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Platignum Varsity Pressmatic


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9 replies to this topic

#1 dandelion

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 11:44

Platignum Varsity Pressmatic with a stub nib.

This is not a pen for beauty contests or powerpen meetings. I got it with a lot of three very cheap pens at Ebay, maybe six months ago. It took some time before I inked it up, because I didn't have any particular expectations on this pen - it was another of the pens in the lot that made me buy it.

Pressmatic_hel_ordbok.jpg

Size & weight: It is a medium sized pen that measures 13,5 cm capped, 15cm posted and 11.8 cm uncapped. It weighs 16 g filled with ink, so it is a light pen.

Design/build: The barrel is made of black plastic and the cap has a plastic core and a "polished steel" surface. It is fairly well built and not fragile at all. The finish is alright. Nothing wrong or non-fitting, but that is about it. The nib looks rather small for this pen.

Rating: 2/5 for the uninspired design & 3-3.25/5 for the build. Made to be used, but not particularly well built either. The extra quarter is because it is comfortable to hold.

Nib: The nib is made of steel and is small and very plain with "Platignum 1st Quality" inscribed. This is where the fun begins: it is one of the best stubs I've ever used. It is comparable with some of the expensive customized stubs I've tried. It is smooth, medium wet and is a pleasure to write letters with. It flatters my not-so-legible handwriting. This is a stub made for extensive everyday writing - especially correspondance. I'd say 4-4.25/5.

Filling: The filling system is Platignums own (?) pressmatic system, which best could be described as a built-in-squeeze converter. Easy to use. It takes some time to flush it, but it is not a big problem. It has worked well since I got it, and flushed it a number of time to get rid of stained ink, which is a surprise since I don't think anyone had used it or cared about if for a very long time. I prefere other more efficient fillingsystem, but this is alright. 3.5/5

Value for the money: I got this for maybe £2.75 (its part of the shipping included) so it is a true bargain. I haven't found a nib that is even close to this value for money. It is almost slightly irritating that such a cheap pen as this has a nib that write this good. I won't sell it. 5/5

Platignum_rev.jpg

Overall: 15.75/25 (6.3)

Edited by MYU, 21 April 2009 - 22:19.

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#2 Univer

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 13:08

Hi,

Thanks for the excellent review! I've got a Platignum Pressmatic "F" - very similar to your pen, but with a 14K nib. It, too, was an eBay bargain, and it, too, is an embarrassingly good writer.

Like you, I've found that the narrower Platignum and Osmiroid Italics work beautifully for standard cursive writing; in my experience, they're smoother and more fluid than a typical crisp Italic (that may be a drawback for calligraphers, but it's just fine for a scribbler like me). I've often used a pen fitted with one of these nibs as an everyday office pen.

If you get curious about other Platignum Italics, complete sets - pen plus a handful of screw-in nib units - regularly turn up on eBay, and usually at reasonable prices.

Cheers,

Jon

#3 dandelion

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 13:37

Just trying to link a picture.

Edited by dandelion, 22 April 2009 - 13:37.

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#4 Randal6393

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 01:55

Pretty much of a piece with what I would expect from the older Platignum lines. My first set of Platignum Italic points was bought while in Singapore, about 1975. Cost me $5.00 US and the vendor came onto our ship to sell small items. First really first-rate italic nibs I ever used. Hooked me on the Platignum brand -- was about all I used for the next ten years or so. Eventually wore out the pen, then found no others available. Went to Sheaffer NoNonsense Italics and branched out into the wonderful world of fountain pens in general. Still remember those first Platignums with a great deal of fondness.

May you have as much good out of your pens as I have out of mine.

Yours,
Randal

From a person's actions, we may infer attitudes, beliefs, --- and values. We do not know these characteristics outright. The human dichotomies of trust and distrust, honor and duplicity, love and hate --- all depend on internal states we cannot directly experience. Isn't this what adds zest to our life?
 


#5 john55555

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 23:03

QUOTE (dandelion @ Apr 21 2009, 12:44 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Platignum Varsity Pressmatic with a stub nib.

This is not a pen for beauty contests or powerpen meetings. I got it with a lot of three very cheap pens at Ebay, maybe six months ago. It took some time before I inked it up, because I didn't have any particular expectations on this pen - it was another of the pens in the lot that made me buy it.

Pressmatic_hel_ordbok.jpg

Size & weight: It is a medium sized pen that measures 13,5 cm capped, 15cm posted and 11.8 cm uncapped. It weighs 16 g filled with ink, so it is a light pen.

Design/build: The barrel is made of black plastic and the cap has a plastic core and a "polished steel" surface. It is fairly well built and not fragile at all. The finish is alright. Nothing wrong or non-fitting, but that is about it. The nib looks rather small for this pen.

Rating: 2/5 for the uninspired design & 3-3.25/5 for the build. Made to be used, but not particularly well built either. The extra quarter is because it is comfortable to hold.

