This was originally going to be a ‘Best Of 2018’ post and then I thought I’d try out a ‘Favourite Of 2018’ post but when I looked back across the year, I realised that there would be a lot of contenders to be included in either category.
The other consideration is that some of the blogs I follow have already done an excellent job covering the best of the year so instead I decided I would write about my ‘Surprize Of The Year 2018’.
To make the decision was still not easy but one pen stood out above the rest, the Platinum Carbon Desk Pen.
I know it’s an odd choice; an inexpensive plastic pen with what can only be described as an odd cap, but this pen really did surprize me. I’d read quite a few reviews of this pen and every reviewer was happy with it so somewhere around the middle of the year I ordered one from an Amazon seller in Japan; it duly arrived, and I left it on my desk in amongst all the other pens and a few weeks later I unpacked it and inked it and tried it out. It now lives on my desk or tucked into a notebook and it’s always the first pen I reach for to scribble a note, draft an article or write anything.
So here it is, my review of the Platinum Carbon Desk Pen, my surprize of 2018.
As I said I had read the reviews, and everyone was happy, and I thought ‘this can’t be right’, and even though I’m not a Platinum fan (I have a couple of very nice Platinum pens but, so far, we’ve never quite gelled) I decided to order one. The thing to remember is that this is not an expensive pen depending upon the seller/nib size they can come in around $10.00 USD.
The pen arrived, from Japan, less than two weeks later in the card and plastic toothbrush style wrapper and for your money you get a cap, a cartridge and a pen that really is the size and shape of a classic desk pen; the sort you occasionally still see chained up in banks et cetera. The only ornamentation on the pen is a slim gold ring that divides the barrel and nib section; on the barrel, just below this, is the company name and on the underside of this are the pen details. It has a gold coloured nib available in a range of sizes and a flat feed. The thing to remember is that this pen is specially designed to work with carbon ink which as the name implies does contain carbon particles; so, if you try the ink in any other pen (including a Platinum) it’s at your own risk.
Even though this pen is not expensive it is still built to the same high standards you would expect from Platinum; I noticed this when I removed the barrel to insert the cartridge and paid no attention to re-attaching the barrel. Every time I have tested this the ‘Platinum’ name always ends up neatly central below the nib, see below.
The cap feels like it is a bit of an afterthought and it might well be as there are specific single and double pen holder designed for these pens; but afterthought or oddity Platinum still put some thought into making this cap useful. It’s made from a softer grade of plastic than the body of the pen which makes it easier to put on and take off and being a little softer helps it to grip the nib section and form an airtight seal. I can vouch for this as I have never had a hard start or experienced the pen drying out. It has never failed me and on occasion it has gone without being used for over two weeks. Finally, the end of the cap is hexagonal shaped which stops the pen rolling on a desk top, you see they really did put some thought into this.
Moving on to the really important bit, the nib. This nib is a delight to use; it may be a Japanese Medium (roughly a western Fine nib) but it works consistently well with the carbon ink to provide an even flow of very black ink. The one thing I really like about this pen is that it works well on any paper from Tomoe River to the cheapest copier paper making a noise that reminds of the sound of school pencils in composition books.
Without a doubt this pen is excellent value for money and deserves a place in everyone’s collection; I like it so much I bought a second one, some convertors, cartridges and a bottle of carbon ink.
So that is my ‘Surprize Of The Year 2018’; I hope you enjoyed it.
Disclaimer: The pen was purchased with my own funds at retail price. The opinions expressed in this review are my own; and I am not connected with either the retailers or manufacturers in any way.