains a favorite at the Inkophile digs…

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A Winning Moleskine, Ink And Pen Combo

10/07/2016

A chance meeting of a Moleskine notebook, a Pilot MR Metropolitan medium nib, and Sailor Tokiwa-matsu ink revealed a very acceptable partnership. Almost no feathering and so little bleed-through as to make the backs of pages useful makes this a winning combination. I am not a huge Moleskine fan, but in this case, paint me happily surprised.

Note that the left hand page was not written with Tokiwa-matsu. It produced far less ghosting and bleed-through than pictured.

Moleskine, Pilot Metropolitan and Sailor Tokiwa-matsu at Amazon.

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Brief Update On The Pilot Metropolitan

09/21/2016

Sometimes a pen works so well with an ink that nothing else seems right for it. Who can argue with success? But it can pay to be open to change.

Last night the Pilot MR Metropolitan Medium was ready for another refill and begged for a different color. Pilot Blue Black has performed so well that at first I rejected the request. But after a bath, the pen was ripe for a new ink. We settled on green to expand the colors in my rotation. Sailor Tokiwa-matsu has had little use and is subdued enough to suit my go-everywhere pen. So after a fill, we went for a spin.

Not expecting the smooth flow and ideal performance of Pilot BBk, I was delighted to find Tokiwa-matsu quite nearly its equal. But wait. Does that mean the Metro performed equally well with both inks? Indeed.

Now it’s time to acquire a second one to see if my Metro medium nib is uncommon or typical. Buying another pen is easy. The hard part is settling on the color. Choices, choices, choices, but that is a very good thing.

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#1 Fountain Pen On Amazon

09/12/2016

Clicking around Amazon can be dangerous. They make it far too easy to find things I never new I wanted much less needed. Today while price shopping ink, Amazon offered to share with me the name of their #1 fountain pen.

Can you guess which one it is?

Hints:

  • It is a black pen. That’s as expected.
  • It has a fine nib. That’s the size most Western pen users start with even if they find other sizes to be more interesting as they get accustomed to using fountain pens.
  • The maker is Asian which was a surprise. But maybe not.
  • Fit and finish are excellent for an entry-level pen.
  • It comes in a variety of colors.

That’s a lot of hints. What is your guess? Scroll down for the answer.

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The winner is the Pilot Metropolitan! Who knew it was that popular? Admittedly, mine is getting a ton of use and I would like a second one for ink testing. But #1? Kudos to Pilot for making such a terrific little pen.

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Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen

09/02/2016

A summer project provided the opportunity to test an inexpensive, reliable, sturdy fountain pen with a medium nib. The Pilot MR Metropolitan seemed a good fit for the purpose. So I popped one into an Amazon order along with dog biscuits and vitamins. Macy was very excited when she first sniffed the package. “Mom, this one’s for me!” She was not impressed by the dark gray pen box, but was tail-wagging happy about the food.

Here is how the Metro stacks up.

For a metal pen, the Metro is surprisingly light-weight. Even writing with the cap on the end, the weight remains within my range if a trifle overbalanced. The brass barrel should take plenty of everyday knocks and abuse. This is a sleek baby that feels quite comfortable in the hand.

The Metro writes every time without hesitation which is impressive considering my inconsistent use of it. The snap on cap seals solidly which may prevent or at least reduce ink evaporation. That may account for the easy starts. It also means jostling won’t loosen the cap, perfect for an everyday carry pen.

Unlike most fountain pens, the Metro allowed me to pause in thought for an unusually long time without concern for ink drying in the nib. Not something everyone needs, but it is helpful for a pensive mood. I really wanted to write longer just to experience the satisfaction of putting down words so easily.

Initially filled with Pilot Blue-Black, the pen and ink are perfectly suited. The color may be rather ordinary, but the flow and lubrication are just right for the stainless steel nib. It glides without a hint of drag. Staples Arc notebook paper completed a pen, ink, paper threesome that is a pleasure to use.

The Metropolitan comes in several styles and an array of colors. The neutral silver with a zig zag pattern was a practical choice. Maybe next time, a colorful Retro Pop will land in my cart, but for now, the matte silver will have to work extra hard trying lots of different inks especially Iroshizuku, Noodler’s, and Sailor. All should write at least as well as Pilot BBk. Iroshizuku ku-jaku is angling for a spin in the Metro and that is a writing duo that will be hard to resist.

Several retailers carry the Pilot MR Metropolitan. Mine came from Amazon, but even Massdrop has offered it. This is one pen that shouldn’t be hard to find. Current prices range from approximately $12 to $15 including a CON-20 squeeze converter and a single Pilot cartridge. Converters can cost $5 purchased separately, so including one with the pen makes this a very good deal.

With a Pilot MR Metropolitan in my bag, I am prepared for anything including a rough-writing newbie who wants to see what it’s like to use a fountain pen. What a great way to make a convert!

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A Couple Of Pen Deals

08/05/2016

While searching for pens on Amazon, I ran across a couple of Platinum models that are very well priced. Both are from the #3776 Century line with the Slip and Seal mechanism that extends the length of time ink remains fluid in the nib. Especially in summer heat, it keeps pens ready to write instantly.

The first deal is a Platinum “#3776 Century Chartres Blue Medium nib. The second is a Platinum “#3776 Century Black in Black Medium nib for those who prefer a more neutral appearance. I have a Century with a medium nib and thoroughly enjoy it. But then I like the broad and music nibs, too. Hey, a good pen is a good pen.

A couple of Platinum Century nibs…

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