I’ve always been a fan of the Platinum Preppy. There is no better bang for the buck ratio in the fountain pen world in my opinion. For a street price of $3-4 you get a fully-functional, cartridge-fed fountain pen that can even be upgraded with a converter if you so desire. It comes in half a dozen colors and each comes with a matching Platinum ink cartridge.
One of the ironies of life is that this inexpensive pen is one of the most reliable pens I own, and I own a lot of pens. Until now, they’ve come in 05 and 03 nib sizes and I’ve always favored the later because I tend to work small and thus love fine-nib pens.
So, when Platinum released an 02 version of this pen I had to try one. It arrived as part of an order from Jet Pens with one little glitch. Platinum’s cartridges are nice as they use a small metal ball to seal the end. When you insert the cartridge, the ball is shoved into the cartridge and acts as an agitator for the ink, one of the things that makes these pens so reliable.
But guess what happens if you put water-based inks in a -30C environment which was my mailbox. Yep…the ink freezes, expands, and the little ball is shoved out the end. Fortunately, it was washable ink and so an easy clean up. So, my tests with this pen were done with J. Herbin Perle Noire ink rather than with the Platinum blue that comes with it.
The appropriate review word for this pen is WOW. If you like fine pens you will like this new Preppy 02. If you don’t, you won’t. It is just a bit finer than a Micron 01. Like other Preppy pens it is smooth for such a fine nib and I spent half an hour just making hatch marks and little doodles with it.
This pen has a fancier paint job than do the 03 and 05 versions. I’m not sure if this is a remake of the Preppy line and/or if we’ll see this scheme on the rest of the Preppies soon. It is the case that the 02 is more expensive than the 03 and 05, at least right now. Jet Pens currently sells it for a whopping $4.45, or the cost of a decent sized latte at Starbucks (grin).
I was hoping that you would review this pen, I love how you sketch and am similar in my desire for super fine pens. I’m glad you liked it, and now I just have to get one (or two, or three) for myself! Thanks! 😀
Have you used the other Preppies? If not, buy at least one 03 when you’re ordering. They’re great pens and you can’t beat the price. Those of us who use a lot of fountain pens tend to get our heads in the clouds a bit. I love my Pilot Preras and Falcon but you certainly don’t need to spend that kind of money on a sketching pen. I listened to a podcast this morning and one of the products they talked about was a $1300 flashlight. We humans are a bit strange about what we do with our money (grin).
Glad you like my sketches. Wish I could get some time to do some. It’s frustrating this time of year as it’s very busy for me and, since I can’t get outside to sketch on the streets, I’m less motivated. I guess that’s why bears hibernate – there’s nothing for them to sketch.
Cheers — Larry
Oh yes, I feel another Platinum Preppy Pen purchase in my near future!
My only fountain pen for almost 2 years was a TWSBI Mini EF and a big bottle of Lexy Gray. Then they came out with the white and gold Mini and I had to have it, along with Brown #41. Slippery slope. Another Mini for Christmas and a bunch of ink samples. What to put them in? A Preppy EF since Brian Goulet reviews it well. I like it a lot and now I am ordering 4 more with a packet of O rings and a pot of silicone grease to do my own eyedropper conversion this time instead of paying the extra $2 each for them to do it. I had given hubby one for Christmas and now he wants another one, too. Most of my sketches are in small books so I love nice fine points, and I could hardly believe how cheap the Preppies are and still seem to write very well.
Thanks for your comment, Arlene. I love my TWSBI Mini, but I wish it were finer. You’re right about that slippery slope and those of us who slide down it should admit that part of the reason is that the tools are so fun and not because we really need to spend all the money. The Preppy brings that home I think. I have one Preppy 03 as an eyedropper and it’s always worked but I can’t convince myself that this is the way to go for someone banging his pens around in a carry bag every day.
Oddly, my second Mini EF (the white and gold one) is a bit finer than my first all clear one and is on a par with the Preppy. Third one is same as the first. I wonder if all their gold EF nibs came out finer than the silver-colored ones. I like them all. Also got an extra italic nib.
There is some variation in line width for any particular nib. This is particularly true for fine nibs as it doesn’t take much of a difference either in tine alignment or tine spacing for a large change to be visible. I have a Prera that is finer than the others. I keep a washable ink in that one and waterproof (pigmented) inks in the others and this pretty much balances them out.
Cheers — Larry
I like the way the new Preppy looks better then the old (which I love using, but it looks as cheap as it is
(Hmmm…not sure what happened to the second half of my comment! ) … but I think the EF nib would be a little too fine for me. Sure can’t beat the price on these, though! Well, except maybe the Pilot Petit1, which I also love!
It may be too fine for me too, Tina, which is something of a shock as I REALLY like fine pens. For sketching in my 3×5 it’s probably ok but I had to work too long and hard to get enough ink on a page yesterday when trying to draw a Roman helmet. If I only needed an outline and then was going to add watercolor it would have been fine but I was trying to hatch-shade a black helmet with it. I needed a thicker line.
Cheers — Larry
I’d like to try this pen. But is it only available with an extra fine nib?
Yes, Michael, they come in 03 and 05 sizes as well. Platinum’s 02, 03, and 05 nomenclature seems directed at those unfamiliar with fountain pen EF, F, M, B nomenclature but more familiar with Micron’s 01, 02, 05. Not sure it helps much as Micron’s numbers are rather arbitrary as their 01 has a .2mm tip 🙂 Hope this helps.
Cheers — Larry
I hear you with the arbitrary pen sizes! I end up with several that are too thick for most uses…fooey!
It does make things hard to predict but I also sympathize with the companies. With fountain pens, I can shift line width considerably just by changing inks and even more with a shift in paper. Microns-like pens are the ones that baffle me. Their 05 is .45mm while their .01 is .25mm. Between them they have the 02 and 03. Makes no sense. And then Staedtler comes along and honestly makes their 01 produce a line of .1mm. We shouldn’t become truth in labelling 🙂
Cheers — Larry
COOL! They ARE super-dependable…