Pen Class: Economy ($25 and under)
Street Price:: $21.00
Body Material: Aluminum
Nib Material: Steel
Nib Size: Fine (.03mm) and Medium (.05mm)
Cap Type: Slip Cap (Snap On/Off)
Filling Mechanism: Cartridge (Proprietary) or Converter (Proprietary)
Ink Capacity: 1.0 ml / 0.033 oz
Overall Weight: 19 g / 0.67 oz
Cap Weight: 10 g / 0.35 oz
Body Weight: 9 g / 0.32 oz
Overall Length Capped: 143 mm / 5.63 in
Overall Length Posted: 157 mm / 6.18 in
Body Length (not including nib): 107 mm / 4.22 in
Nib Length: 14 mm / 0.55 in
Body Length (including nib): 121 mm / 4.77 in
Cap Diameter w/o Clip: 14 mm / 0.55 in
Cap Diameter w/Clip: 16 mm / 0.63 in
Body Diameter at Section: 12 mm / 0.47 in
Body Diameter at Posting End: 11 mm / 0.43 in
If this pen were a movie, it would be…
In a Metal Mood (1996)
Dan: 1 – With the name for a pen that means ‘pleasure’ in French, I certainly didn’t get much pleasure from the way this pen was presented. The Platinum Plaisir comes in a clear cellophane wrapper with a tag attached to the clip. Platinum certainly isn’t wasting time or money on the packing of this low end pen. I guess they save that for their limited editions. I really don’t mind them skimping on the packaging as long as what they save goes back into the pen. Hopefully that’s the case here.
Eric: 0 – I cannot bring myself to give the Plaisir even a single point with regard to Dealer Prep because, in my mind, there is no Dealer Prep. As you say, Dan, the pen comes in a clear cellophane bag-type wrapper that’s just large enough to hold the pen. For a pen that’s near the top of the price point for it’s class (Economy Class, $25 and under), I expected more than a cellophane wrapper.
Dan: 6 – The Platinum Plaisir uses the cartridge/converter filling system. If you’ve read any of our reviews thus far you’ll know I’m not fan of c/c’s. Platinum isn’t going to gain any points with me by using a proprietary system, either. While their cartridges do hold more ink than an international cartridge and their converters are arguably nicer than others, you’re still limited to whatever Platinum has to offer. And the converter doesn’t even come with the pen. It’s a $7 option that actually pushes this pen into the next class, so to keep it in the Economy class we’re reviewing it without the converter.
The cartridge is a bit more interesting than most others, though. Most cartridges have a plastic seal that you have to break when pushing it onto the pen. The Platinum cartridge has a small metal ball in the end that seals it and when it’s been inserted onto the pen you can hear the ball rattle inside the cartridge. It might be annoying to some, but I kind of like it. Also, when inserting the cartridge, it has the most satisfying “CLICK!” I’ve ever heard. I knew immediately that the cartridge was fully seated.
Eric: 2 – I toyed with the idea of giving this pen a slightly higher score in this category because there is a converter available. Unfortunately, the converter is not included with the pen and it’s proprietary. What I’m left with is a cartridge-only pen that uses proprietary cartridges and does not provide room for a spare in the barrel.
Dan, I agree that the Platinum cartridge is more interesting than any other I’ve seen or used. The metal ball that seals the cartridge before use is unique and oddly appealing. The hearty “click” of a successful cartridge installation is helpful as I often wonder whether a cartridge is correctly in place and ready. However, the rattling of the now liberated metal ball inside the cartridge is quite bothersome and reminds me of the sound you hear when shaking a can of spray paint.
Dan: 6.5 – My first impression of this pen is that it seems a little cheap for how much it actually cost. I don’t know if it’s because I’m staring at the same nib and feed that’s in my $4 Platinum Preppy or if it’s because of how light it is, or what. I just get a cheap vibe from this pen. However, I do prefer the aluminum cap and body over the plastic pieces on the Preppy.
I inserted the cartridge and when I came back to it after an hour it was ready to write. Initially, the flow seemed a bit dry but I never had any issues with hard starts or skipping. The nib was smooth with a lot of feedback but never scratchy. It was also soft and springy but there’s definitely no flex. I wouldn’t say the Test Drive was good or bad, just kinda “meh”.
Eric: 6 – The pen, being aluminum, is lighter than it looks. Since quality is often associated with heft, the Platinum Plaisir makes a less than ideal first impression. However, it certainly performs nicely. Once the cartridge had been installed and the pen was ready, the Test Drive as a breeze. The ink flow is spot on. I experienced one hard start but no skipping. The pen kept up the pace very nicely.
The nib cannot be described as butter-smooth, but it’s not scratchy. There is feedback but no clawing of the paper. What’s interesting, however, is that the nib sounds like it should be scratchy. There is a lot of audio coming from this pen and I believe the aluminum barrel is somehow acting like a small echo chamber, amplifying the sound of the nib on paper. Having the audio of a scratchy nib while enjoying the feel of a nib that is smooth is oddly confusing, like seeing someone nodding yes while saying no.
Dan: 6.5 – If you’ve seen the nib on a Platinum Preppy then you’ve seen the nib on the Platinum Plaisir. It’s a small steel nib that matches the color of the pen and has Platinum’s “p” logo and the nib width stamped into it. You can also see the feed and its many fins through the clear section.
