There’s always a risk when a company gives a product a name that implies a certain quality of experience. So it is with Platinum’s Plaisir. Is owning one a pleasure or a pain? Read on to find out…
I’ve previously reviewed Platinum’s Preppy – an ultra-cheap, highly usable cartridge pen that has a decent nib (particularly when you factor in the price).
At over three times the price of the Preppy, the Plaisir is the Preppy’s more grown-up, sophisticated cousin. You get the same transparent plastic grip and nib/feed combo that comes with the Preppy. (The grip is smoked on the Nova Orange, but clear on the other colour options.) Where your extra money goes is on an aluminium cap and barrel and the introduction of Platinum’s ‘slip and seal’ cap mechanism which prevents ink from clogging even if the pen sits unused for up to a year. Having only had the pen a month or two, I’ll have to take Platinum’s word for that. Still, it’s nice to see this feature down at this price level.
The Plaisir comes in a fairly wide range of colours, including ‘Frosty Blue’ and ‘Gunmetal’ alongside the more usual red and black. Medium and fine are the most commonly available nibs. I hung on until the Nova Orange version (I like orange) became available from Cult Pens and, having previously tried a medium, opted this time for a fine nib.
Stats for Plaisir are as follows:
Weight = 14.5g
Length = 142.5 mm
Diameter (max) = 15 mm
The Plaisir cost me £9.45 from Cult Pens (UK). The US retail price is $22, although Goulet Pens seem to be offering it at a discounted price of around $18.
As with the Preppy, the only option out of the box is to use Platinum’s proprietary cartridges. For an extra £1.50 ($5 in the US) you can buy a small plastic adaptor which enables you to use the more readily available short international cartridges. As I showed with the Preppy, you can also add in Kaweco’s mini piston converter on top to enable you to use bottled ink. I took the opportunity to try Diamine’s ‘Elegance’ collection – a box of 20 cartridges (Claret, Teal, Midnight, Oxblood and Saddle Brown).
Playing it safe, the first colour I tried was Midnight. This turns out to be a perfectly reasonable dark blue.
In use the Plaisir puts down a fine, but suitably wet line. Of the fine-nibbed pens I own, this is one of the finest – maybe matched by my TWSBI Diamond 580. The fine nibs on my Lamy 2000 and Kaweco Sport don’t really come close in comparison.
So what do I make of the Plaisir overall? Well, I really like it.
The nib is great. It’s no less plain than the nib on a Lamy Safari and at this price point you wouldn’t expect a lot to have been spent on making it look more glamorous. Despite its simple design, it puts down a good line and behaves itself well. It’s not at all scatchy and I appreciate the good ink flow. Drier pens can make writing with a fine nib a bit of a chore, but not so here. The nib and feed can be removed simply by pulling, so you could switch to another nib size quite easily (the Preppy would make a cheap donor). The grip is most definitely utilitarian rather than a design classic, but it gets the job done.
The aluminium finish makes it feel a lot more up-market than the all-plastic Preppy. The Plaisir feels quite slender and light weight in the hand, and although I prefer my pens to be a little chunkier and with a bit more heft, it hasn’t stopped me using this pen on a regular basis. I don’t normally post pens when I write, but found myself doing so with the Plaisir to get the balance right for me.
The embossed, engraved chrome band at the base of the cap takes the opposite approach to the nib in terms of finish. It’s a little too fancy for my taste and it could be argued that it cheapens the look of the pen a little. In my opinion, something simpler would have added more class. That said, I’m being a bit harsh here and I have to keep reminding myself that this is a pen costing less than £10!
That’s what it really comes down to. Platinum have done a fantastic job producing such a well-made, well-performing pen at this price point. I haven’t had the opportunity to try one of Platinum’s higher end pens yet, but the Plaisir certainly helps underpin the company’s reputation for producing pens with quality nibs that are good value for money.
So far, owning one has been a pleasure.
5 thoughts on “Platinum Plaisir – fountain pen review”
Great review. That looks so much better than the Preppy!
Shouldn’t it also take Platinum’s converter? At least, I hope it does.
Thank you, and thanks for pointing out my oversight. I assumed that as the nib/feed/grip was the same as for the Preppy, it wouldn’t take the Platinum converter. Turns out that the Plaisir doesn’t either, but I should have checked! The barrel isn’t long enough to accommodate the Platinum converter, hence me tinkering with the Kaweco one.
Even with this shortcoming, it’s still a great little pen. It’s a bit more expensive in the US, but for the UK price it’s a steal!
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I just started with Preppies, so a Plaisir feels like a natural next step. My eyes keep getting drawn back to the Nova Orange, and I think ‘ooh’; but then they travel to the cap band and I think ‘uurgh’.
Less than £10, as you say, but in that case you’d think they wouldn’t feel the need to dress it up like… an ostentatious signet ring on a twenty-year-old banker’s finger. (Surely the orange is gaudy enough? 😉 )
Thanks for the in-depth review, though. Very informative. I take it the SI adaptor leaves too little barrel space for regular converters, hence the Kaweco mini?
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Thanks. I think I’ve just learned to live with the cap band. It’s not pretty, but there are enough upsides to this pen that I’m prepared to overlook it.
On the subject of converters, the Plaisir will actually take a standard Platinum converter, so the info I got from one vendor’s website wasn’t strictly true. The downside is that if you fill it by sinking the nib into the bottle you only draw up enough to fill the feed. I fill the converter first with a syringe, push that ‘down’ through the feed and then fill from the bottle. A bit of a faff, but you get there in the end!