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Quick Comparison: Platinum Preppy Vs Plaisir (Vs Pilot Metropolitan)



TheDutchGuy

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TheDutchGuy

Being the happy owner of two Sailor fp's (1911 Standard GT & Pro Gear Slim CT, both 14k H-M) and two Pilot fp's (Custom 823 F and Metropolitan M), I was curious what Platinum would bring to the gathering of Japanese pens. As I did with Pilot, I decided to buy a cheap pen first, with the possibility to "upgrade" to a gold-tipped model later on. So I got a blue Plaisir with 0.3 mm nib (18 euros) and a blue Preppy with a 0.5 mm nib (3 euros). I compared them to each other as well as to the Pilot Metropolitan (19 euros).

 

The 3 euro Preppy doesn't come in any kind of box. Based on look and feel, I would expect the pen to be somewhat more expensive (i.e. around 8 euros). It's a plastic pen and it will probably not live to see its first birthday, but it doesn't appear flimsy. I bought one with a 0.5 mm nib. Popped in the included Platinum blue cartridge and off I went. It's somewhat weird to see the ink flow across the section-enclosed fins of the feed. There are no fins outside of the section. The pen wrote straight away and puts a big, fat, confident line on paper. It's not a stub, so line width is more or less the same in downstrokes as well as sidestrokes. The nib is very, very smooth. On a scale of 1 to 10, scratchiness zero, tooth zero, feedback 2. It's like skiing over fresh snow. Very impressive, though purely as a matter of personal preference I'd like more feedback.

 

The 18 euro Plaisir comes in a cheapish plastic box with instructions and an included black cartridge. The instructions claim that the pen won't dry out for a year, even though it is a click-on cap. If that's true, then it's impressive. The barrel and the cap seem to be made of aluminium. Even though it's made of metal, somehow the design looks cheapish to me. Being 6 times as expensive as the Preppy, I'd say it looks only slightly more upmarket but definitely feels more upmarket. I bought one with a 0.3 mm nib, and after popping in the cartridge the pen wrote straight away. Being narrower, the nib offers more feedback than the 0.5 mm but is still incredibly smooth. On a scale of 1 to 10, scratchiness zero, tooth 1, feedback 4. Very impressive. I like this nib.

 

Both pens are nice to write with, in terms of ergonomics. I can use them unposted and the sections aren't slippery at all (even though I tested them on a hot summer day). I could easily do long sessions with these pens. I feel that both Platinums offer exceptional value for money, with the expected longevity of the Plaisir being the main reason for its higher price.

 

The fact that the nibs are easily exchangable between the Preppy and the Plaisir is a great bonus. Want another nib in your Plaisir? Buy a Preppy.

 

Both pens use Platinum's proprietary cartridge system. A converter is available (see photo). Also available is a small item that facilitates the use of standard international cartridges (see photo).

 

For fun, I compared them to my Pilot Metropolitan M. In terms of price, size and shape, the Plaisir and the Metro are very very similar, with the Plaisir being about 4 mm longer and 1 mm wider. A big difference is the feel of the section. The Plaisir has a very small step-down from barrel to section and no ridge at the low end of the section. The Metro does have such a ridge and a pronounced step-down. I like the Metro just fine, but the Plaisir is much easier to grip and feels more comfortable. In terms of writing, both are excellent pens. My Metro has a touch of baby's bottom; it's very subtle but it's there. It also offers slightly more refined feedback, of the pleasant kind, than the Plaisir. It's a tie, both pens writing very well, very smooth and very reliable. Heck, I've had issues getting 200-euro pens to write this good. Count me impressed.

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Edited by TheDutchGuy
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The Plaisir & Preppy have the same Slip & Seal mechanism as the 3776 Century line, hence the ad that the pens won't dry out! You can actually feel the spring.

 

Nice write-up!

 

I think that's the new Preppy, in which case it should last much longer than the old ones, the old ones were made of I believe acrylic and were prone to cracking, the new ones are made of another plastic, I think it's now ABS plastic, same as Lamy Safaris.

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I also appreciate the quality of the least expensive Platinum pens as writers but agree that they look cheap. I have given a Pilot Metropolitan as a gift to an adult, along with a bottle of ink and some nice paper, but I don't think I would ever give an adult a Plaisir. I think it's the ring around the middle, which I assume is painted plastic, that bothers me most.

 

Dutch Guy, you might also try the Platinum Balance. The feedback is unique among pens I have tried--not in amount, but in kind. The Balance costs more than the pens in your comparison but is still a lower-end pen that offers a different writing experience, and to me the plastic feels less brittle than the plastic on many more expensive pens. (The converter is, well, a Platinum converter, but at least they are inexpensive to replace.)

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Thank you for your excellent review, I also have both Preppy and Plaisir and find them jolly good. So good in fact that I sold on my 3776 century as I thought the raised seam left by moulds in the section of 3776 to be a sign of poor quality.

 

Barrel, cap and section as well as nib units are fully interchangeable between the Preppy and Plaisir. This makes it possible to have a Plaisir with 0.2 nib or a Preppy with aluminium barrel.

 

As an interesting side point I find the 0.5 nib behaves almost as an italic nib when reverse writing.

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TheDutchGuy

Dutch Guy, you might also try the Platinum Balance. The feedback is unique among pens I have tried--not in amount, but in kind.

I haven't seen those in Holland yet, but if I encounter one then I'll be sure to try it! Thanks for the tip!

 

As an interesting side point I find the 0.5 nib behaves almost as an italic nib when reverse writing.

It's extraordinary that a 3-euro pen allows effortless reverse writing! But it does. These nibs are really made well.
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Thank you for sharing your first impressions of Preppy and Plaisir, those surely match with my experience! Nice feedback, smooth writing, good grip, easily interchangeable sections - and entry level looks.

Slip & Seal cap really works, in test now 2,5 years, with Ancient Copper in Plaisir 0.5 and DeAtramentis Document Fog Grey in Preppy 0.3, both pens not used regularly, only 3 x syringe refilled original Platinum cartridge in this period, no pen flushing (might sound horrible to some, but looking at the ink between feed channel seemed like a useless effort, so decided to keep one Preppy per ink).

Immediate starts, no nib curd!

In Europe best place (pricewise) to source Platinums is CultPens. Based on my web search abilities.

I have variety of nibs in #3776 models, common theme is nice feedback and smooth writing, but I could not relate it to the Preppy.

Hope you will have a chance to try #3776 !

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