And Rob, a physicist and retired civil servant from Hertfordshire, is a real fan of the Platinum Preppy fountain pen.
Seriously. A big fan. He wrote to tell us:
I have collected over the years a huge number of fountain pens (I would be embarrassed to count them) which I use containing many ink types and colours. Most I decided to replace with Platinum Preppys, when I discovered how brilliant and superior they are, and when my non-Preppy's began to let me down.
So far I have replaced 30 of them with Preppys, and they have never let me down. By my reckoning I still have roughly 50 more inferior and failing pens that I still want to replace (and upgrade) with the vastly superior Platinum Preppys. Or indeed perhaps a few Platinum Plaisirs as well, for good measure and variety, though my preference is for the Preppy because its transparency is an aid to ink management.
...I now regret buying any pen that was not a Preppy, as doing so has been a waste of my money.
Rob said he has even more fountain pens that he could replace with the Platinum Preppy, but "I may call it a day at 80 because no one sane should need more fountain pens than that."
If you aren't familiar, the Platinum Preppy is an inexpensive refillable fountain pen with a stylish design and translucent barrel. They come with medium, fine or extra-fine nibs, and take ink cartridges, or with a little conversion, bottled ink. The Plaisir is an aluminum-bodied cousin that is slightly more expensive.
Rob said he mainly uses three of his Platinum Preppy fountain pens in pretty regular rotation, usually two or three days for each one.
I use three Preppys with the following [waterproof] oak-gall inks: Diamine "Registrar's ink" (blue black, drying darker to almost black); Rohrer and Klingner's "Scabiosa" (purple); and Rohrer and Klingner's "Salix" (mid blue). These I rotate in three colour-dedicated Preppys for use in my daily journal.
(I only use oak-gall inks in my journals. Not that I expect to be read by posterity. On the contrary I expect my writings to end up hanging on the string in an out-house, somewhere, and I do not wish the ink to come off and cause unsightly stains on the user's backside. How considerate is that?)
So what makes him so passionate about the Platinum Preppy? The ink he uses can be hard on fountain pens, as it clogs them up. He also keeps many of the pens in his collection inked and, with the exception of his main three writers, they can often go weeks or a month between uses. Yet, they're always ready to go when he picks them up.
The Platinum Preppy has a brilliant design: such a simple thing as a snugly nib-hugging inner cap (second cap within the cap), spring-loaded, makes all the difference to moist longevity. No Preppy has yet clogged or dried out on me, and it has been over a year since I discovered them.
(Platinum calls this design the "slip & seal mechanism" that keeps the ink from drying, even when the pen is not used for a while.)
...Other pens dry out and clog but the Preppy is uniquely up to it. Also I have found it copes easily with the notorious oak-gall or 'iron-gall' inks, which kill other fountain pens despite being supposedly made for such pens.
In addition to journaling, Rob said he uses his Preppys for drawing and sketching. He's also a prolific letter-writer, corresponding regularly with friends on three continents.
I am never far from my writing desk, and never happier than when I am writing or even just doodling!
I prefer the letter written in ink, by fountain pen, because when you receive one from someone who has gone to that much trouble to put the words on the paper in this digital age, you know it comes from the soul.
While Rob prefers the oak-gall inks for his journaling, he uses other inks for his letter writing.
I cannot recommend highly enough...de Atramentis Document inks, which come in a good range of colours including the three prime colours (yellow, turquoise and fucshia), from which you can mix any other colour you desire (including a true purple) without losing the ink's properties. It also has a number of other enticing non-primary colours: black, brown, green, various darker blues, red, violet and now a new one: "fog grey" (which is blue-grey and close to a Payne's grey).
De Atramentis Document inks (from Germany) do not have oak gall and they are very fountain pen friendly, and yet they are of permanent, waterproof, light-fast archive quality. Clearly they have a brilliant chemist working for them. Neither do these inks easily dry out in the pen. With the Preppy you can have the best of all worlds.
We'd like to thank Rob for letting us know about his experiences with the Platinum Preppy and for his recommendations on inks. It's great to know that a simple, inexpensive fountain pen can perform so well against some of the pricier brands.
Do you have a pen that you are passionate about for drawing, writing, crafting or whatever you do? Send us an email, and we'll feature you on the blog.