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Platinum Cool / Balance Review



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Caeruleum

Forgive me, but just to clarify:

 

In this review Caeruleum states that the Platinum Cool M and F nibbed pens reviewed write with a line width more congruent with European M and F sizing,

 

Enewton's experience was stated to have a Platinum Cool M write more like a European Fine.

 

And while my Platinum Preppy Fine 03 writes more like a European Fine, I must ask for clarification: How do the nib sizes on the Platinum Cool run? Are they more typical of Japanese sizing or do they run similar to average European sizing (as is stated in the review)?

 

Did sizing possibly change? Is it a natural variation?

 

I can't answer whether sizing may have changed or how much natural variation there is since I only had to samples and don't think that is enough to make a valid observation I could generalise. Thus I would recommend Goulet's Nib Nook where you can choose from images of many many writing samples and for example compare a fine Platinum Cool to a fine and medium Pilot Metropolitans and a fine Lamy steel nib which is what I just did. To me the Platinum looks closer to a western size given we consider a Lamy steel nib representative.

There also is a video by Brian Goulet writing with a fine and medium Cool and a gold-nibbed fine Platinum Kanazawa Leaf. Here he says the Cool runs finer than a western counterpart. He writes on 5mm ruling, so you you can use this as an objective standard and compare it to the pens you have by writing on 5mm (Rhodia).

Stephen Brown made a review writing with a medium Cool here. Maybe this helps as well.

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Mongoosey

I appreciate the response. That does help.

 

I only ask because I am seriously considering it and want to get the right one. I may have to try the Fine out first since I'm not looking for too thick a line.

 

And with how wet a pen it is, I don't feel so apprehensive about trying the finer nib, especially at the sub $30 prices.

 

Many thanks : )

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Honeybadgers

My balance (same as cool) F writes exactly the same as a preppy F

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)

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Mongoosey

My balance (same as cool) F writes exactly the same as a preppy F

 

That's good to know.

 

Thank you for letting me know : )

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I just got the blue Platinum Cool in Medium and was taken aback by how fat and wet the line is. I was expecting it to be similar to my pilot medium, or at least on the Japanese sizing scale. Instead, mine (inked with the included platinum cartridge) lays down fatter lines than my Lamy Safari Medium (inked with sailor Tokiwa Matsu).

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Not an overly scientific test, but I just inked my cool and figured I'd share the results.

 

The Platinum Cool is quite a wet writer (I didn't remember). Its line is quite consistent (I've tried 3 and found them all to write identically).

 

Here's a comparison of a Platinum Cool M, Platinum Preppy M (0.5mm), and a Pelikan Jazz M.

 

Have fun....

 

Alex

 

fpn_1557294350__platinum_cool_m_vs_prepp

---------------------------------------------------------

We use our phones more than our pens.....

and the world is a worse place for it. - markh

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A Smug Dill

 

I purchased mine in the US, and the salesman claimed that it can stay capped for a year and still write. My office is in the attic and it's usually warmer and drier than the rest of my apartment, so a year is a bit much, but I know for a fact that it still writes after three months,

 

I have three Platinum Balance (black, blue, and crystal blue) pens, and every one of those would dry out in about three months. I don't mind the presence of the inner cap, but it just isn't effective functionally. I'm aware that the Platinum Balance is not marketed as being equipped with a Slip & Seal mechanism, in the way Plaisir and Preppy models are, but its resistance to dry-out while capped and undisturbed is disappointing. Not only do the cheaper Platinum fountain pen models beat the Balance by at least an order of magnitude, but my two Monteverde Monza pens also surpass the Balance's performance significantly in that regard. The steel F nib on the Balance is OK, but certainly no more enjoyable for me to use than the steel F nib on the Monza.

 

If I was looking for yet another cheap demonstrator, even for roughly the same price (the clear Platinum Balance has been offered for ¥2,010 on Amazon.co.jp for most of the past two months, whereas the Monteverde Monza is often offered at US$15 or less, such as this weekend from Pen Chalet for US$13.50) I'd take the Monza over the Balance any day. Taking into account the actual price difference, and the fact that the Monza comes with a converter in its retail package but the Balance does not, even though I'm a self-proclaimed fan of Platinum (and Japanese fountain pens in general) for generally offering the best value-for-money out of the Japanese Big Three brands, the Platinum Balance is not a pen I'd recommend to any friend or colleague. I'd be more inclined to recommend the Sailor Profit Junior, if someone was looking for a similar demonstrator but wants a Japanese-made pen specifically.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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Would you leave them sitting around for 3 months?

 

The Profit Junior is tiny, smaller than a Procolor or Jinhao 992.

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A Smug Dill

Would you leave them sitting around for 3 months?

Yes, I would and have done so; that's how I know they dry out. That's how I deploy a broad class of fountain pens. Would I do so again? That's a question not unlike, "Would you employ someone whose shortcomings have demonstrated they aren't suitable for a given role to fill a vacant position?" The answer is yes, but my Platinum Balance pens are "demoted" to only be filled with cheaper cost-per-millilitre inks of which I have large bottles (holding 50ml or more).

 

The Profit Junior is tiny, smaller than a Procolor or Jinhao 992.

A pen with a larger body does not make it more competent or better fountain pens by that "virtue" alone, and I have "tiny" pens (as well as large pens) that I enjoy using. Obviously if someone is after a large pen, I wouldn't recommend either the Sailor Profit Junior or the Platinum Balance.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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Yes, I would and have done so; that's how I know they dry out. That's how I deploy a broad class of fountain pens. Would I do so again? That's a question not unlike, "Would you employ someone whose shortcomings have demonstrated they aren't suitable for a given role to fill a vacant position?" The answer is yes, but my Platinum Balance pens are "demoted" to only be filled with cheaper cost-per-millilitre inks of which I have large bottles (holding 50ml or more).

