Whenever someone mentions a cursory curiosity in fountain pens, I recommend trying a Platinum Preppy. Personally, I find the nib to be fine enough on the Platinum Preppy not to scare away a new user accustomed to rollerballs, ballpoints and the occasional gel pen. And at $4, its the financial commitment equivalent of a venti mocha at Starbucks. But now, there’s another option: the Platinum Preppy 02 EF, an even finer version.
For me, the Preppy 02 is a good entry into the world of needle fine Japanese fountain pens. And its cost is a more like a venti peppermint mocha with an extra shot ($5). So, still… not a huge financial commitment.
With the introduction of the Preppy 02 EF, Platinum is re-branding the whole Preppy line. Instead of having tinted nibs to match the ink colors, all the Preppies will have silver tone nibs and the ink colors will be indicated by the design details on the pen. I preferred the aesthetic looks of the old Preppy design but I’m willing to overlook the aethetics for a $5 EF Japanese nib. Because, let’s be honest, Platinum decided to use the mass market disposable pen approach to the graphics on the new Preppy line. I’d rather the clear plastic show the inner workings than mucking up the whole pen with silvery printed graphics. But that’s just me.
If you’ve not tried the original Preppy, its a fully plastic pen with a Platinum fountain pen cartridge. Some people do modify these pens to be eyedropper pens though I don’t know if the new design will support this (I haven’t looked for holes in the plastic that would inhibit this use). Its a fairly lightweight pen with a cap that will post to give a bit more weight to the pen. The clip is also plastic but its pretty sturdy for being plastic and looks similar in construction to the original Preppy.
In writing tests, this pen performed exceptionally well. I used the stock cartridge that shipped with the pen and started writing. It is a tiny bit scratchy — not rough in writing but I could hear the sound of my writing on the paper as a “scritch, scritch” which I suspect is a result of how fine the nib is. But I really like it. I’m a little ashamed to like writing with a $5 pen so much when I have a cupboard full of much more expensive pens. But this is a good pen to try if you’re curious about an ultra-fine Japanese nib. It won’t be for everyone but at $5, its worth taking it for a test drive.
I purchased mine from Goulet Pens but other retailers are starting to stock the Preppy 02 EF so you have options. In the meantime, if you preferred the look of the original Preppy pens, go grab them now because all the Preppy line will be replaced with the silvery painted versions soon. I suspect the markers and highlighters will also get the updated look. Ugh.
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I’m excited to try out the EF, but preferred the old look. The colored nibs make me happy.
I have used both F & the new EF 02. I like the finer line of the 02, however, the converter cost is unreasonable, but I did buy a couple. Also I have used this 02 for about a month or a little more now, not continually but most days at least for a bit. It started leaking from the internal feed area right off the bat. It quit after a few days. Now I am seeing 3-4 cracks n the bottom of the cap, where it meets the barrel. I do not abuse it, carrying it in my Timbuk2 pocket but I am not super careful with it either. A bit more time will tell if it is going to “crack up” or last a while. Will be due for a refill before the weekend and we will see what happens.
I think only the EFs have the new look. If you look on jetpens, the fine and medium still retain the old look more or less but they all have silver nibs.
I had one of the original ones and on the second cartridge a long crack started propagating down the barrel. I fudged it with tape and got the third, last cartridge through. Not a long term use pen in my opinion, just treat as dsiposable.
It’s actually agood they got rid of the colored nibs as the colors tended to some off after awhile (though it seemed to vary by color – my blue semed to start coming off almost immediately, the red after not much longer).
Regarding the price of converters, you can get non-Platinum converters on Ebay that work with Platinum pens. They’re pretty inexpensive and seem to work (so far). From China (where else, right?)
How does the Preppy EF compare with the Pilot Metropolitan F in terms of the width of the writing?
I’ll try to put together a comparison of the Preppy EF and Pilot F and EF for you in my next “Ask The Desk” post. Its a great question and one I don’t think has been addressed in the past.
I’ve tried a bunch of fountain pens, looking for the right one for me, for my purpose: Learning to draw. I gave up on keeping the cheap Chinese ones working consistently. I thought a little flex might be useful for expressive drawing. I got a mid-price Japanese one which is reliable, and with a slightly soft nib, but which writes too thick. Fountain pens were starting to seem like too much trouble.
The 0.2 Preppy has turned out to be ideal for me. Perfect fine line, and as reliable as any FP you’re going to find. For line variation I use it with the nib upside down for a super-fine line. Or right-side up with a little weight for more meat. I like that I can use Platinum’s Carbon cartridges, for a waterproof line, so I can confidently watercolour on top. I’d love to try an old, flexy Waterman, but I think I’d miss my ultra fine line. The 0.2 is my go-to. Quest is ended, I’m home.
The Preppy caps tend to crack after repeated cappings. They no longer snap on air-tight, so ink can dry in the nib. Now I reinforce them as soon as I receive a new Preppy: I tightly wrap scotchtape around the cap’s open end, going under the clip. Has worked so far.