Nib: The nib is made of steel and is small and very plain with "Platignum 1st Quality" inscribed. This is where the fun begins: it is one of the best stubs I've ever used. It is comparable with some of the expensive customized stubs I've tried. It is smooth, medium wet and is a pleasure to write letters with. It flatters my not-so-legible handwriting. This is a stub made for extensive everyday writing - especially correspondance. I'd say 4-4.25/5.

Filling: The filling system is Platignums own (?) pressmatic system, which best could be described as a built-in-squeeze converter. Easy to use. It takes some time to flush it, but it is not a big problem. It has worked well since I got it, and flushed it a number of time to get rid of stained ink, which is a surprise since I don't think anyone had used it or cared about if for a very long time. I prefere other more efficient fillingsystem, but this is alright. 3.5/5

Value for the money: I got this for maybe £2.75 (its part of the shipping included) so it is a true bargain. I haven't found a nib that is even close to this value for money. It is almost slightly irritating that such a cheap pen as this has a nib that write this good. I won't sell it. 5/5

Platignum_rev.jpg

Overall: 15.75/25 (6.3)


I have bought several of these Platignum sets on ebay just because they were cheap and nostalgic schoolday reminders. I must say your write up about build and style is correct. I have not been interested in my ones untill I read your review. I shall actually fill one up and have a go. When I was a child we all got these cardboard box sets of platignum fountain pens and pencils as stocking fillers at Christmas, which we never used and stuffed in the draw. At school you did not show off your pen unless it was something like a s/s Parker 45 Flighter ( I quote that one as I still have mine over 35- 40 years later). It is only now I have become more interested in the Platignum range as I remember them from years ago. Thank you for an interesting review


#6 dandelion

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 14:12

Happy to hear about others positive experience of these pens and to hear that John will ink up one of his - please share your experiences with us.
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#7 Peter from Sherwood Park

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 04:17

Thank you for posting this -- my experience with Platignum is zero, so this is great information.

#8 john55555

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 09:03

QUOTE (dandelion @ Jun 5 2009, 03:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Happy to hear about others positive experience of these pens and to hear that John will ink up one of his - please share your experiences with us.


I had a look in my drawer and found two cardboard boxes which are paper covered and I just recognised them as platignum right away. One is a dark red and black coloured checked box and the other a blue grey and white checked box. I cant get rid of the schooldays feeling, but cheap sprang to mind when I opened the drawer and saw them. The blue box has a cold coloured base and inside the lid is printed Platignum, the red is roughly the same. The two pens inside the blue box are to my horror not matching pens, however never inked. The larger of the two is a Platignum Silverline and an absolute nightmare to unscrew. The barrel takes real effort to part from the nib and the cap takes several attempts to screw to the barell. I am sure I can remember this as being a problem with these pens as a child. The nib says Platignum 1st quality M. The aerometric type fill says 'To fill press bar 4 or 5 times. The second pen in the blue box is a Platignum Petite (inscribed on the barrel), which seems quite cute. A very small pocket pen with a black barrel and chrome cap complete with sort of coffin shaped clip with a central cut out. Whilst the fittings are chrome the nip is gold coloured (I would not risk saying plated), and is inscribed Platignum iridium pointed Made in England. This pen screws together well and in general seems much better made although the nib looks to be of cheaper quality than the silverline.

The second box contains a complete set of never used bright red fountain pen and pencil. The pen is a lever fill which moves freely and I can see this pen has never been used. The nib says Platignum 1st Quality M. Nothing is inscribed on the barrel of the pen or the pencil, however both clips are inscribed Platignum. As I look at the clip I cast my eye to the top of the cap where a jewel might be on a more expensive pen and to my horror the word cheap comes back to me. The clips are held in place with two plastic ends made to look like chrome plated. As I write my fingers are covered with glittery stuff from the screw down end finish.

Cheap though the pens maybe, they are non the less examples of there time and for me bring back memories of Chistmas and school for which I forgive their lack of build quality. I decided that I would not fill up a pen, but dip tested the Silverline and I have to say all credit to Platignum, the pen wrote well without skipping, I did think with a more fine line than medium and a little bit scratchy, this could be due to never being inked. If it were not for the difficulty in screwing and unscrewing the thing, I would have considered it for daily use.


#9 Kbkfootball207@gmail.com

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 23:02

I have just inhereted a Varsity Pressmatic from my grandfather and he was very into vintage fountain pens. The one I luckily came across has a gold medium nib that almost looks to small for its size. I was wondering if anyone knew the price of one of these Pressmatics.

Thanks, DR.

#10 BookCat

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 21:18

I realise that this is an old thread, but was checking ebay for a useable Varsity Pressmatic. I had one of these for years, from the 70s to 90s, when the feed finally disintegrated. It was the best fountain pen I've ever had, even though it cost just a few pounds new. The gold nib was so smooth, skipping was just something you did with a rope, and scratchiness indicated a trip to the doc. It wasn't an elegant pen by any means, but functioned beautifully.

 

The only ones I've found on ebay are for parts or the condition isn't listed. I'll keep looking. If anyone has a working Varsity Pressmatic which they want to sell, by all means send me a message.

 

If I can't find one, I just might buy the Lamy 2000 I've been lusting for; it's only a substitute for the old Varsity. Sigh...








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