Bali Citrus is Platinum’s “limited edition” Plaisir for 2018. This came as news for me as I wasn’t aware that Platinum issued limited edition Plaisirs. A bit of digging turns up one possible previous limited edition, the Akajiku, but not much else. Whether this is an indicator of things to come from Platinum, I guess time will tell.
I’ve previously enthused about the Plaisir in Nova Orange. A metal-bodied pen for less than £10 that does the basics pretty well is a good thing in my book. This new incarnation is the same pen, just in a different jacket. As a fountain pen in general, the Plaisir is not everyone’s cup of tea. In this colour, I suspect opinions might be even more divided. Bali Citrus turns out to be an acidic greeny-yellowy sort of colour. You could happily call it citrus, but what makes is particularly Balinese is anyone’s guess.
To rehearse my previous review, the Plaisir comes with a slim, anodised aluminium body and cap and a simple steel nib and plug-in feed. Impressively at this price, the cap includes “Slip and Seal” technology, which can be found on Platinum’s more expensive pens. This means that you can leave the pen capped for extended periods of time and it won’t dry out. I haven’t tested this scientifically, but I’ve left my orange Plaisir inked and unused for several few weeks and it’s written first time without any skipping or hard starts.
Sticking with the cap, the clip is simple, but robust and functional. Another subtle feature of the cap is a broad, engraved chromed band. I’m not a huge fan, but can live with it as a “feature” at this price. I know plenty of people are offended by it, but I’m sure someone somewhere loves it. I really like a comment on The Finer Point that likened the cap band to a wrestling champion’s belt, which sums it up nicely. Very bling.
The nib is a simple steel affair and is common between the Plaisir and the ultra-cheap Preppy, so it’s easy to switch between the available sizes (medium, fine and extra-fine).
I don’t normally post my fountain pens, but the Plaisir is one that I find I have to post to feel right. It’s not really a balance issue, more that without the cap there’s not enough mass for my liking.
The Plaisir uses Platinum’s proprietary fittings, so won’t take international cartridges unless you buy an adaptor. I had the impression that the Plaisir wouldn’t work with Platinum’s converter, but Laura from Fountain Pen Follies pointed out that it does work (with a bit of faffing). If you try to fill the pen by immersing the nib in ink there’s not enough draw to fill more than the section, but if you use a syringe to fill the converter and then flood the section you can get a decent fill.
You can get the Bali Citrus Plaisir from sources like Cult Pens, Goulet Pens and Rakuten. For some reason, UK pricing seems a bit more wallet-friendly than elsewhere.
I still like Plaisir. Sure the Plaisir is not without its limitations, but it does the job well and I can’t get away from the value for money argument. A well made metal pen at that sort of price? It seems rude not to.