 

 

A pen with a larger body does not make it more competent or better fountain pens by that "virtue" alone, and I have "tiny" pens (as well as large pens) that I enjoy using. Obviously if someone is after a large pen, I wouldn't recommend either the Sailor Profit Junior or the Platinum Balance.

 

3 months of leaving a pen sitting around is bordering on a long time, IMO. If there's drying out by that time it ain't too bad, but nowhere near the slip and seal, though, that's for sure. I'd be curious about others' feedback on the matter of drying out.

 

I've had pens lose their flow/partially clog in less than a month depending on the ink.

 

Something that intrigues me about the Cool is that it has more agreeable dimensions that can work with a larger population of hand sizes, which is where the Sailor Profit Junior is limited as a recommendation, IMO, that's all.

 

It would be nice to see Platinum evolve this pen by keeping the relatively smooth transition from the section to the barrel, (unlike the 3776 and Procyon), keep the snap cap, but upgrade the form of the design to something more mature or stylish, remove that glaring inner cap which looks like something suspect solidified in the pen, and put in the Slip and Seal that's even in the $4 Preppy.

 

I mean, look how well the Preppy Lasts sitting around with Platinum Carbon Black in it (successful after 5 months!):

https://fountainpenfollies.com/2018/10/11/five-months-an-extended-test-of-platinum-carbon-black-pigment-ink/

Edited by Mongoosey
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A Smug Dill

3 months of leaving a pen sitting around is bordering on a long time, IMO.

It is arguably a long time. On the other hand, my Rotring Initial pens almost never dry out on me (in spite of not having made any marketing claims about resisting drying out, but only about their suitability for air travel due the Air Pressure Compensation feature); neither does my Rotring 400 (which has had Noodler's X-Feather ink sitting in it for literally years without getting refilled, and writes immediately every single time when every several months I have a use for it). My Monteverde Monza pens don't, and my Sailor Lecoule pens don't; and then, of course my Platinum Plaisir and #3776 Century pens don't, either. (However, my non-Century #3776 pens do dry out while capped and unused.)

 

I don't dislike my Platinum Balance pens per se, but I just cannot think of a single "winning feature" on which to recommend it to friends and colleagues (i.e. someone with whom I have an ongoing relationship I care about maintaining positively). Oh, yes, its steel nib is kinda bouncy, but then I don't assume that's universally considered a desired characteristic in fountain pens; I think that has its place in some applications, but not "better" than "nails" by default generally speaking.

 

It would be nice to see Platinum evolve this pen by keeping the relatively smooth transition from the section to the barrel, (unlike the 3776 and Procyon), keep the snap cap, but upgrade the form of the design to something more mature or stylish, remove that glaring inner cap which looks like something suspect solidified in the pen, and put in the Slip and Seal that's even in the $4 Preppy.

Not before it puts up the price of the evolved (still steel-nibbed) model — but then that price point is effectively already occupied by the Procyon in Platinum's product line-up.

 

As a consumer and fountain pen user, I almost never support any "suggestions" from my fellows about how to make a pen look nicer or classier, or functionally superior, unless they're accompanied by, "If it was improved that way, my wallet would be more open to the manufacturer, who can then ask more higher prices in return for the improvements in its offering," especially if the product sells well enough as-is at the current pricing.

 

 

...

 

I've just cleaned my blue and black Platinum Balance pens, and inked them with full fills of KWZ Ink Walk Over Vistula and Warsaw Dreaming respectively — the same inks in my blue and black Rotring Initial pens, which were last refilled many months ago (before I started keeping a logbook of which pen was inked when); my best guess would be early February.

 

I suspect the Platinum Balance pens will dry out before the Rotring Initial pens, even now when I have less of a need to refill the latter than before.

Edited by A Smug Dill

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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  • 3 months later...

I suspect the Platinum Balance pens will dry out before the Rotring Initial pens, even now when I have less of a need to refill the latter than before.

I forgot to post an update, after checking about a month ago; only tonight was I prompted to come back to this, when I went to redeploy my blue and black Platinum Balance pens.

 

They indeed went dry after being mostly unused for three months, and full converter fills of ink have evaporated. In contrast, my blue and black Rotring Initial (which also have snap caps, just like the Platinum Balance) pens still wrote at that point, after what must be six months since refilled. When I checked earlier tonight, the blue Initial pen has dried out completely, the black one down to the last 10% and the remaining ink has become so thick it struggles to flow, but my silver Rotring Initial which would have also been filled on the same day in early February still writes smoothly with KWZ Ink Grey Plum.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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The transparent Cool. I've had an F nib for years.

pros -
Feed holds a lot of ink. Often carry it as a backup to my favorite smaller-capacity pens.
Converter filling is quick and clean. I can fill this while I'm on the phone.
Writes so wet and wide I have to tame it with Pelikan or other drier inks.
Can leave it uncapped for 10+ minutes and it writes. (Timed this for some other thread.)
Cap seal keeps ink wet and ready to write for months. (Though not years like a Preppy.)
No one has ever walked away with this pen.(Unlike other pens.) Great for meetings, cafes, travel!
Comes in opaque colors too.

cons -
The opaque white of the cap liner.
It's so wet I have to tame it with Pelikan or other drier inks.
Nib is smooth and skates across the page. (Prefer toothy or bouncy).

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