Reviewed by Wndsn staff, Germany.
We want to tie a few of our interests together in one post. Let’s lay out our starting points. First, Wndsn values a really good EDC kit that is comprehensive but not cumbersome, well made but not overly expensive or precious. Second, as we are in the field of taking measurements, we believe that no measurement is real until it’s written down, preferably with some permanent writing implement. Third, we really love fountain pens and the writing experience that comes with good paper and good ink.
And when out in the field, how do you get that good writing experience in a reliable pen in permanent ink? And since we are talking EDC here, we can’t be toting about glass wells of ink, nor take the time to properly fill a converter or make sure an empty syringe to refill the pen is available. And sadly, there’s a lack of permanent ink out there in cartridges. What to do?
There is one solution, and it is elegant.
Platinum Preppy with Platinum Carbon Ink. Ok, hear us out but one of the most pleasant fountain pens is also the cheapest. Platinum is a major brand within Japan, although not as well known in the rest of the world. Their entry level fountain pen is called the Platinum Preppy, which comes in 3 nib sizes. Marketed towards beginner’s, aficionados love it for it’s smooth writing and sleek design.
The Platinum Preppies are cheap and easily replaceable, you can abuse them with all sorts of inks with the additional converter. You can really give it a work over, not worry about being too harsh with it, and it will keep writing. And if it doesn’t, no big deal, just get another one for 5 Dollars.
We love it because it has a “Slip Seal” cap that keeps ink from drying out for a year, therefore making the ink always available when you need it. Toss it in your ruck and forget about it! It will still work!
And most importantly, the Preppy can hold the proprietary Platinum Carbon Ink cartridge, arguably the best permanent black fountain pen ink on the market. It is also the only permanent ink that we can find in any cartridge and we cannot find any permanent ink in international standard cartridges. It is particularly valued by artists, who use it to place their black lines and then use any method of ink or watercolors to fill in. It absolutely does not budge. It has a nice wet flow and doesn’t feather.
While Platinum Carbon Ink is available in a glass jar, when you are out in the field that’s just not EDC. Further, what makes this ink waterproof also causes clogging in a normal pen, requiring frequent flushing. The Preppy does away with all that. You get an easy to use cartridge that does not clog and stays fresh for up to a year with an ink that is indelible, and the ink holds up whether it’s for documentation or art creation.
The nibs do not conform to normal labels of extra fine, fine, or medium, but can be approximated in their 02, 03, and 05 nibs. The 02 nib is particularly scratchy on paper and it is not the most pleasurable writing experience. The 03 and 05 are much more smooth.
And as far as accessing the pens goes, it is not as easy as going down to your local Staples or typical Schreibwarenladen. If you have a niche pen store in your area, they probably have it. However, it is easy to purchase online both in the U.S. and Europe. Note: the pen runs significantly more expensive on Amazon than Jetpens, Goulet Pens, Cult Pens, or Appelboom.
With regards to the ink, it is best used on thicker paper like the stock used in the Wndsn Explorer's Notebook; your average Leuchtturm or Moleskine will have bleed through. It also has a longer drying time, so be careful with smudges.
The Wndsn Team loves good paper and good fountain pens, and we want even our most mundane note taking and measurements to have a good experience with it. For less than 10 dollars, you can get a whole package deal with the Platinum Preppy and Carbon Black. It will become the hidden gem in your EDC.
- Manufacturer: Platinum Preppy
- Manufacturer's Website: https://www.platinum-pen.co.jp/en/products/detail/?pid=2209
- Price: Around 5 Dollars/Euro
- Weight: 13g
- Size: Length: 138mm, Max diameter: 13mm
- Material: PC Resin
- Manufacturer: Platinum Carbon Black Cartridges
- Manufacturer's Website: https://www.platinum-pen.co.jp/en/products/detail/?pid=2866
- Price: Around 4 Dollars/Euro for the cartridges of 4
- Ink Capacity: 1.06ml