I’ve been carrying the Platinum Procyon around for almost an entire week trying to figure out what to make of it. Let’s start from the beginning, which is well before the Procyon showed up in my mailbox. Pre-Procyon, my experience with Platinum was limited to my Platinum Preppies ($4 pen) and my Platinum 3776s (nearly $200 to over $400 pen depending on the model).
That’s a HUGE gap in the middle. And I’ll be honest; I went into inking up the Procyon for the first time with a healthy dose of skepticism that anything in that gap would prove to be worth the price point. The question at the top of my mind all week has been, “What about this pen justifies a $50 price tag for a pen with a ‘$5 Preppy nib’?” My assumption about the nib proved to be slightly incorrect in the end, but the basic premise remained.
When I first started blogging about stationery, I would draw the items I was reviewing almost every time. Sometimes I would post it, and sometimes I would not- but I remembered this week why I was so fond of the practice. Sometimes everyday use and the review writing samples aren’t enough. Sometimes I need to sit with something for a while and mull it over. So while I typically leave the drawing and sketching to the professionals we have around here- today, you will have to accept a B team sketch.
The Procyon isn’t the only pen that falls in the gap between the Preppy and 3776 in the Platinum line- and so for comparison sake, I inked up a 05M Preppy, a Medium Prefounte, a Medium Procyon, and a Medium 3776 going into the start of my week. (Note: I purposely left the Platinum Desk Pen out of this review and out of my rotation this week. Technically it’s a Platinum pen with a price point that fits the premise, but it’s a bit of an outlier in its design, purpose, and availability. The Platinum Plaisir is also absent because I do not currently own one.)
As soon as I had everything inked, it became immediately evident that some of my assumptions about the Procyon were a little off-base. The nib looks similar to the Preppy nib, but it is not identical.
The physical size of the nib is larger (around the size and shape of Lamy safari nib). Interestingly, the M nib writes a much thinner line than its 05M Preppy counterpart- putting it directly in step with the higher portion of Platinum’s line.
As others have mentioned, you can unscrew the entire nib unit and section from the Procyon and screw it into a 3776- and vise versa! The same is true of the Prefounte and the Preppy- this pair’s sections are also interchangeable. That presents some interesting options. In particular, switching a 3776 section into the Procyon would allow you to carry an excellent gold Platinum nib around in a metal aluminum body. There’s a certain appeal to this for me- I’m not afraid to carry my 3776 pens by any stretch of the imagination. Still, the metal body makes the pen feel inherently more durable and gives some variation to my otherwise almost entirely resin-bodied 3776 collection.
That brings us to what I believe the Platinum gets right about the Procyon. The matte aluminum body of this pen is killer- full stop. The combination of the feel of the matte finish and the color of the aluminum makes for a surprisingly quality and enjoyable pen all around. The section of the pen is plastic instead of metal, and some may think this cheapens the look of the pen, but it’s not that different from a 3776 section, and I like the look of the transparent accent. The shape of this pen is also a significant selling point. Hands down, I prefer it to anything else in the Platinum line, including the 3776. Call me crazy- but the tapered body, clean lines, and subtly raised finials speak my language.
The nib is nothing ornate or beautifully decorated, but it’s an excellent writer. Spending most of my week writing with these pens has reminded me just how good steel nibs can be. I do think the increased size of the Procyon nib puts it a touch above the Preppy and Prefounte in terms of writing experience.
There are a few things I’m not crazy about with the Procyon. The clip design isn’t offensive by any means, and I’ve seen much worse on many, many pens- but it’s still not my favorite. The metal threads are fine for me, but I could see them being a problem for anyone with larger hands or a grip that lends to sit back farther away from the nib of the pen. For me, the section is just large enough for the threads to stay out of the way during writing.
And that brings us back to the big question. With pros and cons considered, does the pen live up to the $53 price tag? It’s a tricky question for a couple of reasons. Overall, I think this segment of the pen market is very, very difficult to get right. In almost all cases, I would prefer pens equal or less than the price of a TWSBI Eco or above $100. You can get some excellent quality gold-nibbed pens around that $100 range, and I think that’s what makes the $50-$100 range an incredibly difficult sell. That being said- there are some things that I believe Platinum gets right about playing in this range- the first of which is utilizing material and a finish that sets the pen apart from the rest of the line. I think I would honestly prefer carrying a 3776 nib in this pen body than a basic black 3776 body any day of the week. The nib is also just different enough from the lower end pens to distinguish it as a higher-price point pen.
The question of worth is always going to be a personal one. If you are starting from nothing, would you rather have this pen ($53) or a TWSBI Eco ($33.50) and a Kaweco Sport combo ($24.50)? That’s a battle I’m not sure this pen wins for me. But there is also a world where I theoretically already have several 3776s and would prefer to add this pen to my collection over and above another 3776 that’s just a different color from the ones I already own. I’m not sure how both of those statements can be true simultaneously, but for me, that’s where I land with this pen for today. It may take me a little more time to settle my final opinion about the worth proposition of this pen, but I am happy to see companies attempt new things at this price point.
- Pens: Platinum Procyon ($53), Platinum Prefounte ($10), Platinum Preppy ($4-5), Platinum 3776 ($176 and up)
- Swatches: Tomoe River A5 Loose Leaf Paper 52gsm ($7.25 for 100 sheets)
- Ink: Platinum Carbon Black ($32 for 50ml bottle)
DISCLAIMER: Some of the items included in this review were provided for the purpose of review by JetPens. Please see the About page for more details.