Like I said in the Test Drive, the nib is smooth but with a lot of feedback. As in, it’s like someone smoothed the nib using 1000 grit polishing paper. So it’s smooth, but rough as well. However you’d describe it, you certainly can’t say it’s scratchy because it’s not at all.
Eric: 5.75 – I don’t usually care for the look of a nib with folded “wings,” but it somehow works for the Plaisir. The nib’s shape adds to the pen’s modern look. I particularly enjoy the fact that the nib’s color matches the pen. The stamps of both the logo and the nib number are unobtrusive and do not deter from the sleekness of the design. It’s a steel nib, which is perfectly in line with a pen of the Economy Class, and it’s surprisingly capable. I find the level of feedback too high, even on Rhodia paper, but if you enjoy feedback (without scratchiness), you’ll love this nib.
Dan: 6 – I mentioned in the Test Drive that the flow seemed to be a bit dry and I continued to notice that up until about half way through the Road Trip. As I was using it I could see the feed start to become saturated. Once it was fully saturated the flow improved enough to bring it back into my comfort zone. If you do purchase a Plaisir please keep this in mind because it can totally change your experience.
Eric: 6.5 – I found the Platinum Plaisir’s performance to be quite admirable. Unlike you, Dan, I did not notice any sort of flow problem once the pen sat for an hour after having the cartridge installed. The pen puts ink to paper where I ask and when I ask. It’s very compliant and easy going. As you’ll read in the Road Trip, I had only one hesitant start and no skipping.
Dan: 7.75 – I really like the design of the Platinum Plaisir. It’s a decently sized pen with large radius ends and a fairly low profile clip. It’s available in 7 different colors with the nib and the middle of the clip matching the color of the pen. The thick, one piece cap band has “Platinum Japan” and “Plaisir” molded into it and are separated by 5 interlocking circles.
Eric: 7.5 – I agree, Dan, there is much to admire about the thoughtfulness of design that went into the Plaisir. The one major flaw to my eyes is the size of the cap band. It is overwhelmingly large and “in your face” when looking at the pen. With all other design details about the pen executed so well, I just can’t understand how this eyesore of a cap band made it from initial mockup to final product. Take the top and bottom portions of the cap band away, leaving only an unadorned band with the maker’s marks, and you’ve got something that is classy and falls right in line with the rest of the pen’s modern look.
Get past the cap band, however, and you’ll find all the wonderful details that Dan has mentioned. The size is both pleasing and comfortable. The detail of the clip that matches the color of the pen is a very nice touch. The production of 7 different colors means that the majority of users should be able to find one favorite. The “newly designed structure” inside the cap which prevents ink from drying for up to a year is a nice feature if you happen to be looking for a pen that you will leave inked and abandoned for long periods of time. I hope to never need such a pen, but I’m glad to know that the Plaisir exists just in case.
Dan: 8.5 – The Platinum Plaisir is build like a brick wall. The barrel and section screw together to create one solid unit and the cap snaps into place with authority. The cap also posts securely. I even whipped the pen back and forth several times just to test it and the cap didn’t budge.
Eric: 7 – I find the detail in the design build of the Platinum Plaisir to be very good indeed, equal to that of the Sheaffer VFM. The Plaisir is as solid an aluminum pen you could hope to create. The nib’s number (in this case, 03) is stamped into the very top of the cap. I tried to ignore this, but I find it distracting, not to mention unnecessary.
It’s nice to know that the anodized aluminum cap and body are scratch resistant. I tested the scratch resistance with a few different abrasive-ish objects and found that nothing left a mark. Unfortunately, dent resistance is not built in to the pen. Without much effort and on the very first attempt, I easily placed a small dent in the body of the pen. It’s so small that you’d have to know it’s general location to even begin to look for it, but it’s there.
Dan: 6.5 – There was nothing really special about the Road Trip with the Plaisir. It wasn’t bad, which is good, but nothing really stood out about the pen. It performed about as well as you could hope for a fountain pen. The Plaisir is large enough to be comfortable, which I was very thankful for but the section is very slippery, especially if there’s even the tiniest bit of moisture on your hands. While using it I never experienced any issues such has hard starts or skipping.
Eric: 6 – The Platinum Plaisir’s girth makes it fairly comfortable when writing for longer periods. My hand didn’t utter the dreaded, “Are we there yet?” until the 20 minute marker, which is very good. The experience of writing with the Plaisir can best be described as ordinary. The pen does it’s job and behaves well, but does not leave a lasting memory in the mind of the user. In the full twenty-one minutes, I experienced one hesitant start and no skipping what-so-ever. Very much out of character for me, I posted the Plaisir because the pen was much more balanced that way.
– 7 Different Colors
– Construction & Quality
– Proprietary Cartridges / Proprietary Converter
– Basically an Aluminum Bodied Preppy
Famous Last Words:
Dan: I don’t think you would be making a bad choice if you picked the Platinum Plaisir. While there are certainly many worse choices, you’d be hard pressed to find more than a few better ones in this price range. It would really come down to personal preference and which aspects of a pen matter most. If you like a good sized pen with lots of color options and great detailing then take a look at this pen. If you can’t stand proprietary filling systems and need an awesome nib you should probably look elsewhere.
Eric: The Platinum Plaisir is definitely a top of the line Economy Class pen. In my mind, if the overly large cap band doesn’t offend your sense of balance and design, then this pen should be on your short list.
This pen was purchased for review.